Scandal Finale Recap: Olivia Battles Papa Pope – and Finally Chooses Her Man
The finale of Scandal gave us a happy ending – and a cliffhanger that will have us spending our summer wondering if a fan-favorite character lives or dies.
The Gladiators took down B613, if not in the way they’d originally intended. Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) finally picked her man. And Mellie Grant (Bellamy Young) won her election but lost her husband.
That’s right, Olitz shippers: Season 4 ended with Liv and President Fitzgerald Grant (Tony Goldwyn) locked in a steamy kiss.
Most Scandalous Moments
• The episode opened with Mellie speaking to Rowan (Joe Morton), who posed as a billionaire donor with the hilarious name Damascus Bainbridge and an oddly Southern lilt to his accent. But, once the room cleared, he revealed his true intentions: showing her photos of her trysts with the vice president and evidence of Remington, the secret operation from last season that had Fitz shoot down a plane, killing 300 innocent civilians. Rowan blackmailed Mellie, telling her that, unless she wanted him to air their dirty secrets, he needed a list of names.
• Meanwhile, the Grand Jury proceedings about B613 were going great. Jake (Scott Foley) testified. David (Joshua Malina) doing his duty as attorney genetal. Could justice finally be served? Of course not: Huck (Guillermo Déaz) rushed into the OPA offices, bringing the Gladiators to a gruesome crime scene. Every single grand juror sat dead inside a bus, massacred. The court papers were destroyed. There was no B613 to take down – every record of its existence was gone.
• Olivia went to her mother, a.k.a. Maya Lewis, a.k.a. Marie Wallace (Khandi Alexander), to ask for tips on taking down Command. But Mama Pope just laughed scornfully from her cell, telling Olivia to stop being so self-absorbed. “Did we not give you enough hugs?” she cracked. (Um, considering Olivia was raised by a terrorist and the leader of an illegal shadow organization, PROBABLY NOT.) Olivia decided to report Rowan to the CIA. The director ordered Rowan’s arrest.
• Papa Pope paid Cyrus (Jeff Perry) a visit, reminding the chief of staff that he owed him a solid. So when the CIA director confronted him about B613 overstepping its bounds for decades, Cyrus bullied her into submission, arranging for Olivia and Jake to be taken into police custody instead.
• Fitz threw Mellie an election day eve party and, for the first time not in a flashback, showed genuine love and respect for his wife, admitting he’d taken her for granted. “The past year has been a complete revelation for me,” he said. “As a team, we’ve never been stronger.” It only took 24 hours for the love fest to unravel. As Mellie gave her victory speech the next day, Liz (Portia de Rossi) let it slip to Fitz, telling him all about the “donor” and how she was responsible for the jurors’ assassination. He was disgusted. We’d call it “trouble in paradise,” but the first couple never really had a honeymoon phase.
• By threatening to kill Abby (Darby Stanchfield), Cyrus blackmailed David into getting Jake and Olivia to recant their testimony and sign an affadavit agreeing they’d never discuss B613 again. Mama Pope made an even better deal: In exchange for her silence, Cyrus handed her a get-out-of-jail-free card. Bad idea, you guys! This woman chewed off her own wrists to escape capture. She means business.
• Quinn (Katie Lowes) refused to admit defeat, pointing out that they still had the $2 million Huck stole from B613 as evidence. That gave Olivia the bright idea to frame her dad for embezzling the Smithsonian. The cops arrested him, and Olivia admitted he was right: You can’t take Command. But you can take down the man he was pretending to be, “an old, innocent, dottering Smithsonian paleontologist.”
• Quinn stormed into Huck’s office, armed with a gun. She recognized his handiwork on the bodies in the morgue: He killed the grand jurors for Command. He insisted he didn’t want to, that he had to protect his family, but for once, Quinn wasn’t buying it. “I am done defending you,” she said, pointing the pistol at his head. “Do it,” he begged. “Please, Quinn, do it.”
• Mellie and Cyrus celebrated her win in the Oval Office, already scheming about her presidential bid but Fitz stewed in the background. “You think I’d let you be president after what you did?” he yelled. Mellie pleaded with him that she sacrified her morality for him, for their team, but he kicked her out of the White House, firing Cyrus, too, for his part in it. His next chief of staff? Liz, for whom things fell together a bit too perfectly.
• Olivia and Jake got back to her apartment, and she was all ready to pop bottles and (presumably) break out the popcorn – but Jake wouldn’t go inside, saying he completed his mission to take care of her but “went over the line.” “I am in love with you, but you are in love with him,” he said. “You want what’s yours? Go and take it.”
• And she did, surprising Fitz on the balcony of the White House for a long-awaited kiss as “Here Comes the Sun” played in the background. Get it? THEY’RE STANDING IN THE SUN – what she tried to do with Jake by fleeing Washington on an island getaway during last season’s finale. This time, we hope the light shines on Liv for a little longer.
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• “Susan is a national treasure.” –Olivia
“Susan is a Muppet.” –Fitz
• “Normally I’d be all, ‘White hat! Woohoo!’ But …” –David
• “I’m going to call you ‘Honey,’ because I don’t remember your first name and I don’t care.” –Cyrus at his most sexist, talking to the CIA director
• “Well I’m going to need a pen, baby.” –Maya, taking David’s deal
• “You were right. We couldn’t take Command. But we can take Eli Pope.” –Olivia
Questions for Next Season
• Does Quinn shoot Huck? Eh, probably not. We’re betting they turn this stand-off into some sort of freaky sex thing. (Remember the licking? Because it’s burned into our retinas for all eternity.)
• With Mama Pope on the loose, what’s her next evil plan?
• Will Cyrus and Mellie team up to get back in Fitz’s good graces?
• Is an embezzlement charge really enough to get Papa Pope locked away for good?
This Season, We’re Team …
Fitz. Did you see that smooch? But kudos to Jake for being the bigger man and encouraging Liv to follow her heart.