Olivia Pope continues to prove that her number one priority is regaining power for herself in the season 5 finale of “Scandal.”
The gladiator continues to vie for the White House in the episode titled, “That’s My Girl.” But the episode puts her up against a likely opponent in an unlikely way.
The episode focuses heavily on presidential hopefuls Mellie Grant and Frankie Vargas’ search for vice presidents to add to their respective tickets.
As Olivia and her associates interview a series of candidates, Cyrus is approached by Rowan Pope. Olivia’s father tells Cyrus that he has to put Jake Ballard on Frankie’s ticket, or he will tell the presidential candidate that the shooting in Harrisburg was staged by his campaign manager (Cyrus).
Before this conversation, Cyrus was hoping David Rosen would run on Frankie’s ticket. David is unsure, but rekindling his twisted sexual relationship with Elizabeth North has him seriously considering the offer.
Rowan has been preparing for Jake to join Frankie’s ticket, however. David Rosen never stood a chance. Earlier in the episode, he has Jake murder his wife Vanessa’s father, watching coldly as he dies, so that Vanessa can inherit half a billion dollars. Poor Vanessa has no idea that the man she has married is a monster.
Cyrus also visits Olivia to ask for her help stopping Rowan and in the process he admits to being behind the shooting in Harrisburg. Olivia seems unwilling to help, until Cyrus points out that there’s no way Mellie will become president if she is up against Rowan.
Olivia decides to help Jake, but she’s not sure how to go about it.
Huck, who hasn’t been as vocal in recent episodes as he’s been in the past, offers some useful advice.
“You have to go in through the front door,” he says.”Lights on. Like a gangster.”
That’s just what Olivia does. She strolls into her father’s home and announces that Jake will be running for Vice President on Mellie’s ticket.
Rowan pulls a gun.
“You have your finger on this trigger,” he tells Olivia.
Olivia calls his bluff, telling Jake that Rowan won’t shoot his own “son.” It works. She and Jake walk out of Rowan’s home holding hands.
Jake is free. Sort of.
Just as he is about to walk on stage with Mellie and confirm the he is on her ticket, Jake decides he’d rather be “normal.”
He shows Olivia a picture of a home that he wants to live in with her. He’ll coach sports at a local high school. They’ll have “normal” children.
But Olivia doesn’t want normal. She wants power.
Jake quickly realizes that Olivia didn’t save him out of love. She saved him so that she could help Mellie win. This was all about Olivia helping Olivia.
“I’ve gone from being his [expletive] to yours,” Jake says.
As he walks out on stage, Olivia receives shocking news.
Cyrus Beene has decided to join Frankie’s ticket. He’s running for Vice President. To do so, he’s dumped his love struck boyfriend, Tom, and gotten back with his husband, Michael.
Cyrus tells Olivia that only one of them will be able to reclaim the White House. She can’t use the Harrisburg incident against him, either. He knows all about how she murdered former Vice President Andrew Nichols.
The stage is set for a fierce competition.
But are things really over between “Scandal’s” first couple?
When Mellie learns that Fitz’s speech at her event is all about him and his accomplishments, she delivers a rant that will likely evoke Emmy talk for actress Bellamy Young.
“I got her because I managed to escape you,” Mellie says.
The harsh words make Fitz realize that he could’ve done a better job listening to both of his exes.
When Olivia visits Fitz to tell him that Jake will be running on Mellie’s ticket, the two share a touching moment.
“I support your choice, Liv,” he says, referring to her abortion without mentioning it directly. “Not that you needed it.”
It’s one of the more mature moments that Fitz has had in the entire series.
And it feels like it could be a final moment of closure for both Fitz and Olivia.
Fitz isn’t the only person who approves of Olivia’s decisions, however.
In an unlikely twist, Papa Pope watches proudly as Jake is announced as Mellie’s running mate. Was this his plan all along? Is he really happy for his daughter or is he plotting to regain power?
We’ll have to wait for season six to find out.