The Price of Free and Fair Election: Scandal Season 3 Finale Recap
Let’s just get into the finale of Scandal season 3.
In the Beginning – There’s 15 minutes left before the bomb goes off and people are still at the church waiting on the President, who’s at the White House practicing his speech for Cyrus (who is stalling). Jake calls the Chief of Staff’s phone and is ignored. Olivia is with Papa Pope as he’s being wheeled into the emergency room, blood everywhere. Adnan is elsewhere pointing a gun to Harrison’s head as Mama Pope waits outside the church watching to see if the President shows up.
Jake barges into the Oval Office and says “We have a situation.” Liv is in the ER waiting room and watches as the church being evacuated on the news. In the War Room, Fitz asks Jake if he’s sure that there’s a bomb in there. As he does, they all watch the bomb go off! WELP.
And this was just the first 2.5 minutes of the show. I was tah’d already. LAWD!
Pearl Harbor – VP Sally is being rushed to her car after the blast and Leo stops her and tells her “This is your Pearl Harbor.” He rubs dirt on her face, rips her coat sleeve a little and says “Be Jesus. You go in there and be Jesus.”
The man is ruthless but hella smart. Sally starts bandaging wounded people and looking like Mother Teresa’s red-headed cousin. At the same time, President Ghost is giving a speech decrying the bomb but the TV coverage focuses on Sally’s goodwill instead. OOP. Olivia goes to see Cyrus and she says they’re gonna lose the election on Tuesday. Him: “Let’s be honest. We lost the election today.” At least you know.
Refund Request – Olivia and Cy head into the Oval Office and tell Fitz that he will lose the election and there’s nothing that can be done. Drunk Mellie replies with “I want a refund. Whatever your fee is.” Moonshine Mellie is my fave. Always.
Daddy’s Girl – Liv heads to the hospital to see her dad, who doctors said was lucky to be alive because the knife that shanked him came inches away from his heart. Mama Pope clearly ain’t want him to die; just to bleed and suffer. She looks all bothered and downtrodden and he asks her what happened. She says that they will lose the election and Rowan says he wishes he could do something to help because even though he doesn’t like Fitz, he truly wants to give her what she wants.
They have a truly tender moment as Liv puts her head on his chest and I was gon DIE of cavities. SO SWEET!
Lies and Sex – Adnan has the gun inches away from Harrison and he tells her “save my life and I’ll save yours.” It worked cuz him and Abby roll into the OPA office and he tells her that he didn’t find Adnan and Maya is in the wind. MMHMM. Then they hear moaning. They enter the conference room and find Huck and Quinn doing the freaknasty next to the pool of blood that belonged to Papa Pope. I CACKLED when Abby screamed “OH DEAR GOD MY EYES!” She tells them to clean up the blood and whatever foolishment they’re engaging in. EW EW EW FOREVER.
White Hat Whining – David shows up at Jake’s and wonders why he didn’t tell President Ghost that Cyrus sat on the bomb info. “Voldemort gets away scot free again!” Ballard tells him he is no longer property of the gubment so he ain’t got tahm and he advises Lemony Snicket to tuck in his salty about the bad guys always getting away.
Goodbye Charlie – Charlie is throwing all his stuff into a duffle bag as Quinn gives a half-assed apology about how she never meant to hurt him. Chile, SHARRAP! As he leaves, he hands her an envelope and says the contents will “destroy any hopes of happiness that you and your new boyfriend could hope to have.” She says she won’t open and he says he has no dambs to give. OOP. He knows her nosy ass can’t help but open it.
Plans Stalled – Liv goes to the Oval Office and Fitz is accepting the fact that he will no longer be President in a couple of days. He tells her he can now get a divorce, marry Liv and have 2 kids with her. Here goes Fitz talmbout moving to Vermont. Y’all are still tryna make this jam, Huh? It’s gonna be all sour and moldy. Liv enjoys the fantasy for a hot second and then says she has to tell him something when he says Mellie is “a vindictive monster. The woman never loved me.” Olivia knows it’s not true and she tells him “When you were running for governor, your father raped Mellie.”
Welp. There it is.
Fitz shows up at Mellie’s room and finds her drinking. He stands by the door looking at her and she realizes that he knows. He goes to her, kisses her on the head and shows her the love he hasn’t in 10 years just be holding her. Mellie says she got a paternity test done and Jerry is his child. Whew!
