‘Scandal’ goes out “Over a Cliff”

‘Scandal’ goes out “Over a Cliff”

‘Scandal’ goes out “Over a Cliff”
April 22
14:58 2018

You have been warned: some spoilers from the “Scandal” finale are ahead.

Fans gathered around their television sets Thursday evening, some of whom likely poured glasses of red wine and popped bags of popcorn, in preparation to endure the series finale of ABC’s political thriller “Scandal.”

Helmed by landmark creator Shonda Rhimes, the drama began with a short seven-episode run in the spring of 2012 and debuted to soft ratings (nearly resulting in cancellation) before gradually gaining momentum throughout it’s second season. The series entered the top 10 most-watched by it’s fourth season.

Centering around D.C. fixer Olivia Pope, the series stars Kerry Washington and served as a career-changing moment for the actress.

When the series debuted, Washington became the first black woman to serve as the lead character on a television series since 1974. To further her, and the series’, place in history, Washington received two back-to-back Primetime Emmy nominations for her work in the second and third seasons, becoming only the fifth black woman to receive the nod. The award would finally (and historically) be won by Viola Davis for her role in another “Shondaland” series, “How to Get Away with Murder” in 2015.

Olivia and her team of misfits-turned-professionals (Abby, Huck, Quinn, etc.) worked to save and preserve the careers of important figures. Whether it involved covering up the murder of a spouse, paying someone off or literally killing someone, Olivia Pope & Associates had their backs.

“Scandal” also explored the shenanigans inside the White House and the United States government, as President Fitzgerald “Fitz” Grant begin having an affair during her time as his campaign manager. Subsequently, Olivia and her team rigged the election in favor of Fitz, setting the events of the series in motion and changing the course of (fictional) America’s history.

Of course, this would become complicated by the existence of Jake Ballard (Scott Foley), a U.S. government agent who has absolutely no ethics or morals, as well as the existence of B613, a secret organization more powerful than anyone in the White House and controls even the president.

President Grant would eventually be succeeded by another President Grant, as his ex-wife Mellie was elected to the office after a complicated and convoluted sixth season.

The series has been one of the leaders in diversity when it comes to the mainstream small screen. With Washington at the lead, the main cast includes members of many different races and sexualities.

The series gave us numerous memorable characters including, but not limited to, Papa Pope, Mama Pope, former Vice President Sally Langston (all of whom preached fans into corners with their impressive monologues) as well as former Chief of Staff and Vice President Cyrus Beene, portrayed marvelously by Emmy winner Joe Morton, Emmy nominees Khandi Alexander and Kate Burton, and should-have-been-Emmy-nominee Jeff Perry, respectively.

Morton won his Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for the series’ third season.

Now, after all the twists and turns of the last seven seasons (124 episodes), the series had one place left to go: “Over a Cliff” (the title of the final episode — no one actually did that).

The finale, and the episodes leading up to it, worked hard to handle everything that needed closing. Olivia could not decide if she wanted to be a good (can I even use that word to describe Olivia Pope?) or bad person. One minute she was essentially ordering the death of a friend and the next crying for that same friend.

But in the end, Olivia redeemed herself, as she fought to make the U.S. better by exposing herself as command of the secret organization B613, which has been controlling the U.S for the past three decades. In a final attempt to place her hat back on, she fought to expose the organization her father started, as well as Jake, who is currently heading the secret organization.

I went in expecting several beloved characters to perish, but we lost just one. After seven years of David Rosen losing at pretty much everything, it was sad to see him lose his life in the end due to Veep Cyrus Beene’s lust for power and the White House.

Other than David and his love, Abby (who was of course sad at the fact that her fiancé was murdered), pretty much everyone ended up as happy as they could.

Based on the final scenes, Quinn, her daughter and her husband ended up happily ever after. Mellie and Olivia’s former employee Marcus ended up together, and while we did not see Olivia and Fitz making jam in Vermont, it appeared likely they ended up together.

But more importantly, a portrait of Olivia Pope at the National Portrait Gallery appears in the final scene, something Rhimes subsequently said was very clear to her, but will remain a mystery to fans. However, it indicates that Olivia either eventually becomes president or first lady. But who really knows?

Overall, “Scandal” was a worthwhile series to follow over the last six and a half years, and I regret no part of my involvement as a “Gladiator.” However, I can also see how the series lost viewers as it aged, but no series is without faults.

All in all, I am a happy fan. The good people were standing in the sun with white hats on (although the most moral person of the series perished), and the bad people either went to prison or lost their powerful positions, and that is satisfying enough.

Finale Score: 3.5/5

Featured Image: Courtesy Facebook

About Author

Sean Riedel

Sean Riedel

Sean Riedel has been a staff writer for the North Texas Daily since June 2017.

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