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Scandal - Over A Cliff - Review: "Finally Free"

Although we’ve come to the end of the road, still I can’t let go…
I’ve got too many emotions, y’all. Hold on.

How does one bid farewell to something that you’d dedicated a significant portion of the last six years of your life to without jacking it up? It’s a question that Shonda Rhimes and her team of writers likely asked themselves, and is one that I’ve pondered while trying to work out how to approach this final Scandal review. The only answer I could come up with is that you do the best that you can and hope that it resonates with your audience. In Shonda’s case, she delivered a series finale that was a mixed bag of the good, the bad, and the perplexing. In other words, the show ended in typical Scandal fashion.

Thanks to the live table read that the cast performed in front of an audience at El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, we know that much of the finale was left on the cutting room floor likely due to time constraints. ABC frankly should have given the show an extra episode so that this finale would have been two hours, but whatever. It’s done. All we can hope for at this point is that the powers that be release this (and last) season on DVD and include an extended finale.

Anyway, let’s get into this bad boy.

Stepping Into the Light

The episode opens up with Olivia showing up at a warehouse upon being summoned there by Lonnie Mencken. She steps out of the freight elevator and approaches the special prosecutor, who is standing off in the far distance. Olivia makes it halfway and then stops. Assessing Lonnie, she verbalizes her read of his body language, stating that he will not be investigating B613. Lonnie says that he’s been too compromised and that he would be a liability. Olivia asks why it is that he had her come all the way out there in the middle of the night just to share this with her, and then tells him not to bother giving her an answer since he has wasted enough of her time.

As she starts back towards the elevator, Lonnie calls out to her and says that he can get her a Senate hearing, but only if she guarantees him that gun control will be made a priority should Mellie remain President. Though perplexed by the request, Olivia replies that should Cyrus and Jake go to jail, and B613 is eliminated, then she will guarantee that gun control will move to the top of the Grant Administration’s agenda.

Satisfied with her answer, Lonnie thanks her and then pulls out a gun! Olivia backs away from him as she asks what it is that he is doing, and Lonnie replies that he is getting her her Senate hearing. Lonnie then proceeds to put the gun in his mouth and pull the trigger!


Poor Lonnie. The loss of his child to gun violence is what placed him on this path and a gun is what ends up taking him off of it. What a sad end to a once honorable man.

And Olivia...Geez Louise. Surely, she’s going to need some therapy at some point in her future, right? I mean, how much trauma can one’s psyche take?

The following day, Sally Langston is reporting on the formation of a Select Committee by the Senate to investigate B613. She states that this development has come about due to the suicide of Lonnie Mencken. She says that his death sent shock waves through Washington and that it confirms that “we’ve got rats in our nation’s basement”. As she speaks, we see Cyrus walking down a hall in the White House and then disappearing into Jake’s office.

Flash over to the Capitol and we see former Governor, now Senator Samuel Reston speaking with reporters. He says to those gathered that the questions raised by Sally regarding Lonnie’s death are serious ones that he as head of the Select Committee intends to get answers to on behalf of the American people. He continues by saying that if getting those answers means he has to question old political rivals, then so be it. (Reston sure would get a kick out of putting Olivia and the Grants in the hot seat.)

Reston’s statement is what Jake is watching on the television when Cyrus comes into his office to tell him that he needs to create kill folders on every single member of the Committee. Jake doesn’t understand what Cyrus is so worked up about, given that Lonnie is dead. He says that the man’s “conscience won’t be a problem anymore” and that the Committee will amount to nothing without the backing of the Justice Department. Cyrus asks Jake who it is who runs Justice, and Jake thinks about it a moment before saying that said person had to recuse himself from the case. Cyrus tells him that that applied when they were dealing with the plane hijacking, but now, the focus is on B613. This shift means that David is now back in charge.

Over at QPA, David is informing Olivia and the gladiators that the Committee has scheduled a closed-door session where they and other subpoenaed persons will testify in front of the Committee’s 15 members. Once everyone has been questioned, the Committee will make their recommendations to David as to which charges ought to be filed. Olivia says to the group then that they all are to keep their answers short and straightforward, that a tenth of what they know should be enough to force action on B613.

Abby asks David then what would happen to Jake and Cyrus, and David replies that exposing B613 in turn would expose Jake and Cyrus, so they will essentially be up shite’s creek. Huck asks what is to happen to them, considering that they will all be confessing to some pretty bad things. He wants to know if they, too, will be floating up the river, but David is unable to answer. The only logical answer he could have given them was: possibly. They all agreed on their own to join up with Olivia without knowing where her quest would lead, but this was also when Lonnie was independently leading the investigation. Now things have changed and the query is now in the hands of the Senate. They may not have considered the very real consequences that would come from them serving as witnesses, but they sure are thinking about them now.

Next we see Rowan showing up to meet with Olivia where she sat waiting on a park bench along the Potomac. When Rowan asks why it is that he has been summoned, Olivia tells him that she is the one responsible for exposing B613. Rowan states that now Olivia is going to testify about the spy agency, and she says that she is. He asks if she wants his blessing, and she replies that she doesn’t, which prompts Rowan to chuckle to himself in relief. Olivia tells him that she wants his help instead, saying that he can join them and help hand the country back over to the people.

Rowan stops laughing then and hands an envelope over to Olivia. He explains that it contains the deed to his house, keys to a safety deposit box in Alexandria (Virginia), and the account number for a trust that he had set up for her when she was a child. Olivia asks him why he is giving those items to her and he says that it is because he is leaving. He tells her that if she wants to fix the current saga, she is going to have to do it herself. He then gets up and starts away.

Before he can get far, Olivia asks him what it is that he wants from her. She is genuinely at a loss as to what it is that she could do that would ever receive this man’s approval. She explains that this is her opportunity to start over, live in the light, stand in her truth, and become the person that he raised. Rowan laughs at this and says that the person that he raised “doesn’t hold out her hands and smile while she is being shackled. That’s what a slave does”. (Here we go.) He remarks on how he has watched his child “enslave herself in order to fix massa’s problem” and how she has this “unyielding fix everybody else’s problem”, and he wonders what it is that he did wrong in raising her. (Should we really count the ways?)

Olivia is now a slave to massa, huh? Sounds an awful lot like what Maya had said back in S3 (315) when she classified Olivia as the help and not seen as real family to the people that she works so hard to protect. (Maya was referring to the Grants.) Olivia had gotten all in her feelings about that then, but that isn’t the case here. She tells her father that what he did with B613 to the protect of the Republic is no different from what she is doing now. He did “their” dirty work for “their” government, and that, she says, was him leading by example.

She asks him then to explain what the difference is between his work with B613 and what she is attempting to do now, and Rowan states that it wasn’t “their” government that he was protecting, that it was his. (Okay…) He says that it was he who was in charge and the one who made the rules, but he stayed in the shadows because at the end of the day, “they” don’t care what happens to them. Now worked up, Rowan asks Olivia if she thinks that because they tell her that she is smart and pretty that she matters to “them”. As Olivia defiantly stares at him, Rowan continues by saying that her placing herself in the light allows “them” to stay in the dark. (Y’all should know who the folks in the quotes are. I’ma just leave it at that.)

