'Scandal' Season Finale Recap: Power Rankings for 'The Price of Free and Fair Election'


It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for, Gladiators: Scandal’s season finale! If you’re not up to speed, check out our season-summing infographic, and then read on here: it’s going to be a bumpy, bomb-ridden ride.

1. Rowan: Command is back in town! We’re not happy with Rowan getting ALL the power back this week, but at least he reigned in the whole Maya situation (Maya = in the Hole) and did express from genuine love for his daughter. Said love quickly took a creepy turn, though, as Rowan revealed to Harrison that he killed Jerry (via Tom; no, Tom!) because “[Fitz] took my child, so I took his.” Um...that’s not how you react to your grown-up child dating a guy you don’t approve of, Rowan. Not in the real world. Even though we don’t like what he does, there’s no denying that Rowan is back on top. Fingers crossed that David Rosen uses his newfound file stash to change the Command dynamic next season! And fingers crossed that Rowan didn’t kill Harrison, but rather recruited him to B613.

2. Olivia: Power points to Liv for hanging up first while on the phone with Fitz while they discuss how they love each other but can’t be together (AGAIN). Otherwise we would’ve been in for thirty minutes of “No, you hang up first! No, you! You didn’t hang up either!” Other than this glorious hang-up move, Liv does well this week. First, she visits her father in the hospital and they have a real father/daughter moment. Second, she and Cyrus pontificate about how they became such inhumane humans. Third, Liv takes a good, hard look at what’s happening around her and realizes that she’s the common denominator in all the drama; she’s the scandal that needs to be handled (#synergy). So she handles herself by asking Rowan to whisk her and Jake Ballard away on a plane for a fresh start. And while we don’t think for a second that their escape/happiness can last (because what kind of show would that be?), we’re pretty pleased with it as an ending for Season Three. Did Liv run away like a coward or pull off the ultimate fix? Only Season Four will tell.

3. Jake Ballard: When Rosen tries to go all white hat on Jake, he tells Rosen that he is actually not a good guy. Sorry, Jake, we just don’t believe you. Know why? Because you saved a church full of people from a bomb, you run away and start a new life with Olivia (maybe), you look hot shirtless, and you finally reward David Rosen with boxes and boxes of case files to “get the bad guys.” That is the definition of a good guy, Jake: you can’t deny us that.

4. David Rosen: Thank you, David Rosen, for finally calling a spade a spade: Cyrus Beene is Voldemort. David finally got a win this week, too! When Jake flew into the sunset with Olivia (and lost his seat as Command), he delivered boxes and boxes of bad-guy case files to David’s office with a note to “get the bad guys.” Finally, someone throws DR a bone.

5. Cyrus: We open the episode with Cyrus sitting on the fact that, you know, a bomb is going to explode inside the church that every U.S. Senator and the Vice President is in. (Jake ruins it, though). When the church is evacuated and Sally becomes Mother Theresa, Cy really comes to terms with the fact that Fitz will not win the election. And, post little Jerry collapse, he is really able to reflect on the fact that he is a literal monster. Good on you, Cy: you didn’t even realize that losing a presidential child is a lock on the election. He does celebrate the President’s eventual win, but he seems to be repenting. For this, Cyrus, you cannot win this week or any week, but this “second chance” thing will get you in the top five.

6. Mellie: Just putting it out there that all three women in this apartment want Mellie and Fitz to fall back in love here. We’re tired of the fighting, and frankly, we’re tired of this Vermont Olitz back and forth. Especially now that Liv spilled the beans about Mellie’s rape at the hands of Big Jerry. Little Jerry is actually Fitz’s kid, thank the lord. Mellie and Fitz have some actual moments of connection this week, though, as much as it pains us to admit it, Mellie didn’t really pull off any spectacular power moves this week. Understandable, since she’s wracked with traumatic flashbacks and grief/regret over her son’s death. But the best move she had was to call Liv when she couldn’t get Fitz off of the Oval floor herself. And Liv denied her call, so…

7. Quinn & Huck: Harrison and Abby walk in on Quinn and Huck doin’ it in the conference room (to which Abby screams, like we did, “Ahhh my eyes!”), so obviously the jig is up and Quinn and Huck are a thing now. She breaks up with Charlie (who is still a member of B613 and I would be scared to break up with him, just saying), who gives her a file that will basically ruin her life, he says. It’s information on Huck’s former family (a wife and a son), and even though Quinn knows everything about Huck’s past and how he handles stress, she chooses to share this information with him. He does not take it well, to put it lightly, and tells her never to talk to him again. Duh, Quinn. The man was put in a hole and reprogrammed. You just can’t spring shit like that on him. Later, Huck talks to Olivia about whether or not it’s better that he’s “dead” to his family, and he gets all sobby on her good couch. Huck does decide to see his family, and his wife (ex-wife?) looks like she has seen a ghost, but hasn’t she?

8. Fitz: First of all, let’s pour one out for little Jerry. Poor, poor Jerry. Fitz’s son (and yes, he is Fitz’s biological son, not his father’s) got caught in the electoral crossfire this episode, murdered with bacterial meningitis by Rowan Pope, all in order to get Fitz the electoral votes to become President. Damn. Watching him carry his son out of that rally was tough, and some damn good acting by Tony Goldwyn. Due to Olivia’s loose lips (but I would have told him, too), Fitz also finds out this episode about his father raping Mellie. This seems to rekindle their relationship, which we think is a welcome change from Mellie drunk with her wig falling off and Fitz furrowing his brow at everyone. The episode ends with Fitz winning his election (the dead kid thing really helps) and crumbling to the floor, recounting all that he’s given up and all that he’s lost to be President. Liv is one of these things. When Mellie calls Liv to snap some sense into Fitz, Liv denies the call. It’s gonna be a rough four years for Fitz. Maybe you should sell that Vermont house.

9. Sally: Sally is all but canonized once Leo rips her blouse, dirties up her face, and send her into the funeral-bomb trenches to tourniquet with the best of ‘em. Leo is a grotsky little biotch sometimes, but he knows what it takes to gain points with the American public to win an election. As he tells Sally, “Go be Jesus.” Umm okay. Once the American people get wind of Angel Sally’s efforts, she’s leading them in prayer and way ahead of Fitz in the polls. Good job personally capitalizing on a national tragedy, Sal: the mark of a true politician. Too bad it doesn’t get you far once Fitz experiences a tragedy of his own. Bye, bye, little piggy! Better luck in four years.

10. Maya Pope: Maya’s plans seem to be going swimmingly at first, though, she, too, expresses a weirdly obsessive desire to control who her grown daughter dates. Newsflash, Maya and Rowan: you don’t get to pick Olivia’s boyfriends and you don’t get to commit murder because she picks a guy you don’t like. Her ex hubby bests her in the end, killing Jerry, Adnan, and throwing Maya in the Hole, and Liv will for sure hate her forever (because Liv thinks Maya killed Jerry), so all in all, Maya ends this season in the red.

I said goddamn, Gladiators! Did that episode go at all like we thought it would? The answer is no. Will Olivia ride off into the sunset with Jake Ballard? We would, fer sure. How long is Maya going to stay in that hole (and why wouldn’t you just kill her)? Will Harrison become a part of B613, or will he go the way of Adnan and take a dirt nap? We’ll have to wait until the fall for the answers, but until then, Gladiators, we’ll always have Gettysburger.