Well, that was one heck of a winter finale, wasn’t it, Scandal fans? As we enter a brief holiday hiatus (during which we try to recover from all the psychological damage Shonda has inflicted upon us so far this season), who’s on top of our Scandal power rankings? And more importantly, who’s ending 2013 on the bottom of the totem pole?
1. A tie, because apparently together they’re unstoppable...if they can stop fighting over Olivia for a full minute: Fitz and Jake.
Fitz: Okay, okay, Fitz is deservedly called out by Rowan as an unfit suitor for Olivia “My Middle Name is Awesome” Pope, but at the end of the day, he pulls rank as the POTUS and conspires with Jake to get Rowan thrown out of Wonderland on his behind. I’m sure Rowan has some brutal revenge cooking as we speak, but for now: power move, Fitz (and Jake).
Jake: Actual reaction when Rowan opened his office door and found Jake sitting at his desk giving orders to the B-613 crew: LAKSJAJHD27!!UHA&SJ%62717?! What remains to be seen is whether Jake will use his position as Command to turn B-613 into a force of good, or if he’ll be swayed by all the ::insert evil laugh:: power and go bad. It’s a valid question about Rowan, too, actually: was he always a sociopath or did the job make the man? Jake, we’re rooting for you. And not just because we like seeing your pretty, pretty face kiss Liv and declare your love for her. Well, maybe it’s like, 70/30.
2. Shelby Moss: If you see something, say something. Or in this case, if you hear something using the NSA code you wrote that records cell phone conversations, bring it to David Rosen: Vigilante Attorney. Nice move, Shelby Moss. This story breaking should make for a juicy campaign, hmm?
3. Maya Pope aka Marie Wallace: Fun fact: Marie Wallace’s name reminds me of a character in the Sweet Valley Twins book series, Mary Wallace. She was mild-mannered and blonde, so, absolutely nothing like Olivia Pope’s mother, who kills all of the staff on her airplane, lands it in Mongolia, and disappears without a trace. At the end of the episode, she calls Liv and says she’ll see her soon, because she is still in motherfucking Washington, DC. Seriously, is Maya Pope a ghost? Batman? A from Pretty Little Liars? How the hell did she kill everyone, get off a plane in Mongolia, get back to DC, and still manage to don a fierce coat worthy of Olivia Pope herself in like, twelve hours?
4. Mellie: One look from Mellie is enough to send Leo Bergen, a man who wants to be Ellis’ first call when she commits murder, running out of the room. ‘Nuff said.
5. James: Shut down by David Rosen when he presents his theory that Daniel Douglas was murdered by either Cyrus or Ellis Grey, James returns to his satanic hubby with a deal: White House Press Secretary = no divorce. Consciously ignoring the crap your husband pulls is such a Mellie move, but you know who almost always has the upper hand and control over nearly every situation? Mellie. Denial is her coping drug of choice, and I guess she’s sharing her stash with James. So good on you for getting something out of it, James.
6. Olivia: Liv, once again, proves that she’s the smartest person in the room and also the most emotionally damaged. She figures out the truth about the plane and her parents because she’s a genius, but when her father denies her personal questions (“Did you hide mom away for 22 years to protect me?”) she swallows her pride and glosses over everything, just like he taught her. Dinner tomorrow at 7, okay dad, sure! It’s all very Charlotte York MacDougal in her WASPy prime. Liv becomes more unhinged every episode, but at least it doesn’t seem to ruin her ability to think straight during a crisis.
7. Quinn: Quinn rips a tracking device out of her own mouth and barely makes a peep (is she still drunk from the vodka shot Charlie gave her? Or is she just drunk on Charlie’s love?), which is pretty badass. But the buck stops there for ol’ Quinny-poo. Huck refuses to apologize for the, you know, horrible torture he inflicted upon her, and yells at her for betraying Olivia. That somehow makes Quinn decide to betray Liv and the Gladiators even more, and she flits on back to Charlie for some midnight making out. I guess we’re supposed to think it’s romantic that he thinks she’s such a special killing machine, but really? We just want Quinn to run away from him as fast as possible.
8. Cyrus: Our devil in a blue suit finds his fixer mojo for a hot second this week, and manages to get Ellis in line while cleaning up her murder of Daniel Douglas. However, when Mellie finds him to gloat about their good fortune, he’s half in the bottle at 7am and convinced that he really IS the devil. We don’t disagree, Cy. Even though it seemed like the bottom of the barrel for Cyrus, things are about to get a whole lot worse if David Rosen makes use of the recorded phone conversation between Cy and Ellis re: The Sin. At least this week he bartered with James to keep their marriage afloat: all Cy has to do is name James as White House Press Secretary. Cy agrees, looking haggard and tired of fighting but slightly relieved that now he and James can both see the “666” tattooed on his forehead (his words).
9. Ellis Grey: Biblical insults? This is an advanced show. Ellis breathes fire and brimstone at Daniel Douglas, reaming him out for tasting the “poison fruit” Cyrus handed him (also known as James, Cy’s hubby). While spewing about Daniel being her “original sin,” she also manages to throw in a burn about their daughter being a slut. However, the pulpit from which Ellis preaches is soon soiled as blood splatters all over her face when she stabs her husband with a letter opener. He cheated and he told her she could never be President because she lacks “a pair of balls,” but murder takes this spat to a whole new level. Ellis realizes that she’s in over her head, and calls Cyrus to help her clean up this mess. She’s adamant that she face justice, but Cyrus finds the mojo he lost last week and spins it so that he can take care of the lying, and all she needs to do is be a loyal presidential servant and face God when her time comes. Not your week, Ellis, though you DID get away with murder…that is, until David Rosen blows this whole scandal wide open in February.
10. Rowan: Rowan gets one thing right in an awesomely-acted monologue this week: Fitz is a coddled, entitled little boy and Olivia is out of his league. Fitz corners Rowan and spends the entire episode sitting in a cell with him until Liv’s mom is safe in Hong Kong (because Fitz doesn’t know that Maya/Marie is actually not so innocent), and once Jake and Huck figure out where they’re hiding, Liv arranges for an audience with her father. Via her Gladiator digging, Olivia figures out that Maya lied to Rowan that there was a bomb on the plane so he would kill hundreds of people (viewing it as the lesser sacrifice than if the bomb detonated over London). Rowan confirms and looks incredibly vulnerable as he nods. Despite his epic takedown of Fitz and his total “no fear” attitude, Rowan was duped into downing an airplane. And then dethroned as Command of B-613 by Fitz and Jake. Sorry, bro. Bad day.
And that’s all she wrote until February, folks. We’ll see you in 2014 for more “white hat” cover-ups, Pope family tree pruning, and of course, a veritable feast of presidential...affairs. Don’t forget to leave your thoughts on tonight’s scandalous winter finale in the comments section, and have a happy holiday season and start to the new year!