You can run, but you can’t hide from Rowan.
Heading into the Season 5 finale of “Scandal,” Edison (Norm Lewis) sabotaged his run for the presidency in order to escape Olivia’s (Kerry Washington) father. But just because Rowan (Joe Morton) lost his candidate, he hasn't given up his dream of gaining access to the White House. In fact, he set in motion a series of events that resulted in a big jaw-dropping moment on the ABC drama.
The Season 5 finale kicks off with Jake (Scott Foley) sharing a drink with his father-in-law. In the middle of telling Jake about how thrilled he is to finally have a son, Vanessa’s (Joelle Carter) father suffers from a heart attack. But it’s no accident. Jake watches as his father-in-law dies a slow death, telling him that Vanessa’s inheritance will “open some important doors.” But Jake didn’t commit the act for himself. He was acting on Rowan’s orders.
It turns out that Rowan wants the money in order to continue pursuing the Oval Office. Edison may be gone, but he still has Jake, and he plans on making him vice president, with or without Edison.
Cyrus (Jeff Perry) heads to work to find Frankie (Ricardo Chavira) sitting down with Rowan. He’s surprised to see Olivia’s father there, but his surprise quickly turns to fear when he realizes that Rowan wants something. He tells Cyrus to make Jake Frankie’s VP. And if he doesn’t? Well, then Cyrus’ involvement in the Capitol Hill shooting will be revealed, ruining Frankie’s shot at becoming president.
It’s a tough place for Cyrus to be in, but he really only has one option. Despite Jake killing his beloved first husband in cold blood, Cyrus decides to make the bold decision to back him as Frankie’s VP. He’s not happy, though. Knowing that Rowan will completely take over the campaign, Cyrus turns to Olivia for help. But what can Olivia do?
After Edison visits and tells Olivia that Jake is her father’s prisoner, Olivia realizes that she needs to put a plan in place to rescue her ex. The only problem is that Rowan threatened to kill Jake if Olivia tried anything funny. With that in mind, Olivia is hesitant to do anything. However, Huck (Guillermo Diaz) encourages her not to attempt to sneak behind Rowan’s back to rescue Jake. Huck tells her the only way to get him is to walk through the front door. And Olivia does just that. When Mellie’s (Bellamy Young) original VP candidate falls through, Olivia realizes that the perfect way to get Jake is to make him Mellie’s running mate, not Frankie’s.
Olivia secretly meets with Jake to warn him that she’s putting a plan in place, but doesn’t explain what it is. So, needless to say, Jake is a little uneasy when Olivia shows up at Rowan’s house and reveals that she has made Jake Mellie’s running mate. And his discomfort grows when Olivia demands that he leave with her. He initially grabs her hand, but hesitates to leave when Rowan places a gun to his head.
Does Rowan have what it takes to kill Jake? Olivia doesn’t think so, and she takes that gamble. She tells Jake that Rowan would never kill his son, and, fortunately, she’s right.
“Go before I change my mind,” Rowan says, allowing them to leave.
But Jake’s not technically free. Just a few minutes before Mellie is set to announce him as her running mate, Jake tells Olivia that he’s taking himself off the ticket. He explains that he’s finally free and would rather flip a patty at Gettysburger rather than run for vice president. All Jake wants is to live in an average house and live an average life with Olivia at his side. But Olivia tells him that an average life isn’t an option. It’s then that Jake realizes that he went from being owned by Rowan, to being owned by Olivia.
Meanwhile, Frankie’s team was initially considering David Rosen (Joshua Malina) as VP before Rowan pushed Jake on them. But with Jake out of the picture, Cyrus decides to make a bold move. He dumps Tom (Brian Letscher), gets back together with Michael (Matthew Del Negro) and reveals that he’s Frankie’s running mate.
It will be Olivia against Cyrus in Season 6. But was this all part of Rowan’s plan? The Season 5 finale of “Scandal” concludes with Olivia telling her crew that she’ll be back in the White House and her father looking pretty pleased with himself. After all, “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”