"Dog-Whistle Politics"
5x04 OPA 1
Season Five
Season 05, Episode 04
Episode Information
Air Date: October 15, 2015
Written by: Mark Fish
Directed by: Zetna Fuentes
Character Information
Episode Chronology
Previous Episode: ""Paris is Burning""
Next Episode: ""You Got Served""

In my office it's not about doing the smart thing, it's about doing the right thing!

Fitz Grant to Abby Whelan

"Dog-Whistle Politics" is the fourth episode of the fifth season of Scandal, and is the seventy third overall.


Eager to get answers, Jake unexpectedly crosses paths with someone he thought he’d never see again. Meanwhile, Huck and Quinn recruit a familiar face to help smooth over the media storm surrounding Olivia, and Fitz quickly finds out the true cost of mercy when he discovers not everyone fully supports his actions.


Olivia Pope & Associates:
  • The OPA team hire a new associate.
  • Huck, Quinn and the newbie fight against the press.


Papa Pope pontificates about how his daughter is responsible for his current lot in life. He insists that, even though he’s currently in prison, he is never truly caged. He avoids giving up any information on Lazarus 1, a protocol he created to return to power should it ever be lost. This doesn’t deter Jake Ballard. He knows Papa Pope always leaves a trail. Jake just has to hunt it down. Jake recruits Charlie to go to Paris with him to deal with the Lazarus 1 situation. They meet up with a beautiful woman named Elise. She knows Jake well. That’s why Elise calls off the deal she made with Charlie. Jake shows up at her place. There’s a confrontation about the way they parted. Then they get down to business. Jake needs to know who is going to buy any art pieces that were stolen from the Louvre. Then he reveals that he thought Elise was dead. He grieved. He really enjoyed being married by her. The two of them kiss.

5x04 - Elise and Jake

Elise meets with someone looking to unload some paintings. The guy isn’t B613 though. Jake and Charlie lose the video feed. BANG! BANG! Gunshots ring out from inside Elise’s place. Jake and Charlie storm in. The painting seller is dead and Elise is hurt. It’s just a flesh wound. At the hospital, Elise admits that she left Jake. They are spies, and there’s no forever for spies. Jake takes this confession in stride as he asks Elise to come back to the U.S. with him. Former neighborhood activist Marcus Walker saw his rising political career derail after he slept with the mayor’s wife. The guy’s flat broke. Things are looking up though. Quinn Perkins offers him a job in the middle of the familiar “gladiator in a suit” speech she once received. Surprisingly, Marcus Walker turns down the offer. Then he accepts it. He’s ready to gladiate. Marcus defies Quinn and Huck’s direct orders by attacking the press. Their new strategy is to accuse the media of dog-whistle politics, aka racism, sexism, misogyny and more.

Mellie Grant is caught off guard when the Senate Women’s Caucus lets her know that Washington’s most powerful men have their own way of doing things. The women do, too. At the moment, they want to impeach the president. They would like Mellie’s approval to move forward. Cyrus Beene wants her to consider it. It could be Mellie’s chance to claim the White House for her own. Later, Mellie catches Fitz in the middle of a game of hide-and-seek with Teddy Grant. It’s a sweet family moment. It leads Fitz and Mellie to agree to hurt each other. A furious Fitz fires Abby Whelan. It doesn’t take thanks to interjection from Olivia, who is dealing with the media storm surrounding her. Elizabeth North, Abby and David Rosen convince Fitz to meet with some men whose support he needs, including Senator Stanley Gibson, who presents him with a modest proposal for legislative reform. Actually, it’s not so modest at all. Gibson wants Fitz to kill the Brandon Bill. If the president doesn’t play ball, they will proceed with the impeachment process.

5x04 - Cyrus

Olivia Pope is feeling rage over all the nameless cowards on the Internet who claim they would like to rape her. She rants over how she’d like to handle them during a phone call to Fitz, who orders her to turn off her computer. Olivia sobs while insisting she’s fine. Actually, she’s losing it, but only a little bit. Mellie wants to know why Cyrus is so bent on revenge. It’s because he would he died for the president. He looked upon Fitz like he was his son and you always want to protect your children. Cyrus can no longer do that though. He lets Mellie know that at least her son is dead. Nothing bad can happen to him anymore. This has Mellie throwing Cyrus out of her office, but not before he lets her know that he quits.

Fitz asks Abby about his Brandon Bill dilemma. Olivia would make the smart move and give Gibson what he wants. Of course, the smart move isn’t always the right move. A short time later, the Presidential motorcade makes its way down Wisconsin Avenue into a residential area. One of the residents there just happens to be Olivia Pope. Fitz pops up to her apartment. Olivia wants to know what he’s doing. Fitz tells her he’s doing the right thing. He’s taking his girlfriend out on a date. Cameras flash and reporters cry out as the President of the United States escorts his alleged mistress into the back of his limo. Classy date! The press is having a field day. Questions are posed. Will Olivia Pope be the country’s next first lady? Or will she be the first lady to take down a sitting president? It may be the latter now that Mellie has changed her mind about wanting to impeach her husband.


Main Cast

Recurring Cast

Guest Cast


Long Speeches & Rants



Promotional Photos

→ See and enjoy 66 pictures from Dog-Whistle Politics at Images from Dog-Whistle Politics.

Behind the Scenes




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