Warning: The following recap, by the very definition of the word “recap,” contains spoilers from Scandal‘s Season 2 finale.
ABC’s Scandal wrapped up its sophomore run with a flurry of frantic action, wheeling, dealing and lotsa revealing, snooping, drilling (!), near-deaths and tons of fast talking. But the very final scene, perhaps no one predicted.
CARD GAME | For starters, we flash back to how Billy “met” Charlie and eluded his own murder with the promise of sharing Sally’s valuable secrets. In the here and now, we learn that David is retaining custody of the Cytron card until Billy is ready to use it. Meanwhile in the White House kitchen, Cabal 2.0 — Verna (quite) out, Fitz in — meets to “cook up” (you see, they’re in a kitchen…) a plan to thwart Billy. Hollis is all for whacking the whippersnapper, but Fitz wants no more blood spilled. The key, they agree, is to get the card back.
As the meeting breaks, Liv avows to Fitz that they’ll fix this sitch, though it’ll be a long four years she’ll have to wait for him upon reelection. But Fitz insists, “I’m running, I’m winning, we’re getting married and you’re moving into the White House.” And how just will such an improbable thing happen? “Do what you do best,” he charges his love. “Handle it. Use your superpower.” Fitz then proceeds to use his (ahem) superpower on Olivia.
After James tattles to his husband that Sally is plotting to run against Fitz, Cyrus reminds the VPOTUS that she has two jobs: Don’t die, and be loyal to the president. But “commandments are being broken,” she argues. “I’d be irresponsible if I didn’t offer the party an alternative.” Sally may not be long for this administration anyway, as the gladiators realize that Governor Reston is backing Billy — and soon enough he visits the Oval Office to force Fitz’s hand: Put me on the ticket, or I blab about Defiance. Upon realizing what’s going down, Cyrus has a heart attack, but regardless finds the wherewithal to ring Fitz and Olivia and strategize. Liv decides to leverage Reston to produce proof aka the Cytron card, and OPA subsequently traces his next call to Billy’s hideaway.
GET GLUE | Huck sets out to torture the card’s location out of Billy, but the former spook ultimately breaks down. Huck can’t hack it! So Quinn grabs the power drill and takes it to Billy’s bits, coaxing the intel that David Rosen has the card. (Was sadistic, gleaming-eyed, blood-spattered Quinn a bit over-the-top even for this show? Discuss.)
When Mellie visits Cyrus in the hospital for appearances’ sake, Fitz tells her exactly how it’s gonna be, laying out — in a two-page monologue that Kerry Washington tweeted made Tony Goldwyn gasp — the plan to “fix” the Mellie-loving American public. And I must say, it’s pretty brilliant, ushering FLOTUS off to her own career, eventually allowing Fitz a tabloid-fodder date or two, then ultimately spinning the story of how he and his longtime adviser Olivia Pope decided to pursue something more. Oh, and if Mellie goes to rat out Liv as the president’s mistress? He’ll use a whisper campaign to play the “racist” card against her. Even Cyrus has to remark of Liv’s latest glop of Krazy Glue: “It’s good.”
Then things get crazy-with-a-c.
FROM ZERO TO HERO | After Jake saves Olivia from a B613 assassin, he reveals to her his mission — to bed her. As such, he says, “Don’t bother missing me.” But she gives him a goodbye kiss, urging him to “be safe” having defied orders. (Nonetheless, he winds up thrown into “the hole” by boss man Rowan.) Later — and after catching heat from Rowan to handle the president’s girlfriend — Cyrus stresses to Olivia the direness of her situation, asking if the people trying to kill her are “shooting bullets made of bubbles and candy.” “Do you think you and Fitz are ‘MFEO,’ made for each other? Romeo and Juliet were teenagers, and they died,” he scoffs. And then he drops the bomb: “Fitz killed Verna dead, with his own two hands. That is what you’re dealing with. That is who you love.”
For good measure, Cyrus shares with his president a bit of “reality TV” — the Olivia/Jake sex tape that Jake furnished to Rowan. Before that mess shakes out, a Cabal 2.0 meeting is interrupted by David Rosen’s arrival in Cyrus’ office, to turn over the real Cytron card (after OPA got duped with a fake). “I’m going to need something in return,” he says, and we then see how David wore a wire to capture Billy’s confession of mole-dom and assorted murders, leading to a high profile arrest, Fitz’s very public commendation of David as an “American hero” and the new gig of U.S. Attorney for D.C.
WE ARE FAMILY | And then… Fitz and Olivia get around to “the talk,” each now aware of the other’s transgressions. Liv urges Fitz to seek reelection, noting that with Defiance snuffed for good, “the reset button has been hit” — but she can’t be at his side. “I took my people over the wrong cliff,” she explains. “I can’t leave them. They need me. I’m their gladiator.”
One peppy music montage later, everything looks bright and shiny for Olivia Pope, as she dons a pristine white track suit, pops in her pristine white earbuds and heads out for a run… only to run smack dab into a mob of reporters outside, seeking comment from President Grant’s mistress! Liv is quickly hurried into a nearby car, where she is seated across from Rowan… aka “Dad?!”
What did you think of the finale “White Hat’s Back On”?