Happy holidays, Happy New Year and all that! We managed these what...8, 9, 150 weeks without our favorite broken people? I purposely waited to post this in case anyone needed a refresher, although I watched the BET marathon last weekend. I needed my fix.
You know any finale of this show is just filled with DAMNs and OH SNAPS! As you’ll recall, the Vice President had called Cyrus saying she’d committed a sin, and that sin appeared to be a very murdered Daniel Douglas. The show opens with the backstory on THAT. Sally is giving him HELL for sleeping with James. Really – she is unloading as only a person scorned can: they were so close to the finish line, she was a heartbeat away from running for president and he STOLE it from her. She says he’s betrayed her, their vows, their marital bed, and he’s stolen her future. He’s trying to pooh pooh her, saying Cy will never say anything, since it was his husband. Sally calls James “poisoned fruit”, and that he’s “unleashed a snake into their garden”. And I should not have snickered at the double meaning of this, but I did. Finally, when she calls him and his needs perverted and disgusting, he calls the bullsh!t flag, saying she knew what she was getting. [Editorial note here – Jack Coleman, who I have LOVED since his days of playing the tortured Steven Carrington on Dynasty is owning this scene. OWNING it.] He calls her “Shrill Sally” and that he sold his soul to marry the “rich debutante” nobody wanted. He sold his soul so his family wouldn’t disown him and look where he got her. She’s INCREDULOUS – nothing that all he’s gotten her is shame and a daughter that won’t keep her knees shut (and wow. Shonda is a master of marriages in crisis). She calls him her cross to bear as she goes into salvation. Finally, Daniel is like...I’m done. I don’t want this, and you can’t win without me. He says maybe he’ll fade into the sunset, or maybe he’ll call 60 minutes with his story. That’s when Sally goes all ...uh...Carl Bruner and puts a letter opener in his back.
[Not for nothing, I could watch this scene 100 times. EVERY time it’s riveting].
So she calls Cyrus, and as she’s doing that muttering thing we all do when we are in shock, Cyrus is rethinking his part in all of this – trying to set up Sally, setting up the interview, tricking James into doing the interview, the whole thing backfiring like a ’72 Ford pickup, and before you know it, he’s in the bathroom tossing his dinner, because he realizes that he is, indeed, the devil that’s been let into the garden.
Back with our gladiators, Olivia (who realized last episode that it was her mother, not her father, who did very bad things) wants everything on her mother, Maya Pope/Marie Wallace. Liv asks Huck where Quinn is, and her look indicates that Liv knows about Huck torturing Quinn. Huck says she’s at B6-13, which he can tell because he put a tracking device on her (specifically, in her mouth. Yeah. I’m all full up on gore, ShondaGirl. Thanks). Remember, Quinn is at B6-13 making a deal to get the tape back, but she doesn’t do it soon enough because someone interrupts with the news that they’ve tracked MamaPope. Eli just blows her off and she runs into the bathroom to dislodge the tracking advice. And seriously? If she weren’t so damned annoying, Quinn would be badass in her own right. She gets away and Liv calls Huck out on torturing one of the family...and Huck was all like – have we met? This is what I do! And I’m reminded of the parable of the scorpion and the mouse, when the mouse is shocked that the scorpion would sting him after all he did to help him and the scorpion is like...um, I’m a scorpion. The moral of the story is we can’t really be too shocked when people are true to themselves. I think it’s finding out the true self that’s the shocker.