Olivia replies to him then, stating that the conclusion of the investigation will get everyone out of the shadows. There will be no more tricks, no dirty little secrets, no more B613. Everyone, she says, will be equal and that the country will be better for it. When Rowan asks her if she is sure about this theory of hers, Olivia shows her first sign of uncertainty and Rowan leaves her with that question to contemplate.

This scene is like watching an argument between Hotep Twitter and Equal-Rights-For-All Black Twitter. One is arguing that you leave massas house to burn, while the other is pointing out that they are all standing in said house. Keep this scene in mind for later.

Outside of the Capitol, there is a small crowd gathered and it is being reported live that today is the day that the Senate’s closed-door hearings are to begin. No one knows who is testifying, but the reporter says that if the rumors are true, some of Washington’s “highest and mightest have some explaining to do about...B613”.

Flash over to the White House and Mellie is in the East Wing admiring a portrait of herself when Marcus comes into the room. He stops short when he sees the portrait, reacting with a giant “wow”, and Mellie explains that the National Portrait Gallery decided to postpone its unveiling because of everything that is currently going on, so she told them to send the painting to her. Marcus tells her that it is beautiful, and Mellie replies that the person depicted is not her, that it is the First Lady. She says that years from now, it is the only depiction of Mellie Grant that people will see.

Marcus tells her that she is the President and that people will know who she is and what she has done, and Mellie counters by saying that they will know that she was impeached. Following her testimony, she predicts that the House will move to impeach her and that the Democratic majority in the Senate will throw her out.

When Marcus attempts to say something here, Mellie waves him off and says that she didn’t invite him there for a “pity party”. She starts off by saying that for so long she has been afraid of making a mistake and afraid of just existing in the present with him. Marcus steps forward then, and the two of them kiss like one would kiss their nanna, but a kiss is a kiss.

Over at QPA, Olivia, the gladiators and David sit in the conference room in tense silence. Olivia is in an intricately designed jacket that is white with black and tan interwoven. Underneath, she is wearing all black. Huck is fiddling nervously with the collar of his shirt when Quinn, in frustration, reaches over and straightens his tie in order to keep him still. Olivia recognizes that she’s cracking and calls out to her, and this prompts Quinn to share what’s on her mind. She says that she’s voluntarily marching herself into prison and her baby hasn’t even taken her first steps yet nor said her first word. She’s troubled by the fact that she’s going to miss all of these milestones and that Robin is about to grow up with two convicts as parents.

Olivia says to her then that she’s doing all of this for Robin, and before she can say more, Quinn tells her to shut up! (Oooo….) Olivia is taken aback by the outburst, but she doesn’t say anything further. Quinn apologizes for being rude, but she maintains that she still needs Olivia to be quiet. She tells her that she doesn’t need to be talked into what they are doing, that she is already in. She explains that she’s scared and needs Charlie, adding that her fiance doesn’t even know that she is doing this.

Abby pipes up then to say that at least Quinn doesn’t have to worry about Charlie ever leaving her or moving on to someone who isn’t in jail. David looks at her with a quizzical look and asks her what she’s talking about, and Abby tells him that she’s sure that David will be nice initially, but then she asks him what will happen a few months into it when she’s covered in “prison tats” and he’s tired of talking to her through bulletproof glass. (Abby with tats? LMAOOOO!)  She predicts that he’ll visit her once a week, then only on her birthday, and then not at all. She envisions herself waking up one day and finding out that he married “a nice Jewish girl” that his grandmother loves. (Aww…)

Huck expresses his own concern then, which is that he has to talk in front of 15 people!! (LOL!) Everyone is on edge. In comparison, Olivia is relatively calm. Her phone dings, and she looks down at it before informing the group that their transportation has arrived. There are some worried glances about the table before everyone starts to move.

The inquiry into the existence and activity of “B-6-1-3” by the Select Committee, which is comprised entirely of white men, begins with each witness being asked to introduce themselves for the record. The first witness, of course, is Olivia Pope. Then there is Tom Larsen, Diego Munoz (Huck), Abigail Whelan, Quinn Perkins (aka Lindsay Dwyer), Fitzgerald Grant, Melody Grant, and well…. Hollis Doyle. When he is asked his name, he replies that there isn’t anybody within “20 klicks of the Potomac [who] don’t know Hollis Doyle by sight or sound”. (LMAO!)

The questioning begins with Reston asking Olivia how she knows that Jake killed Rashad, phrasing it as it being a case of her bearing witness to him doing it, and Olivia says that she knows that he did it because she ordered him to do it. This answer causes a few gasps to go up in the room from shocked committee members. (Clutch your pearls, gentlemen.)

Reston then asks how many people his witness was ordered to carry out on behalf of B613, and we see Quinn answer that she carried out only one. Huck is next seen thinking hard, trying to calculate how many he actually carried out. He’s nervous as he reaches for the glass of water in front of him for a drink before simply saying, “A lot”. (Haha!)

Mellie is next seen reluctantly admitting that she was aware of B613. Fitz then admits the same. Reston then states to his next witness that Cyrus personally ordered him to kill President-elect Frankie Vargas, and Tom Larson states that Cyrus is too crafty and too evil to leave a trail behind. (Is Tom here as payback?)

Next we get Hollis who is stunned to learn that the hijacking was fake. His response? “Damn. That’s good. Compared to that, all I did was tilt a few pinball machines at the arcade.”

I can’t with this man. I literally cannot.

Mellie testifies that Cyrus staged the hijacking for his own political benefit, and Olivia continues by saying that he and Jake proceeded to frame Mellie for it. Abby adds that there isn’t any evidence linking Cyrus to the hijacking, but that there is evidence of a coverup. Soon, the voices of the various witnesses start to overlap where it is hard to make out what each person is saying. Then it’s back to Hollis who says that he pleads, “the Fifth. The First. The Second. Hell, every damn amendment. Any further questions, talk to my lawyer, or y’all can come find me at the Gettysburger down on D and 8th.” (LOL!)

Ah, that was brilliant.

The Price of Doing the Right Thing

With their testimonies complete, the gladiators, Fitz, and David Rosen congregate at Olivia’s apartment. Everyone looks even more tense than they had prior to testifying. Fitz asks what’s to happen now, and David replies that now they wait. He tells them that once the committee completes their deliberation, they will reach out to him with their recommendations. He says that since those recommendations could mean jail time for some of them, he advises that they use the next 24 hours to get their affairs in order and say their goodbyes. Quinn is looking particularly sadat this point.

David asks the group if they have any questions, and Olivia looks from Quinn who is staring out into middle space, to Abby and then to Huck who gives her a subtle nod. Olivia tells David that there aren’t any questions, but that they have a favor to ask of him.