Now let’s pause here because I ended up having debates on this all last night with folks. When Mellie says Jerry is Fitz’s child, folks fought it and said that Olivia fixed the test. No. Olivia fixed ONE test: the one given to Sally. Remember last week’s episode when Liv was on stage with Mellie and she whispered to her that if she still wants a REAL test done, she should tell her and she’d make it happen. Well she got that real test done and the result is what Mellie just told us. I think the debate can end now.
Bragging Bergen – The news is predicting Sally Langston’s victory and Leo came to rub it Cyrus’ face. Beene’s advice for Leo is that he should try not to lose his soul (if he should still have one). He also adds “Best if you don’t have a family in this job.” Now, Cyrus will REALLY have nothing. No husband, no power… what’s he gon goon for now? He’s gonna be at home with Baby Ella singing sad love songs like Toni
Family Past – Quinn drives Huck to some family’s house and they’re looking through the window from across the street when she tells him that this is his family. His son is 12 now and he is an honor student and his wife Kimberly is a lawyer now. Homeboy freaks out and wonders why she’d bring him there. He runs away from the scene.
Vermont and Vagabond – President Ghost calls Olivia and wonders where she is as he’s about to give a speech. She says she’s not coming because she’s staying by her dad. She understands that Vermont is dead but he’s still talmbout how he just can’t leave Mellie “yet.” YET? He says “I love you” and Liv says it back. That’s something that hasn’t happened more than a handful of times ever. When they finally stop making sad eyes through the phone and Liv returns to her dad’s room, Mama Pope is waiting there for her. LAWD! She’s like a ghost. Just showing up all willy nilly.
As the Grant family (with Karen and Jerry) gets ready to take the stage, Marie/Maya tells her daughter “I did this for you. All of it. He uses you and he will throw you away when he’s done with you. I just want to give you a chance to be free, to be happy.” Olivia asks if any of her first 12 years of her life was real, with her and her dad and Maya tells her that she didn’t kill her father. That counts for something in Goonland. Stab you in your chest but keep it away from his heart so you know it’s real! Olivia tells her mother that she can’t let her leave and Maya says “And who’s gonna stop me. You?” We’ve all agreed that she just pulled Sheree’s “Who gon check me, boo?” card. I LOVE IT!
As Fitz is giving his speech, Jerry sneezes blood. He sneezes again and more blood comes out. Then he falls to the floor as Mellie tries to catch him just as Fitz turns around. NOOOOOOOOO!!!!
He Will Win – They get the boy to the hospital and Fitzgerald Thomas Grant IV dies soon after from bacterial meningitis. WALL SLIDES NOT THE BABY!!! WHY’D THEY HAVE TO KILL THE BABY??? Maya Pope killed Bambi’s mama AND Mufasa too! Chile, lemme call the Usher Board and tell them to start making preparations. This is one death we did NOT see coming. Afterwards, Olivia’s sitting with Cyrus and she says “We’re going to win the election” with no joy.
She asks him “Did you see his face when he was carrying his son?” Whoooo.
Murder Was the Case – Tom hands Fitz a file with autopsy results on Jerry and it concludes that he died from a strain of meningitis B that is only under lock and key at Fort Dietrich. A vial of it had gone missing that week and Fitz realizes that his son was murdered. Cries Papa Pope rolls in with his IV drip and when Fitz tells him he should be in bed, he says he should be too. Mellie and Karen have been sedated so they can deal but Fitz wasn’t having it.
Fitz said he knows it was Maya who killed his son and he wants to kill her. Rowan tells him he can’t go about it the official way. “You’re not looking for justice, Mr. President. You’re looking for a head served on a platter. I may not be your friend but I am a father. I know what I will do if someone hurt my child.” The President tells him to help him handle Maya just as Olivia walks in.
The Aftermath – President Ghost fills Olivia in on what really happens and she basically has a panic attack as she finds out that her mother killed Jerry, and it’s directly her own fault. The day after, news reports are predicting Grant’s win in the election. Mellie is in Jerry’s room understandably catatonic about the loss of her son and holding on to his sweater when Fitz joins her. The mourning mom feels awful for never getting too close to her son, afraid that he wasn’t his child when all along she shoulda been there because he was at least HERS. Weeps
Huck’s Grief – Olivia opens her apartment door and finds Huck standing in her hallway looking all pitiful. He says Quinn found his family and she tells him to go back and speak to his wife and son. Huck says “It’s good for me to be dead. They have a good life now. No one is lying to them. No one is torturing people all day and then coming home and pretending to be normal. No one is hunting them trying to get at me. They are safe. It’s better for them…. Leaving them behind. That was the best thing that’s ever happened to them.” He crumbles in Olivia’s lap and I get 752 fever.
