Scandal has its presidential nominees in Mellie Grant and Frankie Vargas, so the season 5 finale is all about the veepstakes. Who will be their running mates? Here’s hint: Both picks are series regulars.
Despite promos that guaranteed a shocking twist you’d never see coming, the endgame for Olivia is the exact opposite. She’s been turning to the dark side all season long, ever so slowly. The problem is that the “revelation” that she has now become her father is more of a “No duh” than an “OMG!”
Mellie’s V.P. Search
OPA is vetting different candidates for Mellie’s vice president, all married military men. Their best bet is the governor of Missouri, but he tells them that he was briefly a cocaine dealer in college. His honesty about it just makes them want him more.
In preparing for the convention, Fitz and Mellie have an epic scene on stage in an empty arena. He insists that he can’t talk about her in his speech because they’re divorced, he slept with her campaign manager and supported her primary opponent.
But Mellie gets the best jabs all about how Fitz is a privileged, whiny baby who thinks that the Oval Office is a prison. She wants it, she earned it, she fought for it and he was just handed the keys to the kingdom. Mellie may deserve to be president, but her speech was another reminder that Bellamy Young deserves an Emmy nomination.
Frankie’s V.P. Search
Cyrus wants David Rosen to be Frankie Vargas’ vice presidential pick because he’s a smart do-gooder who knows how to work across the aisle. However, Papa Pope has other plans, threatening to expose Cyrus’ involvement in the shooting that thrust Vargas into the spotlight unless he picks Jake Ballard as V.P. And Papa Pope always wins, like how he made Jake kill his new father-in-law so his wife Vanessa will get her inheritance.
Cyrus goes to Olivia to ask for help dealing with her dad, but she’s horrified when she learns what Cyrus did with the shooting. Cyrus tries to point out that this election should be a fair fight between the two of them, teacher vs. student, and they shouldn’t let Papa Pope steal it.
Can Olivia Save Jake?
Edison delivers Jake’s message to Olivia about wanting to be saved. Olivia concocts the utterly preposterous plan of having Mellie pick Jake as her running mate, keeping him safe and allowing her to take him away from her father.
Olivia talks to Fitz about the idea and he’s surprisingly OK with it, though perhaps he’s just OK with the fact that Olivia got an abortion, something he learned from Abby’s secret folder.
Right before they announce Jake as Mellie’s running mate, Olivia goes to Papa Pope’s house and informs Jake and her dad of the news. She tells Jake to just stand up and walk out with her, but Papa Pope pulls a gun and threatens to kill Jake if he leaves.
Olivia knows her dad is bluffing and that he won’t kill his son. She takes Huck’s advice to simply become Command and do it in the sunlight, so Olivia and Jake walk out of the house safely.
Jake the Candidate
At the convention, Jake decides he doesn’t want to be vice president. Seeing Olivia stand up to Papa Pope made him realize that now he’s free and he can do whatever he wants, and that’s not politics. He just wants to flip burgers, get a nice house and have some kids. Ugh, why does Olivia Pope keep picking men with absolutely no ambition?
Olivia doesn’t give a crap what Jake wants and demands that he suck it up and accept the vice presidential nomination. Jake realizes something that’s been obvious for most of this season, namely that Olivia has turned into her father. She’s just as bad as he is, so the only real difference is that now he’s her bitch and not his.
Jake isn’t wrong, but he goes along with Olivia’s plan. The episode ends with Mellie Grant and Jake Ballard as running mates while Papa Pope watches on TV. “That’s my girl” he says, recognizing that his daughter has turned into him, which is all he ever wanted. Even when he loses, Papa Pope wins.
Cyrus the Candidate
And in one final ridiculous twist, David Rosen is NOT Frankie Vargas’ vice presidential pick. Instead, it’s Cyrus, who even gets back with Michael and dumps Tom because now he’s a public figure. So the gay Republican who was working for Fitz a year ago and who is married to a former prostitute is now the Democratic nominee for Vice President of the United States? Sure, why not.
And that’s how Scandal season 5 ends, with Mellie/Jake vs. Frankie/Cyrus and Olivia has become her father. I was expecting more surprises or twists and I’m disappointed Mellie and Marcus didn’t kiss, but I guess that relationship is something to look forward to.
(Image courtesy of ABC)