Look out, Mellie! The first lady finally came face-to-face with the boogeyman, Rowan (Joe Morton), in the Season 4 finale of “Scandal” Thursday night. Titled “You Can’t Take Command,” the episode put Mellie (Bellamy Young) in a tight spot with the election looming -- and she made a life-changing decision.
The “Scandal” Season 4 finale kicked off with Rowan meeting with Mellie and pretending to be a wealthy potential donor named Damascus. Mellie was thrilled to gain the support, but Rowan had a secret agenda for “Foxtail.” With campaign manager Elizabeth (Portia de Rossi) distracted, he handed her a file with some “interests” of his -- photographs of the first lady hooking up with the vice president, and a folder on Operation Remington. After sending Liz away, Mellie demanded to know who Damascus really was. But he countered that this question wasn’t the important one. The question she should have been asking is, “What do you need?”
Rowan gave a simple answer: a list of “names.” With both her and Fitz (Tony Goldwyn) set to go down in a “blood bath” if the file leaked, Mellie agreed and got Elizabeth to gather the names. But names for what? It turned out to be the names of the grand-jury members who were listening to David’s (Joshua Malina) B613 case.
Olivia (Kerry Washington) and Jake (Scott Foley) were waiting for the recess to end when an attack on the jurors occurred. Every single person who was in the room -- except for David and Jake -- was killed by B613.
Olivia was more determined than ever to take down her father after the innocent people were killed, but David was ready to throw in the towel.
“While I live for justice, I don’t want to die for it,” he told her after handing over all the B613 boxes.
Olivia didn’t know what else to do, so she turned to Mama Pope (Khandi Alexander) for answers behind bars. She asked for advice in how to play Rowan, control him like Mama Pope was able to. But Mama Pope didn’t help her. She claimed the world revolved around Olivia and that there was more to the Rowan situation. Olivia was about to leave when her mom gave her one useful piece of information -- nobody even knows that B613 and Rowan exists.
Mama Pope’s parting words led Olivia to take whatever B613 files she had to the head of the CIA. She told them everything, but the plan backfired thanks to Cyrus (Jeff Perry).
Mellie was freaking out about the people on the list turning up dead. She couldn’t talk to Elizabeth, so she turned to Cyrus. “I killed those grand jurors,” she told him.
Needless to say, Cyrus was upset that Mellie kept him in the dark about her involvement with Rowan. When she mentioned the word “Remington,” however, he sprung into action and promised to take care of things -- and that involved a visit with Papa Pope while keeping Fitz in the dark.
According to Rowan, he did Cyrus a favor by having those jurors killed. He also added a “personal favor” by not killing David. Cyrus didn’t exactly see it that way, but Rowan warned him that he owed him -- and Cyrus repaid him by having Olivia and Jake thrown in jail!
That’s right, Cyrus turned on Olivia when he got a phone call from the head of the CIA about B613. The head of the CIA initially wanted to take down Rowan, but Cyrus scared her out of it. He then threatened David, telling him that he’d have Abby (Darby Stanchfield) murdered if he didn’t shut Olivia and Jake down. With Abby’s life on the line, David had no choice. He forced both Jake and Olivia to sign papers agreeing to let them walk free if they never spoke about B613 again.
It didn’t look like Olivia and gang would be able to succeed in taking down Command, but Rowan called Olivia later that night -- it turns out, she did take down Command. Thanks to her, Rowan was forced to assassinate all his agents and blow up all his files. He struck a deal with Mama Pope and granted her freedom if she agreed to deny the existence of B613. With B613 gone, he was just an “innocent” and “old” man named Eli Pope working at the Smithsonian. He thanked her before hanging up.
Olivia was upset her father would just get to walk free after everything he’s done. But Huck gave her an idea -- nail him for embezzlement. They were able to move all the secret funds from B613 and put them in Eli’s name. He was arrested for stealing money from the Smithsonian for years.
Olivia and Jake went to taunt him in jail, but her dad threatened that he was powerful and could get out of it. However, Olivia warned him that he was no longer “Rowan” -- he was now Eli, an “old” and “innocent” man who worked at the Smithsonian.
While Rowan/Eli/Papa Pope finally got what he had coming to him, Mellie appeared to get her happy ending. She won the election and her relationship with Fitz was better than ever. But Mellie made one mistake -- other than getting that list of names -- she told Elizabeth about everything. As Mellie made her acceptance speech, Elizabeth “accidentally” let the whole grand-jury fiasco slip to Fitz. He was horrified Mellie would accede to Rowan’s threat, and confronted her and Cyrus at the White House later that night. Fitz told her he would never let her become president of the United States, and that he wanted her to pack her bags and leave the house. Mellie left, but Fitz wasn’t done. Cyrus tried to act like he didn’t know anything about what Mellie had been up to, but Fitz called him out. Without giving him a chance to defend himself, he fired Cyrus and stripped him of all his White House access. The “Scandal” finale ended with Cyrus exiting as Elizabeth began to move into his office.
Of course, that wasn’t the big jaw-dropper of the episode. Quinn (Katie Lowes) figured out who really killed the grand jurors -- it was Huck (Guillermo Diaz). Huck had been working with Rowan. He claimed he had no choice and that he didn’t want to do it, but Quinn knew that wasn’t true. She pulled a gun on him and threatened to shoot him. The gun was to his head, but “Scandal” viewers didn’t see whether she went through with killing him.
The “Scandal” Season 4 finale ended with Jake dropping Olivia off at her door and telling her that his “mission” was over. With B613 eliminated, he no longer had an order to protect her. He did admit that he was in love with her, but that she was in love with “him,” meaning a certain other party. His last words for her indicated she was “owed” and that she should take what was hers.
Olivia decided to do just that. Fitz came to her apartment looking for her after Mellie moved out, but Olivia wasn’t home. When he returned to the White House, Olivia was waiting for him on the balcony. The episode concluded with the pair embraced in a steamy kiss.