I loved this finale, but I do wish it was perfect.
How could it have been perfect? It could have put an end to B613 once and for all. I don’t know why Shonda Rhimes is so enamoured by that shadow-y conspiracy; maybe she thinks she’s built her own Alias-esque spy-thriller (she hasn’t), but I’ve always felt like the storyline didn’t add anything to the show. Unlike the iconic Defiance arc in season two, B613 always felt messy and ill-defined. You Can’t Take Command was the ideal opportunity to close this chapter in the show’s run and take out Papa Pope for good. It’s just unfortunate that neither of this things happened.
As has been the case all season long, I loved everything regarding Mellie. Watching her struggle with having unknowingly helped Papa Pope slaughter a busload of people was riveting, as this development will only to make her ascension to the top all the more challenging. I do however wish Fitz didn’t turn on her in the end; it was frustrating to see after they grew so close over the course of the season. I get what Shonda was going for and it made for some easy drama, but Fitz is yet again unlikeable with his holier-than-thou attitude. Didn’t this man shoot down an ENTIRE plane (as opposed to one measly bus)? Still, it will be intriguing to watch Mellie pick up the pieces now that’s she’s been kicked out of the White House.
It’s worth mentioning that the finale’s last scene felt very series finale-ish (much like Arrow’s closer this year). Liv and Fitz locking lips on the White House balcony is the kind of moment that could have wrapped up the entire show with a bow. I guess Shonda is committed to being wholly unpredictable next season, so that’s certainly promising.
And really that’s what Scandal needs now; it needs to clear the deck and start fresh. Mellie is on her own, Cyrus has been fired (a wonderfully satisfying move), Rowan and Jake are gone (for now), and Huck could be dead. I do hope the “animal” is done for good. It’s doubtful, but the show has exhausted all possibilities with regards to his character, and it feels like the right time for him to go. Unfortunately I seriously doubt Quinn will go through with it, although it would create a fascinating arc for her as well.
– Incredible opening scene with Papa Pope blackmailing Mellie with the list.
– Props for continuity with the Brandon Bill.
– Liv’s “I”m Command” speech (found below) is probably my single favorite Olivia monologue ever.
– I love the CIA director for some reason. I hope she becomes a permanent part of the cast. Her arresting Jake and Liv however was not cool.
– Fitz’s speech about Mellie was incredibly touching. From smelly mellie to this – our First Lady sure went through an evolution this season.
– So Maya’s out-and-about now thanks to Papa Pope?
– Liv getting her daddy arrested through embezzlement was genius but really anticlimactic.
– For some reason, I didn’t expect Liz to be such a snake and orchestrating everything to take Cyrus’ place. It was actually very cunning, although I wish she didn’t screw Mellie over as I was loving their dynamic.
Rowan: You do not ask me who I am, Mrs. Grant. You ask me what I need.
Rowan: You’ll go down. Your husband will go down. It will be a bloodbath.
David: It’s not the big gun. It’s the only gun worth firing.
Fitz: If it weren’t for you, Susan would never have made it to the Oval Office. I blame you for Susan, by the way.
Olivia: Susan is a national treasure.
Fitz: Susan’s a Muppet.
David: Normally, I’d be all “white hat whoo-hoo.”
Olivia: No, no! Don’t hug me! I’m sick of being comforted. I’m sick of fighting and losing. I’m sick of him being in my way. I am not his victim. I am not his child! And right now? Right now, I don’t want to gladiate for everyone else! I want this! I want this! This is mine, Jake! I want what’s mine! I’m owed! And watch me take it!
Maya: You got that “I been in the hole” look all on your face.
Maya: You sure do love a problem.
Olivia: I don’t know what you’re…
Maya: [laughs] You’re so vain. It’s always about you, isn’t it? The problems you create so that you can solve them. The power you have to wield so that you can feel important. Did your father and I not tell you you were special enough when you were little? Did we not give you enough hugs? Aww, baby. This uppity fantasy world you’ve decided to be a part of… it’s not real, boo. Now you need to come on back down to this planet. Where the world doesn’t revolve around you.
Olivia: I shouldn’t have come.
Maya: You ever ask yourself why nobody else is trying to take down your father?
Olivia: Thank you for your time.
Maya: It’s not for lack of enemies, baby. There are more than enough people around to hate that man.
Olivia: Goodbye, mom.
Maya: If only those people realize there was actually someone to hate. Nobody even knows there is an enemy to be taken down. Nobody even knows he exists.
Cyrus: Are you gonna tell your teammate you’ve added slaughter to your résumé?
Rowan: Am I not allowed a sense of humor?
Cyrus: I didn’t think it was funny. You’re never funny.
Cyrus: Honey… I’m gonna call you honey because I can’t remember your first name and I don’t care. Honey, you want to be reasonable about this. Because a shadow intelligence organization operating quite happily and powerfully in secret for decades inside the FBI, CIA, NSA, if there was such a thing, well, that would be like a sleeping lion. And isn’t it safer… To tiptoe around the lion? What do you think happens if you poke the lion? Whose face does the lion rip off first? I think it rips off honey’s face first.
Cyrus: With you, David, I already know your pressure point. You only have one… Abby. She’s banging that Leo guy like crazy and it’s going great. They’re talking about moving in together, but you still carry a sad little torch for her redness.
Jake: So much for being the good guys, huh, Rosen?
Cyrus: I can’t have a soul. If I had one, I would never accomplish a thing.
Olivia: You were right. We couldn’t take command. But we can take Eli Pope.
Jake: They asked me to look out for you. Both of them… your father, the bad guy, and the president, the good guy.
Jake: You are owed, Olivia. You want what’s yours? Go and take it.
A razor-sharp script made this episode a terrific season finale. I just wish it reshuffled the decks a little bit more. Almost perfect, but not quite.