Flash over to a prison and Charlie is seen being escorted to a visitors area. There waiting for him are Quinn, Olivia, Huck, and Abby. Once his cuffs are removed and he steps into the room, he orders Quinn to get her butt over to him, and she runs over and hops into his arms. The two latch onto each other for dear life and get to kissing like two people who have been drowning without the other. Abby, who has a bouquet of flowers in her arms, chuckles to herself over the reunion, and Olivia steps up to tell the lovebirds that they only have 10 minutes for this visit.

When the two finally pull apart, Charlie asks about their daughter, and Quinn gives him a quick update as she pulls out her phone to show him the latest pictures of little Robin. Charlie then assumes that they have come to see him because he’s about to be executed. Quinn tells him that that isn’t why they are there, and she proceeds to tell him that she testified about B613 that morning. Huck adds that they all did, and Abby says that everything is now all out in the open. To this, Charlie revises his statement to say that it is they who are being executed. (LOL!!)

Olivia speaks up to say that no one is being executed, at least not today, and Quinn tells Charlie to just shut up and let her marry him. Charlie is confused as Quinn goes on to say that this may be their last chance to make their union official. At this point, she takes off the coat she is wearing to reveal a white dress! Abby heads her the bouquet as Quinn asks Charlie if he’s down with marrying her. As Stevie Wonder’s “For Once in My Life” starts to play, Charlie says that he will marry her! Yay!

Quinn pulls him along so that they can get the party started. Huck steps forward then to start the ceremony! (Hahaha!) He doesn’t get beyond “dearly beloved” before Charlie stops him to ask if this marriage will actually be official, and Huck replies that he registered online to be able to do this. (Oh boy...LOL!) He continues on with the ceremony with Olivia and Abby standing by as witnesses. He asks Charlie what his legal name is, and Charlie replies that his alias is fine. Huck gives him a sideways look, which leads Charlie to reluctantly reveal that his name is Bernard Gusky.

Bernard who?

Y’all should see Abby’s face! LMAOOOOO! She’s struggling like a mickey flick to keep this tight smile on her face so as to not totally lose it over Charlie’s real name. Quinn is like WTF! Charlie explains that it’s a family name, and Quinn shakes out of stunned state to say that Bernard is a good name.

The ceremony carries on at this point, and as Charlie is placing a ring on Quinn’s finger, he says to her that she isn’t Robin, but Batman. (Awww!) Huck is emotional, his voice shaky as he asks Quinn if she takes Charlie to be her lawfully wedded husband. As Quinn says her own “I do” and slides Charlie’s ring on, she promises to “never hack [him] without cause, to help [him] hide the bodies...and to always have [his] six til the day [she dies] for real”. (Haha!)

Huck pronounces them husband and wife, and Charlie and Quinn kiss to seal the deal.

Sigh. So odd and yet so sweet. Completely fitting for Charlie and Quinn. Was this a call back to the pilot episode (101) where Olivia helped Stephen in picking out a ring for Georgia? Here, she is the one who provides the rings as she had with Stephen, but this time, she is rejoicing with the couple. In the pilot, she broke down in a coat closet upon witnessing the proposal because what Stephen was doing was something that she desired to have with Fitzgerald. This could be a reach on my part, but what have I got to lose here? It’s the last ever Scandal!

Next we see David walking through a parking garage. He is on the phone with Abby who is filling him in on what happened at the wedding and learning Charlie’s real name. He says that he is sad that he missed the moment, and when he turns a corner and lifts his head, his face shifts into one of concern and he tells Abby that he’ll call her back. Standing in front of him is Jake Ballard.

Jake remarks on David looking happy when the sky is “literally” falling. David points out that the sky isn’t literally doing anything and then he states that he is merely doing his job. Jake then says to David something that he said to him back in “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” (314) after he shot James Novak. His words are almost verbatim as he says that he had always liked David and that he seems smart. David replies that flattering him isn’t going to lead to Jake being spared, and Jake tells him that he wasn’t being literal, that he’s actually threatening him. (Of course.)

Jake goes on to say that David should imagine that the gun that’s in his waistband is no longer there, but was instead pointing at David’s head. He asks if that description jogs any memories for him and he again repeats what he said about always liking David and how he seems smart. As realization comes to David, Jake remarks that the expression on his face is the one that he remembers David having after he “shot [David’s] pal James”. (ARGH!)

Jake again poses the question to David about whether he is smart and reaches for his gun. In response, David drops his bag onto the floor and spreads his arms out to the side. Jake asks him what it is that he is doing, and David says that he isn’t giving in, backing down, nor running. He tells Jake that he isn’t going to shoot him in the back like he did James. Jake pulls out his gun and directs it at David, asking him if he is ready to die, and David exclaims that he isn’t and asks “what kind of crazy person is ready to die?” He tells Jake that he is simply sick of all of this and asks if he is supposed to cry and run because he is seen as Jake’s bitch.


David exclaims that he isn’t Jake’s bitch, that as Attorney General, he is the bitch of the United States of America, and that him refusing to stand down is him acting like it. (YESSS, David! No more being pushed around!) Jake tells him that he sounds ridiculous, and David in turn asks why would Jake understand what he means. He then asks what it is that Jake stands for, what he cares about. He asks who cares about him and if anybody would miss Jake, and Jake tells Rosen to shut up. (Stuck too close, did he?)

But David doesn’t shut up. He instead goes on to say that there are people who will miss him, people who care about him. He states that there are people out there that he loves. He asks Jake what and who does he love, and Jake again tells David to shut up while threatening him with his gun. David continues by saying that it’s Jake who’s the bitch, that he has always been someone’s bitch. This time around, Jake is Cyrus’s bitch. (Welp. How many people have pointed this out to him now?)

David tells him then to go ahead and do what “Daddy” told him to do. He spreads his arms out wider and closes his eyes in wait for the moment a bullet is to pierce his body. Jake cocks the gun and points it at David for a long moment. David adds then that Jake has the option of trying on the white hat and see how it feels for the first time in his life. He says that Jake could decide to care about something “for no other reason than because it is the right thing to do”. Jake continues to hesitate, and when nothing seems forthcoming, David announces that he is grabbing his things. He carefully lowers himself enough to pick up the things that he dropped and then tells Jake that he’s leaving. He says that Jake can go ahead and shoot him in the back if he so desires, that “it’s kind of [his] thing”. (Eek!)

David then starts away from him and after a couple of steps, he turns around only to find that Jake has disappeared.

Good on you, Rosen!!

Later back at the White House, Jake is sitting in contemplation in his office when Cyrus comes to get an update on their David Rosen situation. Jake says that he went to see David, but then he offers nothing else. He instead says that he is going home. Cyrus switches positions so that he is directly in front of Jake, and he asks if Jake had handled their Rosen problem. Jake stands up to leave, and Cyrus grabs him by the arm, demanding an answer. Jake orders him to get his hand off of him, and Cyrus obliges before he asks why it is that Jake couldn’t handle David. He reminds Jake that the committee makes their recommendation the following day, and if David is still the Attorney General when that happens, they are both finished. He asks Jake if this is what he wants, and Jake steps up to him then to say that he is a killer and that he would be able to kill David and not lose a wink of sleep. He tells Cyrus that he couldn’t do what it is that he has done, that Cyrus thinks himself a killer, but he has never actually gotten his hands dirty. (Truth.) He states that without him, Cyrus is nothing but a “whiny seal barking orders behind a desk”. (Ouch.)

