'Scandal' Season 3 finale recap, 'The Price of Free and Fair Elections'

For The Baltimore Sun

I must admit, with a very heavy heart, that the Season 3 finale of "Scandal" disappointed me. Too many storylines to wrap up so quickly. Plus, Fitz and Quinn are both still alive and being the worst, and that’s never OK.

We start off at the senator’s funeral. Cyrus is all set to let it blow up, with everyone inside, but fortunately, less evil folks discover Maya’s plan and Fitz is able to get the church evacuated before the bomb can go off.

The whole building promptly explodes as soon as the last person leaves, and Sally?  She takes some valuable advice from Leo Bergen and stays on the scene to dress wounds and play the hero. “This can be your Pearl Harbor” and “Be Jesus” were the two lines that seemed to have the most impact. And the press ate it up. The news stations stopped paying attention to Fitz’s White House press conference on the bombing and focused on Sally, giving thoughtful speeches and looking capable in the midst of rubble and wounded people.

Basically, everyone assumes that Fitz lost the election, which would probably be great news for the Republic, except the only other nominee is Sally.

Everyone else is still fretting over last week’s spilled milk. David’s furious that Jake hasn’t arrested Cyrus for literally attempting to murder hundreds of actual people (David calling Cyrus “Voldemort” was especially awesome), Adnan is holding Harrison at gunpoint and acting flirty, and Huck and Quinn are officially a thing. Abby and Harrison actually walk in on the two of them having gross sex on the table, right next to a pool of Papa Pope’s blood because…blood’s like an aphrodisiac to them.  

Side note: How is that Charlie hasn’t killed the both of them? Growth. But that doesn’t stop him from pettily dropping the bomb that will probably break them up forever. It’s a file, but what it contains is…just cruel. But more on that later.

First, we have to focus on How Fitz is the Worst This Week. Despite the fact that Liv’s father is riddled with stab wounds thanks to her mom, Fitz is still whining to her about how he’s about to lose the election. Of course, Liv feels guilty, because it was her mom’s bomb that helped push Sally up in the polls. 

He tells her that there could be a bright side to him losing the election: Vermont. Dang it. Next season, can we get a moratorium on the words/phrases “Vermont,” “stand in the sun” and “monsters”? They’re all giving me “white hat” flashbacks.

Liv insists that he can’t divorce Mellie, because she’s trying to be a better person these days. Of course, he starts on a tirade about how Mellie is vindictive and self-serving and blah, blah, blah. Liv finally can’t take it anymore, so she steps far outside of her business and tells Fitz that Big Jerry raped Mellie.

In a rare moment of decency, Fitz rushes to Mellie’s side, and Drunk Mellie (awesomely) responds to his sudden change of heart with, “Olivia can’t do anything right.” She really can’t, you guys. They have a tender moment in which Fitz is treating Mellie like an actual person, but of course, the episode’s not over. There’s a sliver of good news, though. Lil’ Jerry is Fitz’s biological son, so we can stop shuddering over that one.

Quinn’s busy falling right into Charlie’s trap. That file he handed her? It was information on Huck’s actual family, the one that Eli/Rowan stole from him when he forced him to join B613. The family that thinks Huck is dead. They’re alive and well and Quinn takes Huck to their house and tries to convince him to talk to them, because she loves him and wants him to be happy. As Charlie predicted, Huck loses it and tells Quinn never to speak to him again. You didn’t think that through, Quinn.

Liv goes to the hospital to visit Eli/Rowan, who is being really tender and dad-like, which instantly makes me suspicious. That will have to wait though, because Liv has to go into the lobby and call Fitz to give him a pre-speech pep talk and apologize for a gazillion things that aren’t totally her fault.

When she comes back into the bedroom, her dad is asleep and Marie Wallace/Maya Pope is perched at the foot of Eli/Rowan’s bed, gloating. Liv storms in and threatens to call security, without reaching for a single phone. She’s really more worried about asking her mother if she ever loved any of them. Marie cryptically says that Liv will never understand, and manages to leave. 

The Grants are still being kind to each other right before Fitz gives what he thinks will be the last big speech of his political career. What the speech is about doesn’t really matter. What matters is that Lil’ Jerry is on stage spitting up blood like King Joffrey. A few quick scenes later and we find out that he’s dead.

When they get to the hospital, the doctors tell the sobbing Grants that Lil’ Jerry was infected with a rare type of meningitis. Within moments Secret Service Agent/B613 operative Tom walks up to Fitz with a file that proves that Maya/Marie was actually behind Jerry’s death, poisoning him with a vial of meningitis that was in some high security lab. How is this woman accomplishing all of this solo? Is she a wizard? Go ahead and tell me if that’s the season 4 plot twist, right now. 

Right on cue, Eli/Rowan comes shuffling out of his hospital room to pay his condolences. Fitz vows that he will kill Maya/Marie for this, but Eli/Rowan reminds him that he can’t afford to have blood on his hands. Eli/Rowan’s willing to provide all the help that Fitz needs, though.

Liv, on the other hand, has officially had it with everything and everybody. She calls her dad and asks him if there’s anyway he can get her on that plane he offered at the beginning of the season – the one that will take her to a great place where fun never ends, or something. She’s realized that she’s the problem, but the folks at OPA obviously aren’t happy. Abby looks like she just found out Santa isn’t real, and you really have to marvel at her loyalty. How hasn’t she given up on Liv already?

She’s packing up to leave when Jake shows up at her apartment, asking her to take him with her so that they can go stand in the sun and I guess have babies that stare at the world intensely and promise to fix everything.

But Eli/Rowan already has “fix everything” scratched off his to do list. According to him, Maya/Marie is dead, which of course is music to Fitz’s ears. Fitz reinstates Eli/Rowan as Command.

Harrison drops by the Smithsonian for some reason that I don’t totally get, and Eli/Rowan promptly shows him a photo of a dead Adnan, claiming that Maya/Marie killed her. That’s when Harrison has a revelation that allows him to solve this entire mystery Scooby Doo-style.

Eli/Rowan has been behind everything, all along. From the very moment that Fitz and Jake booted him from B613, he has been planning and plotting to get them all right where he wanted. How did he pull this last stunt off? With the help of Secret Service Agent/B613 operative Tom. He’s the one who killed Lil’ Jerry, stabbing him with a syringe he fixed to the back of his class ring. He also shot Adnan. I’m pretty sure they killed Harrison for being too smart for his own good, but there’s no way to be sure, since the scene ends before we can see what happens to him.

What we do know is that Liv and Jake made it on that plane…and that she doesn’t have any plans on answering Fitz’s calls from the White House. He got reelected (watching Cyrus cheer about the news is hilarious) but he’s still grieving for Lil’ Jerry. It’s hard to feel too sorry for him though, because he asks his grieving wife for Olivia. See what I meant about his decency being short-lived?

And Maya/Marie? She’s down in the newly reinstated B613 torture hole. Let’s see how she gets out of this one.

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