That's a wrap on Shonda Rhimes' groundbreaking "Scandal." After seven seasons and more than 100 episodes, Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) and her Gladiators said goodbye to the lives they once knew, as they prepared to face an uncertain future. As is typical for a "Scandal" finale, there were deaths, arrests, twists, turns, sex, shouting and an amazing power walk by Ms. Pope.
But it was also a nail-biting hour of television as Olivia and her team realized the only way to stop the ambitions of Cyrus Beene (Jeff Perry) was to expose everything, even if it meant losing their freedom. And so they did, coming clean in front of a special committee in the Senate about the clandestine organization B613 and absolutely everything they'd done and seen.
Much like "Seinfeld" ran back through the greatest hits of its entire run in its trial-based finale, the Gladiators exposed themselves and all of their activities over the past seven seasons in rapid-fire succession. So damning were their testimonials, it looked like there was no way out of it for any of them, and so they prepared for a future behind bars.
Just when we thought we knew where it was going, the show zigged, then zagged and finally zigged again, with one major casualty along the way. Attorney General David Rosen (Joshua Malina) was the man at the center of the Senate investigation, and so Cyrus decided he needed to go. Anyone in the way of Cyrus' presidential ambition gets snuffed, and poor David proved no different. After Jake Ballard (Scott Foley) refused to kill him, Cyrus got his hands dirty and did it himself via poison ... though if we're being honest, it was the most obvious poisoning we've ever seen; David is way too trusting!
It looked like Cyrus was going to win, until a surprise witness at the last minute flipped everything on its head. Eli Pope's testimony will go down in history as one of the most bizarrely patriotic and arrogant things we have ever witnessed. It was a thing of beauty. Explaining why he created B613, Eli said, "I did so because of you. All of you. The ones in charge, the 'masters of the universe.' White men, whose complacency — whose privilege — left this republic in a state of neglect." He then told them that they needed to serve someone to the American people, but that doesn't mean it needed to be him.
So how did things shake out for our favorite characters? We've compiled a handy rundown of where Shonda Rhimes and her team left everyone.
Eli Pope (Joe Morton) served up Jake Ballard as the sacrificial lamb for B613 to the Senate Committee, who somehow simply accepted that. In doing so, he saved Olivia's team from prison time as their testimonies were all redacted, and was able to finally retire. He was last seen reconnecting with his daughter over dinner.
Jake Ballard backed down from killing David Rosen at the last minute, but was thrown under the bus by Eli Pope to be the sacrificial lamb for B613. Jake was last seen rotting in a prison cell where he'll presumably be for the rest of his life, and yet he looked strangely at peace. [PRISON]
David Rosen stood up to Jake Ballard in a parking garage, even with a gun pointed at his head. Unfortunately, he agreed to talk about a deal with Cyrus Beene that night and was foolish enough to accept a poisoned drink before being smothered to death by a pillow. [DEAD]
Cyrus Beene was within a heartbeat of the presidency as vice president, but after Eli Pope's testimony, Olivia penned a letter of resignation for him. Having killed David Rosen himself, Cyrus revealed he was haunted by his own reeling mind before ultimately signing the papers. He avoided serving any prison time, but also lost any chance at the White House. [RESIGNED]
Fitzgerald Grant III (Tony Goldwyn) was last seen unveiling his official presidential portrait and spending time with Olivia Pope. Not a bad way to enjoy life after the White House.
Mellie Grant (Bellamy Young) was finally standing on her own two feet as president, doing what she thought was right for the country. She was seen signing "The American Assault Weapons Control Act of 2021," and seemingly going public with her relationship with White House Press Secretary Marcus Walker (Cornelius Smith Jr.).
Quinn Perkins (Katie Lowes) was reunited with Charlie (George Newbern), after Eli's testimony set him free from prison. She certainly looked relieved and ready to move forward with Quinn Perkins and Associates. Oh and she and Charlie totally got married (with Huck officiating) and Charlie's real name is Bernard! Like, what?!
Abby Whelan (Darby Stanchfield) was left reeling after the death of David Rosen, and was last seen standing at his graveside with Diego "Huck" Munoz (Guillermo Diaz). There was no indication of any romantic feelings between them, but it was nice to see that she wasn't alone in her grief. It is unclear if they continued working with Quinn Perkins and Associates, or chose another path.
Olivia Pope rejected Mellie's offer to join her administration. Instead, she decided for the first time to stop fixing everyone else's problem and do, "Whatever I want." That meant reconnecting with her father, spending time with Fitz and ... actually smiling! It looks good on her. In the closing moments we see two young black girls looking up at a portrait of Olivia Pope, also hanging in the National Portrait Gallery. Does that mean she became president, or did she earn her place some other way? [RETIRED]