Jake then tells him that until he has put a bullet in someone’s head or snapped someone’s neck “while they breathe their last breath through your fingers”, Cyrus isn’t ever to question him. He then reiterates that he is going home and finally departs from his office. (Okay then.)

Flash over to David and Abby lying in bed, and David is relaying to her what happened between he and Jake. He says that he never stands up to anyone because as a lawyer, he is always thinking about the legal ramifications of doing so would mean. He states that this time, standing up to Jake and being able to walk away from it felt good. Abby isn’t giving him much attention, her thoughts on what is due to happen to her when the Committee issues their recommendation the next day. She asks David what time he thinks their answer will come, and he replies that he could have the recommendation by lunchtime. Abby tries to make light of the situation by asking by what time should she expect to be in prison after that.

Recalling her earlier fear, David tells her that he will never leave her nor marry a “nice Jewish girl named Jennifer”. He says that he will wait for her for as long as it takes. (Awww…)

Just then, David’s phone starts to vibrate and he reaches over to the nightstand to pick it up. He reads the message on it, and when Abby asks him what it’s about, he replies that it is Cyrus and he wants to cut a deal. David hops right out of bed to go meet up with Cyrus. (Hmm.)

Jumping forward a bit, David is now in Cyrus’s home. He is saying to Cyrus that he will enter the confession that he has prepared into the official record in the morning. David reads from the document, asking if Cyrus is prepared to admit to the hijacking and framed Mellie for the crime, and Cyrus says that he is...among other things. He then segues into asking David if he wants a drink. He invites him to have one with him, and David says that he’d rather not. Cyrus coaxes him into accepting one by saying that this is the end of the road for him, and that David is going to have him arrested once their meeting is over.


David Rosen, that’s who. His acceptance of the drink was dismissive and he was admittedly focused on the task at hand, but come on Attorney General of the United States! Have you learned NOTHING hanging around Olivia and company?!

As Cyrus pours out the drinks, he says to David that he isn’t a bad person, and David replies that he wouldn’t exactly call him a good person either. Cyrus then states that he never really understood the value of good people, finding them to just be people “without goals, drive, will”. He hands David his drink and they clink glasses together before David takes a sip and Cyrus reclaims his seat.

The dark lord continues by saying that he may not be a good person, but that there is a reason to everything that he does. He states that some may find it to be sick and twisted, but his ploys are always thought out and never executed out of spite or malice. He is never hasty. He watches David closely as he adds that he himself is consistent and does what needs to be done.

At this point, David is starting to sweat and he lets out a cough as Cyrus drones on about how he will do what other people are unwilling to do. He says that he is relentless in pursuit of the things that he wants and that he will not anyone stand in his way. With him being inches away for the Oval and being able to taste his dream, Cyrus informs David that he is standing in his way. David looks down into his cup then and realizes that he has been poisoned!

Right as the glass drops out of David’s hand, Cyrus tells him that there are no hard feelings. David collapses onto the floor then and his grabbing at his throat as he struggles for breath! Cyrus watches the man struggle and looks to be distressed by what he is witnessing, and he momentarily turns away from a suffocating David. He then suddenly grabs one of the pillows on the sofa and presses it over David’s face!! David struggles for a bit, but it is all for naught.

David “I am the law, the law is me” Rosen is dead.

WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS, SHONDA?! WHYYYYYYYYYY? Of all the people you would kill off on this show, you choose to go with David Rosen?! How is he dead while Jake Ballard still walks among the living?!

And Cyrus Rutherford Beene. Jaysus… He finally did what he never could before and killed a person with his own two hands. I don’t think that even he can believe what he had done. He pulls that pillow away from David’s face with some trepidation, and then he just stares at his prone body before he starts yelling for help. And he did this all because he wanted the power that came with being President of the United States? Wow. I’

My eyes are hardcore struggling with the sweat right now, mayne.

The Dark Cloud of Despair

Next we see Abby, Quinn, Huck, and Olivia in the morgue. Abby is in a daze as she stands next to David’s body. Olivia looks shaken as she tells the others that it was concluded that David died of a heart attack. Huck says that this was the handiwork of Cyrus and Jake, and Olivia watches him close because his tone does not bode well for their attempt to remain squarely on the moral side of the fence.

Quinn steps up to Olivia to rhetorically ask what David was doing at the Naval Observatory in the first place, stating that you don’t just go meet up with the person that you are threatening to take down. (Hello!) Abby chimes in then to say that Cyrus told David that he wanted to cooperate, and that this was a trap. Everyone is stunned silent for a moment as that bit of information sinks in.

Quinn then wonders aloud if this is it then, if this means that the monsters win. She asks what else is there for them to do, stating that Charlie is still imprisoned and the one good guy that was left is now dead. In grief, Quinn quotes a few of David’s favorite lines and Abby cuts her off to say that now is not the time to be saying such things. Olivia attempts to comfort her friend, but Abby warns her and the others to not look at or touch her. They all look down or away from her then as she tells them to not cry or she will start and won’t be able to stop. She says that right then was the time for them to do something. They are to act now and cry later.

After a beat, Huck says in a low voice that he will take care of it. Olivia quickly rejects this, telling him that no more blood is to be spilled. She says that with David gone, they are now the good guys, that they are the only white hats left.

What a mess.

Following the visit to the morgue, Quinn is seen at Rowan’s house. She is asking him to help her, Robin and Charlie disappear to parts unknown. She says that it doesn’t matter where it is as long as it is far away from D.C. As she is talking, Rowan is busy packing up his own things. He then stops and turns to her to ask if she thinks him to be a travel agency, and she shushes him to keep his voice or he’d risk waking the baby.

Setting the child right outside of the living room, Quinn pleads once more with Rowan and he asks her if she’s looking to have him risk his own freedom on her behalf. He tells her that she and Charlie would be the most wanted fugitives in the country. He says that if they find her and they following the trail, it will lead back to him. (Come on, Rowan. You know how to cover your tracks.) Quinn stresses that she is going to prison forever and asks if he really wants Robin to grow up without parents. Rowan tells her that she blindly and stupidly followed Olivia “out of the trenches and into the firing line” and that what happens to Quinn and her family because of it is not his responsibility. Rowan says that he is retired and is therefore responsible only to himself.

I mean, he does have a point. Did none of them think through their decision to serve as witnesses in this B613 inquiry? Olivia throwing B613 into the light was done with the best of intentions, but the price of doing so is proving to be too high. What else is about to be lost?

Rowan returns to packing up his belonging and Quinn makes one more attempt at trying to get through to him. She says that all she has and all that she is now is a parent. She tells him that she can’t retire. Rowan stares at her for a long moment and then wishes her the best of luck. (That’s cold. Wasn’t she your surrogate daughter for about 5 minutes?)

Seeing that there was no help to be gotten from him, Quinn turns away and departs with her daughter.

