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SCANDAL Finale Recap: Bombs and Bacteria and Elections, Oh My!
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All right Gladiators, put on your white hats and buckle your seatbelts, because tonight's third season finale all the twists and turns than you would expect from a SCANDAL season finale. In the end, I was really proud of Shonda Rhimes that after last year's "Dad?" Season Finale, she seemingly went in a completely different way with this year's cliffhanger. I'm going to try and chronicle EVERYTHING that happened in this episode (while throwing in some observations and snark where I can), so grab yourself a glass of red wine, this is going to be a long one...
When last we left our favorite group of politicos, spies, and terrorists, President Fitzgerald Grant's Chief of Staff, Cyrus Beene had just ignored a report that there was a bomb at the National Cathedral that was set to detonate during the funeral of a respected US Senator, with hundreds in attendance, including Vice President (and reelection opponent) Sally Langston.
As the finale opens we see interspersed scenes of Olivia's father being wheeled in on a gurney having recently been stabbed by his ex-wife and internationally wanted terrorist Maya and the President being delayed from leaving for the funeral by Cyrus until Jake Ballard, former head of super-secret black-ops group B613, comes into the Oval and informs him that he must evacuate the church because there is a bomb inside ready to go off. Since Jake is the one that first told Cyrus, the Chief of Staff is alternatingly relieved and terrified that his cover might be blown (no pun intended).
After nearly everyone gets out of the church just before the building blows, evil campaign manager Leo tells equally evil VP Sally to seize the opportunity to look presidential just days before the election and tend to the wounded. In an effort to appeal to the Southern Christian Conservative that she is, Leo gives her the pep talk, "Be Jesus, go in there and be Jesus." Granted he forgets that she did murder her closeted husband just a few weeks ago. I don't think that's what Jesus would do.
From the White House, Olivia is frantically trying to convince news directors not to split-screen the President's press conference in favor of the Veep's Florence Nightingale routine.
After the networks drop Fitz on-by-one, Liv tells Cyrus, "We're gonna lose the election on Tuesday."
To which the Chief of Staff replies, "Let's be honest, we lost the election today." Cy is clearly upset, but we aren't sure if it is because the man he has sacrificed his entire life for is about to lose, or that he nearly sacrificed the lives of hundreds of innocent people for political gain.
After Olivia's second-in-command, Harrison, convinces his kidnapper/ex-girlfriend Adnan Salif to spare his life in exchange for him burying the evidence he has to capture her and Maya, he and Abby walk into OPA and are disgusted to find Huck and Quinn going at it mere feet from Poppa Pope's still wet blood stain.
With the realization that his presidency is over, Fitz and Olivia talk about moving to Vermont and having children. Olivia tries to convince him that he can't divorce his wife, to which he angrily replies, "She never loved me, she loved what I could give her."
Knowing that the man she loves deserves the truth, Liv spills the beans that his father, Big Jerry, raped Mellie 15 years ago. After the President tells his wife that he knows what happened the First Lady confirms that their eldest son is in fact the President's (and not his half-brother).
In one of the finale's many honest and vulnerable moments Cyrus tells Leo, who is now all but assured to take over his job, to "Protect your soul if you've still got one. It's futile, but still you should try." Well played Jeff Perry, well played.
After her boyfriend/assassin-trainer Charlie finds out about Quinn's relationship with Huck, he hands her an envelope with information that he says will prevent them from ever being happy. Having looked at the documents, Quinn takes Huck to the home of his wife and son, who appear to be living a happy life in suburbia, believing that he is dead. In typical emotionally destroyed Huck fashion, he tells Quinn to never speak a word to him again, before storming off.