rating: 4Welcome to another week of 'Scandal', gladiators, and it is a doozy! Last week Liv survived a suicidal mother and her homemade bomb, only to find herself disappearing deeper down the B613 well thanks to Ballard and Huck. Let's find out what happened this week... Ballard is trying to get to stay with Liv but she assures him that she's protected. He tells her the horrifying truth of her dad, the horrible things he's done and will do for the republic. They fight, Olivia just wanting to get back to her normal life. The fact that she accepts her dad's emotional abuse is pretty damn terrifying. Ballard leaves, very reluctantly, just as Liv gets a call from Harrison, confirming they have a new client. At the same time, Abby and David are having a 'moment' but end up leaving each other for their respective cases (it is SO nice seeing them being nice to each other again - I'm still hoping out hold for a proper relationship between these two), and Huck is confessing his 'alcoholism' (i.e. addiction to killing people) to his AA group when a sneaking Quinn gets a call about the new client. Huck looks betrayed. James and Cyrus are having an intimate moment in the bedroom - about David's case (I swear this is the only show where trying to get a quote can be counted as foreplay) - and about the former trying to get a quote on the latter. The case is an Anthony Weiner-esque senator who sent pictures of his erm... genitals, to a young female - Desiree - who then ended up murdered. The senator, Richard Myers, is the new client of Pope & Associates and denies killing her despite being at her apartment. His wife, Shelley, is adamant about her husband's innocence and is the key to controlling the media as the dutiful, moral wife. At the trial - which finds David and Abby on opposite teams - a handful of young women read out their sexts (sexy texts for those not in the know) from Myers. He's being doing this for a while, meaning the case looks bleak. They're forced to slut-shame the deceased Desiree to their disgust and find out that she had a number of sugar daddies, casting blame onto who could have killed her. In the White House, Mellie and Fitz watch a senator, Josephine Marcus - played by Lisa Kudrow! - cut down the President. Cyrus and Mellie are desperate for something to divert attention away from the recent scandal, but Fitz is shocked to find Foster's obituary in the paper. At a press conference, Mellie avoids questions about Marcus and soon bitches to a government official, only to find the congresswoman's microphone still on. Cyrus runs damage control, furious at her slip up. Quinn and Huck have it out about her appearance at his meeting and she soon deduces that he killed a man. Huck steps out to his car, pulls out his gun and finds Ballard with a gun pointed at his head! The pair stand off, both wanting to execute Rowan Pope. At the same time, Fitz orders his senior agent Tom to secretly investigate Foster and his past and Fitz goes to Foster's military funeral, meeting his inconsolable sister Mary and the pair attend the otherwise empty service. The funeral is covered by the press to James' annoyance and to Cyrus' discovery. He recognises the name from the Operation: Remmington file and meets with Rowan to discuss it - the pair unaware, they're being surveyed by Ballard! Pope & Associates sound find out that Myers has been sexting again to the disgust of his wife and soon Harrison and Abby think that they should ditch the client. Liv disagrees, telling them to go get Shelley, just as Ballard appears, full of conspiracies about Remmington. Liv doesn't know a thing and wants him to go, which he does, leaving the file for Liv to read. Huck has seen the whole thing and breaks into the offices, grabbing his recording equipment and hearing Rowan admit that he used Huck to kill him. Foster was a pilot and has to do with Operation: Remmington. Meanwhile Abby and David spar over their on-off relationship and David calls it off due to Abby's reluctance to commit. The team are getting beaten in court and need to find Shelley and soon take to investigating the woman in order to track her down. Liv remembers the name of Shelley's daughter's history paper topic which they'd discussed, and tracks her down to a high-end hotel where Shelley is angry at her husband; she herself almost had an indiscretion years ago with a young hunk and felt guilty at an innocent touch, while her husband has been doing terrible things with his camera phone. Shelley is very close to Alicia Florrick, main hero of 'The Good Wife' and she's a beautifully conflicted woman here. Olivia gets Shelley to go to the stand, using her own anger as a motivator to get through her lies in court and admit that while she hates her husband, he isn't a murderer. Quinn tries to get Huck to open up, but he brushes her off, going to Liv's apartment with Ballard to discuss the files, Foster and Operation: Remmington. Liv is shocked. In court, Myers is found not guilty of Desiree's murder, despite Liv discovering that Shelley lied in court about her alibi. Liv suspects something is wrong and realises that Shelley is the one who killed Desiree, she using Myers for her alibi, not the other way around! Shelley moves off, coolly, and Liv is left shocked. Mellie is getting wrung through by the press, Cyrus and Marcus, finding an unlikely ally in Fitz who holds her hand (literally) and to her confused dismay. Cyrus orders his aide Ethan to Montana so that he can dig up dirt and he returns a day or so later with news of a teenage Marcus' apparent underage pregnancy, intriguing Cyrus. Later, Cyrus reports his findings to Fitz and soon asks about Fitz attending Foster's funeral. Fitz brushes him off. Later, Huck and Quinn have a blazing argument, Huck telling her to stay the hell out of his business and stop asking questions. He's clearly trying to protect her and stop her from going down the darkness and it's a dark and vulnerable moment between the two. Abby sends a cheeky sext to David of her... um... whatever, and soon the pair are tumbling into bed together. Olivia and Ballard share a nightcap at her place, the former exhausted emotionally and scared about what they've found out. They soon cuddle and kiss, only to be interrupted by Fitz although the call is swift when Fitz realises Liv has company. Fitz leaves his limo, moving down a hallway with his senior agents, and opens the door to the office of Rowan Pope, Fitz declaring to a shocked Rowan that, "this is a reunion". How the hell do they know each other?! An episode that is up on last week and which is very firmly in the comfortable mold of seasons past - the client, this time, is not a big part of the overarching mythology and it feels good for that, allowing us some fun. The Anthony Weiner-mocking storyline is fresh and relatively current, while the introduction of the always-incredible Lisa Kudrow as future Democratic enemy congresswoman Josephine Marcus is a fantastic coup. Star of the week has to go to guest star Melora Hardin as the complex anti-heroine Shelley Meyers. She inspires sympathy, compassion and finally horror and betrayal as Shelley changes from wronged housewife to calculating murderer and avenging angel. The regulars are fun here too, Guillermo Diaz and Katie Lowes having a ball in their scenes. All in all, a lighter episode and one that allows the team to have a story unreliant on the mythology. Also a welcome change was the absence of heavy Fitz/Olivia - I understand they're meant to be true love, but it's just creepy right now. Until next week, gladiators, and with the Ballardlivia kiss and the Fitzivia, which team are you on? Let me know in the comments below!