Escape Plan – Olivia’s dad calls her because he’s out of the hospital (against doctor’s orders). He’s back in a suit and says he has a job to do. Papa Pope tells Liv that he doesn’t want her to be in the tracking down Maya business. She asks him if his offer for that plane to escape to nowhere for a new life was still on the table.
Olivia goes to the OPA office and tells Abby and Huck that she’s leaving but Abby ain’t having none of it. What happened to “over a cliff?” Well that went over a cliff. All Huck does is ask when she’s leaving and she says immediately. Papa Pope will take care of them financially, apparently but lawd don’t trust that. She puts her keys on the table and leaves the place she’s built.
Garage Goods – Harrison is in a garage headed to his car when Papa Pope pulls up in a black car. Rowan wants to know everything the Gladiator knows about Adnan and Maya but Harrison ain’t trying to give up the good. So he shows him a picture of Adnan with a bullet right through her forehead. Apparently, Maya got to his bae too. WELP. You best start talking. #Brolivia says he knows where Mama Pope is going to get her cash.
Jake Sweat – Jake from State Farm shows up at Liv’s place and said he heard she’s leaving. Huck snitched on her and he needs to know why. Olivia says “I’m the thing that needs to be fixed. I’m the thing that needs to be handled. I am the Scandal. The thing you do with a scandal is to SHUT IT DOWN!”
Because basically all this drama has been around her and it’s because her troublemaking ass parents want to protect her from hurt. Jake can’t e’em argue with that truth so he asks if he could come with her. Olivia tells him that she’s in love with Fitz still and he tells her to leave that behind, along with everything else. I need to find out the secrets of Olivia Carolyn Pope that got these men falling over here and losing their good sense. Jake is Keith Sweat in a better suit and lower voice. Dude does NOT take rejection lightly. Outchea begging.
Cleaning Up – Mama Pope is surrounded by men in guns as she exits a building with a briefcase.
Fitz gets a phone call from Rowan who tells him that she has been “disposed of. Maya Pope is dead.” Harrison tells Abby and Huck that they finally got her! They break it to him that Olivia is in the wind. He rolls into Papa Pope’s office and says he needs to stop Liv from leaving. He is told that “The Republic is fine and everything is fine.” The President reinstated Rowan as Command and B613 is back up. This was clearly the plan all along and Harrison figures it out.
The dude must have had a death wish because he let Command know that he knows this was all a setup and he steps to him. Maya Pope is not about killing, because she’s about the money. Rowan pinned the death of Jerry on Maya so he could be Captain Save-A-Hoe and be in the good graces of the President so he could be back in his post. GENIUS!
Rowan tells Harrison that Liv’s wish was for Fitz to become President, right? Well, he made that happen. “Daddy took care of it. I told her I wouldn’t hurt a hair on his head and I didn’t. I got him 4 more years. But there’s a price. A price of free and fair elections. He took my child so I took his.”
And I’m not sure whether he’s talking just about Mellie’s husband playing with Liv’s feelings like a yo-yo. Fitz also took B613 away from him and we know that’s his baby. He did tell Ghostie that he’d go after someone who hurt his child. He is clearly a man of his word.
Harrison gets all froggy and Tom appears from the shadows. We see that it was Tom who took the vial of meningitis B and rubbed it on Jerry’s shoulder just as they were about to go on stage, causing the boy’s death. He was also the one who killed Adnan and took the picture of her body. GAHTDAMBBBBB DAWD!!! SSA Tom is silent but hella deadly.
Back at the White House, everyone is celebrating four more years! Cyrus is giddy, telling Fitz “we won.” The President looks crestfallen because he has nothing to celebrate. He lost Olivia and lost his first born. He found out his father raped his wife. This is truly an empty victory. He walks to his office as “Papa was a rolling stone” plays and falls to his knees on the country’s seal.
At the private airfield, Jake is waiting for Liv and they board the plane to freedom. They will get to stand in the sun together.
