Scandal Review: The Devil In Disguise

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If there were a way to emoji my face while watching tonight's Scandal season 3 finale, it would look something like this: O_O

Except bigger. And bolder. And more OH EM GEE didyouseethat?

Scandal Season 3 Episode 18 delivered one shock after another, as the blows were lobbied back and forth with Papa Pope, the Devil in disguise himself, eventually getting everything he ever wanted and then some, earning the title of Monster.

Papa Pope is an evil genius and somebody better give Joe Morton an Emmy! Holy hell, what a ride!

Sure, he gave his daughter what she wanted - Fitz in office again, unharmed - but there certainly was a price to pay. He killed Fitz' son to make it happen!

Rowan Pope killed an innocent child! All so Fitz would win the election! 

And we thought Cyrus Beene was a soulless animal. At least Cyrus recognizes and sort of seems to hate the fact that he's become this person, telling Leo Bergen that fighting to keep his soul intact is a worthy cause, even if he'll lose his soul to gain the world no matter what he tries.

Rowan Pope is the epitome of the character you love to hate. He's devious yet devoted and will stop at absolutely nothing to get exactly what he wants. What he wanted was Olivia Pope out of the country, starting a new somewhere that is not Washington D.C.

He said as much during Scandal Season 3 Episode 1 when he tried to put Olivia on a plane with a new passport and a bank account, promising to take care of her people. She wasn't having it then, but after making a few realizations about herself, starting over didn't sound like such a bad idea.

It's me. I'm the thing that needs to be fixed. I'm the thing that needs to be handled. I'm the scandal. And the best way to deal with a scandal is to shut it down.


Abby accused Olivia of running away, but Huck understood her. He gets why she would want to start a new life. Jake gets it. That's probably why she took Jake with her when she ran.

Oh yes, Jake fans. He's on a plane with Olivia right now ready to go and stand in the sun with her wherever that plane lands. I don't for one hot minute think they'll actually be anything like happy for any great length of time, but for now, she's chosen Jake.

But it's not like she had much of a choice.

In the wake of the church bombing, as Sally soared in the polls with her Mother Teresa shtick, Fitz looked toward his future with Liv. He seemed excited by the prospect of losing the election because losing meant Vermont. It meant jam. And two little Olitz babies playing on the rug.

Mellie, he said, didn't matter to him. He believed that she'd only used him for the ways hitching her wagon to his star would work to her own advantage. Olivia told him the truth.

People are undoubtedly going to be outraged that Olivia told Fitz the truth about Mellie's rape, and to a certain extent, I get it. It wasn't her truth to tell. She was given Mellie's trust and she broke it. (I won't even venture into the "Mellie should've told him herself" argument.)

What's important about Olivia telling Fitz the truth about Big Jerry and Mellie, from a storytelling standpoint, is that she knew she would lose him when she uttered the words. Or she at least believed it was a distinct possibility. 

Maybe there was a part of her practicing self-sabotage there. Like she can't let herself be happy, or dwell in the possibility of happiness. Maybe she saw a scorned and broken Mellie and recognized her own part in that and decided that telling, even if it meant losing any shred of respect Mellie had left for her, was worth it. 

Whatever the reason, magic happened on Tony Goldwyn's face as Fitz realized that the last 15 years of his marriage--and his reasons for pursuing a relationship with Olivia--had been based on a lie. And not just any lie. It was a lie born of great pain and trauma. 

Mellie's "I fought him...I...fought..." was just perfect. 

She's carried the weight of that for over a decade, not sure anyone would believe her and eventually telling herself that it didn't matter. It wasn't important. She didn't just give up a career for Fitz. She had her own body taken from her. 

And now she's lost her son, the one she anguished over because he was a reminder of that moment where everything in her life changed, shifting slightly off-balance and spiraling over the course of a decade.

All because of Olivia Pope.

For what it's worth, I, me, the writer of this review, do not blame Olivia Pope for the tearing apart of everyone's lives. But Olivia blames herself and that's really what matters as we look ahead to Scandal season 4, and there was plenty of setup for that in tonight's finale.

Charlie's parting gift to Huck and Quinn for their relationship is Huck's family. His real family. The one who thought he died when he went into the hole. Charlie was vindictive in handing over the information knowing that its mere existence would drive a wedge between Huck and Quinn, but Quinn believed that Huck deserved to know that his family was safe and alive and happy. What he chose to do with that information was really up to him.

In the end, he knocked on his wife's door and just gave a simple "hi."

Unless Shonda Rhimes decides that Columbus Short's real-life scandal earns him an on-screen death sentence, Harrison's getting sucked into B613.

He's the one who connected the dots that Rowan Pope was responsible for the death of Fitz' son and that the only reason Adnan Salif was shot was so Harrison would talk all because Rowan gets what Rowan wants. 

And what he wanted was Maya Pope in the hole and his daughter far, far away. 

But what he doesn't yet know, probably, is that David Rosen ordered a lot of paper. Before boarding the plane with Liv, Jake sent David every file he could find so that David can take down the bad guys. 

He is, after all, the white hat.

