‘Scandal’ kicked off its penultimate 2013 episode in spectacular fashion. But first, a look back: Last episode, Huck got hip to Quinn’s B613 dealings and plotted out an interrogation. Cyrus’ “infallible” plan to keep the Vice President in line blew up in his face, and he got the pictures to prove it. And Olivia found out her mother, who she thought was dead, is in fact alive. But is she sane? All that and more is tackled in 'YOLO,' which we will recap for you with help from lyrics from Young Money’s Drake.

“I’ve been taught to never loan somebody what you need right back.”

Cyrus refuses to accept defeat despite obsessing over pictures that confirm his loss. He confronts James over his infidelity. and the journalist points out his hypocrisy and asks for a divorce. But our beloved Cy won’t go down without a fight. He blackmails James by threatening to take the pictures public if he leaves him, before scurrying off to the White House where Fitz lays into him over the foiled plot. Cy barely holds it together and completely breaks down when Fitz leaves the room. And realizing what has happened, Mellie shares a few heartbreaking words of wisdom to the Chief of Staff: “It hurts until it doesn’t… numb and fine are the same,” she explains.

Cy isn’t done spreading his misery though. He goes to the VP and shows her the pics. She calls his bluff and he sulks back to his office to lie to James one last time about never showing the photos to anyone. Is he even capable of telling the truth?

“I’m just saying you could do better. Tell me have you heard that lately?”

Things are beyond awkward between Olivia and her mom. After Jake and Huck debug Mama Pope and move her to a safe house, she makes several attempts to get to know her daughter better. But Liv, who is usually composed, is too involved in an all-encompassing silent breakdown to offer much. Mama Pope’s intuition, however, tells her that her daughter isn’t as happy as she should be. She tells Liv she imagined her married to a dentist (because they come home at night), with kids, and living an overall happy life as opposed to just a successful one. Liv defends the life she’s created, but it’s clear the words stung.

“I’m scared of what the future holds. I was wishing for some things, and now am used to those.”

Huck, though sad that Quinn is the person he is torturing, is happy to get the chance to use his skills once again. He shows mercy by opting to simply remove her teeth instead of removing critical limbs or skinning her. But the kindness is lost on poor Quinn, who is too busy screaming her head off in pain. Interestingly, the interrogation doesn’t seem to involve many questions, but after the second or third tooth, Quinn starts to sing like a snaggletooth canary. She sells Huck on a plan to make up for her betrayal to the team by putting herself in a position to kill Command.

But at some point, she also gets rescued from her apartment by Charlie, after Huck leaves on an Olivia-assigned task, and then proceeds to have sex with him, so she might not be in the best frame of mind.

“My team good, we don’t really need a mascot.”

While Huck is off torturing, Harrison and Abbey are running around making things happen. Harrison links up with an old connect and possible one-time lover to get Mama Pope a new ID and passport. And when Command trumps that card by getting mom placed on the No-Fly list, Abbey goes to her boyfriend and tries to persuade him to get her removed from the list. Unfortunately, David doesn’t have any luck pulling those strings, and it begins to look like Mama Pope may have to stay stateside.

“D---, is it fall? Time for me to revisit the past?”

Olivia spends most of the episode reliving the last day she had with her mother several years ago seemingly in search of a fix. She even tries to sell her mother on giving up the name of the reporter she claims she was going to tell about B613 in an attempt to blow the lid off the secret organization. But her mother insists that she doesn’t want to bring anyone else into this mess. Mama Pope’s intentions seem pure and her reasoning is sound -- but still, Liv finds herself revisiting the past searching perhaps for what once was.

After placing a call to Fitz, he uses his Presidential power to pull some strings to get her mother out of the country via a military plane. And just as it pulls away, Olivia remembers that a man that called her mother all those years ago seemed to think she went by another name -- the same name that Command put on the terrorist watch list. With the new info, Liv comes to the startling realization that her father isn’t the monster; her mother is. In fact, Rowan had been trying to protect her from the truth all these years.

“You make friends with Mike but got to A.I. him for your survival.”

Vice President Sally Langston’s love for Jesus has been one of the most consistent things on this show. Unfortunately, her political strategist points out that Jesus won’t get her many votes, and if she is going to win as an independent she needs to change her opinion on abortion. “Drop your allegiance to Jesus and pledge it to politics,” he says.

She lets her ambition get the best of her and agrees to become pro-choice if that means that she gets to be the first woman to claim the title of POTUS. She even announces her plans to her husband, and later in the day, the President.

But life conspires against her, and after learning of her husband’s recent infidelity, she calls Cy in the middle of night, with blood soaked hands and a man looking awfully like her husband crumpled on the floor.

How excited are you for the winter finale? Do you think Quinn is going to kill Olivia’s father?