Elsewhere in D.C., Olivia is in her apartment pouring herself and Fitz some of the heavy stuff out into glasses. Fitz is casual as heck in jeans, a white tee and a gray sweater. He looks like he’s been chilling on her sofa for some time. Olivia is in all black loungewear. She toasts to them losing, and Fitz rejects that, saying that Cyrus doesn’t just get to walk away from all of this. Olivia says then that if David were still alive, he would have made sure that Cyrus didn’t. She states that Cyrus has the Deputy Attorney General in his pocket, so that means that Mellie is going to be impeached, and that they are all going to jail. She adds that it also means that Cyrus will get the Oval.

Fitz starts to say that they need to make sure that that conclusion doesn’t happen, but Olivia is good and worked up now as she asks why it is that she even thought that she could fix any of this or fix anything at all. She says that her father was right, and that while Fitz believes her to always be right, she isn’t. (Duh.)

Unable to remain seated, Olivia gets up from the sofa with her drink. Fitz calmly calls out to her and points out that she’s presently grieving and is therefore not thinking clearly, but Olivia tells him that her thoughts have never been more clear. She says that she didn’t fix anything here, that all she did was make it worse. Fitz pushes back on this, stating that she has to know that she did the right thing in pursuing this strategy. At this point, he is now also standing.

When he asks her to tell him that she knows that she did the right thing, Olivia tells him to stop saying that and then she asks of who even knows what is right. She says that she managed to take down everyone that she cares about and asks Fitz if he thinks that that was the right thing to do. Fitz starts to say that that isn’t what happened, but Olivia cuts him off to say that she dragged everyone down with her, and again asks if this was the right thing to do. Fitz is finally able to get a whole sentence in as he exclaims that everyone did what they did on their own. Olivia then says that she destroyed a legacy that he spent a lifetime forging, and Fitz replies that that isn’t on her, that he willingly joined up with her on this.

I’m going to pause here for a minute to say that I think the two of them are talking about different things here. Olivia seems to be talking about the negative impact that she has had on all of these people’s lives while Fitz is speaking only of the present situation. The woman is adamant about what she is saying, even as Fitz attempts to dissuade her from placing the blame for all that is happening on herself.

With Fitz saying that he went over the cliff with her of his own volition, Olivia states that he didn’t exactly have a choice (there is always a choice, Liv) and that he made a mistake for following her over into the abyss. Fitz asks how she could think this, and Olivia says that it is because she was the problem.

And at this point, “The Light” starts to play and I lose what’s left of my shit.

Fitzgerald pulls back a bit from her then as what she has been saying this whole time dawns on him. Olivia grabs her drink and crosses to the other side of the living room to put some distance between them. She says that Fitz followed, relied on, and trusted her when she was the problem the whole time.

“It was me. That’s how it’s always been. It’s been me. I realize that now.”

If this isn’t the end of the AU (610), I don’t know what is!

Olivia Carolyn Pope has finally accepted that she has been her own problem all along and is openly admitting that. I think I heard a choir of angels singing somewhere in the background.

This woman has been a master at deflecting blame for her own issues and choices during the course of this series, she often justifying her bad behavior by claiming that she did what she did in order to protect another or to give them that which they desired. Just think of what she has literally done to every single person that she cares about.

And don’t even get me started on how quickly she’ll blame someone else when shit hits the fan, especially relationship wise. Fitzgerald done be through it, y’all! It is truly a marvel that this mofo is still around with his nose wide open. That man’s a special breed.

Speaking of which, back to the present.

Fitz attempts one last time to argue against what she is saying, but Olivia stops him and tells him that before he goes further, she wants him to realize she is going to jail tomorrow and that this moment most likely will be the last time that they will ever be in the same room alone together. Because of this, she says that they have a choice to make: they can keep talking and having feelings or they can do….something else.

“Something else”, you say?

Now both of them are emotional AF because this really could be the last night that they get to spend together. (This also happens to be Kerry Washington and Tony Goldwyn’s last filmed scene together, so that fact probably bled into this moment as well.) Olivia offers “feelings” as option A and “something else” as option B, and asks Fitz which it is going to be. When he calls out for her, she again asks him which option he is going with. She then impatiently asks him over and over if he’s opting for A or B, and when Fitz calls her name again, she yells for him to pick one. She is desperate for an answer at this point and starting to fall apart.

This moment reminds me of the end of the AU after Fitz owns up to being the problem in their relationship and says that he still wants to be with her if she’ll still have him. Olivia had A and B choices then, too: she could divorce Fitz or she could commit fully to their marriage and get that house in Georgetown. Olivia had chosen option B.

Back to the present, Olivia watches Fitz watch her as he takes his sweet time in deciding which he is going to go with. (Everyone knows which Fitzgerald is going to go with. Come on!) Finally, in response to her question, Fitz tells her to “take off your clothes”. Chile….

Come through, call back to “The Trail” (106)! How apropos that this memorable line, which he said to her the first time they make love, is what he says here during what they believe will be their last time together. Quite the bookend. (Random other factoid is that that episode also happens to be the first one that Tom Verica ever directed of Scandal, and he’s the director of this finale.)

Olivia doesn’t miss the significance of the line or the option he has chosen. She hurries over to him and kisses him. Hot, desperate, hungry kissing. “This is the last time that we’ll ever get to do this” kissing. “I love you so much I could die from these emotions” type kissing.

Olivia pulls away for a brief moment to look at him as if trying to seal this moment forever in her memory, and then they’re back at it. Clothes start getting pulled off...and then the scene ends. ENDS! WHAT THE FUG?!

We haven’t had an Olitz sexy ALL GATDAMN SEASON and in the finale, in the ONE episode where you could have given it to me, you choose to cut it?!

And THEN we learn (thanks to the live table read and a Twitter Q&A session with Verica) that the scene was actually longer and was everything that my Olitzer heart could have hoped and dreamed?!

Y’all ain’t right for this. And y’all bet not hold out on us. Do yourselves a favor, Shonda and ABC, and release the bloody DVD with this finale extended. Yes, please, and thank you. I’ll have 5 copies if you don’t mind.

The Sun Comes Out of Hiding

The following morning, Rowan is packing up the last of his things at his workspace when a news report comes on announcing the death of David Rosen, who is said to have suffered a “massive coronary at the home of Vice President Cyrus Beene”. Rowan may have been facing the television, but he looked lost in his own thoughts over this latest development.

Next we see Olivia coming awake in her bed. She takes a glance over her shoulder and sees that Fitz isn’t next to her. Flashing ahead a bit, Olivia is now in dressed in a robe as she pads her way from her bedroom to the living room. There Fitz is speaking with someone on the phone. He is confused as to what he has just been told by the other person.

When he ends the call, Fitz turns around to find Olivia standing a short distance away. She asks him if the Committee has made their recommendations, and Fitz replies that they hadn’t, that they’ve postponed their decision. Now it was Olivia’s turn to be taken aback, and she asks why the postponement, and Fitz says that the Committee apparently has a new witness!

We soon see that the new witness is actually Rowan!

This is one of my favorite scenes from this episode simply because Rowan is doing what Rowan does best. Also, he is finally stepping up and doing right by his child by following through on what she had asked of him earlier.

