Was that the season finale? Because it sure felt like a season finale. Scandal has always been a show with a fast pace…both speaking and storytelling. I love that about the show. There aren’t filler episodes like many shows have or episodes that don’t mean anything or episodes where your heart can take a break. You are on the edge of your seat with every episode. And tonight was no different. Some MAJOR things happened so let’s start going through all this.
The big question that got answered was that we finally learned who shot Fitz. And it turned out, it was Verna. I was going with Hollis, until last week. After last week happened, I had no idea who it was going to be. I really didn’t think it was Sally Langston and I was petrified it was going to turn out to be Mellie. But Verna was a good solution. I’m not going to lie, I was a bit surprised, but not nearly as surprised as how the episode ended!!! More on that later. Olivia has a showdown with Verna in the hospital about what Verna attempted to do and Verna called Olivia out. Basically Verna told her that if she is going to call Verna a coward, she should look in the mirror. And she’s right, although Olivia is no killer. Bad person? Yes. Killer? No. But Olivia’s attack on her certainly got through to her because she picked up the phone and called David Rosen right away. When Rosen arrives to talk to Verna, he’s denied entrance because of security. We learn the security is there because the POTUS is there and needs to speak with Verna. Unfortunately, Verna passes away before she has a chance to confess her sins to Rosen.
Another big payoff, which disappointed me, was Abby finally learning that Olivia and Harrison lied to her and set David Rosen up as an abuser. While Abby was upset, I thought she would be even more pissed off. I know I would. But what really bothered me was Harrison’s reaction to her. We’ve seen him be torn up about what he had to do to her and how much it bothered him. So for him to be so cold and robotic and go into that God awful gladiator speech again, was unnerving. And it goes to back to what my #1 issue is with this show. Why can’t we get SOME explanation as to why these people will so blindly follow Olivia Pope into the darkness and off a cliff? For once, Quindsay gave me a reason to root for her when last week, she started demanding answers to the same question many of us viewers have…why do you all do what Olivia says, no questions asked? I really thought, FINALLY, we’re going to get somewhere with this. Nope. Shut down. I hate it. Harrison, Huck, even Abby…I am no longer buying the “she saved my life” speech as to why they do anything she says regardless of the consequences. For me, I need more than that and if Shonda Rhimes is going to ask me to buy into that, she owes me an explanation. Because it’s getting absurd. For Harrison to tell Abby to suck it up, it’s the job, after what Olivia has done for them she needs to understand the rules or get out, was awful. If that blind loyalty is supposed to earn my respect as a viewer, it hasn’t. In fact, it knocked him down a few more pegs (and he was already pretty low.) I can’t understand Harrison’s POV if I don’t have any idea what she did for him. I can’t buy into this loyalty without a reason anymore. In the beginning, I could let it go. But we’ve been through enough episodes where I need at least one back story to shed some light. Otherwise, how could I feel bad for Abby after betraying David and stealing that flash drive and therefore destroying his career? Better to save Olivia Pope, one of the bad guys, than to save the man you love, who just so happens to be one of the good guys? I know Olivia saved her from an abusive husband and if I were in Abby’s shoes, I would be eternally grateful. But at some point, especially after what Olivia did to her with using that abuse as a way to get what she wanted, Abby has the right to call Olivia out and say “if you saving my life comes with the price tag of using my past to throw in my face when you need something to go your way, then I’m out and you’re scum.” Saving their lives is one thing. Using that against them later for your own benefit, is just sleazy.
So speaking of David, he subpoena’s James to testify about Defiance and the voter fraud. As a result, James and Cyrus have this fantastic moment in their bedroom where Cyrus doesn’t trust James and James doesn’t trust Cyrus and they both make the other strip to prove neither is wearing a wire. It was beautiful and sad at the same time. While they do love each other, they have a terrible marriage!! After what they each put the other through, I don’t know how they’re still together. Hell Cyrus even hired Charlie to kill James!!! Now he eventually told him to stop but only with 1 second to spare. He’s insane!!! Those two need some serious counseling.
