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And with that Scandal comes to an end. After six years and seven seasons, Shonda Rhimes’ first show outside the world of medical TV dramas has wrapped as one of the greatest political series since The West Wing on a list that bears names like Veep, Madam Secretary and The Good Wife. Each of these shows brings its own unique style to the political drama genre and Scandal was no different as Shonda Rhimes brought her signature flare and social commentary to a setting that, as time went on, needed it more than ever.
The main story of season seven revolves around Olivia Pope’s new role as Chief of Staff under President Mellie Grant while moonlighting as Command of B613. Meanwhile, Quinn Perkins has taken over leadership of the crisis management firm, renamed QPA, as her and the team try to deal with and contain political scandals. Fitz tries to acclimate to civilian life as he and Marcus work towards building his charitable institution. Everything becomes murky as lives are lost and backs are stabbed leading to the biggest scandal yet.
Towards the beginning of the season hope for a satisfying ending to this series was beginning to dwindle. Last season had ended on a bit of a lukewarm note leaving a lot to be desired in what hoped to be an explosive finale. However, this season started off with a lack of purpose or urgency, slowly gaining traction then losing it on convoluted stories that felt out of the norm of the Scandal that audiences had come to love. With Olivia sprinting down a dark path, Cyrus and Jake constantly scheming and QPA running around like chickens with their heads cut off, things were looking bleak for this season.
Regardless, the show managed to turn itself around during the Scandal-How to Get Away with Murder crossover. The verbal sparring between Kerry Washington’s Olivia and Viola Davis’ Annalise showed the monologues of old that made Scandal such an addictive show to watch. The social commentary of Annalise’s case pushed forward a problem Olivia was actually invested in fighting which had been missing since the start of the season.
From then on things only got better as the foundation for the final scandal was set allowing us to explore the end to each of these characters’ stories without feeling rushed. Olivia was able to go through her redemption arc, despite taking part in such unredeemable actions thanks to her realization and guilt portrayed beautifully by Kerry Washington. And while the gladiators aren’t good people and they did terrible things, we root for them in the end because they were able to stand up for what is right when the fate of the people rested on their shoulders. And what is more patriotic than that?
This season of Scandal is a political thrill ride that goes from a dragging, campy and eye-rolling storyline to an explosive, tension-filled one thanks to a crossover that breathes fresh life into a dying world. Olivia is able to reclaim her white hat and walk off into the sunset knowing she left DC better off than when she arrived and that is all she could have asked for. From its emotional moments, jaw-dropping twists and fist-pumping monologues, this final season saw the show return to form so I’m going to say it’s worth the watch.
What did you think of Scandal? Was the finale a satisfying end to this series? Let me know in the comments!
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