What is “The Price of Free and Fair Election”? That’s the title of the season 3 finale for Scandal, and the question posed. Through a very up and down episode, we find out just what that is.

Can We Get A Refund?

With Cyrus hemming and hawing over whether to spill about the bomb inside the church, Jake takes matters into his own hands –the authorities are alerted and an evacuation takes place. The major players who were in the church escape safely — but Leo wants Sally to stay, not run away. “Be Jesus,” he tells her. And she’s the face that people see in action at the site of the explosion, while Fitz is just a talking head at the White House.

It’s ironic that Cyrus wanted the explosion to happen – which it did – but it’s working against him because he and Olivia admit that Fitz isn’t going to win the election.

Which leads to Mellie wanting a refund from Olivia since she seems to have come to terms that Fitz won’t win.

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Rowan is Spared

The knife came super close to Rowan’s heart but just missed, and it seems like he’ll be OK. One wonders whether that was done on purpose. Olivia and her father share a nice moment in the hospital.

Meanwhile, Harrison is let go from gunpoint on the promise that he won’t spill what he knows about Mama Pope’s finances.

Back at Olivia Pope & Associates, Harrison and Abby walk in on Quinn and Huck. Guess it’s not a one-time thing. In fact, Quinn says the L-word (!!) to Huck as she gives him the package from Charlie — the information on where his family is.

Just like Charlie said he would, Huck wants nothing to do with Quinn for divulging that info. At first, I thought, why wouldn’t he be happy to know his family? But for Huck, it’s too late. He’s already dead, he’s this other person and he believes he’ll only bring more heartache after they grieved for his death.

But really, the L-word did seem a little sudden.

Election Day

Everyone is so resigned over the fact that Fitz will lose the election that it’s kind of sad knowing what will happen. Even knowing that this is Scandal, where you expect the unexpected, it’s hard to picture how Fitz will pull a rabbit out of his hat and win.

As he’s delivering his speech, it happens. His son starts coughing up blood and collapses. Well, isn’t that convenient! (And also horribly sad of course). It’s a sentiment that Olivia admits to Cyrus, that the first thing she thought of was that Fitz would win, while Cyrus seems surprised/proud of himself that he didn’t think of that first.

At the hospital where Mellie and Karen are in shock, Fitz gets a visit from frenemy Rowan, who promises to get Mama Pope’s head on a platter. Fitz also finds out Jerry Jr. was murdered because a vial of bacteria had been stolen — Mrs. Pope.

Getting Out

When Olivia finds out about what really happened to Jerry Jr., that becomes the last straw. With her mother in the middle of all that is going wrong with her life, she decides to handle it and fix it Olivia Pope style. 

And that’s to pack up and leave. Didn’t see that coming at all, but I understand the feeling. She’s the eye of the storm so she must leave. That plane and a new identity her father had set up for her before? She asks for those again. She’s certainly a really quick packer because by the time Jake comes to confront her about it, her place is pretty much cleared.

Jake offers to go with her even though she makes it clear she’s in love with someone else. Jake doesn’t care. He just wants out of his life too.

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Nowhere to Go?

Why does Jake want out? Because the president reinstates Rowan as head of B613 after he delivers on his promise — thanks to Harrison’s help. After Rowan shows him Adnan is dead and Maya did it, Harrison is none to happy to divulge what he knows. It leads to Maya being in custody and Rowan assuring the president that she’s dead.

Except … she’s not. She’s in the B613 hole of nothingness.

Meanwhile, in the presence of a Rowan back in action, Harrison starts putting the pieces together. That it can’t be right that Maya killed Jerry Jr., because she was always motivated by money.  

And that’s when we find out that it was Rowan who killed Jerry. Not only did Rowan promise not to hurt a hair on Fitz, but he told Olivia he would help her. And because Fitz took his daughter, Rowan will take one of Fitz’s children. The price of a fair and free election. Mind blown!

But with Harrison knowing the truth, well, it doesn’t seem there’s a future for him. Especially when Secret Service guy Tom (who had poisoned Jerry Jr, via a super thin needle in his ring that poked him when he patted him on the shoulder) pulls a gun on Harrison.

Up in the Air

With no future for Olivia and Fitz (she did tell him that Mellie was raped — how do you leave your wife now?) Olivia and Jake are on a plane, Huck shows up in front of his family’s house, David Rosen receives parting gifts from Jake, which are boxes of B613’s files, and Harrison may or may not be dead.

It’ll be interesting to see where the series picks up. Early predictions are it will be ahead in time with perhaps some flashbacks of Jake and Olivia lounging on the beach. Maybe.

Stay tuned for a brand new season of Scandal, starting in fall on ABC.

(Image courtesy of ABC)

Esther Gim

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV