The Scandal season 4 finale picks up with right where we left off—with Papa Pope masquerading as a big-money donor who wants to support Mellie’s campaign. Mellie should have known something was amiss when he introduced himself as “Demascus Bainbridge.” I guess when creating an alias to use right before ruining someone’s life, you should have some fun with it. Why not Abner Sugarniscious? Or Pensicola Buglethorn? Go big!
The jig is up, however, as soon as Rowan (aka Papa Pope, aka Eli Pope) slides Mellie a file that includes evidence of all manner of White House wrongdoing—from photos of Mellie and Andrew’s sexcapades to information about Operation Remington. In exchange for his silence, Rowan wants a list of the names of all the jurors serving on Attorney General David Rosen’s grand jury panel. Then Rowan has them all killed on their lunch break … as though people needed another reason to avoid jury duty.
At this point (in life), Olivia is so tired of losing to her father, she seeks out her mother’s advice about how to beat him. Sigh. When all you want to do is talk to your mama, but your mama is Maya Pope. After her mother finishes laughing at her, she points out that Rowan has several enemies … they just don’t know he exists. So Olivia decides to put the CIA director on notice about B613.
You Can’t Take Command, but …
Mellie is freaked out when she learns that the list of names that she gave “Demascus” included all of the jurors who wound up dead, so she confesses to Cyrus that she handed over that list to protect the White House. At Mellie’s mention of Remington, Cyrus knows that Demascus is Papa Pope. Papa Pope tells Cyrus that he owes him for wiping out that group of jurors and, in return, he wants Cyrus to make sure that no one ever mentions B613 ever again.
So Cyrus stops by the CIA and convinces the director to arrest Olivia and Jake. By threatening Abby’s life, he forces David to coerce Olivia and Jake into signing affidavits swearing that they know nothing about B613 in exchange for their freedom, and he gives Mama Pope her freedom in exchange for her silence as well.
As Olivia is at home in bed resting after a long day of losing, her father calls to tell her that he has killed all of the remaining B613 agents left who could have identified him, blown up the B613 files and set her mother free. He says that Olivia has killed Command, but she didn’t kill Eli Pope, who is “just an old, doddering paleontologist who works for the Smithsonian.” He chuckles as he thanks her for his freedom.
Olivia is ready to concede defeat when Quinn points out that the last remaining evidence of B613’s existence is the $2 billion that Huck stole from them. Huck says that the money has been laundered so much that it could have come from anywhere. … The next thing you know, the police arrest Papa Pope at his day job for embezzling funds from the Smithsonian—before he can even begin a monologue.
When Jake and Olivia visit him behind bars, she leaves him with these words: “You can’t take Command, but you can take Eli Pope.”
Meanwhile, Quinn figures out that Huck killed those jurors for Rowan because Rowan was threatening to kill his wife and child. She holds a gun to his head and threatens to kill him like the animal he is, and he begs her to put him out of his misery. What the Huck??
Here Comes the Sun
For some foolish reason, Mellie confides in Lizzy about Demascus, which seems about as smart as confessing to a double homicide on Instagram. Of course Lizzy tells Fitz everything, and as Mellie celebrates her election night victory in the Oval Office, Fitz abruptly asks, “You think I’d let you be president after what you did?” Welp. Nothing kills the mood like mentioning the mass murder you just facilitated. Mellie tries to explain that she did it for them, but Fitz literally sends her packing out of the White House with only time to gather an overnight bag. Then he fires Cyrus … and makes Lizzy his chief of staff?
And for the most heart-wrenching moment of the episode, Jake walks Olivia to her door and says, “I have delivered you home safe and sound. My mission is complete.” He explains, “I’m in love with you, but you’re in love with him.” Then he finally hops off the Olivia train and encourages her to go get what’s hers.
Fitz returns to the White House after looking for Olivia at her apartment, only to find her waiting for him on his balcony. Fitz asks, “What happens now?” Olivia replies, “Whatever we want.” Well, apparently, they want kissing—and lots of it—as Nina Simone’s “Here Comes the Sun” sends us off.
It looks like Olivia and Fitz have won … for now. But we know that in life and on Scandal, it ain’t over till it’s over. See you next season, Scandal!
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.