What did you think of Scandal Season 3 Episode 18? Were you shocked that Rowan Pope killed Fitz' son, and by his reason for doing so? Grade the Scandal finale now!


Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.9 / 5.0 (146 Votes)

Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.


This entire series is bullshit…each and every part of it…well not every part but mostly: 1) the twisted romance that these stupid women watch. In real life, the President would have disappeared her the same way every high profile political man has killed their mistress.
Continues to perpetuate the story that the married man will leave his wife for you if u wait long enuf when there is actually someone else you can go to…but he's a killer too. Jus a prettier one...Most women who are with a married man don't have or cannot get a single man.
2) the secret agency that civilians could take down???
3) her father tried to kill her a million times, gave the order and suddenly its one big happy family? Really? Shonda Rhimes shud stick to Greys Anatomy. But considering Grey was with a married man I think Rhimes has a personal issue with this…. in love with a married man…this is all for the outside women...

@ mya

Yes this is total BS. Shonda continues to depict adulterous behavior. Olivia takes the cake: in love with and sleeping with a married man who is also a murderer. And she's supposed to be the "good guy," so to speak. She is an amoral tramp, a pretty, well-dressed tramp, but still a tramp. And while I like the actor Joe Morton, his role here is beyond ridiculous.


I wonder if Harrison dead. I did hear a shot before they went to black. I hope not. As the writer said, he may have really gone over to B613. I don't know. Olivia is only gone temporarily with Jake. We know she will be back. I guessed before I saw it, that Mama Pope was still of this world. So sorry for Mellie. She's one of my favorites. She might get some loving from Fitz, I hope. Cyrus is bad, but Papa Pope is the devil. lol. What a monster. Why can't he seem to kill Mama Pope? Is it love? Or pure desire to control her. Ah so many things to discuss on this show. Great, great work Shonda Rhimes. You are the best!


I understand that @Miranda loves Scandal:) But a 5 stars rate to this episode (and for almost every episode of the season, btw)?! Sorry, not in my book...for me this episode deserves a 3 star at best! Not a finale material, at least not for me. But to be honest I find the entire season a total letdown...too messy, too "soapy" and in the end we are basically at the same point of the beginning...and that after 18 episodes! I may check the stat of the new season, altough I´m sure we´ll see Olivia coming back running to Fitz. But unless the show takes a total twist and gets back to what it once was, I for one won´t be watching anymore...


The show as a whole was okay but I really miss Olivia fixing the crisis of the week. I can't really put a name to what it's become. A parody or a joke maybe.


Blah. This finale sucked. And I miss what the show once was. Now it's "All my children" on drugs. I am really disappointed. So many inconsistencies. It really feels like most the characters on drugs with all the sharp turns they take. It's become nauseating to watch.


Just curious, but what happened to Mellie and Fitz' baby? Um, lol. Don't they have a third child? I thought the show was good otherwise though.

@ Yana

the baby was shown earlier in the episode (or was it the previous episode)? But I guess he's too small to bring out on the podium.


Why exactly was mama pope picking up a suitcase full of money in payment for the assasination that failed? And no one on the street noticed that she was taken away by a bunch of scary looking men with automatic weapons???


I commented a few weeks ago that it was becoming a soap opera and not a very good won. Someone pointed out inconsistencies. I know you need to take TV with a grain of salt; however, give the audience some semblance if intelligence. Rowen had a major slashing and within a day, he's up and at his desk. Really. Fitz didn't even get emotional when his son died. Really. And those were only in this episode. Shonda - go back to the core of Scandal - Olivia is a strong woman, with the ability to command people and fix difficult situations. She had been reduced to a weak, indecisive, sniffling wimp. This season was bad.

@ TV Land

Again, Olivia is NOT a strong woman, but a weak-willed tramp who has sacrificed ALL of her ideals for a roll in the hay with the married, murdering president!

@ TV Land



To be completely honest... I went into this episode looking forward to being blown away by a finale leading to where the next chapter/season will take us. By the end of the episode it felt like they'd just taken us in a giant circle.

Drea xoxo

FINALLY THE SECRET WAS REVEALED!! it was starting to become annoying. Couldn't get over one of the bodyguards being apart of B613 never saw that coming. rowan being behind the death of jerry wasn't so much a shock, liv wasn't clear in demands of what her dad couldn't do..... glad she's gone away for a bit but with jake i secretly wanted someone new to jazz it up you know... thoughts for next season:
follows season 1 style, not too many episodes, not another hiatus PLEASE NO!!
mellie and fitz lead seperate lives and have partners.
liv and jake attempt a relationship but realise friendship is stronger...

@ Katerina's Gladiator

Thanks Elijah. I didn't realise that the bodyguard was part of B613. I saw him but it didn't click. Thanks for that observation.

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Scandal Season 3 Episode 18 Quotes

I do not like him, but Olivia, I do love you, and I want you to have everything, everything you deserve. So when I say I wish I could help, I do wish I could help. I wish I could help you.


Olivia: We're gonna lose the election on Tuesday.
Cyrus: Let's be honest. We lost the election today.