I was really high on the previous two episode of Scandal‘s final season as they were finally starting to apply pressure to Olivia and her pompous attitude about being Command. The side plots also continued at good paces and I didn’t necessarily hate any of them unlike in previous Scandal seasons. With the rate this season was going and the events set forward in Episode 6, I was expecting a epic winter finale that would leave the Scandal world shaking…instead I can barely remember what happened in a majority of it minus the garbage cliffhanger ending. The ABC press site also only provided photos of a single scene in the episode that wasn’t even much to write home about, so take that as you will. The official synopsis for the episode was “The first half of the epic final season ends with shocking revelations and jaw-dropping events that will leave everyone reeling”, which makes me laugh after viewing it. What episode was the person who wrote this watching?
So Quinn is still missing and the Olivia/Jake team still have basically no leads to go on here. This is the duo that was able to assassinate a president, a vice-president, and countless other things, but finding a simple pregnant girl is too difficult of a task. QPA has resorted to looking through missing person reports in hopes of finding a brunette pregnant girl that matches with Quinn, leaving Charlie in a desperate mess as he wants Quinn to be alive but would also just take her dead at this point so he can stop playing Russian Roulette with continuously going to the morgues to identify bodies. He finally has enough and visits Olivia to ask her if she knows Quinn’s real fate and just doesn’t want to tell him. She convinces him to remain hopeful during this time as Quinn is tough, but Olivia barely buys her own words herself.
To wrap up the White House side of things quickly because there honestly isn’t much in this episode, Mellie is still preparing for the nuclear treaty to be signed and make history as the President who could finally accomplish it, Cyrus is all by himself for a bit as Fenton took a retreat to heal up from his incident with Charlie and starts to badger Jake about the true nature of Rashad’s assassination, and Fitz/Marcus are still remaining in D.C. and decide to try and use some of Mellie’s upcoming political capital to assist with their destabilization on mass incarcerations. Cyrus’ pressure on Jake reaches a conclusion when Jake gets rid of Curtis Pryce (unknown if he’s dead or not) and informs Cyrus that he should stop while he’s ahead unless he wants the same fate. Fitz and Marcus, on the other hand, get more lucky with their plotline for the episode. Marcus fumbles with Mellie a bit when warming her up to the idea of joining with them since he’s still a bit butthurt they are no longer screwing, but Mellie later agrees to help Fitz when he’s doing his scheduled visit to see his son Teddy. AND THAT’S IT.
Olivia learns that Rowan wants to meet with her and the episode gets straight to the point from here on out: Rowan is the one who took Quinn which explains why she’s so hard to find. What he wants in return is his dinosaur bones (lol) and his freedom from Olivia. We see Olivia try to act like she’s unfazed by Rowan’s actions, but her Command mode continues to slip as she realizes she might really not be cut out for this. She also knows that if she gives into Rowan, he’ll know he can bribe her for future things down the road, until he’s right back on top again. Jake later pays a visit to Rowan and they have the same “Olivia can still be turned back to good” exchange Fitz and Jake had a few episodes back, but Jake still remains unconvinced.
Olivia isn’t so happy that Jake visited Rowan, but he assures her that Rowan is now completely disarmed and if they’re going to strike and get Quinn back, the time is now. Olivia explains to Jake that by disarming Rowan, he has shown Rowan that they consider him a treat, so instead of waiting him out and calling his bluff of killing Quinn, he has the upper hand. The rest of this plotline is basically Jake and Olivia going back and forth over if Olivia has the guts to allow Quinn to die in order to dominate her father or if she’ll give in and let her father regain control over her. So Olivia decides to pay a visit to her mother, who for all the war crimes she’s committed, is enjoying a very nice “prison” pad if you can’t even call it that. For the amount of time that Olivia’s parents were the villains of the series, it’s a surprise that not only are they both still alive, but in some ways better than they’ve ever been.
Olivia gives the rundown of the current situation to her mother and needs to know what she should do. Maya decides to be difficult with Olivia in her answer, so Olivia states that she needs a mother right now and not a bitch. I don’t really know what Olivia expected the answer her mother would give to be, but she obviously chooses not giving into Rowan and allowing Quinn to die. If Olivia wants to survive in the world she’s gotten herself into, this is the sacrifices she’ll have to continue to make for the rest of her life. Even with this, Olivia is still unable to come to a straight conclusion of what she should do while meeting with Jake later in the night. He then breaks it to her straight and reminds her that as Command, she can’t have things both ways. She can’t save her father and Quinn, she has to choose one.
The fated day arrived and Olivia heads to Rowan’s home where he demands her answer to his ultimatum. She attempts to direct him to a third option, which is killing her. This would remove his problems all together and she’s not sure why he hasn’t done it by now if he really wants to be free and for her to be removed as Command. Rowan is unable to kill his own daughter, but it seems Olivia has changed her tune on killing her father, calling in a kill order that will activate in 20 minutes if she doesn’t call it off beforehand. She then demands for Quinn to be returned to her or else Rowan is done. Having been Command before and seeing through Olivia’s cracking poker face, Rowan calls her bluff on the kill order and gives her one last chance to grant him freedom. Olivia remains vigilant that she isn’t bluffing, so Rowan heads downstairs and a gunshot is heard alongside a plea from Quinn to stop. A second gunshot rings out and Olivia fully breaks down, terrified with the idea that Rowan actually went through with his plan. Rowan arrives upstairs and, despite Olivia’s best attempts to regain her posture, breaks her down once again by asking if she’d like to see Quinn’s body.
Basically, this entire winter finale was one big stall job if “Will she, won’t she” as Olivia debates how to handle the Quinn situation, only for it to STILL not be resolved by the end of the episode. I honestly doubt Quinn’s dead, but I’m not sure what’s Rowan is planning from here if she isn’t. His ultimate plan is for Olivia to put on the white hat again, but bluffing in the face of her bluff wouldn’t necessarily help this cause. Seeing her crack under his pressure, though, shows him that there is still hope. There are still 11 episodes left in the series once Scandal returns, so hopefully we witness less wheel spinning from this point on. The foundation for Olivia’s return to the good has been planted, now to just stick the landing.
Something Borrowed – 2 out of 5
- Rowan really wants those damn dinosaur bones back.
- I guess seeing how much Charlie cares for Quinn was a pro? I’m really reaching here for positives this episode.
- OH, Abby and David are officially back together. Forgot to mention that part. Anything good for David is good for me.
- 60% of the episode being Olivia and Jake bitch at each other about what they should do.
- Fitz honestly doesn’t seem anywhere as important as I thought he’d be going into this season.
- Right as Curtis was getting interesting, he is seemingly killed off.
- Quinn cliffhanger.