I digress. Anyhoo, Eli’s limousine is blocked off in traffic (because that’s plausible in the congested streets of DC), and he’s escorted to a bunker where he’s greeted by Presidential Fitz, who says he’ll stay put until Maya’s plane lands. And these two have an exchange that is one for the ages. Fitz is a douche by intimating to Eli all the intimate details of his love life with Liv, which dude! That’s awful. That’s her Dad! Fitz is trying to get information about the plane being shot down, and Eli just keeps replying “that’s a matter of national security and above your pay grade, Mr. President.” Eli ups the douche-ante by calling Fitz straight out on thinking he’s a man, when in fact, he’s just a coddled, cared-for boy. In fact, Joe Morton chews all the scenery around him, including Tony Goldwyn. And once again, Shonda’s words are better than mine. “ For you , it’s always summer time where the living is easy, your daddy’s rich and your momma’s good looking. You’re a Grant. You’ve got money in your blood. You are a boy. I’m a man. I have worked for every single thing I have ever received. I have fought, and scraped and bled for every inch of ground I walk on. I was the first in my family to go to college; my daughter went to boarding school with the children of kings. I made that happen. YOU cry yourself to sleep because Daddy hurt your feelings, because Papa banged his secretary, because it hurt to have so much money you spoiled, entitled, ungrateful little brat! You have everything handed to you on a silver platter, and you squander it. You’re given the world, and you can’t appreciate it because you haven’t had to work for anything. So now you’ve decided that the one thing you want is my daughter. My child. MINE. What I made. What I created. You can talk about what a great lay she is to try to get a response from me all you want, but guess what? I am actually, quite literally, above your pay grade which means that I know that you believe that you are in love with her, wrong as you may be”. When Fitz feebly attempts to inject he does love her, Eli unloads the other barrel. “You LOVE that she’s a door marked exit. You love that she is your way out. Because if you are with Olivia Pope, you don’t’ have to fulfill your father’s dream of being president. If you are with Olivia, you no longer have to be your father’s son. An apple never falls too far from the tree. You are always going to be Senator Grant’s disappointing boy Fitz. SHE is always going to be the formidable Olivia Pope. Don’t use the person that I made to make you into a man. You’re a BOY. Sadly, Boy. I know everything about you. You disappoint me as a suitor for my daughter’s hand.”
And credits could have rolled there. Damn. And by the way, Joe Morton had to deliver this with his hands tied up and wearing an undershirt. It’s amazing how much clothing and gestures can help a scene. Joe Morton owned this with his words, his cadence, and his neck rolls. Y’all know I loves me some Fitz, but in this scene? He was OWNED.
Cyrus has called Charlie (and his new side kick Quinn) to help him clean up the mess at the Naval Observatory. Sally wants to turn herself in, but Cyrus tells her no – to confess to God as “Jesus wants to forgive you, not punish you. That’s why he suffered, so you don’t have to. Let him forgive you, and then you show Him your loyalty by being a good shepherd of the flock of people you WILL ONE DAY serve as President. In the meantime, give me your sin. Let me lie. Let me clean this up.” Yes. There was a lot to quote during this episode, making my job so much harder! Maybe it’s me, but I thought Cyrus was honestly incredibly moved by his guilt. I think he thinks he owes Sally on this.
Abby goes to David Rosen to ask for help with Liv’s Mom (cutting ahead of a Shelby Moss – I think we’ll see her tomorrow), and she’s tap dancing about why. He just wants some honesty [in the form of a really intimate, funny exhcnage that prompts Harrison to say “hey. Right here.” And. Ha.] Liv, back at the office, is still throwing Huck about 5 pounds of shade. Jake warns Liv to go easy on Huck, because even though her father is now a hero to him, he’s still the guy that threw both Jake and Huck into holes and took their families, so this wasn’t easy on anyone, and it really wasn’t easy on Jake or Huck to find and protect Eli. This seems to get through to her a bit.
Mellie is overjoyed that Daniel Douglas is dead, until Cyrus explains to her how it happened, and that they (Cy and Mellie) are the devil who came in. Mellie’s all like “uh uh I ain’t buying it. I didn’t kill anyone. She snapped”, and Cy was like...”um hello – we gave her proof that her husband was sleeping with another man...we ARE the straw that broke that particular camel. Cyrus is all...damn, I’m a horrible person, and so are you – how many bad things have we done. He’s starting to crack up a bit, and finally Mellie is all, Dude, Man up. You’re the Chief of Staff. This is no time to become human. Mellie goes to pay her condolence call with a beautiful spray of roses and hydrengas (I notice these things), and finds Leo there. She does the First Lady look of...I ain’t leaving, and Leo leaves. Mellie tells her she has the full weight of the white house behind her and there’s no need to worry about anything, and to lean on the White House as family.
However, Fitz is not free to go on a condolence call because he’s getting schooled 8 ways to midnight by Eli. JaHuck have tracked Eli to the Pentagon, where there’s a staredown of epic proportions happening. Liv calls Fitz and says she needs to see her father. Turns out, Maya Pope was stealing secrets from Eli, and she led him to believe there was a bomb on the plane. Now, I’m still a little confused about this, but it seems that she blew the plane up just because she could just as some sort of sick trick. I’d like to say I’m surprised, but really friends? This chick gnawed her wrist down to the artery. There’s no surprise here. She’s crazy. With no reason to hold Eli any longer, Fitz leaves, but not before Liv tells him to GET. HER.
