After seven seasons of breakneck plot twists and theatrical monologues on Scandal, it was time for our heroes to finally face their past and fess up to their dark crimes. More importantly, it was time for Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) to earn back her trademark white hat.
Kicking off the hour with a bang, Olivia staged a super-secret meeting with Lonnie Macon who killed himself to ensure that she and the rest of the Gladiators get a proper Senate hearing. With David (Joshua Malina) officially in charge, it was a new game for the group who would now have to testify before a committee about their connection to B613.
On the brink of surfacing her darkest secrets, Olivia turned to Papa Pope (Joe Morton) for some guidance but he wasn't in a mentoring mood. Papa Pope rebuffed his daughter's pleas for help, but not before reminding her that she doesn't need to fix everybody's problems.
Meanwhile, Mellie worried a potential impeachment would erase everything she'd done as president and rightfully so. After all, a connection to a black ops organization responsible for the assassination of world leaders isn't something you want to advertise. But if she's going to go down, she might as well face the music with a clear conscience. The Commander in Chief again admitted her feelings for Marcus and they shared a sweet kiss.
Then, it was time to get down to business: the Senate confessions. Olivia admitted to sending the order to kill President Rashad, Mellie (Bellamy Young) and Fitz (Tony Goldwyn) confessed to being aware of B613, Tom (Oh, hey there!) fessed up to killing Frankie Vargas under Cyrus' orders. Even Hollis got in on the action and confessed to his many indiscretions. With the truth finally out, our heroes prepared for punishment but not before pulling one more scheme: get Quinn (Katie Lowes) and Charlie (whose real name is Bernard!) married in jail.
The happy mood was quickly interrupted by Jake (Scott Foley) who cornered David in the parking garage for some good old threatening. But Zen David was not afraid to die with honor. "I am not your b***h, Jake Ballard," he hit back, standing up for himself. Someone ate their Wheaties today! David then offered Jake a chance to do the right thing and wear the metaphorical white hat. But is Jake really capable of thinking for himself?
Actually, yes. After meeting up with Cyrus, Jake decided to head home instead of taking another order, so that's progress. Officially down an errand boy, it was up to Cyrus to follow through with his plan of getting Mellie impeached. Staging a meeting under the guise of striking a deal, he poisoned the Attorney General and then smothered him with a pillow — his first official kill in the show's seven-year run.
The brutal murder hit Olivia and QPA (and anyone who has a heart, really) hard. An emotional scene at the morgue saw Abby order everyone not to cry or else she wouldn't be able to stop. And after Huck offered to take care of things the B613 way — aka murder — Olivia immediately shot that down. They're the good guys, remember? And welcome back, White Hat Olivia!
With the Senate poised to issue a punishment the next day, Olivia and Fitz faced the possibility of never being alone together ever again. That meant taking full advantage of the moment and enjoying one last hurrah: "Take off your clothes." Right on, Fitz! If only they knew in advance that the hearing would be postponed.
Rowan, who had stayed out of things the entire episode, finally stepped back into the light and faced the Senate as a new witness. Was he there to confess his sins? Oh no! In true Papa Pope fashion, the former B613 Command dropped an eloquent monologue on how he started the secretive organization with his bare hands to help save the country from complicit white men like the ones sitting before him. Mic drop!
Papa Pope also threw Jake under the bus, leaving him to take the hit for all of B613's vicious crimes. At least Jake got one final visit from Olivia, who wondered what would have happened if she hadn't pulled him from that island several years ago. But Jake had no regrets. He did a little good, loved Olivia a lot and will also have those fond memories to fall back on, so that's something. But Cyrus didn't get to walk away unscathed. Olivia offered him one last chance to make things right by signing a confession, which he did. The defeated VP exited the Oval Office, narrowly missing the one position he'd worked all seven seasons to obtain: President of the United States.
And just like that, it's over. Charlie was reunited with Quinn and baby Robin as a free man, Mellie continued on with a successful presidency (with Marcus by her side), Jake was left daydreaming about Olivia in prison, and Abby and Huck said their final goodbyes to David before forging ahead with their lives. As for Olivia, she officially hung up her hat and ditched the seedy underbelly of Washington D.C. for greener pastures with Fitz.
Closing things out on a hopeful note, Scandal wrapped its final shot on a pair of fresh-faced black girls curiously staring at her portrait hanging up in the museum. She might be gone, but her legacy is permanent.