S6 E15
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May 18, 2017 at 11:59 PM EDT

But it’s not the series finale, nor is it the season finale’s final moment. We still have another half hour with Olivia’s team trying to figure out who the bad guy is who wants Mellie dead. OPA taps into all the footage of Frankie’s inauguration to get it all figured out. After a few flashes, the alleged truth is terrifying. It seems to imply that Luna Vargas is the culprit behind all of this nonsense. It’s just crazy enough, and on brand enough for Scandal, to make sense. And the worst part about it all is that even when Luna admits to it, Olivia’s hands are tied. Anything they do to take Luna down will ultimately ruin Mellie’s presidency. That’s how Scandal gets real — women aren’t afforded the same mistakes men make. If Mellie has one misstep… her own or otherwise, her entire presidency will be engulfed by it. And it confirms that maybe, in a strange world, Maya wasn’t so bad.

Olivia goes to visit her mother in the hospital and is welcomed with the phrase, “The TV is broken. Healthcare in this country.” Maya is perfect, guys. Olivia reveals to her mom that she understands how Luna is ruining everything, and Maya asks why she cares about everyone else so much. But then Olivia says how hard she’s worked for it, and Maya sees that it’s about Olivia, so she tells her that between being half Rowan and half Maya, no one should be able to take her down.

Inside OPA, as the team prepares for the inaugural ball, Abby tells Quinn to hire her. She won’t take over for Quinn, but she will help her. And if she wants to have this baby, they’ll do it together because… well, over a cliff. So Quinn tells Charlie that they’re going to have a baby. Charlie is ecstatic, and for a moment, it appears that things might be coming together, even if Luna is the newest bonkers politician in D.C.

And then there’s Mellie, who has put on her best red, diamond-encrusted jacket/dress combo. She’s poured herself a drink and is waiting for her inaugural ball, but she needs a date, so she goes and picks up Cyrus because if anyone gets how she feels, it’s Cyrus. And then there’s Jake, who shows up to be Olivia’s date. They come together, this duo of vice-president killers, and tell Luna that she’s going to kill herself. She insists that she’s not going to do that and that she never wanted Frankie to die, but Olivia catches her in the lie. She calls Luna out for keeping her kids off the stage, and eventually Luna admits that she didn’t want to be caught in the role of First Lady. Luna wanted to further the country and be better than Frankie could ever be. She insists that she’s not a monster, but here we are. Apparently this whole crazy season is the fruit of one Luna Vargas, and one has to wonder, how much money does this crazy-ass woman have?

Luna has two options: kill herself and have a hero’s death or have Jake kill her and let the truth come out. So Luna takes the pills, and now we have a, what, third vice presidential death? Olivia goes to Mellie’s office and tricks her into fully funding B613 again. Olivia will run the operation herself, and Rowan and Fitz are out. She tells Rowan that she loves him, but if he crosses her again, she’ll kill him. And God knows she will because she’s now offed two vice presidents. She kisses his head and says, “I’ll see you Sunday.”

Olivia meets Cyrus at the Lincoln Memorial to explain the truth about Luna Vargas — and then she eclipses him, saying she knows that this is the finale he wanted (no pun intended). She tells him that she knows he wanted Luna Vargas to fall so that he could rise to VP. And then she finishes by telling Cyrus to stay in town so that she can nominate him. In one episode, Scandal has taken so many twists and turns that it’s somehow gone further from its origin while also seeming to tap into its roots more than ever before.

So that’s where we’re left. Scandal will return for one more season, but it almost seems like the White Hat is irreparably stained. Olivia has taken a dark turn she was practically destined to take, and in the times we live in… well, Washington looks darker than it’s ever looked. What are your thoughts on the finale, and how will Shonda wrap up… no, handle, this final season? We have at least a summer to figure it out.

( 4 of 4 )

Shonda Rhimes’ political drama: Sex! Murder! Olivia’s suits!
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