What a Scandal Season 1 finale, right? Poor Gideon, poor Olivia, poor Fitz - and hello, Mellie, First Lady of evil!
Below, our panel of Round Table experts - Jim Garner, Leigh Raines, Miranda Wicker and Carla Day - attempt to answer some of the burning questions from an episode that has us hanging on until September...
Who IS Quinn Perkins? Speculate on her secret.
Jim: I can tell you who she's not - a doctor - or she would have known pulling the scissors out was a bad idea. I'm guessing she is in the witness protection program or maybe she is royalty; queen of the "deer in the headlights" people.
Leigh: Someone in witness protection is a good guess, but I'm feeling more like she's got a criminal background. I truly cannot wait to find out in Season 2! Great setup by Shonda (a woman who ripped my heart out just an hour before this episode with the Grey's Anatomy finale.)
Miranda: Right, Jim? She put her hands on those scissors and I shouted out "DO NOT TOUCH THOSE!" And then she did and it was over. RIP, Gideon. I think Quinn will have ties to someone in D.C. Someone high profile who wants her to stay hidden like her awkward nature makes it seem she has been her whole life. An illegitimate daughter, maybe?
Carla: A criminal would be too obvious. I like the idea of the secret daughter or in witness protection. I'm going with that she was involved in something huge as a child. A high profile media event of some sort: a kidnapping, self-defense killing, corrupt parents, child hidden in closet when her family was brutally murdered, etc.
Cyrus is behind Amanda's death: Shocked or saw it coming?
Jim: Both shocking and not a surprise. I'm not surprised that he was capable of having someone killed. I'm shocked he would have let an assassin know where he lives.
Leigh: Pretty shocked. I'm thinking per Miranda's review that both he and Billy could've put a hit out on Amanda and wanted her dead. I don't think they were working together. I think that Cyrus panicked and wanted to protect Fitz. Did he know the truth about her and Billy? I'm veering towards no.
Miranda: Completely shocked, but I should've seen it coming. I thought his original nonchalance over her death was a misdirect meant to make us think that he'd been behind it, but then Billy acknowledged he'd put the hit out on her and Huck went to Charlie and said Billy was the problem. I thought it was done. Little did I know...
Carla: Not shocked, but didn't see it coming either. Disappointed. If that comes out, it means trouble for Fritz. And, really, he is a nice guy.
Is Billy Chambers really dead?
Jim: Nah. There is no way the assassin was good enough to take him without surprise on his side. I think the assassin was leaving town in a hurry so he wouldn't have to explain his failure to Huck.
Leigh: It would tie things up too neatly. It all depends on whether or not the writers have decided to be done with the Amanda Tanner storyline. Is she season one history? If so then yes, Billy is dead, there is a suicide note, Mellie might get pregnant and the whole nightmare will be history. If not then there is a hell of a twist in there somewhere.
Miranda: Billy looked so depressed when he saw the V.P. on TV he seemed on the verge of taking himself out of the game. However, no body, no death. I don't think we've seen the last of Billy Chambers. Can you imagine the secrets he must have about the V.P.? She might become Olivia's client before the second season is over.
Carla: It may depend on whether or not Matt Letscher is available. He was in the pilot for The Carrie Diaries. I think Billy killed himself, but confessed everything to the assassin first, which causes him run.
It looks like Olivia has given up the President to save his career. Should she have let him resign instead?
Jim: She gave him up for the country because she believes Cyrus when he says that Fitz is destined for bigger things. She should have never let him consider resigning.
Leigh: Olivia couldn't have let him resign. If she had her happy ending with Fitz, not only would he have given up his entire career, she would have too. Think about it. Nobody would condone the president marrying his mistress and many of her business ties would have shriveled up. Olivia would have lost a lot of the respect she has from colleagues and it would've killed her reputation.
Miranda: It would've caused a dramatic shift in the direction of the show for next season if she'd let him resign, but part of me really, REALLY wanted him to do it on the 20/20 segment and shock both Mellie and Olivia. What can I say, I'm a hopeless romantic. Mellie is one crazy, egotistical, manipulative lady and now the poor guy is stuck with her. I feel bad for their kids.
Carla: No. She couldn't let him give up his presidency for her. Mellie just provided the way out of the situation. Olivia and Fitz won't be able to get together anytime soon, if ever.
Favorite scene from the finale.
Jim: Mellie and Olivia's meeting. It was very clear that Mellie knew and supported Olivia keeping Fitz "happy" and on track. The fact she blamed Olivia for Amanda was both frightening and awesome because of how true it was. I can't wait to see what Mellie does in season 2.
Leigh: I'm going with Jim on this one, Mellie Grant is a powerhouse. She knocked that scene with Olivia out of the park. Not only was she aware of Olivia as his mistress, but she welcomed it as long as it kept Fitz on track! Mellie blamed Olivia for letting him spiral out of control. It almost reminded me of Big Love in a way with Fitz having different wives who took care of different needs, twisted but fascinating. Mellie was such an underrated character. Total MVP after that.
Miranda: It's a tie for me: For the dark humor factor, I loved Huck's "Okay, that's cool, whatever" when he asked Olivia about taking care of Billy Chambers. I probably shouldn't have laughed, but I did. I also loved Fitz putting the V.P. in her place. Times like that make me think Fitz actually IS President-material in the way that Cyrus sees him.
Carla: The Mellie/Olivia scene was awesome, but since it's been mentioned, I'll go with the Gideon murder clean-up scene. Umm ... they seemed to be pros at cleaning up a murder scenes. It was crazy! And, there was so much blood, how was it possible that Olivia didn't get a single mark on her long white coat. Olivia's team can seem to do anything.