On Thursday’s “Scandal” finale, Olivia and the presidential election were both seriously shaken up. Here are the most important things to know about “That’s My Girl,” the 21st and last episode of season 5.
The show began with Jake hanging out with Vanessa’s father, who he fatally poisoned so she (really Jake and Papa Pope) would get her $500 million inheritance. After he was already dead, Jake called 911. Edison delivered Jake’s escape message to Olivia, and was pissed off when she expressed disinterest. Huck urged her to “save him,” but she still feared her dad would kill him if she got involved.
With Tom’s surveillance, Cyrus found out Michael and their daughter were now living in Virginia. He put the issue aside to ask David if he’d like to be Frankie’s vice presidential running mate. But when he returned to Frankie’s headquarters, he found Papa Pope there, offering to throw his support behind them. He threatened to tell Frankie about Cyrus’ string-pulling, unless he put Jake on the ticket. And with that, Cyrus told Frankie he supported the idea.
Liz was actually thrilled when Cyrus wanted David on board, but only because she wanted to join the campaign, and then eventually get back in the Oval with the new administration. He was affronted, blaming her for ruining his relationship with Susan, but she shot back that she was hurt, too. And yet they ended up hooking up.
Meanwhile, Olivia narrowed down Mellie’s VP contenders to three who met the three Ms: “male, married, and military.” Bill Wagner, the governor, was deemed the most “perfect” of the trio, despite copping to selling cocaine in college to pay off his student loans. To stop that from getting out, Quinn and Huck offered a new identity to the one university pal who knew about it.
Fitz looked forward to being a “free man” in five months and potentially living in Vermont, and was game to prep a speech supporting Mellie at the Republican convention. But his peaceful mood was ruined when he discovered Olivia’s medical files about her abortion in Abby’s office. She explained why she had them, but he thought they were a “lie.”
Cyrus told Olivia that her dad was “hijacking” his campaign, and confessed that he staged the hostage situation, and Papa Pope was now using it as leverage. She was outraged that innocent people died because of him, but he pointed out that they’d both lose if her father was able to move forward with his Frankie-Jake plan.
Mellie was angered when Fitz’s speech draft came off as self-centered, and when she confronted him, he insisted that talking about himself and not her (and their history) would actually aid her campaign. She still saw him as “arrogant,” and taunted him about getting to this place on her own because she managed to “escape” him… like Olivia did.
Midway through the episode, Olivia secretly met with Jake, and tried to tell him that she only said those things to him at the wedding to stop her dad from killing him. All he cared about, though, was if she had a plan for him to get away for Papa Pope. He told her, “Do whatever you have to do. Get me out.” But Liv panicked because she really didn’t have a plan.
The governor’s past ended up getting exposed, giving Olivia the idea to make Jake Mellie’s running mate. She went to Fitz to get him on board with the idea, and he gave his blessing. They shared a tender moment when he admitted to “missing” her, and, inspired by Mellie blasting him, apologized for not “listening” to her more. He then revealed he would change his speech, before announcing, “I support your choice, Liv. Not that you needed it.” But she didn’t know what he was really referring to.
Olivia then went to her dad’s home and said she was here “for Jake,” and he would be Mellie’s VP. With him in between them, father and daughter had a battle of the words, and she urged Jake to just stand up and leave with her. When he stood, though, Papa Pope put a gun to his head, telling Liv it was her “finger on the trigger.” But Liv rightly said he wouldn’t hurt his “son,” and the two escaped unharmed.
Tom offered to kill Michael for Cyrus so he would get his daughter back, and then offered to be his new “Michael.” With Jake as Mellie’s VP, that cleared the way for David to be Frankie’s VP, but he was then told they were going a “different way.” And at the Democratic convention, Cyrus then told Tom that he and Michael were getting back together and they were “done.”
At the Republican convention, Mellie was thrilled with Fitz’s speech, and Jake thanked Olivia for being the first person to stand up to Papa Pope. But he then told her he would not be Mellie’s VP as there was no need for it anymore. Instead, he told her about a house for sale, where he wanted to start anew with her. “Dare to be normal,” he told her. “The world is ours now!”
Liv yelled that she didn’t want to lead an “unimpressive life” after everything she’s done. Jake then realized, “It wasn’t about saving me at all. It was about saving your ticket. I went from being his bitch to yours.” But he and Mellie ultimately took the stage… just as Liv found out Cyrus himself was now going to be Frankie’s VP.
She threatened to reveal the truth about the hostage situation, and he in turned threatened to reveal she killed Andrew. Ultimately, only one of them would get back in the White House. The episode ended with Papa Pope gloating and an angry Olivia seemingly resembling her dad’s wicked determination more than ever.