‘Scandal’ recap: Season 3, Episode 18, ‘The Price of Free and Fair Election’

Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) wears a jacket made to look like the show's promotional logo.  Credit: ABC
Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) wears a jacket made to look like the show’s promotional logo.
Credit: ABC

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie’s still drunk. Let’s recap the Scandal finale.

A church full of Washington insiders is about to blow up, which sounds like the punchline of a joke about lawyers, but is really the work of terrorist Mama Pope (Khandi Alexander). Worse, White House Chief of Staff Cyrus Beene (Jeff Perry) knows, and is going to let it happen anyway, because Presidential opponent Sally Langston is sitting in one of the pews, and also because, you know, lawyers. But then Jake Ballard (Scott Foley) ambushes the Oval Office with the information, and President Fitzgerald Grant (Tony Goldwyn) orders an evacuation.

Just after everyone’s run out, the place explodes and Sally flees to her limo like a terrified child. But then campaign manager Leo stops her, explains that this is an opportunity, and says, “Go be Jesus.” So she returns to the scene to do triage — in front of cameras — on the injured, and to make a hawkish speech about getting revenge. Which is kind of like Jesus, except not at all. Footage of her helping at the scene of the explosion consumes the news. But instead of being crucified for it, Sally is now ahead in the polls. If only Jesus had been a murderous bastard, he might have ruled on earth too.

So Cyrus and Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) are now certain that Fitz will lose the election. Cyrus tells Leo to try to hold on to his soul in his new job, which is funny because Leo doesn’t have a soul — obviously, or Sally would have saved it.

Cabin fever

Now that he’s going to lose, Fitz suggests to Liv that they finally turn their Vermont fiction into nonfiction: He’ll be the mayor, she’ll make jam, and they’ll have two babies. Naturally she sees this as the perfect opportunity to tell Fitz that his dad raped his wife. “Naturally,” because Shonda and Co. would never let them be together. Fitz consoles Mellie. And then we have a slow, tender scene in which Liv tells Fitz she understands that he needs to be with Mellie, and that she wouldn’t love him if he were the kind of man who’d leave his wife at a time like this. Now that the Shondacoaster has paused for a second, and I have a minute to think, I have to say that Liv is far Jesusier than Sally. But that can’t be because Liv already has the gladiator metaphor happening. And even though gladiators and Jesus lived in the same time period, it’s best not to mix, because then what, Fitz is Caesar? Hmm. I guess he was betrayed by his sidekick Sally / Brutus. Except, Sally can’t be Brutus because she’s Jesus. No, Liv is. Oh dammit, what am I watching? This is what happens when they give you a second to think–

Never mind, Little Jerry’s dying! Poor kid. Last week he got his semen stolen and this week he’s coughing up blood. RIP Jerry; may your bodily fluids be remembered.

And may they be avenged: Fitz finds out that the strain of meningitis that killed his son is rare and also that a vial of it just went missing from a lab. Jerry was murdered. Fitz assumes Mama Pope did it, and he gives Papa Pope the green light to take her out.

Liv hears the news and has some sort of brain malfunction so profound that televisions across America turned fuzzy for a second — I’m just saying, that’s a bit like performing a miracle. She goes home and tells Jake that it’s all her fault. Everything from him getting put in “the hole” at B613 to Little Jerry’s death, including global warming (I presume), has one common denominator: Liv. So she’s decided to peace out. She’s going to abandon her life — just like Jesus, except via private jet — and start a new one somewhere else. Jake wants to come with her. Him and most of the English speaking world.

Huck you

But first she has to cure the lepers, I mean, Huck. Huck (Guillermo Diaz) is freaking out because Quinn (Katie Lowe) showed him where his wife and son live. And I’m freaking out because Shonda and Co. showed us Huck and Quinn boinking again — amazing grace, I once could see but now I’m blind. It was easier to watch them torture innocent civilians than pleasure one another.

So Quinn takes him to his family, out of love. But he freaks and explodes, out of Huckness. Then he runs to Liv and, while trying to console him, she pulls him in for a hug, which confused him because she didn’t lick his face or anything.

Now, the season is almost over, except wait! Papa Pope is actually the one who killed Little Jerry. Harrison figures it out: Papa wanted revenge against Fitz, but he’d promised Liv he wouldn’t touch a hair on Fitz’s head, so he killed his son instead. And how he’ll have to kill Harrison too, except there are so many more stories to tie up in the last few minutes.

Mama Pope, it turns out, isn’t dead after all, but imprisoned in the box. Papa Pope is Command of B613 again. Liv and Jake are on a plane to nowhere. David Rosen receives boxes of evidence incriminating Cyrus. Huck knocks on his wife’s door. And Fitz is collapsed on the Oval Office floor. Have a good summer Gladiators.


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