Scandal Review: The Devil In Disguise

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If there were a way to emoji my face while watching tonight's Scandal season 3 finale, it would look something like this: O_O

Except bigger. And bolder. And more OH EM GEE didyouseethat?

Scandal Season 3 Episode 18 delivered one shock after another, as the blows were lobbied back and forth with Papa Pope, the Devil in disguise himself, eventually getting everything he ever wanted and then some, earning the title of Monster.

Papa Pope is an evil genius and somebody better give Joe Morton an Emmy! Holy hell, what a ride!

Sure, he gave his daughter what she wanted - Fitz in office again, unharmed - but there certainly was a price to pay. He killed Fitz' son to make it happen!

Rowan Pope killed an innocent child! All so Fitz would win the election! 

And we thought Cyrus Beene was a soulless animal. At least Cyrus recognizes and sort of seems to hate the fact that he's become this person, telling Leo Bergen that fighting to keep his soul intact is a worthy cause, even if he'll lose his soul to gain the world no matter what he tries.

Rowan Pope is the epitome of the character you love to hate. He's devious yet devoted and will stop at absolutely nothing to get exactly what he wants. What he wanted was Olivia Pope out of the country, starting a new somewhere that is not Washington D.C.

He said as much during Scandal Season 3 Episode 1 when he tried to put Olivia on a plane with a new passport and a bank account, promising to take care of her people. She wasn't having it then, but after making a few realizations about herself, starting over didn't sound like such a bad idea.

It's me. I'm the thing that needs to be fixed. I'm the thing that needs to be handled. I'm the scandal. And the best way to deal with a scandal is to shut it down.


Abby accused Olivia of running away, but Huck understood her. He gets why she would want to start a new life. Jake gets it. That's probably why she took Jake with her when she ran.

Oh yes, Jake fans. He's on a plane with Olivia right now ready to go and stand in the sun with her wherever that plane lands. I don't for one hot minute think they'll actually be anything like happy for any great length of time, but for now, she's chosen Jake.

But it's not like she had much of a choice.

In the wake of the church bombing, as Sally soared in the polls with her Mother Teresa shtick, Fitz looked toward his future with Liv. He seemed excited by the prospect of losing the election because losing meant Vermont. It meant jam. And two little Olitz babies playing on the rug.

Mellie, he said, didn't matter to him. He believed that she'd only used him for the ways hitching her wagon to his star would work to her own advantage. Olivia told him the truth.

People are undoubtedly going to be outraged that Olivia told Fitz the truth about Mellie's rape, and to a certain extent, I get it. It wasn't her truth to tell. She was given Mellie's trust and she broke it. (I won't even venture into the "Mellie should've told him herself" argument.)

What's important about Olivia telling Fitz the truth about Big Jerry and Mellie, from a storytelling standpoint, is that she knew she would lose him when she uttered the words. Or she at least believed it was a distinct possibility. 

Maybe there was a part of her practicing self-sabotage there. Like she can't let herself be happy, or dwell in the possibility of happiness. Maybe she saw a scorned and broken Mellie and recognized her own part in that and decided that telling, even if it meant losing any shred of respect Mellie had left for her, was worth it. 

Whatever the reason, magic happened on Tony Goldwyn's face as Fitz realized that the last 15 years of his marriage--and his reasons for pursuing a relationship with Olivia--had been based on a lie. And not just any lie. It was a lie born of great pain and trauma. 

Mellie's "I fought him...I...fought..." was just perfect. 

She's carried the weight of that for over a decade, not sure anyone would believe her and eventually telling herself that it didn't matter. It wasn't important. She didn't just give up a career for Fitz. She had her own body taken from her. 

And now she's lost her son, the one she anguished over because he was a reminder of that moment where everything in her life changed, shifting slightly off-balance and spiraling over the course of a decade.

All because of Olivia Pope.

For what it's worth, I, me, the writer of this review, do not blame Olivia Pope for the tearing apart of everyone's lives. But Olivia blames herself and that's really what matters as we look ahead to Scandal season 4, and there was plenty of setup for that in tonight's finale.

Charlie's parting gift to Huck and Quinn for their relationship is Huck's family. His real family. The one who thought he died when he went into the hole. Charlie was vindictive in handing over the information knowing that its mere existence would drive a wedge between Huck and Quinn, but Quinn believed that Huck deserved to know that his family was safe and alive and happy. What he chose to do with that information was really up to him.

In the end, he knocked on his wife's door and just gave a simple "hi."

Unless Shonda Rhimes decides that Columbus Short's real-life scandal earns him an on-screen death sentence, Harrison's getting sucked into B613.

He's the one who connected the dots that Rowan Pope was responsible for the death of Fitz' son and that the only reason Adnan Salif was shot was so Harrison would talk all because Rowan gets what Rowan wants. 

And what he wanted was Maya Pope in the hole and his daughter far, far away. 

But what he doesn't yet know, probably, is that David Rosen ordered a lot of paper. Before boarding the plane with Liv, Jake sent David every file he could find so that David can take down the bad guys. 

He is, after all, the white hat.

What did you think of Scandal Season 3 Episode 18? Were you shocked that Rowan Pope killed Fitz' son, and by his reason for doing so? Grade the Scandal finale now!

The Price of Free and Fair Elections Review

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Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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Scandal Season 3 Episode 18 Quotes

I do not like him, but Olivia, I do love you, and I want you to have everything, everything you deserve. So when I say I wish I could help, I do wish I could help. I wish I could help you.


Olivia: We're gonna lose the election on Tuesday.
Cyrus: Let's be honest. We lost the election today.