Cyrus goes home to tell James about Daniel Douglas, but he gets a surprise, as not only does James know, but his (James) face gives it away that he thinks Cyrus did it. Cyrus is taken aback, and asks if he’s sorrier that his clandestine lover is dead, or that he (Cyrus) didn’t kill him in a jealous rage. Cyrus admits it was a coincidence he’s dead. Or rather, he didn’t kill him, but he’s not sorry he’s gone. I worry about these two.
Meanwhile, CrazyQuinn is wondering how she got here. Charlie calls her Robsies (like Robin), which cracks me up. But she’s lamenting the loss of her Normal, and losing her teeth. Charlie tells her she was never meant to be normal, with her instincts and skills. She falls for this, including the lie that he won’t stop her from leaving. But the kindness is all she needs so she stays. Eventually she gets herself together and heads to OPA, where she sees Huck, and simply announces she’s back. And thinking he owes her an apology she gets all in his face, and he tells her point blank that she owes Olivia her life, that he would have killed her on the spot for betraying Liv. He then drives the stake in the heart by telling her she’s not a gladiator anymore, and she leaves. She goes back to Charlie, and I guess she really isn’t a gladiator anymore.
James goes to David Rosen – who reminds him of his crazy fall from grace (a high school test he held onto), and that he’s gotten his job back and trusting him again is absolutely not on the agenda (which means they will totally team up during the rest of the season). He goes home to Cy, who says, I’m tired and I don’t want to fight. I love you and I’m still the same guy you married, so what do you want to do? And you know, I get that. Sometimes, you wanna fight. Sometimes you just want peace. James’ beautiful face just crumbles as he realizes he does still love Cyrus, even with the ‘666’ on his forehead. And it’s a heavy decision indeed. Aw c’mon, James. Give him another chance. At least this time he didn’t try to kill you! And the fact I just wrote that means my crazy has gone up a notch. James decides he’ll stay, if he gets to be the Press Secretary. And that’s his pound of flesh. Because when Cy asks if he still loves him, he says don’t push it. Now that James, sweet innocent James, has a price, as Cy says, the devil did indeed come in.
Sally can’t take the lie anymore when Leo (her campaign manager) is talking to her and trying to tell her he’ll be there for her. He’s going on and on about how she still has the chance to be the president. When he (rightly) tells her that the President has his reasons for being so nice, and when he says that Daniel is in heaven, she snaps that HE’S IN HELL! Damn...she explains exactly why he’s in hell, as a godless sinner who deserves what he got. Leo is not nearly as shocked by the admission that she killed him, but that she killed him and she called the white house. “I’m your first call, Sally”. Leo’s crazy? Up a notch.
The SFP rings, and Liv wants to know if they arrested Mama Pope as she landed, only to find out Cray cray escaped again. There’s a shocker. Jake tells her they will keep looking, but Liv knows she’s gone. She tries to warn Jake about her Dad, knowing he has a long memory. Jake smirks and says to not underestimate the president. He then kisses Liv and says he came to say goodbye, and that he loved her. That was sweet, but I’m all about Team OLitz.
Remember that Shelby Moss? The nobody that Abby brushed aside in David’s office? Turns out, she works as an engineer who happens to have invented technology that allows the NSA to hack into people’s cell phones and allow them to listen to the room. Guess what she has? A recording of Sally calling Cyrus saying she’s committed a sin.
Liv calls her Dad and asks if, after all this time, he was really protecting her. He invites her over for Sunday dinner and tells her, in his way, to let it go. He’ll never get the answers she wants. But I still think they will be meeting for dinner Sunday. Turns out, Jake hasn’t gone far. He’s the new head of B6-13. Eli is out, and the president says he thinks he(Fitz) and Jake will do good things together. Apparently B6-13 isn’t above the President’s pay grade, after all. I hope this isn’t the end of Joe Morton.
Last call of the winter finale? Crazy Maya calling her daughter, claiming to see her soon. She throws away the burner phone. In front of the white house.
See you Thursday!
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