Warning: This story contains major spoilers from the series finale of Scandal. Read at your own risk!
By now you’ve probably read that not everybody got a happy ending during the Scandal series finale, but for most, there was a sense of closure — even if said closure wasn’t particularly definitive.
Much like Olivia’s (Kerry Washington) painting in the National Portrait Gallery leaves her future up for debate, so too is her relationship with Fitz (Tony Goldwyn). After thwarting Cyrus (Jeff Perry), Olivia declined to return to the White House and instead set off to figure out what she wanted to do next. That included a run-in with Fitz that implied a potential return to romance for them. It wasn’t Vermont, but Olitz’s future was left open to viewers’ imagination.
“I love that it had such a light touch with the way she suggests Olivia and Fitz are now permanently connected,” Goldwyn tells EW. “It wasn’t about the romance; that was in there, but that’s not what the show was about, which I was really grateful for.”
The future was obviously less bright for David Rosen (Joshua Malina), who was poisoned and then smothered by Cyrus. “Once I had a moment to process it and think about it, I was delighted,” Malina says of his character’s death. “I feel like in the universe of Scandal, it makes all kinds of sense.” (Read more of his reaction here.)
Though it initially appeared that Cyrus would not pay for his crimes — Perry joked to EW that he thinks “Cyrus got off a little lucky” before the finale — a deleted scene showcased during the live table read revealed that Cyrus was later visited by Huck (Guillermo Diaz) to be tortured and possibly killed. “I love the ending on all sorts of levels, because I’m in real admiration and empathy of how difficult it is with a show of this duration to bring it satisfyingly to its end,” Perry says. “I think it’s really justified where all the characters find themselves at the end, and I felt that personally about Cyrus. I thought this makes absolute sense to me. I felt really proud to play it.”
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And Cyrus wasn’t the only one to go down. Thanks to Rowan’s (Joe Morton) testimony — which Morton thinks was a perfect ending for his character in what he says, how he says it, and who he says it to — Jake (Scott Foley) was arrested for being the head of B613 and was last seen toiling away in prison. “I wish I could say I was surprised by Jake’s ending,” Foley says. “I think he got an appropriate comeuppance for everything he’s done over the past however long. No matter how much he rectified his crimes in his mind as doing good for the Republic, they were crimes nonetheless.”
There were a few definitive happy endings in the finale, though. Quinn (Katie Lowes) and Charlie (George Newbern) got married and set out to live a normal life after he was released from prison. Well, as normal as it could be for two former assassins. “I loved it,” Lowes says. “I was completely satisfied. It’s really weird, I’ve never played a role for seven years, and I was walking to the table read really nervous. I was so relieved to know that she’s okay. She has her best friend Huck, she’s got her husband Charlie, she has her baby, and she’s got Quinn Perkins & Associates. Hello? What? I never even knew Quinn Perkins was capable of a happy ending. Yes, it looks completely weird and not traditional, but I left her really happy and I was thrilled about that.”
Even so, Newbern thinks Quinn and Charlie probably won’t give up their extracurriculars. “It’s not to say probably they don’t go on and keep doing this, but at least he doesn’t sit around by himself in a Motel 6 waiting to kill someone; he’s got someone to do it with,” Newbern says. “But I think it was satisfying in a sense that it’s the only thing that Charlie wanted was a bit of real life, because he lived like a cockroach his whole existence.”
Mellie (Bellamy Young), meanwhile, continued on as POTUS, signing a gun reform bill into law alongside Marcus (Cornelius Smith Jr.), who was revealed to now be a senator in a deleted scene fans got to see at a live table read. “I was really proud of her,” Young says. “I was relieved that she gets to stay president, of course, but I was very proud of her because she was also back on track of making change, and that’s all she wanted to do all her life. Gun reform is very important to us right now in America, and that was something we wrote into the story. It made me very proud. I love that she also had Marcus by her side. It was a little ambiguous to what degree by her side, but their bond was still very alive, and that made me happy. I feel like Mellie had a happy ending.”
Alas, not everyone got a complete ending, which was particularly true for Abby (Darby Stanchfield), who was last seen mourning the loss of David at this grave site alongside Huck. “It feels unresolved in a way,” Stanchfield says. “I feel like I want to know that moment after the last moment we see her with the stone.”
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Diaz, too, felt a want for more when it came to ending of Huck’s storyline. “At first, I was a little bit upset about it,” Diaz says. “I thought that we should’ve seen his family and his kid and see how that resolved. Then, after we shot it and the more I thought about it, I thought how great that the show ends with them just going on about their lives. It doesn’t necessarily wrap everything up in a nice box with a bow on it.”
“I also thought it was great that at the end we see Huck at Rosen’s grave with Abby,” he continues, “because the audience is left with this friendship, that they’re still there for each other. I thought it was great. I’m super excited and satisfied about it.”
Still, Diaz says the bigger takeaway from the final hours came from the Gladiators stepping up to uncover the truth about B613, even at the risk of imprisonment or death. “What I love that I took away from the episode, and what people will take away from it is that the truth will set you free and the truth will prevail,” Diaz says. “That’s something that our current administration in the White House could learn a lot from.”