It took her long enough, but on the Scandal season finale, Our Lady of the Trench Coat finally had some self-realization. That manifested itself into Olivia Pope finally saying these four magic words: "I am the scandal." Damn right you are. As much as I'd love to focus on just that and what Olivia Pope could do to stop wrecking so many of our last nerves, since it's Scandal, we've got to focus on the seven million other things that happened, too.
The episode kicked off exactly where we left off -- Fitz and Cyrus in the Oval Office, reviewing Fitz's eulogy as the church was on its way to being blown to smithereens thanks to Mama Pope's bomb. Suddenly, Cyrus started to feel a little guilt about not warning the president about the bomb because he wanted Sally to get drop-kicked by Jesus into hell. Whatever, Cy, because Jake stormed into the Oval Office to warn Fitz about the terrorist plot.
That bomb went off not long after and a still very much alive VP Sally Langston almost won the presidential election after a wonderfully crafted PR stunt. Just as Sally was about to hop in her limo and get the hell out of dodge, her campaign manager stopped her, rubbed some black marks on her face, ripped her suit and told her, "Be Jesus. You go in there and Be Jesus."
Sally then played saint and started helping the injured in the name of Jesus winning the presidency. Her "her heroic duty" was so "compelling" that news organizations did a split screen between the presidential briefing on the bombing and Sally Save-These-Hoes (I'm terrible, but I couldn't resist). Then they just switched to Super Sally and left Fitz wasting his breath. After this, Olivia Pope told Fitz, "Dude, you're about to lose, B. Sorry, I know this sucks for you."
Or something to that effect.
Mellie Mel, with fresh vodka in her hand, rightly blurted out, "I want a refund. I want our money back. Whatever your fee is. Whatever ridiculous amount of money we wasted on you. Why did we hire her, because I thought we hired her to win?" Damn right, Mel. Olivia Pope is a terrible campaign manager. Who tells the candidate they're going to lose even if you think it inside? Why not follow Tisha Campbell's advice and push until you get it right?
After Fitz's hopes and dreams were dashed, Gladiators were subjected to yet another nauseating discussion about "Vermont." Yo, shut up about Vermont. I'm so sick of hearing about that damn state and what all it represents to these two. Either move or stop talking about it! Olivia & Fitz are the best thing to ever happen to Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz. Ditto for Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union. Those two couples have a much better follow through game.
Now, as Fitz talked about what a horrible woman Mellie was and she never loved him, only wanted his power, blah, blah, Olivia thankfully broke girl code and cracked Fitz's jaw by revealing that the reason why Mellie treats him like his dick is the anatomic equivalent to the Snow Queen's poison apple is that his awful ass father Big Jerry raped her. When Fitz found Mellie to discuss what happened (this felt rushed, but whatever), Mellie blurted out, "Olivia Pope can't do anything right."
That woman is shade in its best form. Mellie went on to tell Fitz that Jerry is indeed his son. Fitz didn't care—though with Mellie's secret discovered, naturally, there's no way in hell Fitz can divorce Mellie now without truly being the worst person ever. He told Olivia as much and she understood, but if you listen very, very closely, you could hear the tracks of her tears, and an ice box being installed where her heart used to be.
As much vilifying that Mellie suffered at the hands of Fitz, I'm glad he finally understands that if there's anyone around him that truly loves him and is willing to make sacrifices for him, it's his wife as opposed to his girlfriend.
That said, Mellie, you should still look into divorcing Fitz and making VP-elect Andrew your new bae.
Oh yeah, y'all knew Fitz wasn't losing that election. Unfortunately, he won due to his son Jerry collapsing on stage and dying due to bacterial meningitis and the nation feeling just plain awful about it.
Rest in peace, Jerry. You were a brat (understandably so), but you didn't deserve that.
Before Jerry dropped dead at Fitz's campaign event, Olivia and her mother had a final confrontation in Rowan Pope's hospital room. There, Maya explained that everything she's done was for her. She explained, "That man hurt you. He uses you and he will throw you away when he's done with you. I just wanted to give you the chance to be free. To be happy." Mama Pope wants to murder Fitz because he hurt her baby girl. A little abrasive, but sweet for a sociopath when you really think about it.
When Olivia pressured her mom to answer whether or not any of the first 12 years of her family life was real, Mama Pope said, "I didn't kill him and we both know I could have."
This may be an unpopular opinion, but I wish Maya did take Rowan completely out. Though it was initially suspected that Maya Wallace killed Jerry, we ultimately learned that this was all a carefully orchestrated ruse by Rowan Pope. Under the direction of Rowan, Secret Service Tom killed Jerry Grant to secure Fitz's win. And, as Rowan would tell to the Clue grand champion, Harrison, "He took my child, so I took his." Tom also killed Adnan in order to obtain Maya Pope's whereabouts from Harrison, who was working to protect Adnan from Maya's penchant for sudden acts of murder.
Rowan also pulled the okie doke on Olivia. In a flashback, we saw Rowan tell his daughter that she was getting on that plane (to a new life) come hell or high water. After earning his trust, she did indeed disband Olivia Pope and Associates. Abby, with a great curly hairstyle that's given her a new lease on life, was pissed. If there's anyone who challenged Liv the way she needed to be, it has consistently been Abby. Abby, Fix My Life is a good idea for a spin-off.
So we end with Rowan back as command of the newly revived B316 program; Maya Pope back in B316 captivity; Fitz on the floor, breaking down after realizing what all he's gone through to be president; Olivia on the plane to wherever, ignoring the White House call to come and save his ass once again. Joining her on that plane was Jake, who did a please, baby, baby please plea to start over with her.
And then there's Harrison, who we saw with a gun pointed to his head after confronting Rowan about what all went done. I don't think series creator Shonda Rhimes was planning to kill off Harrison, but with Columbus Short in the news for bar fights and allegedly threatening his wife that just filed for divorce, Harrison has probably already been tossed into a turkey neck factor in Shonda's mind. Bye, dude. It's been real.
Before I wrap, let us get to Huck and Quinn getting it in next to Rowan Pope's blood stains in the conference room at OPA. Quinn dumped Charlie, and in a very well played move for payback, Charlie handed Quinn the intel on the whereabouts of Huck's family. Huck was pissed at Quinn, only to show up at his estranged wife's doorstep towards the very end.
There's also David Rosen, who was sent boxes full of B316 info (with the B316 cover company's logo plastered all over them) with the note, "Go catch the bad guys."
If this was the series finale, I would be honestly be satisfied. There's enough there to create something else if need be, but even if the show never returned, we could draw our own conclusions based on what we've been left with. Shonda Rhimes has said she doesn't want the show to go on forever, but I imagine ABC executives are currently waving the key to Scrooge McDuck's vault of gold to change her mind.
Either way, I'm glad this season has wrapped. I enjoy this show lots, but these people are draining. I'm surprised Adderall doesn't get a writing or production credit.
It's been real, y'all. Hope you've enjoyed the recaps.
P.S. Using "Papa Was A Rolling Stone" at the very end was a nice touch. As was Rowan Pope's use of Lorraine Hansberry's "To Be Young, Gifted and Black."
Written by Michael Arceneaux (@youngsinick)