Reston starts off by addressing him as “Mr. Pope” and Rowan interrupts to say that Eli Pope is a civilian and that he does not come to them as such. He states that the man before them now is “Rowan”, Command of B613. Reston offers a facetious apology before asking if his alias is his “spy name”. Some of the men on the committee openly chuckle as if Rowan is a bad joke someone told at a frat party. When Rowan replies to say that the alias is his “kill name”, the smile gets wiped off of those men’s smug faces.

Reston proceeds to ask by way of statement if Rowan was saying that he alone was responsible for B613, and Rowan says that what he said was that he built the organization from the ground up all on his own. He adds that he did this in response to a need, stating that he did so because of “you”. Reston mistakes this as Rowan referring to him specifically, but Rowan clarifies that he means all of them. He gestures to the all-male, all-white committee and says that B613 was created in response to the white men who are in charge, whose complacency and privilege left the nation in a state of neglect. He compares them to children who didn’t appreciate their toys and left them out in the rain to decay. He tells them that he was not born with their privilege, so he was taught to respect the things that he had, to care for and nurture them, which he says he has done for the past 30 years.

Ray Charles’ rendition of “America the Beautiful” begins to play as Reston asks Rowan if his version of nurturing includes engaging in terrorist activity, rigging elections, and assassinating of foreign leaders. Rowan simply answers, “Yes”. He then says that Reston had asked him if he alone was responsible for B613, and Rowan replies that he was not. He places the blame for the existence of B613 on them, stating that they bear that responsibility with their privilege.

He tells them that what he is responsible for is “every decision to go to war, every President sitting in office, every soldier brought home in a casket, every citizen who sleeps free and easy in their beds”. He also claims the credit for keeping the stock market afloat and the countries shores at peace. He says that he is “responsible for the fact that this nation still stands” and that he wakes up every morning and makes “America great”. (Tell ‘em, Rowan….even though I can’t stand you most of the time!)

I’m lowkey mad (as in floored) by how Shonda turned B613’s existence into possible commentary on the role that Black people have played in keeping the United States stable and moving in a forward direction. This could be another one of my reaches, but y’all are just going to have to let me live.

Reston says to Rowan that it sounds as if he wishes to have a parade in his honor, but Rowan says that he wants his face be on Mount Rushmore, a statue that would dwarf the Washington Monument, his name uttered by every American “from sea to shining sea”. He states that he wants to see the face of “every white, complacent, privileged man who believes that he is in a position of power when he hears the news that a Black man has been running this country for the past 30 years, that he only wields his power because [Rowan’s] Black power allows him to”.


The committee members get to conferring with one another then, and seeing this, Rowan calls their attention back to him. He tells them that they need to give America someone on who to blame B613 on. He says that they need to give them Command, but that this doesn’t mean that they need to give the people he himself. (Oh ho!)

With them all staring at him in stunned silence, Rowan nods to himself in satisfaction. Game, set, match. These fools weren’t about to admit to the nation that a Black man has been running the country under all of their noses this whole time, and Rowan knew that as well as he knew that they’d take whatever alternative he offered them instead.

Flash over to Mike of the BNC reporting that the Select Committee has stunningly confirmed the existence of B613 and revealed the identity of its commanding officer. As Olivia watches the breaking news report, a handcuffed Jake is seen being taken into custody by FBI agents. Mike reports that Jake is due in court to face allegations that he alone is responsible for the assassination of President Rashad and the attempted assassination of Cyrus Beene.

Daaaaang. Rowan really came through on this one. This is how Jake goes out? He should have known better than to had threatened Olivia’s life the way he had in the last episode. Rowan probably played the detached, unconcerned old guy as some way to teach everybody a lesson, but he thankfully relented and committed one final (maybe?) act as Command.

Given all that he said to the Committee and what we have seen of him in the past, we know that Rowan is dedicated to protecting the Republic no matter the cost, and since he cannot put the genie back in the bottle with regards to B613, he opted instead to stem the bleeding. Recall also that Rowan considers Olivia to be his personal republic (613), so he was going to protect her as well. She, after all, is his legacy.

What he did here by having the Rashad assassination pinned on Jake and Jake alone is give the public what they want without completely sending the country into chaos. It took Olivia out of the equation altogether, ensuring that her future is not marred by the dark turn that she took and later tried to rectify. There likely won’t even be a record that she ever served as Command, let alone knew about B613. Rowan’s name will probably be struck from the record as well.

Having Jake be blamed for a hijacking that he had no hand in was another stabilizing tactic by Rowan. It absolved Mellie of any responsibility and left the public’s perception of Cyrus in tact. No one need know that the Vice President plotted his own hijacking and then set up the President to take the blame for it so that he can slide into her seat. Who would have faith in their government after learning of such a thing?? By making this a B613 issue, the treasonous acts are neatly contained and the public made to believe that this is something that can be cut out like a cancerous tumor. Give the body some radiation and recovery will proceed.

Rowan’s gambit also freed Charlie and gave the gladiators a second chance. He used his power this time to give his daughter what she wanted (and needed) in order to move forward, and in the process may have earned himself a second chance as well. With B613 exposed, Rowan was able to finally unlock the cage in which he has resided for 30+ years and step out into the light. In so doing, he granted himself and the country their freedom.

America is now back in the hands of her people! I hope. Rowan did express a desire to retire…

Over at QPA, the gladiators are watching the breaking news report featuring Jake’s arrest, and a relieved Quinn directs a “suck it, Jake!” at the television. (Ha!) She then turns to Abby to announce that their nightmare is over. Charlie is about to be free and they aren’t going to jail! She says that their entire testimony at the hearing is going to be redacted. Huck exclaims then that they are free!

When Quinn states that finally the good guys win, Abby shakes her head at that and tearfully says that the good guy is dead. Abby breaks down into body wracking sobs then. (Aw, man…)

Next we hear a loud buzzer and the clanking over the closing of a cell door as the camera comes to focus on Jake Ballard. He is sitting on the cot in his cell and staring out at nothing in particular. The sound of approaching heeled footsteps draws his attention to the present and he looks out towards the bars holding him in right as Olivia appears. (Girl, why is you here?!)

The two of them stare at each other a moment before Olivia remarks that the guard told her that Jake will be transferred in about an hour to the place he’ll call home for the rest of his life. Jake nods and says that he’s going to the “Supermax Federal Penitentiary in Illinois of all places”. He states that he has spent his whole life trying to get out of the “corn belt” only to be sent right back there.

When Olivia doesn’t say anything to this, Jake asks her why she is there and tells her that she didn’t have to come. (That’s what I’m saying!) Olivia steps forward then and says that she wanted to show up for him one last time. She has tears in her eyes as she expresses regret with how things have turned out, stating that if she had let him stay on the island and hadn’t made him return with her to D.C., if she had been able to let him go altogether, that maybe things would have been different for him. She adds that she made Jake “step out of the sun”, and then offers him an apology. (Wow.)

Cue their dopey ass music.

