*Warning* – The following Episode Guide contains spoilers and recaps on each episode.
Episode 2 – “Dirty Little Secrets” (recap courtesy of ABC.com)
Original airdate: April 12, 2012
SUMMARY — Sharon Marquette is DC’s finest madam. She’s also Olivia Pope’s latest client. That’s why she has her team swipe all incriminating material from Sharon’s house before U.S. Attorney David can raid the place. The primary item he wants is Sharon’s client list which is safely hidden in her family photo albums. Steven had a previous relationship with this woman, as he was one of her clients. This tidbit doesn’t make Abby happy.
Sharon’s client list is a who’s who of Washington heavyweights, one of whom could cause headaches for the White House. His name is Patrick Keating. He’s slated to be President Grant’s first Supreme Court nominee. Olivia makes a beeline for the Oval Office, but can’t get in. Apparently her pass has been revoked. The Vice President’s Chief of Staff, Billy Chambers, vouches for her. He also convinces Olivia to meet with the soon-to-be-scandalized Patrick Keating.
Olivia gives Keating the scoop about the DC madam in front of his wife. He’s listed as meeting a call girl named Stacey on several occasions. The judge denies this. His wife agrees that her husband did nothing wrong. Olivia’s gut says that Keating is not a hooker guy. Perhaps Sharon’s list may not be completely accurate. They need to find this Stacey lady to see if Keating was really one of her johns.
Olivia eventually realizes that the Stacey they are looking for has been right in front of them the whole time. It’s Keating’s wife, Claire. She met Patrick after being stood up by a client on her first night of work for Sharon Marquette. He had no idea what she did for a living as they began a relationship. The money she made from her work put him through law school. It’s how he became a judge. Patrick never knew the truth. He still doesn’t.
Claire never knew how to tell her husband his entire life was built on a lie, but Olivia says she has to tell him now. So she does. Patrick Keating’s Supreme Court dream is imploding. There’s nothing Olivia can do about that. As for how this affects the Keatings’ marriage, well there’s not much she can do about that either. Olivia later has a private meeting with Fitz, who says that love allows for forgiveness. Once again, Olivia is thrown completely off balance in the presence of the president. Later, Fitz admits to Cyrus that Olivia Pope is the love of his life.
Sharon doesn’t want to give up her client list because many families could be destroyed. A judge ultimately denies Steven and Harrison’s request to keep things under wraps. All hope may not be lost though. Olivia instructs her team to assemble every client on Sharon’s list. Soon her office is filled with some of the most powerful men in Washington. This includes folks on the Senate Judiciary Committee who agree to approve Patrick Keating for the high court with unprecedented bipartisan support. There’s also good news or Sharon, as David’s bosses have ordered him to drop the case.
Quinn runs into a reporter named Gideon Wallace. The guy is hanging around Amanda Tanner’s hospital room because he smells a story. Olivia orders Quinn to keep an eye on Amanda. That’ll be hard to do since she’s skipped out of the hospital. Later, Olivia apologizes to Amanda at her apartment. The apology is not accepted. That doesn’t stop Olivia from letting Amanda know that her life will be destroyed if she goes through this alone. She wants to help. Eventually, Amanda agrees to let Olivia represent her. That’s good news because that reporter from the hospital is not going away anytime soon.