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Shonda Rhimes: Brilliant, evil, cruel, soul-crushing, creative, despicable, incredible mastermind. I've been a fan of everything Shonda has ever done. In fact, I am still mourning the loss of Private Practice
and am thrilled that Grey's Anatomy
has been reinvigorated and gotten deliciously dramatic once more (but even still, she BREAKS my heart every week, especially last night when Dr. Yang didn't win the Harper Avery!).
But today's focus is on Shonda's newest baby, Scandal.
I must admit that I did not immediately hop onto the Gladiator bandwagon. I shunned the idea of another opportunity for Shonda to crush my spirit; especially since its arrival forced Private Practice
to move the less lucrative Tuesday spot. But a few weeks ago, I was perusing Netflix looking for a new show when I came across Kerry Washington's beautiful lips staring me down. After one episode, I was caught-hook, line and sinker.
Last night marked Season 3's final episode. And in a season that has been wrought with, you guessed it, scandal, I knew I was in for a bumpy ride.
We pick up with the bomb victims scattering and panicked; a bomb that Cyrus knew was going to detonate, but chose not to divulge to the masses. When Fitz goes live to address the nation about the explosion, we see Olivia fighting with networks over giving the President full-screen visibility over the split screen he was currently getting. It only gets worse when the networks cut away from Fitz all together and instead focus on Vice President Sally Langston who is told by Leo to "Go in there and be Jesus." In this moment, Olivia and Cyrus realize that they have lost the election.
Mean while, Rowan is convalescing in the hospital after "being stabbed by Maya." Olivia goes to check on him and utters her surprise at being worried about him. She also mentions that the knife "just missed his heart," which seems a tad too convenient if you ask me. While they're having the heart-to-heart, Olivia admits to her dad that Fitz will lose the election, and he expresses his sorrow for her. She doesn't buy it, since he hates Fitz with a deep burning passion, but he tells her that if it's what she wants, he's sorry she's not getting it.
Harrison at this point is still being held hostage by Adnan, but somehow charms his way to freedom. He immediately heads back to OPA where he runs into Abby where they proceed to stumble upon Huck and Quinn having their angry sex on the conference table. Aca-awkward! Charlie finds out about it and hits the road...but not before he gives Quinn a confidential file to pass onto Huck. The only thing Huck has always wanted but never thought he could have. And the one thing that could successfully terminate any potential future happiness between Quinn and Huck: The whereabouts of the family B613 forced him to forget.
Olivia and Fitz are speaking and beginning to accept his defeat. Why? Vermont, of course. The proverbial carrot-- always juuuust out of reach. When Fitz starts talking about the silver-lining of the loss (ie: he can finally divorce Mellie and go with his love to their Vermont hamlet), Olivia knows that they will have no chance if they don't have a clean slate; so she tells him about Big Jerry raping Mellie all those years ago. His first reaction is denial, but it doesn't take him long to put the timeline together to the point when Mellie pulled away from him. He hunts her down and they share a tender moment unlike any we've ever seen. We also find out that their son is NOT big Jerry's, but Fitz's.
Olivia knew that by telling Fitz about Mellie it would ensure that he would not leave her right away. Vermont must wait once more. When she doesn't show up for Fitz's speech supporting Sally, he calls her and they have one of their silent moments, ending with an actual "I love you" from Olivia. She also tells him that she knows he can't leave Mellie now, and that she wouldn't want him if he did.
After the phone call, Liv goes back to check on her dad, but instead of finding him alone, Maya is sitting on his bed. Maya tries to convince Olivia that everything she has done has been for her. Something Olivia will understand when she has children of her own. It's pretty clear that Maya thinks that it is beneath her brilliant, gorgeous daughter to spend her life cleaning up the messes of others; not to mention being yanked around by a man who, let's face it, is kind of a bitch.
Fitz, Mellie, Jerry and Karen are all assembled and looking happy for Fitz's show of support for Sally. Fitz takes the podium with Mellie by his side and the kids behind him when Jerry starts spewing blood. He deteriorates rapidly and is rushed to the hospital with his obviously panicked family. The next scene shows Liv giving a press conference saying that Jerry Grant died earlier in the evening despite the best efforts of the doctors. And while it may have looked like some sort of infection, we at home knew better, didn't we?
My first thought went to Cyrus, then to Maya. Especially after that little speech in the hospital earlier. Because what did the death of his son ultimately do for President Grant? It won him the presidential election. We all know Cyrus would do anything to make that happen. But why would Maya? She's got no stake in this presidency, really. So maybe there's more to it?
Fitz finds out that his son was undoubtedly murdered, as the strain of meningitis Jerry died from was a sample under lock and key at the CDC that was stolen last week. Oh. Well that changes things a little bit; maybe Maya WAS involved after all. Fitz passes this information onto Olivia and her guilt is palpable; but he assures her that he blames her for nothing--but that won't stop him from killing Maya. Something Eli offers to facilitate as he promises to track her down.
This entire thing (understandably) weighs very heavily on Olivia, since she was responsible for freeing her mother in the first place. She decides to ask dear old Dad if his earlier offer for a new life still stands. She accepts his second offer and goes to break the news to her team. Abby FREAKS out and tells Liv she can't just run away and leave them ; but Liv assures her that they will all be taken care of. Abby does not accept this answer and tells Liv that her father cannot be trusted.
When Jake tries to talk her out of running, Olivia explains that SHE is the common denominator. SHE is the scandal. And what do you do when a scandal breaks out? You get rid of it. She could think of no other way to right the many wrongs surrounding her than by leaving. He tells her that, even though she's in love with Fitz, he wants to go with her and stand in the sun next to her.
Maya leaves a building only to be cornered by armed guards. Eli has tracked her down and tells the president that she is dead, but we're not so sure. Harrison goes back to OPA where Abby and Huck tell him that Olivia is gone. He goes to Eli to try and get Olivia back, but Eli won't budge. In fact, he tells Harrison that he should probably just throw in the towel. He shows him a photo of Adnan dead on the ground in a pool of her own blood. Harrison immediately puts it all together.
ELI KILLED JERRY!
He said that Fitz took his child, so he took Fitz's. He also said that Olivia wanted Fitz to be president, so by killing Jerry, he killed two birds with one stone. We see a flashback of Tom (B613 agent posing as a Secret Service Agent protecting the president) infecting Jerry with a needle sticking out of his ring. Harrison is enraged, but Tom comes in and (I assume) shoots him. Oh, and Maya is alive and in the whole and Eli is Command once more.
Before Jake leaves with Liv, he sends every files he's got to David so that he can try to bring B613 down. This makes me very nervous for David--nobody brings down B613.
Fitz is having a breakdown in the middle of the oval office. Mellie comes in to try to console him, but he asks for Liv so Mellie tries to get in touch with her. Liv is in her seat on the plane next to Jake when her phone rings. She sees that it's the White House and waffles back and forth a couple of times before definitively pressing "ignore."
And that's the end of Season 3! Man oh man. I'm still reeling, and I don't know how I will possibly make it until the fall to pick back up with Olivia Pope & Associates, and all of her drama.
Until then, Gladiators, just remember: It's handled.
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