'Scandal' draws to an inconclusive conclusion


By Jordyn Kay, For the Daily
Published April 20, 2014

There was hope.


Season Finale

There was hope that the season finale of “Scandal” would pull everything together, make sense of the insane, erratic and confusing season that viewers have been subjected to this year by producer-writer Shonda Rhimes. That hope was quickly lost, probably within the finale’s first 15 minutes.

It seems that instead of providing closure and answers, as a good season finale should, “Scandal” has brought us back to a place we have already been: Papa Pope is the monster … again. Jake warned Olivia; she wouldn’t listen, after all, she finally had that daddy-daughter relationship she was so desperate for. But Jake was right, Eli Pope is evil, and that isn’t something that just goes away. Maybe it hid in the shadows for a while, waiting for the right time to emerge, but the evil inside of Eli Pope is undeniable now. He was responsible for killing Jerry Grant, a teenage boy, the son of the president, the son of the man that Olivia is in love with, in the most shocking turn of events. No matter what his (undeniably) twisted reason was, that is a kind of evil that Olivia will never be able to forgive him for. Good thing she doesn’t have the slightest idea that he’s responsible for it.

It was nice to be able to think for a while that Eli Pope was good and Maya Pope, Olivia’s mother, was evil. She was the terrorist, the murderer and the person who needed to be brought down. And she truly was all of these things. However, so is Olivia’s father. So here we are back at square one. Eli Pope has been reinstated as command of B613, and he has returned to his lifestyle of locking people up in dark holes (this time his crazy wife) and ordering murders. Does this sound familiar? It should, the show has already been here. For some shows a circular plot works; Rhimes uses it on “Grey’s Anatomy,” and viewers are still responding after ten seasons. With “Scandal” though, it was time to move forward, questions needed to be answered and certain plot lines needed to be closed.

All Olivia wants is to be able to “stand in the sun.” Yet, Olivia is the woman who can fix everything, and the thing that needs fixing most is her own parents.

What do you do when almost every person you know is corrupt and a murderer? Apparently for Olivia Pope the answer is to quit OPA and hop on a private jet and run away. After all, Olivia’s close friend Cyrus was willing to let a church explode with hundreds of people inside just to win an election, which somehow wasn’t even the most shocking and important part of this finale. Her father is a murderer, and her mother and her boyfriend and her other boyfriend and the people she works with, the list goes on and on. Olivia Pope, the woman who refuses to quit and can supposedly handle anything has run away from all her problems. But don’t worry, she brought Jake with her to “stand in the sun,” because a person actually can stand in the sun with someone who took over as command of B613 and personally murdered James Novak and two other people. No, there’s no dark shadow following him around. On the bright side though, at least Olivia finally made a decision.

Jake or Fitz? Jake or Fitz? All season long Olivia has gone back and forth dragging viewers along with her. She sits on the phone with Jake, then she has a little rendezvous with Fitz in the Oval Office. Neither relationship is really healthy, but at least she has finally picked someone. And being that Jake is neither married nor the president of the United States, he does seem like the more appropriate and logical choice.

Olivia was once so strong, she stood tall in her white hat, a gladiator in a suit and gorgeous jackets, sure of herself and her mission. She was there to fix things, but while she was busy fixing everyone else’s problems, hers built up and now Olivia can’t even handle her own life. She’s the one who needs fixing.

If the series is renewed for another season, which in all likeliness it will be, it’ll be interesting to see where Rhimes takes this story. Olivia can’t run away forever, she’ll be back. Getting on a plane and fleeing from all of her issues and everyone she knows will not help her stand in the sun. In order for Olivia to ever be able to find peace, she will need to pull everyone else out of the darkness and expose them, and since everyone she knows seems to be covered in darkness, it’s clear she has a lot of work to do.