WARNING: Spoilers ahead for Scandal Season 5 Finale. Proceed with maximum caution!
If you have just finished watching Season 5 Episode 21, "That's My Girl" then you are probably looking up a therapist's number as we speak. What the hell just happened? So many different plot twists I'm getting whiplash. How can we possibly digest this without a little PTSD? Well, sorry if I trigger some flashbacks but the only way to heal is to talk about. So let's.
With the gazillion attention-stealing scenes in this outrageous finale, it's understandable that you may have forgotten about the "little" things. Jk, it's Scandal, there are no little things.
Let's forget for a hot second that Mellie Grant (Bellamy Young) and Frankie Vargas (Ricardo Chavira) are the two remaining Presidential candidates, and that Jake Ballard (Scott Foley) and Cyrus Beene (Jeff Perry) have joined the race as Vice Presidents. Let's also try to divert our attention away from the fact that Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) was the first person to successfully stand up to Command a.k.a Rowan Pope (Joe Morton), and no one died from it!
1. David Rosen was given another opportunity... That he lost.
Why is it that David Rosen (Joshua Malina) always seems to become the pawn in everyone else's game? In the beginning of the episode, viewers took the ride with Rosen in believing he would be running for vice president. Turns out, this was merely a distraction in Beene's conniving plans. As Elizabeth North (Portia de Rossi) pointed out so brutally, how did he manage to mess up one more good thing in his life?
In Washington D.C. it's certainly rare to get such a pure adorable couple as Susan Ross (Artemis Pebdani) and David. Yet, as a result of being manipulated once again, he messed things up. Is anyone actually a supporter of the Elizabeth North arrangement? Besides her, that is. Rosen, barely took a breath before rebounding into old habits with her. Susan is the true winner in this situation, as much as it stung to watch her sob post-break up in the previous episode. Will she finally find out who the affair was with in Season 6?
2. Mellie Grant was the clear winner... For once.
While Mellie's character seems to do nothing but suffer, things seem to finally be taking a turn for the better. She is the sole Republican nominee, has the popular Jake Ballard as her vice president, has publicly earned her ex-husband President Fitzgerald Grant's support, and even put him in his place.
But enough about that. What is going on with her upcoming romance? We all witnessed that almost kiss between Mellie and Marcus Walker (Cornelius Smith Jr.) in the previous episode. Their spiteful interactions certainly took a quick turn. She has finally fallen for a man who neither kidnapped Olivia nor cheated on her with Olivia. It's still hard to believe Mellie and the White Hat have succeeded in setting their differences aside. Progress.
3. Fitz has made peace with his exes... Despite finding out about Olivia's abortion
Finding out about the abortion consequently repaired Olitz's so-called friendship, but that doesn't mean they're being honest with each other. Olivia still hasn't told him about it, and he still hasn't told her he knows. The President claims he just wants to be friends... But do we believe him? We all heard that little comment about Vermont. We know what that symbolizes and we're onto you, Fitz!
Although most of us had probably forgotten all about Olivia's abortion (a lot has happened this season!), it came back to haunt her in the episode leading up to the finale. Surprisingly, news of this did nothing but good for Olivia. Her rocky friendship with Abby Whelan (Darby Stanchfield) was finally reconciled, Susan Ross withdrew her candidacy from the race, and Fitz even apologized for never properly listening to her.
4. Cyrus almost had Tom kill Michael... But left Tom for Michael instead
We barely had time to wrap our heads around the Cyrus and Tom Larsen (Brian Letscher) love affair before Beene did a full 180... Again. One of those odd pairings when two monsters seem to make a very lovable couple. Really, what is more romantic than plotting Michael's (Matthew Del Negro) murder together? Tom even said he wouldn't do it in front of the daughter. Awww! Weren't they just the cutest?
The big question is what made Cyrus patch things up with his ex-husband? Could it be that he wants to be there to tuck Ella in at night? Yeah, right! Knowing this animal, he's sure to have a few more tricks up his sleeve. Was it simply to maintain his public image for his campaign or is something else cooking? Surprising as it is that Michael just forgave Cyrus out of nowhere, no one was as shocked as Tom. The disbelief in his eyes showed more emotion than the character ever has, but those eyes equally glimmered with suspicion. What is Tom going to do about it?
5. Olivia Pope almost became virtuous again... And then went dark
Anyone who's been paying attention has noticed a gradual but massive shift in the psychology of our beloved Olivia Pope. The woman who only wore white is revealing more daring colors like red and blue in her wardrobe choices. In Hollywood, that's never a coincidence.
She went from the angel of virtue to a distraught murderer who will stop at nothing. To be fair, who wouldn't have broken down and killed their kidnapper with a chair after everything he put her through? Although that scene was the official turning point for Ms. Pope, the transition has been slowly progressing throughout the season and concluded in the finale.
It was alarming how little compassion Olivia showed toward Jake after he begged her to live a normal life together. Doesn't she love him? Everyone agrees that Ms. Pope was not designed for mediocrity, as she made it abundantly clear. Regardless, it was difficult not to pity Jake as he referred to himself as her new bitch... Even if he did poison his father-in-law in the opening scene. Team Jake, anyone?
Also, can you really blame Olivia Pope for taking a little tour through the dark side? After all, she simply followed Huck's (Guillermo Diaz) advice and saved Jake from her father, "like a gangster." That she did. First, she sabotaged Rowan's plans by plotting the destruction of Edison's campaign. Then, she marched right over to her father and called his bluff like a boss. You must admit your heart stopped when he tilted the gun against his supposed son's head.
Huck said it himself, "You can't take Command. [. . .] You have to become Command." Olivia took his advice and her father couldn't be more proud, but was this his plan all along?