Episode 5 – “Crash & Burn” (recap courtesy of ABC.com)
Original airdate: May 3, 2012
SUMMARY –Huck quickly determines that Amanda Tanner was kidnapped. He gives details as to how she was abducted. The guy has experience with this sort of thing. Olivia asks David to help look for Amanda. Believe it or not, there’s a bigger issue at hand for the team. A plane carrying 120 people, including a U.S. Senator, has crashed leaving no survivors. Olivia Pope represents the pilot’s union. The team has their work cut out for them since the airline indicates they’ll be claiming pilot error caused the crash.
The black box recording reveals the final horrifying moments before the crash. The airline has motive to trash the pilot, Lori Mackelson, to save their reputation as well as millions of dollars. The woman’s husband assures the team that his wife was an expert pilot who didn’t panic. He also reveals that Lori was an alcoholic who had been sober for 20 years. This is bad news since the entire crew was out partying the night before.
A flight attendant confirms that Lori Mackelson was NOT drinking the night before the crash. Olivia lets the world know this. Stephen realizes the last inspection report before the plane crashed was a duplicate. The mechanic’s real report stated that there was something wrong with the rudder. Harrison reaches the same conclusion after listening to the black box tape. The CEO of the airline genuinely wants to know what happened. As it turns out, the report was doctored by a nice lady who was under pressure to get her paperwork done. She obviously had no idea it would lead to such a tragedy.
Video footage lets Huck know that an old colleague is behind Amanda’s disappearance. He goes by Charlie, though that’s not his real name. By the way, “Huck” isn’t Huck’s real name either. The conversation that takes place between these two dangerous men ends on a down note. Huck reports to the team that he now knows that Amanda Tanner is dead. This sends Olivia outside to the men who have been keeping her under surveillance. She wants them to let the president she knows what he did.
Amanda Tanner’s worried father, Hank, shows up at the office looking for his daughter. Quinn assures him that everything will be okay. This is before she’s told Amanda is dead. Quinn is stunned and shaken. The president seems just as surprised when Olivia gives him the news. He assures her that he did not do this thing. If that’s true, then Olivia says he knows who did. That means he’s responsible for any action Cyrus may have taken.
Cyrus wants to take political advantage of the death of the senator who was on plane to bring something called the “Dream Act” to a vote. They have a tie at the moment with the deciding vote to be cast by the vice president, Sally Langston (guest star Kate Burton). She doesn’t want to vote yes, but Fitz makes it clear that she won’t have his support when it’s her turn to run for president if she isn’t a team player now. When the uncomfortable meeting ends, Cyrus lets Fitz know that some unknown party sent them the sex tape as part of a blackmail effort. They’ve now sent a video of Nixon resigning. Fitz and Cyrus now know their demands.
Olivia reluctantly asks Huck for help finding Amanda’s body. This isn’t the type of thing he does anymore, as it nearly destroyed him. Nevertheless, Huck is not about to let Olivia down. He ambushes Charlie in his apartment. As much as he hates doing so, he reverts back to his old ways to torture the man into giving him the information he seeks. Once he gets it, Olivia lets David know that he needs to send out a diving team to the 14th Street Bridge. That’s the spot where they pull Amanda Tanner’s lifeless body from the water.
Many are feeling emotional pain due to recent events. Amanda’s father is devastated. Quinn seeks comfort in Gideon’s arms. Olivia is also hurting, but still tries to comfort Huck. He doesn’t want to be touched. Reverting back to his previous ways is a whole different kind of torture for him. In other news, David lets Olivia know that the coroner is going to rule Amanda’s death as a suicide. He suspects Olivia knows more than she’s saying. He vows to find the truth.
The president asks his secret service detail if there’s a way to sneak out of the White House. There is. In other news, Olivia receives a call from Stephen. He just found out Amanda was, indeed, pregnant, but the baby wasn’t Fitz’s. Olivia barely has time to process this when there’s a knock at her front door. On the other side stands the President of the United States. Think Olivia will invite him inside?