Olivia really has done some reflecting because even I can admit that this woman has treated this man like a garbage disposal. She should have done us all a favor and left him on that island. We wouldn’t have had to been subjected to four seasons of the character being shoehorned into places that make no sense.

This apology was necessary more so for Olivia than it was for Jake. In order for Liv to move forward, she has to come to terms with everything, including her ambiguous (and sometimes bizarre) relationship with Jake and the role she played in it. I do understand why Olivia feels terrible over what has become of him since much like she was for the gladiators, she was his leader (if you will) and she did have an obligation to do right by those who followed her. The fish rots from the head, right?

That said, Olivia isn’t why Jake is in prison now. No, that is squarely on Jake and the choices that he made. Please don’t infantilize him and rob him of his own agency. He’s a grown ass man, and while Olivia may have led him to the stream, she didn’t force him to drink.

Jake tells Olivia that she need not be sorry. He says that he loved her, so she ought not to ever be sorry for that. (Girl, you really ought to be very sorry for that.) He continues by saying that he got something out of their relationship, that for a short time, he was someone good. Olivia says then that he isn’t the only one who did things wrong, but that he is the only one losing his freedom. For this, she again apologizes.

So Livvie, you ain’t going to try to fight to have him freed? No throwing of tantrums? I mean, him being behind bars while the rest of you go on with your lives isn’t fair, is it? But here you are not tossing yourself into the fire in order to save him. This really is a new day.

Jake says to Olivia then that prison is nothing, and then he goes on to paraphrase something that Rowan said to him in “Dog Whistle Politics” (504), in which Rowan states that power and freedom are never lost, he is always free and that nobody can cage him. Eyes shimmering with unshed tears, Olivia affirms that no one can cage Jake. She then briefly sets her hand on top of his before taking it away. Jake thanks her for showing up for him and Olivia bids him goodbye.

Aww...some closure for fans of the ship with a Titanic sized hole in its side. It was a moment that brought with it some measure of peace for and resolution to both Olivia and Jake. They could have sacrificed a good half of this scene and given me all of the Olitz one, but whatevs.

In a sense, Jake is going down as something of a hero, but not by his own choice. By him being the sacrificial lamb in this B613 fiasco, everyone else is allowed to live. Jake had long been that guy who desired to be a hero, so in a roundabout way, he finally got that. And the girl that he claims to have loved gets a chance to live her best life, as do the others. So thanks, Jake? I still wish you were dead.

Flash over to Sally and she is reporting that the shadow government has been put to bed as has any talk of impeaching Mellie. In her typical Sally way, she prays that Mellie leads the country forward to a new day and that her enemies “face the judgement of their maker in heaven….or in hell”. (LOL!)

Over at the White House, Cyrus steps into the Oval Office to find Olivia there alone. He is with a glass of alcohol. Olivia is dressed in this banging ass pristine white jacket that is paired up with a black top and slacks. (This white over black motif seems to be a theme the entire episode. A representation of Olivia striving for and doing good, though darkness still lingers on the inside?) He is one of the few remaining hurdles that she has to deal with.

When Cyrus asks of Mellie, Olivia tells him that she is back to focusing on being the President, and then she motions for Cyrus to shut the door. He does as directed and comes further into the room. Olivia presents him with his resignation letter, which is to be effective immediately. Cyrus takes a moment before he says to her that he wasn’t charged with anything, and Olivia agrees that this is true, but that his options here are to continue to fight and tarnish his reputation or he can sign the letter and enjoy whatever peace he can find.

Girl, what?! After the stunt that he pulled AND the killing of David Rosen? Nah, bruh. You’d have to give this man a one way ticket to eternal damnation. It is in no way sufficient that Cyrus is given the option to walk away from this and only lose his job. David is dead, Jake’s in jail, and this dude is free?

Cyrus takes a seat on one of the sofas then and lets out a shaky breath before he asks Olivia if she can still enjoy a drink. Olivia is quick to say that she isn’t having a drink with him (LMAO!), and Cyrus states that he isn’t asking her to have drink with him, that he knows that she wouldn’t after everything that has happened. (Ya think?) He goes on to say that a strong drink had always been the only way that he could calm his mind, stop the gears from turning, hold the darkness at bay. But now, he says, the drink has no effect. The things he successfully numbed with it are now immune from its effect. He relays that nothing can quiet these things now, guessing that even the presidency would fail to do the trick.

Olivia stares at him with some an expression that looks like a cross between pity and horror. Is she seeing the display in front of her as what she could have ended up being if she hadn’t pumped the brakes? Cyrus’s stuttering speech is having an effect on her if those tears in her eyes are any indication. (Lots of emotion from this woman all episode.)

Cyrus asks her if she can still enjoy a drink, and when Olivia doesn’t answer, he concludes that she can. To this, he says that he is glad for her. He proceeds to set his glass down on the table in front of him and approaches her. Olivia gives him the letter and a pen, and he signs off on the letter. Cyrus is in a daze as he momentarily sets a hand on Olivia’s wrist in a silent goodbye and then turns away to leave. His eyes fall on the seal on the carpet and he stands there for a while just staring at it. He then gives Olivia one last glance before leaving the Oval Office and the White House for good.

Cyrus is but a shell of the man he used to be. He has taken a beating for years now, but he has finally done enough to destroy himself. He really thought he could killed and be unaffected by it, huh? Not everyone can kill and feel no remorse after it. Tried his hand at playing Jake Ballard, and his conscience won’t stop screaming at him over it. Too bad, so sad. He shouldn’t be roaming the streets, but given how he’s meandering about, he just might do himself in.

Later up on the Truman balcony, Olivia is sitting with Mellie, who says that they need to talk about what happens next. She asks how it is that they are to restore the public’s trust in America’s institutions, and Olivia tells her that she is sure that Mellie will figure it out. She then gives Mellie a knowing look to which Mellie states that she was hoping that they’d work together on it. Olivia thanks her for the offer, but tells her no. (YESSSSS!!)

Mellie is stunned as Olivia adds that she feels that she has spent more than enough time helping people clean up their messes. (Speak that, gurl!) Mellie says that this may be true, but that she needs her. Olivia counters by telling Mellie that she doesn’t actually need her. She states that Mellie has always wanted to stand on her own and run the country in the way that she knows that it ought to be run, and she says that she won’t be getting in the way of that.

Good for you, Livvie!! Let go and let God.

Olivia tells Mellie that she will be great and that she can’t wait to watch Mellie do it. (Aww...that’s sweet.) Still perplexed by Olivia’s decision, Mellie asks her former Chief of Staff what it is that she will do instead, and my juvenile mind says: Fitzgerald.

Olivia doesn’t appear to have thought that far ahead, giving a little shrug of uncertainty before saying with a liberating giddiness that she will do whatever she wants.

Scandal and it’s parallels. Olivia’s response here harkens back to one that she gave when she surprised Fitz on this very balcony at the end of the S4 finale (422). He had asked her “what happens now?” and she had replied with “whatever we want”.

Yes, please. Do whatever you want, Livvie! And far away from that White House.