The final big reveal is that Fitz finds out…about everything! And his reaction was not what you expected (even though I called it right away!) I’ve never been shy about saying the unpopular opinion that I hate Olivia and Fitz together. Can I deny the chemistry between Kerry Washington and Tony Goldwyn? Hell no. It’s palpable. But do I like it? No. He’s the POTUS and he’s married. I think it’s disgusting how they not only have the affair but how they have flaunted it and been so careless with it. Where they’ve had sex, they couldn’t care less if Mellie or someone else saw. They have been incredibly disrespectful. Not that affairs are the most classy or most respectful actions a man and woman enact. But come on. Do you have to be so blatant about it? Sheesh. So I don’t find Olivia and Fitz romantic or destined to be together. Nope. Not even a little. So I did jump with joy when I saw that he ended up choosing to be with Mellie after all.
In the beginning, Fitz told Olivia not to marry Edison and to wait for him because he was divorcing Mellie and he didn’t care what that did to his political career. He talks about how Mellie induced labor to try to keep Fitz at her side and he couldn’t be with someone like that. Olivia couldn’t give him an answer. When she sees Edison later she gives him back his grandmother’s ring and tells him that she can’t marry him. When he asks why she tells him that she wants a painful, devastating, passionate love and that he should want that too. Edison correctly informs Olivia that love shouldn’t be painful or devastating. It should be fun and joyful and wonderful. The look on her face was priceless because she looked at him like she didn’t know there was any other kind of love.
At Verna’s funeral, she goes up to Fitz and accepts his offer and agrees to wait for him. Fitz coldly tells her that she should marry Edison and that he made a mistake telling her to wait for him and that she should go away and move on with her life. And while the President is giving Verna’s eulogy, we flash to her time in the hospital with him where she not only admits that she was the one behind the shooting, but that she and her team of misfits fixed the election so he would win. He starts to guess the names of the people involved and when he gets to Olivia, he is absolutely crushed. Then Verna sticks the knife in even further by telling Fitz he should have never been the POTUS but she only did so because of his charm and because that’s what his father wanted. Ouch. She had to bring up daddy. Fitz then calmly tells Verna that her legacy won’t be tarnished and neither will his and he gently lifted her oxygen mask off her face and held down her hands so she couldn’t grab the mask or call for help and then she died. FITZ KILLED VERNA!!!
After all this, Mellie goes to visit Fitz in the office and he asks her if she loves him. She responds that of course she does and that she will always stand beside him and always be by his side. He tells her that of everyone he knows, she’s the only one he can trust because she’s the only one who’s been completely honest with him the whole time. And he asks if she will continue to be honest and stand by him. She says that while he’s wavered on her, she’s never wavered on him and will never. They seal their agreement with a kiss and the First Family is back together.
I’m sure there are many people who will be upset thinking “why did Mellie get off the hook about the election rigging and not Olivia?” Here’s why. Mellie has never hidden who she is…ambitious, ruthless, and cunning. She doesn’t hide it, she doesn’t apologize for it. It’s like McDonald’s vs. Subway. McDonald’s doesn’t pretend it’s healthy, therefore you can’t be mad at it when you eat there and your jeans feel tight. But Subway promotes itself has “healthy eating” yet has a million ways to sneak in the bad stuff that you had no idea was in there so that when your jeans get tight, you blame yourself instead of them. Mellie is McDonald’s and Olivia is Subway. Fitz wasn’t pissed at Mellie because he wouldn’t expect anything less from her. But Olivia? He held Olivia to higher standard and she crushed that when she aligned herself with the group to fix the election. In that moment, she was no different from his father who said he couldn’t win on his own. In Fitz’s mind, she didn’t believe in him. She betrayed him. And because of his love for her and because of the elevated opinion he had of her in regards to her integrity and loyalty, it hurt much more and cut more deeply than he ever thought possible. That’s why Mellie gets the free pass and Olivia is left sitting in a church, alone, and crying.
What an amazing episode. I’m wondering, now that it appears, aside from the David Rosen angle, that this main story is wrapped up, if we go back to the case-of-the-week scenario which started the series. I hope so. While all this has been fantastic, I kind of miss those cases. So hopefully, we can get a little bit of each. But with so much story to tell with the main arc, I can understand completely why the side cases were put on hold.
What did you all think of the episode? Would love to hear your thoughts!!