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‘Scandal’ finale: Villains smile under masks

- April 18th, 2014

Shakespeare once said, “One may smile, and smile, and be a villain.”

It’s an aspect to storytelling Shonda Rhimes and her crew over in Shondland have perfected with their thrilling political drama, Scandal.

In Thursday’s season finale, sly grins and surreptitious handshakes were passed around and collected, subtly woven into the dramatic events unfolding in every act.

Ironically, the biggest event of the finale, the “shocking” death audiences had been bracing themselves for was the most lackluster part of the episode.

Unlike shows like Game of Thrones or Breaking Bad, Scandal has always been about the subtext and the surprising dramatic moments.

Instead of killing off President Fitzgerald Grant or Vice President Sally Langston, like the previous episode had set up audiences to believe, final goodbyes were said to Grant’s pesty, but somewhat likeable anarchistic son Jerry and one of the criminal henchman introduced over the course of the season, Adnan Salif.

Even their deaths were pretty boring. Jerry was basically poisoned with a rare viral strain of meningitis while Salif didn’t even earn an on screen kill, instead just a passing note of her death and a quick glimpse of the crime scene.

The genius in Scandal, however, isn’t in the ferociously ambitious gasp moments, but in the smaller events that occur throughout the episode.

Scandal’s third season finale provided fans with the closure sought for so long. The big bang moments came in the wrap-ups of plot lines that had spanned three seasons.

Olivia and Fitz, the couple that you wouldn’t want to befriend on Facebook because you know they’re going to be switching from “In a relationship” to “It’s complicated” every other week, finally called it quits.

Olivia, villainous to her own desperate relationship, lies to Fitz and informs him that his wife Mellie had been raped by his father and that his son wasn’t actually his, instead of confessing she knew the truth behind Mellie’s decade spanning affair with his younger brother, Andrew.

Olivia pushes him away, cementing their relationship shut, all with a fake smile plastered on her face, before skipping out on town, physically abandoning the troubled affair, and taking off with her on again, off again boy toy Jake.

Just as Olivia was putting her mask on, however, others that had been plastered on for seasons finally slipped.

Olivia’s sociopathic father, Rowan, the famous command leader of the government’s secret assassin organization B6-13, was finally revealed and confirmed as the serpent hiding within the garden we always thought he was.

It’s a testament to the show writer’s brilliance, however, that we even questioned his morals.

At one point in the finale, Jake and the ethically confused lawyer David begin referring to B6-13 as Voldemort, anxiously talking about how they need to bring it to its knees.

If B6-13 was Voldemort this entire time, Rowan was it’s Professor Snape…to an extent. We questioned whether Snape was working for Voldemort or the brilliantly good Professor Dumbledore for seven books, only learning that he was in fact a stand up guy within the last moments of the seventh book.

Through charming smiles and aside conversations, they manage to keep us questioning whether we can trust them or not.

After learning, however, that Rowan was the man who orchestrated Jerry’s death in order to rise to the top of the political ladders once more, we can confirm he’s definitely evil.

Like every finale in history though, Shonda and her team have left us with a bit of a cliffhanger.

In the last moments, Olivia’s golden boy employee Harrison is being held at gunpoint by her father after learning his incriminating secret.

Fitz has been reelected President, but has collapsed on the floor of his oval office, mentally paralyzed, unable to address his nation.

And, of course, Olivia has run off with Jake, turning her back on the entire Washington scene.

After the adrenaline filled hour of terrific television Shonda has left us with, we only have one question: can we have the fourth season now?

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