What happened on tonight’s episode of Scandal, the fall finale a.k.a. the last new episode of the year until it comes back Feb. 27, 2014?
First, a recap of last week’s episode, “YOLO.” Huck tortures Quinn (he licks her face, in one of the weirder moments in the series’ history, and pulls out her teeth) when he suspects (correctly) that she is working with Charlie and Rowan (a.k.a. Eli Pope a.k.a. Olivia’s father) for B613, the super-secret off-the-books black-ops agency Rowan runs. He only pulls out one tooth and Quinn agrees to help out Huck and Olivia and the gang instead of going through with whatever plan B613 had. She and Charlie go see Rowan and she asks him for the security footage of her killing that security guard from a few episodes ago. She’s hiding a syringe in her pocket and looks like she’s about to use it on Rowan, but Rowan isn’t the bad guy, maybe?! Rowan had Olivia’s mom locked up for 20 years (Olivia thought her mom died after the plane she was travelling in was shot down by the now-POTUS who was in the U.S. Navy at the time), but why? Turns out Maya Pope is actually Marie Wallace, and SHE’s the terrorist! Olivia spends the episode trying to smuggle her mother out of the country and only figures out Mama Pope is a terrorist when she’s on a plane. Meanwhile, at the White House: Sally Langston, the president’s VP, tells President Grant that she is planning on running as an Independent and against him in the next election. Bad news for the Grant campaign: Langston is a pro-life born-again Evangelical Christian. They need her if they’re gonna get the Republican base! Cyrus sends her a warning to toe the line or else in the form of photographs, specifically photos of her husband in a compromising position with a (male) reporter – James, Cyrus’s husband! – who was interviewing him for a magazine profile. The episode ends with a shot of Langston on the phone with Cyrus (“I’ve committed a sin”) and her husband lying on the floor in his blood.
So: Quinn is about to stab Rowan with a syringe; Mama Pope is a terrorist and fled the country in an escape plan Olivia helped put together; Sally killed her husband and is asking Cyrus for help.
Episode 3.10 of Scandal, “A Door Marked Exit”
Sally Langston. In the study. With a letter opener. The episode opens with the last fight Langston and her closeted husband Daniel Douglas will ever have; she accuses him of never supporting her, he accuses her of knowing he was gay when they met and that no other man would ever put up with her. So she stabbed him in the back and called Cyrus, who shows up and is sick (literally – this show gets more graphic every week) when he realizes he started all this.
Rowan gets word that his wife has been located, so the deal with Quinn (a favour for B613 in exchange for the security footage of her killing the guard) is off. She runs to the bathroom, gets rid of the syringe and the tracking device Huck D.D.S. planted in her mouth. Rowan’s car is pulled over and sent to an interrogation room with POTUS.
Fitz wants to know why Rowan would imprison Maya for 22 years and why he would lead Olivia to believe her mom was dead. Rowan’s answer: “That’s a matter of national security, and it’s above your pay grade.”
Cyrus calls Charlie (with his new sidekick, Quinn) to clean up the Langston crime scene. He tells Langston she has to say that Daniel died of a heart attack. She’s torn, but it looks like she might go along with it.
Meanwhile, it’s a race at Pope and Associates to find Quinn who’s gone rogue and Maya’s plane. Jake tells Olivia that the revelations don’t mean that her dad is a good guy, just a less-bad guy.
And Sally IS going along with the heart attack thing. A doctor comes to the VP’s house to check the body but after she looks like she’ll let him, she lunges when he tries to undress him to check his body. He’ll just say his heart stopped a few hours ago. Cool.
“Daniel Douglas is dead!” Mellie walks into Cyrus’s office with glee. Cyrus knows, Mellie. “Hell hath no fury like a woman whose husband is screwing another man.”
Rowan and Fitz’s tete-a-tete: Fitz tells Rowan he can tell him about how his daughter tastes (seriously), Rowan lashes out at Fitz, a spoiled boy who goes to sleep crying at night because his father hurt his feelings; he tells him he’s had everything handed to him in a monologue that allowed actor Joe Morton to flex his acting chops for the first time since the first episode of the season. “You love that (Olivia) is a door marked exit,” Rowan tells Fitz, and that he doesn’t have to be his father’s son if he runs off with her.
Campaign manager Leo wants to use Daniel’s death as an opportunity for Sally to rebrand as the “brave widow.”
Quinn wants to go home and get her clothes and stuff but Charlie just wants to cuddle. You’re suffocating her, man.
James goes to David Rosen with hopes that he’ll help him get to Daniel’s body before they bury him. James thinks Daniel was murdered. David says, No way dude! Remember Defiance and how you ruined my career?
Huck and Jake track down Rowan at the Pentagon. Olivia’s turn for a monologue: she figures out Maya lied to Rowan; there was never a bomb on the plane but Maya let Rowan believe there was, leading him to make the tough call of blowing up the plane and killing 300-odd people instead of the thousands it would have (not) killed had it blown up over London, where she was headed to sell government secrets. Olivia commands Fitz to arrest Maya the second she gets off the plane which is supposed to land in Hong Kong.
Rowan is let go. He asks for his coat and tie. Quinn escapes Charlie’s love dungeon and just strolls into Pope & Associates HQ where Huck says the meanest thing you can tell anyone: “You’re not a gladiator anymore.” It was preceded by threats of torture, skin peeling and death, but Huck won’t do that. For Olivia!
Cyrus’s final plea to James is really heartfelt. He’s in his underwear and tells him he he’ll always love him, but if James leaves him James will be ruined: no money, no job and Cyrus will get full custody of “the beautiful baby girl I bought for you.” (they adopted a girl last season)
Fitz calls Olivia to tell her that her mom’s plane never made it to Hong Kong. They found it abandoned, sans Maya, with the pilots and soldier shot dead – bullet to their heads. Maya’s gone.
“I loved you. Whatever happens next I want you to know that I loved you. I love you.” Jake’s goodbye to Olivia.
Quinn comes back to Charlie’s. Huck has led her into the arms of another hitman.
Leo keeps pushing this Sally reinvention and she is not having it:
“Daniel Douglas is in hell. Because he is a sodomite. He is a godless sinner and he deserves what he got.”
An IT wiz who helped the NSA spy on Americans by recording their phone conversations comes to David with a recording of Sally saying: “I’ve committed a sin.” Lightbulb; James was right.
Rowan walks the long hallway to his office only to find out Jake is the new head of B613. With the support of the President.
“Press secretary.” That’s what James wants from Cyrus so he’ll stay.
Olivia gets a phone call. It’s her mom. “I just wanted to hear your voice. I know you must be angry. I’ll see you real soon,” she
says threatens. Maya throws her phone in the trash; as the shot pans out, the White House is revealed. Maya was in Washington, D.C. all along.
See you Feb. 27, 2014, Scandal!