It ticked off all the boxes, but was I really blown away?
What a difference a season makes. Scandal‘s sophomore year was a glorious creation, brimming with tight storytelling and unpredictable plotting. While season three kept up with the show’s signature pace, it unfortunately lost sight of the characters and made them completely unlikeable in the process. I think Shonda and her team of writers need to take a good, long look at the show during the hiatus and come back with a fresh perspective. It would be a pity for this show to fizzle out and crumble under its own ambition.
Was anyone really shocked at Papa Pope masterminding the whole shebang? I got excited for a moment when it looked like Liv’s father would bite the dust, but sadly, it was ultimately revealed that he orchestrated everything (including the fatal poisoning of Fitz’s son). On one hand, I was blown away by the show’s willingness to kill off a kid (truly genius move), but I so wanted Maya Pope to be the one responsible. Liv’s momma had been built up as the ultimate baddie all season long, so this felt like a total anticlimax. And now she’s in a B613 hole after being captured in a tremendously easy manner? Meh.
A lot of the finale hinged on one momentous development: Olivia deciding to leave Pope and Associates behind (in addition to Fitz), and start a new life. That’s all well and good, but the decision carries zero weight seeing as how the show couldn’t possibly exist with that status quo. We all know Liv will be back by the time the season four premiere ends, so there’s absolutely no suspense where this development is concerned. Oh yes, and Jake’s on the plane too because Olivia somehow convinced herself that she could be happy with a man she barely loves. Am I supposed to be on the edge of my seat right about now?
– I absolutely loved Sally playing the hero during the bomb aftermath. Everything from Leo tearing off her shirt and slathering her with dirt, to the TV stations gradually giving her full-screen coverage (as Liv panicked) was fantastic.
– I’m barely going to mention Huck and Quin because they’re beyond nasty. The scene with Abby and Harrison walking in on them having dirty sex in the office? Kill me now.
– I was very satisfied to see Fitz finally discover the truth about Mellie’s rape (through Olivia). This gave us a gorgeous moment as the President silently embraced his traumatized wife who rambled about “fighting” Big Jerry. Simply heartbreaking.
– Superb scene with Maya Pope confronting Olivia as Fitz’s son collapses on live television. Naturally this insane move is what guarantees Fitz’s election (and I so wanted him to lose).
– Bellamy Young’ award-worthy scene of the week: Mellie’s regret over keeping her distance from her son over the years.
– Wannabe bombshell: Quin found Huck’s family. I honestly could care less.
– Wasn’t it very satisfying to hear Olivia utter the words “I’m the Scandal” ? I never thought that would happen.
– I love Abby’ anger at Olivia for leaving the firm. As far as I’m concerned, she can totally take over and become the show’s lead.
– I’ll admit that there’s a definite sense of poetic beauty with Rowan taking Fitz’s child because Fitz “took” his .
– I would love it if the writers killed off Harrison. But since the gunshot happened off-screen, he’s sadly most definitely alive.
– Beautiful visual with Fitz falling to his knees in the Oval Office. Naturally he asks for Olivia and Mellie dutifully dials her to no avail.
– Loved the use of an upbeat tune to contrast the darkness of the episode’s final few scenes. Say what you will about the show but they sure know how to use music.
Olivia: When did we stop being people?
Cyrus: Where we ever people? Or did serving in the pleasure of the President just help us shed our pesky skins and unmask us as the monsters we really are?
Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone by The Temptations
While it had some powerful moments, this was a somewhat anticlimactic finale to an uneven season. Here’s hoping Scandal comes back new and improved next year; its legacy depends on it.