In David’s office, there’s boxes of files delivered to him. It’s a going away present from Jake, telling him to take down the bad guys. He just dropped all of B613’s tea at Lemony’s feet.
Huck stands outside of that house and rings the doorbell. Kimberly opens up the door to see the man she loved and thought died over a decade before.
Back at Command’s, Harrison is told “It’s a waste of such great talent. To be young, gifted and Black.” Tom points a gun at Harrison. The camera cuts away to Papa Pope entering the room where the Hole is. Charlie welcomes him back. The latch to the Hole opens and Mama Pope looks up.
He nods at her and the latch closes again. AW SHITTT!!!
Fitz is still sitting on the floor of his office and Mellie is trying to get him to move. He looks so broken. As her plane leaves, Olivia gets a call from the White House. She sends the call to voicemail but she looks torn up about it. I bet she’s about to deactivate that SIM card. We watch the plane soar as the ending credits roll.
Season 3 of Scandal is A WRAP!
Where do I start with my thoughts? I haz so many.
As far as my Brolivia Pope theory, I still think there’s something to it. I especially paid attention to the two times that Rowan referred to Harrison as “son” in this episode. There’s something about their relationship that feels weirdly familiar. I would love to know what their story is but we might not get the chance. I like how Shonda didn’t tell us if Harrison died or not. She wants to leave space in case Columbus continues to show out in real life.
His legal troubles might make her kill him off in the show, and I’d understand. I wrote about that for The Grio yesterday. Check that out.
In episode 1 of season 3, Eli/Rowan/Papa Pope/Grand Goon told Olivia “You’re getting on that plane come hell or high water.” And she did. It just took 18 episodes, many people dead and broken spirits to get her to do it. The man is impeccable with his word.
Also, I think many of you were right this WHOLE TIME! Mama Pope and Papa Pope were probably in cahoots. What she got out the deal was 4 weeks of freedom, the opportunity to raise hell, and the chance to see her daughter. She might be a goon, but she’s still a mother. Maybe that head nod he gave her at the end was a kudos for a job well done. Mmhmm.
Basically, the only person who really won this season was Rowan Pope, who IS the hell and the high water and Satan’s personal assistant and the biggest goon EVER. Everyone else lost royally. Cyrus lost his husband. Mellie lost her son and her lover. Fitz lost his son and his love. Olivia lost herself. Jake lost his dignity with his simping ass. I lost my fandom for Olitz. So much losing.
Final thoughts on Season 3
This season of Scandal has been the weakest so far and some Gladiators have jumped off the wagon because it moved too far away from how it started. Olivia was a fixer. She was strong professionally even as her personal life was in perpetual shambles. We loved her for that (and her alphets). This season, Olivia has been the Scandal herself and it’s made her so weak on all fronts. There was nothing left to give her a pat on the back about. We haven’t seen this Liv in a long time:
And this season, we couldn’t even swoon over her clothes because she was always behind something to hide her bump. That’s understandable though. Kerry Washington is with child and that’s a beautiful thing. They had to do what they had to do there.
So we didn’t have the alphets, the badassness and then the Olitz romance got stale. I was totally on that ship and then Fitz kept proving he was a terrible brat and it got old and I was over them.
My biggest disappointment came in the lack of character development for Harrison. I was one of those who was telling people to be patient because surely we’ll find out more about him in season 3 but that never came. Shut my mouth wide open. We thought Adnan Salif would end up linking us to him from the past but that also never came and now she’s dead soooo that might never come. And HE might be dead himself. It’s unfortunate.
Honestly, the real highlight were the Pope Parents. Joe Morton as Rowan Pope and Khandi Alexander as Maya Pope (aka Marie Wallace) gave this season so much life. I hope they return for season 4, because without them there will be a void that I’m not sure Shonda and her team could make us ignore.
I’m still a Scandal fan and will be watching next season. I did enjoy this season but 1 and 2 were definitely better. I’m hoping that season 4 restores some balance to the Gladiator universe. Something better turn that plane around and get Liv back to fixing OTHER PEOPLE’s lives. Whatever the end game is, I’m hoping it isn’t Olitz.
Chile, I’ve said enough. This post is 3,600 words. I’ma go rest my wrists. Y’all talk amongst yourselves. I look forward to your comments.
P.S. One of you made this graphic and I am CRACKING UP about it!