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Scandal Recap: 5 ‘Say What?!’ Moments From the Winter Finale

Jake and Olivia imagining Papa Pope in the line of fire
ABC screenshot
Jake and Olivia imagining Papa Pope in the line of fire
ABC screenshot

Thursday night, Scandal’s winter finale aired—an event so highly anticipated that President Barack Obama moved up his immigration speech to accommodate it. Thank you, Mr. President. Now, if only Shonda Rhimes could get the network to hold all commercials until the end of the show, we would greatly appreciate it. Seriously, why are there so many commercial breaks? And why are they so long?? Give us Scandal!


Here are five “Say what?!” moments from Scandal’s winter finale:

1. Jake taught Olivia how to kill her dad.

Jake gave Olivia a gun and then stood behind her and spoon-hugged her while showing her how to use it as if they were re-creating the pottery-wheel scene from Ghost. Nothing says “I love you” quite like teaching a girl how to murder her father. 


2. Then Olivia actually tried to kill her dad.

Oh, yes, Olivia tried it. 

Once again, Olivia came home to find Papa Pope already inside her apartment. After a few faux pleasantries, he pulled out his gun, commanded her to sit and ripped into her like only Papa Pope can:

“I told you I was leaving you alone, but that wasn’t enough for you. … Apparently, you’re only going to be happy when I’m dead. … I get a daughter who sends her clan of good ol’ boys to kill me, your own blood, every chance you get!”

Then Olivia grabbed the gun and aimed it at her father just like Jake taught her. 

Papa Pope warned her, “Olivia, watch yourself.”

And I yelled at the screen, “Don’t do it, fool!”

But she didn’t listen to either of us. She pulled the trigger.

“ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!” Papa Pope and I yelled in unison. 

As it turns out, the gun didn’t have any bullets. Papa Pope was just testing her to see if he had actually worked hard all his life for a child who would actually kill him. Yep. He did.


Mind you, Olivia hasn’t tried to kill Fitz or Jake or have either of them arrested, convicted or executed, even though Fitz killed her friend Judge Verna in season 2 and Jake killed James last season. (Olivia is the godmother of James and Cyrus’ daughter!) Olivia’s whole squad is made up of murderers, adulterers and election riggers, so this can’t be about Olivia’s father offending her moral compass. This is all about childhood resentment. Look, I get it. Daddy issues die hard. But she was really going to kill her father??

I’m officially done with Olivia. Drag her.

3. Cyrus agrees to turn a sex worker into a househusband.

Elizabeth finally leaked the “sexy time” photos of Cyrus and Michael to the press, so Cyrus resigns and begins to pack his bags for Europe (and probably was preparing to leave his daughter behind on somebody’s doorstep).


And just as I’m on my knees yelling at the sky, “Take Quinn! Take Huck! Take Javi, Kim, Charlie, Lizzy, Leo and Mama Pope! But leave us Cy! I can’t do this without you, Cy!” Olivia convinces him to stay put and fight.

So Cyrus and Michael announce to the press that they are getting married because, as Olivia advised, “America will forgive anything for love.”


And James rolled over in his grave and sat up straight.

4. Olivia and Jake dance (oh, and then Olivia gets kidnapped).

Olivia decides to leave all of her worries behind as she rocks out to Stevie Wonder’s “Don’t You Worry ’Bout a Thing.” Jake reluctantly joins her on her living room-turned-dance floor with a little shoulder action and a lot of finger snapping. (Bless Scott Foley’s heart.) Jake then tells Olivia that he loves her, but Olivia says she’s not choosing between him and Fitz. She’s choosing Olivia. (Whatever. I’m still over Liv.)


When Jake returns from the bedroom with pillows to cushion their piano sex, the music is still playing, Olivia’s glass of wine has spilled all over the couch and Olivia is nowhere to be found. Somebody put out an Ebony Alert.

5. Andrew removes his mask.

In the final moments, Andrew pulls it all together for us. Andrew and Elizabeth were working with Jeremy Winslow’s client, a subsidiary of the West Angolan government, to get Fitz to declare war on West Angola. My guess is that the client is a defense contractor that stands to profit if West Angola goes to war. But when they couldn’t get Fitz to bite, they kidnapped Olivia as leverage. Andrew asked Fitz, in his best attempt to sound menacing, “What is the one thing that, if taken away from you, you would do everything in your power to get back?” (That would be Olivia, in case you missed it.)


And then it was over. And it won’t be back until Jan. 29. What are we gonna do until then, Scandal-heads?

Akilah Green is a recovering Washington, D.C., lawyer-lobbyist-politico turned TV and film writer and producer living in Los Angeles. She currently works for Chelsea Handler’s Netflix talk show, Chelsea. She has also worked as a staff writer for Kevin Hart’s production company, HartBeat Productions, and as a consultant for Real Time With Bill Maher on HBO. In addition, she co-wrote and is producing Scratch, an indie horror-comedy feature film, and is a regular contributor to The Root. Follow Green’s adventures in La La Land on her blog, Twitter and Facebook.

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