"We Do Not Touch the First Ladies"
~ Flashback Episode ~
3x12 - Mellie Grant
Season Three
Season 03, Episode 12
Episode Information
Air Date: March 6, 2014
Viewers: 8.53 million
Written by: Heather Mitchell
Directed by: Oliver Bokelberg
Character Information
Character Backstories:
Episode Chronology
Previous Episode: "Ride, Sally, Ride"
Next Episode: "No Sun on the Horizon"

What were to happen if I were to kiss you right now? (silence) Right! We do not touch the first ladies.

Andrew to Mellie

We Do Not Touch the First Ladies is the twelfth episode of the third season of Scandal, and is the forty-first overall.


Old feelings and jealousies arise at a Presidential event causing Fitz to face a harsh reality. Meanwhile, Quinn tries to prove herself to B613 and Leo Bergen sets up a meeting between Sally and an old friend.


  • A year after being attacked by Jerry, Mellie is still dealing with the after math, PTSD
  • Andrew finds Mellie vulnerable state and a secret is revealed
Olivia Pope & Associates:
  • The team works with The White House on stopping a story going public about Andrew Nichols drug use
  • Olivia tries to get Quinn to come back home; Huck is acting strange around Olivia
The White House:
  • Olivia discovers the truth about Mellie and Andrew's past
  • Sally has a meeting with a big money donor, an old friend of hers from the past
  • Cyrus and James strategize on how to handle the Vanessa Chandler situation and finding out who her source is
  • Cyrus seeks out Charlie's help to deal with a Watergate situation
  • Cyrus has an encounter with an unexpected ally at the donor dinner
  • An inside man for B-613 is revealed
Rowan & B613:
  • Jake does Olivia a favor
  • Charlie excludes Quinn from his newest assignment
  • Quinn spies on Rowan & Olivia
  • Quinn provides Jake with helpful information in the hopes of getting hired as an operative
US Attorney’s Office:
  • David tries to find a legal way to cover James' ass after the huge mistake he made


Jake learns that it's standard operating procedure for the Secret Service to lock down the entire floor of a hotel while the president is using one of the rooms. This way no one can overhear the shouting match taking place between Olivia and Fitz as they get dressed. Well, the Secret Service agents can hear it. So can Jake, which is a tad awkward since he's one of the topics of conversation. The new head of B-613 takes it all in stride. After the screaming subsides, Fitz and Olivia exit the room. He heads off with his Secret Service detail. She's five minutes behind with Jake by her side. Theirs is a complicated relationship.

A reporter, Carla Steele, has a source alleging Oxycotin drug use inside the California Governor's mansion during Fitz's first term. Andrew admits that he took painkillers when he threw out his back, but didn't go through the proper channels to get them. Olivia threatens Carla but it doesn’t take. Olivia needs to find her source. She wants Jake to make sure it isn't her father.

We jump back 14 years to see Andrew overhear an argument between Fitz and his wife. He later finds Mellie passed out on the floor after having down an entire bottle of Oxy. He forces her to vomit effectively saving her life. He later gets her to admit why she attempted suicide; because her father-in-law forced himself on her and she doesn't know if her son is his.

James is worried Cyrus is close to discovering he is Publius (a name with historical significance, by the way) once he's asked to set up reporter Vanessa Chandler with an exclusive interview with the president. David suggests he send the NSA tape to Vanessa. He hides what he's doing from Abby, who asks Huck to hack into her boyfriend's files. Theirs is a complicated relationship, too. David agrees to pose as Publius during a meeting with Vanessa. This could turn out to be a very dangerous favor.

Hollis Doyle meets with Sally Langston. He wants to choose the next Secretary of Energy in exchange for a sizeable campaign donation. But when he sees that the vice president isn’t at the top of her game, he makes a secret deal with Cyrus to attend a donor dinner. In other news, Adnan Salif opens up a suitcase filled with cash as Harrison gets dressed for work. She wants him to do something for her. She blackmails him by threatening to tell Olivia a secret from his past. So Harrison makes a sizeable anonymous donation to the Grant reelection campaign.

Quinn does surveillance on Charlie while he's doing surveillance on Olivia and Rowan. She sees her boyfriend drive off after getting a call from Cyrus about the Daniel Douglas/Publius situation. Quinn is caught outside the restaurant by Liv, who tells her to come home (to OPA). B-613 will destroy her. Quinn orders Olivia away or she'll shoot her. At home, Jake assures his fake girlfriend that he didn't send Quinn to watch Rowan. Then he hops in the shower to prep for a night of pretend sex. There's no way to tell if pretend cuddling is also in the cards.

