Presumably it will be very cold between now and February 27, when Scandal returns from its hiatus. Perhaps that is why, after tonight's Winter Finale, all of the characters are going to hell.
But only one can be the devil. Who? Let's recap.
Sally Langston — the bible thumping VP who killed her gay husband at the end of last week's episode and then called her biggest adversary White House Chief of Staff Cyrus Beene (Jeff Perry) for help — feels that she should meet justice for her crime. Until Cyrus tells her that Jesus actually wants her to go free. Is he reading the King James version?
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Cyrus calls in Charlie and Quinn toclean up the crime scene. And then Cy and Sally convince the doctor to forego checking the body and just call it a heart attack, which is an outcome so unlikely it probably would be the fruit of a deal with the devil.
Then there's First Lady Mellie, who barges into Cyrus's office to celebrate the news that Sally's husband is dead (because a grieving wife can't run against Fitz). But she's definitely not the devil because Cyrus tells her that he is — for having orchestrated the gay affair between his husband and Sally's husband in the first place — and also because that matronly dress she's wearing is definitely not Prada.
Mama Pope is certainly shaping up to be a demon. Last week, her daughter, Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington), figured out that Mama is a terrorist. This week, the gladiators at Pope and Associates discovered why. Abby convinces her DA boyfriend David to share the file on Marie Wallace, Mama Pope's nom de guerre: She was a free agent who sold secrets to the highest bidder around the world, and was playing the long game against her CIA-hotshot husband. Abby tries to make Liv feel better by saying at least her mom didn't kill anybody...except, as it turns out, those three pilots she shot on the military plane that was helping her escape. Mama Pope on the loose!
Operation Remington: Solved
And Fitz will definitely burn for his words to Olivia's dad. He had his Secret Service kidnap Rowan and hold him until Mama Pope could get to safety (joke's on Fitz), and also so he could puff up his chest. The latter is something I usually support, but only if his shirt is off.
Fitz wants answers about Operation Remington: Why did he order the plane to be shot down? Must he have kept Olivia's mother imprisoned all these years? Does the operation's title have anything to do with the 1980s dramedy Remington Steele? Might we also catch a glimpse ofPierce Brosnan's chest?
But Rowan won't talk. So Fitz tries to rile him up by talking dirty about his daughter:"The things I could tell you about the way she tastes." Ach, please don't. You're ruining multiple future sexy-president times.
Rowan does explode, though, but only to dress down Fitz for being a spoiled, privileged child, and to make absolutely clear that he does not approve of him as his daughter's suitor. Honestly, we don't either right now, but also, does that mean he's available?
So Liv figures out the deal withOperation Remington: Daddy ordered the plane shot down because Mama said there was a bomb on it, and killing 300 passengers was better than thousands dying from it exploding over London. Except Mama lied: there was no bomb. And Daddy's lived with the guilt ever since. So she was playing the really long game.
The circle of the damned is sealed
James suspects his husband Cyrus is actually the one who killed the VP's gay husband, or at least that there's foul play. So he visits DA David. But David doesn't trust him, since James is partly responsible for David's brief stint in exile, during which he taught public school.
He reminds James of this by producing a quiz he saved from that time, as a reminder of his private hell: Under each question, the student drew a penis. This was the single sexiest moment in the entire episode, and I say that in full knowledge of how many times Quinn and Charlie kissed.
So James removes his white hat and throws it into the ring with the rest of the damned souls, by agreeing to take Cyrus back if Cyrus will make him Press Secretary. Sound a gong for the sullying of the last remaining blameless soul.
What else? Quinn is officially Charlie's partner and girlfriend, which is even grosser than hearing how Liv tastes.Jake is the new Commander of B613, so that office got a lot hotter. DA David just received a recording of VP Sally's confessional call to Cyrus. And Mama Pope called Liv, sounding like a psycho from a slasher flick: "You'll see me real soon." Or, in 11 weeks.
So which one is the real devil? My money's on the jerk kid who drew those dicks.
Follow Jane Borden on Twitter@JaneBorden