Stevie Wonder’s “Future Sunny Days” starts to play as we see Olivia strutting down Pennsylvania Avenue with a content look on her face. She’s in a white trench coat that is reminiscent of the one that she work in the pilot episode. Her Prada Saffiano is black. She pauses briefly to take one last look at the White House and then she continues on, not a regret in sight as she leaves the halls of (one form of) power behind.

At this point in the episode, there are some flash forwards mixed in with present day. We see two girls walking through the National Portrait Gallery, and one of the areas that they go through features the portrait of George Washington, but they don’t stop to admire it. They press forward. Next we see Charlie getting released from prison, and Quinn and Baby Robin are there to greet him.

We then get a flash of Fitz having his portrait unveiled and the woman artist (yay, Fitz for going with a woman) has depicted the former President staring out of his favorite window. The bars of the window pane make him look as if he is in a prison, apropos for a man who had many a times considered the White House to be the “crown-jewel of the American prison system” (202).

Next we see Mellie signing into law “The American Assault Weapons Control Act of 2021” to much fanfare. (Olivia did succeed in fulfilling the promise that she made to Lonnie Mencken!) Standing behind Mellie are members of Congress and Marcus is one of them! Holy smokes, the brother done gotten an upgrade. Since he’s from D.C., who is he representing, Maryland or Virginia?

In any case, Mellie stands to take a photo with the group, and she shakes hands with Marcus while posing for the cameras. Their body language suggests that they are quite possibly still a thing.

We next get flashed to Olivia lounging on the beach (401) before it is revealed that it’s merely Jake returning to his happy place as he relaxes on his cot in his prison cell. It’s rather sad that his time on the island is the only bright spot in all of his life. Dream away, Jake. And goodbye.

Olivia is seen having (presumably) Sunday dinner with her father. They appear to be on far better terms than they have been on it a long time. I’d have rather Olivia had cut ties with the man, but he did come through for her and her family, so I guess he can get a chance to start over with his kid. She has longed for a better relationship with him, so have at it. It’s 30 years overdue, but… It would have been nice if Olivia had been able to mend things with her mother, but I guess Maya decided that Paris was a better option for her.

Abby is seen visiting David’s grave and his headstone reads simply, “David Rosen, Attorney General of the United States”. (Hahaha! They ran with this AG thing all the way to the end, didn’t they?) The camera pans out and we see that Abby is not alone, that she is visiting the grave with Huck. Huck fiddles with something in his hand a moment before he steps forward and sets it atop of the tombstone. It’s a small rock. Abby soon follows suit and does the same thing. (The placing of a rock on the tombstone of a loved one is a Jewish custom. I love that they included this detail in the moment.)

We get flashed back to the two girls at the National Portrait Gallery, and they have finally arrived at their destination. The oldest of the two (who is played by Shonda’s daughter Harper!) looks the portrait over with a critical eye and the younger girl stares as if mesmerized.

Back we go to Olivia in present day and she’s making her way across the street just as these lyrics to Stevie’s Scandal-exclusive jam (WHAT?!) are sung:

'Cause I've opened up my eyes
Looked in the sun
And felt the joy of being free
Oh, yes, I threw away my fears
Cried happy tears
And told myself a new has just begun

Olivia makes it to the other side of the street right as two black SUVs pull up to along the curb. Out of one of them pops Fitzgerald (!!!) and Olivia comes to a stop directly in front of him.

And a voice inside me said
It was time to get out my own way

Fitz greets her with a “Hi” and Olivia returns it with an enthusiastic “Hi” of her own, and now I’m mush because (1) this moment is happening out on the street and in full view of everybody, (2) the mutual “Hi” means that thangs are popping with Olitz (let me have this, people!), and (3) this one word said by these two particular characters is the last thing said ever on Scandal.

So I've made my own decision
My assignment here is done
And I won't let your karma rain on my future sunny days

With as often as his music has been featured on this show, I assume that Stevie Wonder is a fan of the show. I mean, who goes out of their way to write a song specifically and with this exact context for the series finale if they aren’t a gladiator?!

While Olivia and Fitz standing out in the open is not the final scene of the episode, it is the last one to feature any of the cast. The final scene belongs to those two girls in the gallery, and we finally see the portrait that they are looking at. It’s of Olivia Pope! WHAAAAAAT??

Is this a case of art mimicking life or life mimicking art? Per a tweet from Shonda, she had already made a note to have this scene happen only to have an identical moment happen in real life when a little girl was captured staring at the portrait of Michelle Obama the very next day. If that isn't some crazy type of coinkadink.

As for Olivia's portrait, it is absolutely stunning. It’s Olivia as we have never seen her before. She is featured without her trademark tailored armor and straightened hair. Instead, she stands as regal as a queen with her hair in its natural curly state and she dressed in this billowing gorgeous blue skirt and simple white blouse. Her belt is red and she has on a bangle that looks like it is Africa-inspired. She is feminine, fierce, fearless.

Her image is overlaid with the Constitution, which is a rather ironic inclusion, given that the founders hadn’t considered those who looked like Olivia to be full human when this was written. To top it off, this document only applied to men. If you were black? Forget it. If you were black and a woman? Just ghost yourself, sis.

Taking into account Olivia’s attire, one can say that she is representative of America herself. It is within the wombs of and upon the backs of enslaved black women that this nation came to be, so Olivia making it into the highest echelons of a country that has yet to value her as a person is monumental. It is as significant as her rejecting the power structure that had been crafted by and for white man specifically.

There is a free contentment and easy confidence that Olivia exudes in this portrait that had not been seen with her at any point in the entire course of the series. Some have speculated that her presence in the Gallery signifies that she becomes President in the future, but I don’t get that vibe at all. Sure, her portrait hangs alongside those of past presidents, but the Gallery features persons who have made significant contributions to the nation, and in this regard, Olivia more than qualifies.

I’ll just leave it at that. Shonda clearly intended for us to draw our own conclusions, and here you have mine. I’m content with how this wrapped up, even though I wish that there was more time to address a number of loose ends, but more time still wouldn’t have been sufficient. It’s never easy saying goodbye, but this is me signing off.

It has been an immense honor and privilege to have served as your Scandal recap-reviewer over these past three seasons. I am thankful that a significant number of you joined me on this ride and shared in the ups and downs of this unforgettable show together. You have enriched me in immeasurable ways. I will miss all of your insightful comments and lively conversation.

Mucho thanks to SpoilerTV for giving me the opportunity to ramble on to my heart’s content about a show that I fell in love with 6 years ago. You accorded me a small piece of real estate in your world, and I hope that I did my time here justice. You have my eternal gratitude.

You know the drill, folks. This is the conclusion of the recap-review of Scandal episode 718! Whoo hoo!! (Mama, I made it!) Share your likes and dislikes about the finale in the comments section below. Indicate what you wish you had gotten closure on or what you (or someone you know) will do to flesh out certain plot points via fanfiction! (Don’t front. I know y’all read ‘em.) You also can hit me up on Twitter with your thoughts.

This is sayonara, friends. Much love to you all as we respectively go about in search for a new show to make our next bestie. Respect. XO


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