There is only one episode left before Scandal ends its undeserved seven-year run, so there should be high expectations walking into this penultimate episode. Knowing this show and the writers, my expectations were about as low as you could possibly imagine. Surprisingly, this made this hour all the more enjoyable.
Obviously, the biggest shock of the hour is Olivia Pope outing B613, the covert government agency that Shonda Rhimes has been obsessed with since season two. While it has become absolutely ludicrous since then and is nowhere near as interesting or complex as Alias’ SD-6, there was no indication that B613 needed to be outed in the first place. On one hand, this gives the twist an unexpected advantage with its shock value; on the other hand, the fact that this ridiculous development was never even a possibility in my mind proves how insignificant it is to the show’s legacy (or whatever is left of it anyway). Sadly, Liv’s confession doesn’t even make it to The Liberty Report which feels like another plot contrivance desperately trying to inject more urgency before the finale. In other words, meh.
The Villains of this Story
The rest of the episode is quite good, for a Scandal episode at least. The members of QPA coming to the realization that they are not the heroes of this story isn’t exactly mindblowing by any means, but there’s a strange, heartwarming familiarity to seeing the entire team come back together by the end of Standing in the Sun. Yes, this close to the endgame and the show is still clambering to find one specific villain to blame everything on. And while the writers are desperate to point fingers at Jake, Cyrus, and Rowan, I sure hope they don’t forget that the rest of the characters are just as bad, if not worse. There’s no happy ending for any of these people, and after suffering through all the murders, kidnappings, torture, and painfully long speeches (I’m looking at you, Rowan), there absolutely shouldn’t be.
– So, Olivia and Fitz are sleeping together again? Since when?
– Always a pleasure to see Kate Burton back. Can we get a Sally Langston spinoff of her just tearing down politicians on The Liberty Report?
– I appreciate all the flashbacks while Liv is crying at the Smithsonian, but comparing them to any Grey’s Anatomy flashbacks which always have me tearing up somehow, I’m sad to report I felt absolutely nothing about all the references and callbacks here.
– Only Fitz can take something like Olivia’s B613 confession and worry about how this affects all the contributions he’s made to the world. Ah, classic Fitz.
– I didn’t think the show could beat last episode’s horrendous scene where Liv sticks a gun inside Jake’s mouth for several seconds, but Jake pointing one at Rowan this week certainly did the trick. Kudos?
– Rowan treating Jake like a child and giving him the applause he so desperately wanted is admittedly priceless.
– QPA volunteering to be witnesses to corroborate the B613 story is a confusing ending.
Quinn: If people know what’s been happening under their noses for the last three decades—
Mellie: They would pick up their pitchforks and their semi-automatic rifles, they would storm the gate. They would lock us all away forever!
David: That’s the nice version.
Abby: This isn’t about Mellie’s job. It’s is about a rot at the core of American democracy, about doing whatever it takes to flush that rot out for good. Restoring transparency, trust, common stewardship for, you know, the Republic.
Quinn: This does sound so much better when Liv says it.
Marcus: You’re all sharks — you, Fitz, Cyrus and Olivia. I’ve heard things over the years. Election rigging, blackmail, murder… Now you’re horrified and surprised that one of your sharks attacked you, behaved like a shark.
An unexpected turn of events gives this episode the jolt it needs as the show heads towards its final episode ever. Still, Scandal has lost so much of its luster this season.