Welcome back to the Olivia Pope Redemption Tour 2017 with Special Guest Fitzgerald Grant, sponsored by Faulty Surveillance Equipment and the Smithsonian Museum.
But seriously. This final season of Scandal is an homage to the show’s past — a redemption tour for our girl, Olivia. It comes off a particularly difficult season that seemed to drag on forever, and on top of that, this season has been divisive. A lot of you have given up, and let me be really straight with you: I get it. I (sometimes, unfortunately) read the comments: This show is off its rocker. (Accurate, but that’s why we signed up…off a cliff, right?) Olivia is unredeemable. (You know what? Maybe. And that’s what we’ve signed up for, too.) Scandal says more about Shonda’s demons than anything else. (Okay, calm down comments section. Take a lap. Have some wine or popcorn or like, I don’t know, a breather.)
Regardless, we’re still here, and last week, Quinn went missing on her wedding day, while her engagement ring was left behind. Poor Glackland almost got the pulp (do you get it!? Because of the bag of oranges…never mind) beaten out of him. Charlie is devastated. This week, we pick up where we left off. Season 1 had us asking, “Who is Quinn Perkins?” but six years later, we’re invested and worried and Gladiators for a new woman in charge, and we want, nay, need to know: “Where is Quinn Perkins?”
We pick up with the obvious: Quinn leaving QPA to, well, go to her wedding. The elevator stops, she’s in her wedding dress, and someone appears and kidnaps her. We knew Quinn never ran. She seems to have been chloroformed.
Back at QPA, Charlie has given up. He’s diving in on revenge plots, but Huck hasn’t given up hope. Abby shows up with information on a nine-months-pregnant brunette in Germantown who has died, so it’s not looking great for our girl. And Olivia Pope is feeling super guilty. She tells Jake that she wants #JusticeForQuinn. She wants the monster who did this finished.
Charlie can’t seem to bring himself to go to Germantown to see if that’s Quinn or not, but Olivia tells him he has to go because it’s not her. They discuss just how wonderful Quinn is (if anyone has EVOLVED throughout this series, it’s definitely been Quinn). When she’s on her own though, Olivia can barely process it all.
Charlie makes it to Germantown (which, as a former D.C. resident — dude, that’s a HIKE) and confirms that the woman is not Quinn, so the search continues. As a side note, Cyrus pulls Abby aside to explain that it’s not cool to beat his pseud0-boyfriend with a bag of freaking oranges (even if they allegedly don’t cause a bruise). When Cy figures out that the order comes from Jake, he decides to confront him because in this B613 business, there’s no room for errors.
Jake retreats back to Olivia to discuss what’s going on, and there’s a little bit of light, a shred of sunshine peering through a crack, because Olivia starts questioning whether they are the monsters, though they didn’t actually take Quinn. It’s a nice, necessary moment for her, but before she can process that, Olivia is called away to meet with her father. (I have so much to say about this, which we’ll get to in a second.) She meets with Rowan, who admits that he has Quinn. Quinn is Olivia’s downfall, and she’s not going to jeopardize her, so in return, Rowan wants his bones. He wants his freedom. Olivia calls his bluff; she’s convinced he won’t touch Quinn. They call each other’s bluffs…even if Jake doesn’t think it’s a bluff.
SO LET’S DISCUSS THAT.
This is the perfect segue to the second part of this season, because Rowan’s bones — his freedom — that release is now ultimately his addiction and his curse. He loves being Command, and though it started out as a power play, it’s now a sacrifice…or at least, that’s the way he sees it. By taking Quinn (whom he has no interest in hurting), he’s saving Olivia. He’s absorbing the burden of being Command from his daughter, whom he desperately hopes will find happiness. Taking Quinn isn’t about his dinosaur (literally). It’s about his dinosaur (figuratively). His dinosaur is his position as Command, and it just so happens that his dinosaur is the thing that he’s addicted to and the thing he can save his daughter from. (Recap continues on page 2)
Anyway, outside my predictive hot take on plot points, Mellie is jumping in front of the camera to deal with the global crisis that happens when a world leader is killed. She also meets with Marcus, who pitches that she work with Fitz’s foundation. You see, Fitz isn’t leaving town (LOL, of course not, because it’s the FINAL season). Mellie isn’t interested — she has her own legacy to chisel out.
Speaking of legacies, let’s get back to Quinn, who has done enough to earn her keep throughout this show. David Rosen, being the perennial good guy, has compiled as many Jane Does as he can for the team to go through, but Jake jumps into action mode. He goes to Rowan to threaten him with Olivia’s craziness because time is running out. Olivia then shows up in an off-the-shoulder number to flip her chips because going to Rowan shows him that they’re scared. And that’s when it gets full-on crazy. Olivia’s secretary goes to Pryce to allegedly reveal what she knows about the assassination of President Rashad, but at the same time, Olivia goes to meet with her mother. Nothing makes sense.
So let’s just start there. Mama Pope is just chilling out in silk pajamas, living in secrecy in a way that I honestly wish someone would make possible for me. Hang out away from the crazy news cycle in a luxury apartment and live my truth and get caught up on Game of Thrones or something? LET’S GO. Olivia explains the situation to her, but Liv doesn’t seem to be privy to the secret that Rowan’s “bones” is actually Command. Maya says, “But what am I getting out of helping you?” and Olivia says, “You can either be my mother or a bitch.” Maya says nothing. So Olivia starts to leave and Maya says, “Girl, if you don’t sit your dramatic ass down.” When they discuss the situation at hand, Maya says that it’s best for Olivia if Quinn dies because that’s ultimately how all of her problems go away. That’s what being Command is about.
That’s something Olivia can’t process, because if you remember, the beginning of this whole series was centered on saving Quinn. Making sure Quinn is okay and redeeming the terrible fate she was dealt has kind of been the lynchpin of this show. And God knows that a lot of people have put their necks on the line for OPA, and now QPA. It’s a real concern for David, who isn’t sure he’s ready to get back together with Abby because why wouldn’t she meet that same fate? And he doesn’t even know that now Pryce is missing. Again, everyone who touches Olivia is at risk.
With the time running out, Olivia has to decide: Is the woman at risk worth giving power back to Rowan? And that’s when Jake points out that Olivia doesn’t get to have it all. She has to kill her father to truly be Command, or she has to relinquish the power back to him. It’s a soft pitch at the theory I proposed earlier.
While Quinn’s fate is hanging over Olivia’s head, it appears that there’s now peace in the Middle East and it will be attributed to Mellie, even though Olivia is the one who spearheaded it. She’s prepared Mellie’s remarks and press conference, and she starts to head off before Mellie gives her a speech about how Olivia has done this…no one, no man getting in their way. It’s enough to seemingly change the narrative for Olivia, but that’s also when time is up: Rowan’s freedom or Quinn’s life.
Olivia heads off to meet with her father. She walks into the house and he says, “Perkins’ life or my freedom?” before drawing a gun on his own daughter. He says he won’t kill her, but Olivia can’t live with the blood on her hands. She insists that the only way out is to kill her. Rowan puts the gun to her head and she screams, “Pull it!” But he can’t.
In the moment, Olivia calls B613 to kill her own father while he listens to the request. And when Rowan insists again that he’ll kill Quinn, Olivia says that there’s no soft center for him to get to anymore, so there’s nothing he can do. If Quinn has to die for the republic, then she dies. So Rowan goes off into a room and shoots. Quinn screams out from that room, and he shoots again. And that’s it. We find Olivia standing, shaken and stunned and lonely, with her choice, and Rowan asking, “Do you want to see the body?”