Scandal’s season three finale is full of unexpected deaths, unwelcome office sex, and unethical parenting decisions.
Let’s bitch it out…
We open exactly where we left off: Eli (Joe Morton) in the hospital after being stabbed by Maya (Khandi Alexander), and Cyrus (Jeff Perry) not telling anyone that there is a bomb at Sen. Hightower’s funeral. Luckily, Jake (Scott Foley) bursts into the White House and gets them to evacuate the funeral.
Meanwhile, it’s Christmas for Leo Bergen (Paul Adelstein) who practically wets himself when he realizes what an opportunity this is. As Sally (Kate Burton) prepares to evacuate, he pulls her back and says “This is your Pearl Harbor…you go in there and you be Jesus” after appropriately mussing her up for some amazing triage photo ops. Sally really rolls with the punches, playing Florence Nightingale on the battlefield as she swears that she will bring swift justice to the terrorists. Well played, Sally, well played.
In fact, not only are her heroic efforts captured by TV crews, but they pre-empt the president’s address (“That did NOT just happen”). That’s when Liv (Kerry Washington) and Cyrus realize that they are going to lose the election. Hard to beat a saint on the battlefield.
After they prepare Fitz (Tony Goldwyn) and Mellie (Bellamy Young) for the loss, Liv and Fitz come together to discuss everyone’s favorite mirage in the desert: Vermont. Fitz continues on with his delusions, “I am going to marry you, we are going to have babies.” Seriously Fitz, no one wants to make jam in Vermont. When Fitz talks about Mellie never loving him, Liv realizes he needs to know about Mellie’s rape before thinking about a divorce. Fitz goes to Mellie, removes the ever-present whiskey glass, and just holds her as she insists she tried to fight Big Jerry off.
The Olitz music swells and we get our “60 seconds” of the season while Fitz and Liv are on the phone before his big concession speech. Fitz can’t leave Mellie now, and Liv wouldn’t love him if he could. Le sigh. It’s almost enough to make me forget that I hate Fitz…
As Fitz approaches the stage to give his speech, Mellie and his kids are with him. Jerry begins to cough up blood and…dies. WHAT?! That’s right, Fitz’s fifteen-year-old son dies in his arms from a strain of meningitis stolen from a national laboratory! Poor kid just got here!
In the aftermath, Liv and Cyrus commiserate about how they’re both horrible human beings.
Liv: “We’re going to win the election now…a child is dead, and that’s the first thing that popped into my head”
Cyrus: “I was going to let that church blow up with everyone in it.”
Liv: “How did we get like this?”
When Fitz gets the news in the hospital that this is murder (presumably by Maya), Eli approaches him and offers to get justice, which Fitz gladly accepts. Naturally, it turns out the entire thing was orchestrated by Eli! Talk about the long game! As he said in the first episode of this season, he wanted Liv out of town and he’d do anything to make that happen. Even if it means corrupting my favorite bodyguard Tom into murdering a 15-year-old boy (“he took my child, so I took his”…That’s way harsh, Tai). Eli also got his throne back as head of B613, threw his ex-wife into the infamous hole, and potentially murdered Harrison after he puts all the pieces together. Let’s be honest, if that’s the case, Harrison will probably be more exciting in death (via the reactions of his colleagues) than he ever was alive. Sorry Harrison. Eli achieved all of this without violating his promise to Liv that he wouldn’t touch a hair on Fitz’s head (technicalities, folks!).
So where does this leave Liv? Though she still believes her mother orchestrated Jerry’s murder, she realizes the common denominator in all of the craziness is her (really, you’re just realizing this?). She quits OPA, and heads out on a plane to nowhere with our favorite (okay MY favorite) ex-Command: Jake. It’s time to go stand out in the sun y’all. At least until September!
- Season 3 gave us the director’s amazing use of inanimate objects (and in one case Fitz’s knee!) to hide Kerry Washington’s baby bumps. The creativity will be missed. Check out an entire run down of all the ways the show has hidden her belly here.
- It was heartbreaking when Mellie admits that she had never fully given her love and affection to Jerry because in the back of her mind she always thought of him as a product of rape. In a nice subtle scene, Mellie also shows her unconditional love for Fitz when he curls up on the oval office carpet, calling Liv because that’s what he needed.
- Over in “things I try to block from my memory” land, there is also a Huck (Guillermo Diaz)/Quinn (Katie Lowes) story development. On one hand, we had to see them do it from behind at the OPA conference table (shudder), but on the other, we do get the revelation of where Huck’s family is. And by the end of the episode, he knocks on his wife’s (who thought he was dead) door.
- Am I the only one who is skeptical of the fact that Charlie (George Newbern) would just leave after Huck and Quinn cuckholded him? I get that he went the psychological warfare route with the information to tear them apart, but I still feel like someone’s tooth would be pulled out….
- I’m not a big fan of the storyline involving Liv’s parents (or B613 now that Jake doesn’t work there) so I’m concerned about how next season will unfold. It seems like Pandora’s box; you can’t un-open it. Now that her parents are around, are the writers going to try to find contrived reasons for big-scale conspiracies for the next few seasons? Sounds exhausting…
- Season 3’s best one-liners belong to Abby and Charlie. Well done.
- David Rosen (about DHS not being able to convict Cyrus for withholding information that could kill hundreds): “They’ll bury this thing under 8 tons of paperwork, and Voldemort gets away scot-free again”
What do you think of the finale? Where do you think we’re going to go from here? Do you miss the political “case of the week” structure from previous seasons?
Scandal has finished airing its abbreviated third season. The show resumes in the fall on ABC.