12:31pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Scandal': A Series Finale Primer as the Gladiators (and B613?) Say Farewell
After seven seasons and more twists and turns along its 100-episode-plus run, ABC will close up Olivia Pope and Associates on Thursday with the series finale of Shonda Rhimes drama Scandal.
True to form, the penultimate episode of the Washington, D.C.-set political soap set the stage for something creator Rhimes said last May when she confirmed the Kerry Washington-led series would wrap after seven seasons. The hour featured Olivia and Mellie (Bellamy Young), in a last-ditch effort to save the latter's presidency and protect Fitz's (Tony Goldwyn) legacy, going public with details about the existence of black-ops spy ring B613. "Over a cliff," fellow Gladiators Abby (Darby Stanchfield), Quinn (Katie Lowes) and Huck (Guillermo Diaz) told Olivia when discussing the risks of going public with B613 details.
That echoes the sentiment Rhimes said in May when she described how Scandal would wrap its run: "[W]e are going all out. Leaving nothing on the table. Creating this world in celebration. We are going to handle the end the way we like to handle the important things in our Scandal family: all together, white hats on, Gladiators running full speed over a cliff."
Here, The Hollywood Reporter — among the so-called "Original Gladiators" to have extensively covered the show since before it premiered — rounds up everything to know about the show's April 19 series finale. Grab your white hat and let's go …
The series finale is titled, fittingly, "Over a Cliff." After penning the final season premiere, creator Rhimes also penned the series finale. (She also wrote the premiere and finale in seasons one, three, four and five.) Shondaland favorite Tom Verica directed the series finale. Here's the official logline, per ABC:
"The episode marks the culmination of Olivia, Mellie, Fitz and the Gladiators' journey as we know it. With the existence of B613 exposed to the world, the Gladiators make the ultimate sacrifice in order to take down Cyrus and Jake — but how far will they go to get justice?"
The final song
This just in: After seven seasons of '70s tunes, the final song will be a brand-new track by Stevie Wonder. It will run as the last song of the entire series.
Make sure your DVR is set as ABC says the episode will run a tad bit long — from 10-11:01 p.m.
As he has done in the past, Jimmy Kimmel will welcome Rhimes and the cast — Washington, Diaz, Stanchfield, Lowes, Goldwyn, Jeff Perry, Josh Malina, Young, Scott Foley, Joe Morton, Cornelius Smith Jr. and George Newbern — for a special Jimmy Kimmel Live with a musical performance by Chaka Kahn.
A special live table read of the series finale, benefiting the Actors Fund, will be held in Hollywood timed to the West Coast broadcast. The cast — along with surprise guests — will participate in a Q&A after the table read. (The last time Scandal did a live table read was during the season two finale, aka the "Dad" shocker and Morton's debut. Listen to that on iTunes.) So live tweets from the cast may be delayed.
The first promo for Thursday's episode teases that someone may not survive the series finale:
Another sneak peek at the final hour will air Thursday on Good Morning America (which airs on ABC from 7-9 a.m.).
Make Olivia proud: break out your white hats, popcorn and red wine and rewatch these nine episodes that helped truly define Scandal. Oh, and take a trip down memory lane with THR's oral history about the groundbreaking series.
THR will be onsite for the live table read and talking with the cast. Stay tuned to THR.com/Scandal for full coverage.
Will Olivia wind up with Fitz, leave D.C. and follow her dream of making jam in Vermont? Vote in our poll, below.