Abby and Harrison meet with the doctor who delivered the Oxy to the California Governor's mansion all those years ago. They learn that it was a woman who made a call to him. Andrew is protecting someone. It's Mellie. Liv manages to kill the story. Jumping back to Santa Barbara, we see how Andrew fell for Mellie and vice versa. She's the one who got away. In the present, Andrew wows the crowd at the donor dinner. This includes Hollis Doyle, who won't be involved in the campaign if Fitz has anything to say about it. He instructs Cyrus to refund him for his dinner and that they will not be taking any money from him.

James learns that the meeting David is having with Vanessa Chandler is a setup. Cyrus sent Charlie in to deal with the situation. David is kidnapped and tossed into the back of a trunk. He calls Abby to tell her he loves her. Of course, he can tell her in person once the trunk opens. Abby and Huck stand before him. They are his abductors. As stated before, theirs is a complicated relationship. Cyrus calls off Charlie once Publius is a no-show.

As the man with the highest security clearance of any intelligence officer in the land, Jake is given a briefcase filled with top secret documents. He's told a trusted agent is already inside The White House. It is later revealed that the inside man is Secret Service agent Tom. While reprimanding Quinn, Jake learns from her that Rowan has been meeting with Leo Bergen. Elsewhere, Huck brings Olivia lots of coffee to apologize – without actually saying the words, "I'm sorry" – for what happened with Quinn even though he actually blames her (Olivia). She should have never given a monster like him someone to love.

When Andrew jokes that he could steal the White House portrait of Jackie Kennedy, Mellie warns that "We Do Not Touch the First Ladies." That's too bad because Andrew really wants to kiss her. Nevetheless, we do not touch the first ladies. However, no one said anything about the First Lady touching him. Mellie gives Andrew a passionate kiss before ultimately fleeing his embrace. It's yet another complicated relationship, much like the love triangle of Olivia, Fitz and Jake, who sees via secret Oval Office video that his fake girlfriend may have real feelings for him.

Adnan Salif introduces herself to Cyrus. She got into the donor dinner thanks to the call Harrison made on her behalf. She lets Cy know that she has unlimited funds that can help him. Adnan is in. This is good news for the person she meets with at the end of a long day. This mystery figure in cahoots with Adnan turns out to be Olivia's mom, Maya. This would be yet another complicated relationship. And yet another end of the episode SHOCKER!!!

~ Recap for We Do Not Touch the First Ladies [1] provided by ~


Main Cast

Recurring Cast

Guest Cast


For a full list of cast/character credits in order as they appeared click here: We Do Not Touch the First Ladies Credits


  • Olivia: I think my fathers trying to leak a story about Andrew Nichols drug use. I think he's trying to tank Fitz's re-election.
  • Jake: And you want me to stop him?
  • Olivia: Yes!
  • Jake: I have a job. You know one that doesn't involve your family drama.
  • Olivia: My father is out for blood, Fitz's and yours and probably mine too. However he goes about it I assure you it will affect the Republic so if you take your job seriously, you will find out what he is up to!
  • Jake: I will see what I can find out.
  • Olivia: Thank you!

Speeches, Bickerings & Rants


  • Olivia threatening Carla Steele about her future in D.C. as a journalist; Carla threatening back with the ammo she's got.
  • Olivia: Carla, you've had what 24 hours to vet that doctor... how do you know he's not lying? You've had a good working relationship with The White House up to this point. All that changes the minute you air this story! Your access to the president gone! Your press pass revoked! Your relationship with every important Republican in this town over, all because I said so. One bad decision, Carla, that's all it takes and you're back in Tulsa covering the local beauty pageants you swore off 20 years ago.
  • Carla Steele: (laughs) Trust me the only things that are ever going to bring me back to Tulsa are Christmas and my daddies funeral. I've got hard evidence, Liv, rock solid seen it with my own eyes evidence. So if anyone should be worried it's you!


  • Olivia: My father is out for blood, Fitz's and yours and probably mine too. However he goes about it I assure you it will affect the Republic so if you take your job seriously, you will find out what he is up to!


Production Dates


Promotional Photos

→ See and enjoy 24 pictures from We Do Not Touch the First Ladies at Images from We Do Not Touch the First Ladies.

Behind the Scenes

These pictures are courtesy of the actors and production team's Twitter posts.


Promotional Video

Scandal 3x12 Promo "We Do Not Touch the First Ladies" (HD)

Scandal 3x12 Promo "We Do Not Touch the First Ladies" (HD)