Tonight’s season finale of Scandal takes us on another ride that has a major twist. The episode begins with Olivia and crew thinking that Maya planned to assassinate Mellie Grant and, so, they need to find her. In the meantime, Olivia tells Mellie not to participate in the inauguration for her safety. Mellie is pissed because, how does one make history, but not get to celebrate it? Womp.
Eventually Jake gets the job done. He finds Maya and brings her into custody for questioning. Maya denies that she’s involved, and spends her time taunting Rowan. She claims that she’s only in town to protect Olivia and that it would be stupid to come to town since she’s a fugitive. True, but she has played them before.
The gladiators are also on the case, now lead by Quinn, and Abby is even back to help—and you know how they feel about Abby right now. Anyway, Quinn and crew actually discover that Maya isn’t in charge. She didn’t hire the assassin, she is the assassin. Olivia tries to get her to talk, and once Maya starts playing games to the point where Olivia tries to choke the answer out of. If it weren’t for Jake intervening, Mama Pope would be dead, but at the same time, there’s something in this exchange that makes Olivia believe her mother. As a result, she goes around Fitz’s authority and releases her mother, but not before implanting a tracking chip inside of her. They want her to lead them to the real people in charge, but um…Mama Pope knows how to take out a dang tracking chip, so…
Rowan gets pissed when he gets wind of what Olivia did because he feels like Olivia got played, so he convinces Fitz to reinstate B6-13 to handle situations like this, and run it his dang self! Surprisingly, Rowan thinks Fitz is best suited to run B6-13. A complement to Fitz, from Rowan Pope! Hell is a cold place right now.
Mellie decided not to skip Inauguration Day so here we are celebrating, but praying that nothing happens to her. That’s when Maya tackles the sniper meant to protect Mellie, and takes over gun duty, but it’s not what you think. She calls Olivia and tells her to move her “big bubble head” so she doesn’t get in the way of the shot. She’s actually trying to be a hero and shoot the real perpetrator behind all of this, but we still don’t know who it is because everyone looks so unassuming. Olivia tries to get a name out of her, but then, a shot rings out. Rowan got to Maya before she could shoot. He picks up the phone and tells Olivia that Maya is neutralized (aka not dead, but incapacitated). Olivia informs him that she was just about to get a name! She’s pissed. The parade ends without anymore president elects dying.
Olivia finds out about Fitz reinstating B613 and she is pissed. Fitz thinks he’ll run B613 differently, and thinks she should be happy because it means that he’ll be staying in DC. Olivia knows that Fitz is headed down a dark path, having seen what B613 did to her pops. However, Fitz has a change of heart later on, and tells Olivia that he rescinded the order to reestablish B613 and that he will actually be going to Vermont to run his foundation. They say their goodbyes in a dramatic scene where Fitz is headed off to his plane, but not before Olivia kisses him passionately…IN FRONT OF THE PRESS!
Now we get back to business. Olivia gets with the gladiators to pull up footage of Frankie’s assassination and has an aha moment. Luna Vargas is the culprit. She pulls Luna aside and demands names, but Luna doesn’t deny anything, but refuses to back down because she has the upper hand. Basically, Luna is a modern day Jackie O, but she’s an even bigger deal because she’s the VP, the widow of the former president elect, and her approval rating is higher than Mellie. If Luna goes to jail, then Mellie’s presidency is in shambles.
Olivia visits her mom in the hospital feeling defeated. However, Maya gives her a good old Pope Pep talk. You know how they do! Basically, Olivia better figure out how to channel that Pope blood and fight back.
The inauguration ball starts off on a sweet note. Quinn tells Charlie that she’s pregnant and he is ecstatic. Mellie drags Cyrus out of reclusion to be her date. But the real business is Jake and Olivia informing Luna that she must kill herself. She doesn’t want to take the pills they give her because she doesn’t want to leave her kids. Luna then explains her plan: Basically, she didn’t want to be First Lady so she paid someone to make sure Frankie lost, but obviously things went left. Olivia knows this is bullshit. and says either she takes the pills or they leak her as the mastermind and her legacy gets smeared and kids have to live with that. Luna, after her bluff gets called, starts giving a grand speech about how if Jackie O were president, so much more would have gotten done, and that as the new Jackie O she will be great, yatta, yatta. You know what it is. Olivia and Jake have both killed vice presidents before so this is child’s play. Luna takes the pills and Olivia leaves while Jake waits until they take affect.
Olivia pays Mellie a visit pretending like everything is all good. She gets the call from Jake. Then she visits her father to tell him what’s up and that she has decided to run B613. She then sits with Cyrus and tells him everything. That’s when he starts describing Luna as Jackie Kennedy, and basically repeated Luna’s delusion of grandeur word for word. Olivia realizes that Cyrus planted the seed in Luna’s mind to set all of this in motion. Guess who will most likely become the VP? Yup.
They look at each other with a mutual understanding because by this point, they’ve both gone deep into the darkness. This is exactly what they both wanted — to be the masters of the universe at all costs. The allure and command of power just feels too good.
And there’s only one season left to see how this will all play out.