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[Warning: This story contains spoilers from the season three finale, “The Price of Free and Fair Election,” of ABC’s Scandal.]
ABC’s political thriller Scandal closed up its third season Thursday with a heart-racing hour that focused on Election Day, as President Fitzgerald Grant looked to lock up four more years in the White House and prevail over his vice president and opposition, Sally Langston, while OPA teamed with B613 to bring down a terror ring led by Olivia’s mother.
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Here are the 20 biggest reveals from the episode:
1. The bomb goes off, and Sally (Kate Burton), Leo (Paul Adelstein) and Andrew (Jon Tenney) are all safe. But Sally uses it to campaign and winds up topping the president among all the networks, which all drop Fitz’s (Tony Goldwyn) speech. It positions her as the front-runner heading to Election Day.
2. Jake (Scott Foley) knows that Cyrus (Jeff Perry) was aware of the bomb and waited to tell the president. It illustrates the great lengths Jake — who is now free of B613 — will go to in order to protect the Republic. (And what a monster Cyrus can be.)
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3. Mellie (Bellamy Young), who is still drinking, demands a refund from Olivia (Kerry Washington). “I thought we hired her to win!” she says after Liv and Cyrus tell Fitz that he can’t win the election.
4. Aware that his team doesn’t think he can win the election, Fitz tells Olivia that they can move to Vermont and get married (and have two kids and make jam) after he divorces Mellie. It prompts Olivia to break her promise to Mellie that she wouldn’t tell the president about the lengths she went to in order to get Fitz elected.
5. Fitz learns that his father, Big Jerry, raped Mellie while he was campaigning for governor of California, and Mellie tells him that she took a paternity test. “Jerry is your son, not his,” she tells him.
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6. Charlie breaks things off with Quinn (Katie Lowes) after he learns of her pairing with Huck (Guillermo Diaz) and hands her an envelope containing the whereabouts of Huck’s wife and son. Quinn takes Huck to see them, and outside of their home, Huck learns that Kimberly (Jasika Nicole) went back to school and is now an attorney, and their son is now 12 and an honor student. Huck responds by questioning why Quinn would bring him there. “I love you, and I wanted you to know,” Quinn says. “Don’t you speak another word to me,” Huck responds.
7. Fitz and Olivia’s plan to run away to Vermont after they lose the election is derailed, as they both know he can’t leave Mellie now after learning that Big Jerry raped her. “I wouldn’t want you if, knowing what you know now, you left her now,” Olivia tells him as they exchange I-love-yous.
8. Fitz and Mellie’s son, Jerry Jr. (Dylan Minnette), collapses during Fitz’s last campaign stop. He’s rushed to the hospital and dies from a sub-strain of Meningitis that was recently stolen from Fort Detrick. Olivia’s mother, Marie Wallace (aka Maya Pope, played by Khandi Alexander), is connected to the case, and Fitz realizes that Olivia’s mother killed his son.
9. Jerry Jr.’s death propels Fitz back to the front-runner position in the election, as Olivia and Cyrus both question what happened to them. Fitz tells Olivia that her mother did this, while the top Gladiator breaks down in tears.
10. Rowan (Joe Morton), who is now up and walking, tells the president that he will help deliver Marie Wallace’s head on a platter as Fitz now wants vengeance for the death of his son that can’t be done through official channels.
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11. Marie Wallace has killed Adnan Salif (Nazanin Boniadi), and Rowan turns to Harrison (Columbus Short), who previously covered for his former flame, to find out where his “wife” has gone, as they now have the same agenda: to find the terrorist.
12. Olivia packs up her bags and vows to leave OPA. She asks her father if the airplane and the new life he offered her at the start of the season is still available. Olivia believes that she’s at the center of the scandal. “Everything wouldn’t be happening if it wasn’t for me,” she tells Jake. “The only common denominator is me. I’m the eye of the storm. … This is me doing what I do best: I’m handling this, I’m fixing this. … It’s time for me to stand in my truth. It’s me. I’m the thing that needs to be fixed, that needs to be handled. I’m the scandal, and the best way to handle a scandal is to shut it down.”
13. Jake wants Olivia to take him. “Run away with me; save me,” he tells her as she professes her love for someone else. She winds up taking him up on his offer, and the two leave on a plane together.
14. Harrison and Rowan tag-team to capture Marie Wallace, with Rowan telling Fitz that she’s now dead.
15. Harrison learns that Olivia has quit OPA and returns to confront Rowan. Harrison learns that Rowan was responsible — via Secret Service double-agent Tom — for injecting Jerry Jr. with meningitis and killing Adnan Salif. Harrison’s fate is left hanging in the balance when Tom pulls a gun on him under Rowan’s orders.
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16. While Rowan told the president — and Harrison — that Marie Wallace was dead, she’s really alive and well, and back in the basement of the newly restored B613. And Rowan is again in charge of the black ops organization.
17. Fitz wins the election and collapses in the Oval Office as he flashes back to all the horrible things that have befallen his family in the name of his political career. While Mellie attempts to console him, it’s only Olivia that he wants.
18. David Rosen (Josh Malina) is sent a massive shipment of boxes from Jake. The contents? All of B613’s classified files with a note to “Get the bad guys.”
19. Huck goes to visit his wife, who is in shock to see her presumed dead husband alive and well.
20. The episode’s final moment follows Olivia, who declines a call from the White House, leaving with Jake. “Are you sure,” Jake asks her, while she ignores Mellie calling her to come back to support Fitz. “Yes,” she says, as the plane takes off and season three comes to a close.
What did you think of the season three finale? Hit the comments below with your thoughts and questions for Goldwyn. Check back to THR‘s The Live Feed on Friday for an interview with Goldwyn.
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