'Scandal' Review/Recap: "You Can’t Take Command"

By Nora Dominick ‘17/ Emertainment Monthly Assistant Stage Editor

Joe Morton and Bellamy Young in the Scandal season 4 finale "You Can't Take Command." Photo Credit: ABC/Nicole Wilder
Joe Morton and Bellamy Young in the Scandal season 4 finale “You Can’t Take Command.” Photo Credit: ABC/Nicole Wilder
Alright Scandal fans, this season finale was one for the history books and shattered the very fabric of the Scandal universe. Last week, fans watched as Rowan Pope’s (Joe Morton) “Foxtail” plan was unveiled and this week, Olivia (Kerry Washington) and the gang race to take him down before it’s too late. Scandal’s season four finale entitled “You Can’t Take Command,” was a classic, jaw-dropping, insane hour of Scandal and that’s what fans love and hate about this beloved, twitter-exploding drama.
Scandal’s season four finale picked up seconds after last week’s episode, “A Few Good Women” ended. Mellie (Bellamy Young) is talking to her billionaire campaign backer, “Damascus Bainbridge” AKA Papa Pope. The episode hit the ground running and didn’t stop for a single second. Papa Pope only keeps up the nice guy act for so long, a few minutes into their meeting, he reveals that he has blackmail on everyone’s favorite first lady. Papa Pope holds nothing back, he shows up with a folder revealing every illegal, morally wrong deed the Grant Administration has done, complete with Mellie’s affair with former VP Andrew (Jon Tenney), Fitz’s (Tony Goldwyn) affair with Olivia and Fit’z top-secret mission, Operation Remington. Papa Pope doesn’t leave anything for the imagination when he tells Mellie, “You’ll go down. Your husband will go down. It will be a bloodbath.” In order to stop these secrets from reaching the media, Papa Pope has a proposition for Mellie; reveal the list of names currently sitting on the B-613 trial jury.
Kerry Washington in the Scandal season 4 finale "You Can't Take Command." Photo Credit: ABC
Kerry Washington in the Scandal season 4 finale “You Can’t Take Command.” Photo Credit: ABC
Olivia, Jake (Scott Foley) and David (Joshua Malina) have taken B-613 directly to court and are revealing Operation Remington to the public. Olivia summarizes their plan best when she says; “We have one goal, to bring down my father and to shut down B-613 for good, to do what is right.” In a classic, dark and twisty Scandal moment, Olivia, Huck (Guillermo Diaz), Jake, David, and Quinn (Katie Lowes) stumble upon a bus load full of B-613 jurors. In something classic to the Scandal universe, all the jurors were brutally tortured and gunned down. With the team getting farther and farther from their goal, Scandal fans were already on the edge of their seats and it was only fifteen minutes into the brutal Scandal finale.
Kerry Washington continues to be the soul and beating heart behind Scandal and this finale focused on Olivia more than ever. There is no denying that she is one of the reasons Scandal has done so well and this season she was pushed to her breaking point. Between being brutally kidnapped and dealing with sensitive, politically relevant topics, Washington has gone through every emotion and dramatic experience. This episode she continued to hit her stride especially in a scene with Jake. After the jurors are found dead, Olivia seems to be hitting her breaking point and wants to take Papa Pope down with every fiber of her being. In a classic Olivia Pope, power-strut moment, Olivia screams at Jake, “I want this! Watch me take it! For once in his life, he’s the scared kid and I’m Command.” Washington continues to dominate Scandal week after week and this finale may have been one of her strongest performances this season.
Bellamy Young in the Scandal season 4 finale "You Can't Take Command." Photo Credit: ABC/Nicole Wilder
Bellamy Young in the Scandal season 4 finale “You Can’t Take Command.” Photo Credit: ABC/Nicole Wilder
Meanwhile, Mellie can’t contain her knowledge of killing the jurors so she goes to the only man she can trust: Cyrus (Jeff Perry). Cyrus of course has a panic attack and knows exactly who is behind these killings. Perry has taken Cyrus from an unlikable, background character to one of the most beloved, fan-favorite characters on Scandal. This week Perry showed every side to Cyrus and further proved that he will do anything to keep his job with The Grant Administration in tact. In a moment of pure, diabolical evil, Cyrus has Olivia and Jake arrested when they try to disclose B-613 secrets to the CIA. Perry is the backbone to everything Scandal holds dear and in this finale he rips apart Olivia’s B-613 operation at the seams. In one swoop, Cyrus blackmails David Rosen into stopping his B-613 case by threatening Abby’s (Darby Stanchfield) life. He also blackmails Jake by threatening his mother and tells Olivia he will rip apart Pope & Associates with everything he has. And if that isn’t enough, Rowan and Cyrus also give Mama Pope her freedom. Talk about a massive plot twist. Rowan Pope may be the big bad of season four however, Cyrus isn’t afraid to show his downright villainous side. So, only half way through the finale and Papa Pope is running free and B-613 is a mere memory.
On the campaign front, Mellie wins Senator of Virginia and a lot of that is thanks to Fitz’s unconditional love and support of his wife. This is such a change from the Fitz and Mellie Scandal fans knew in season one and two and it’s extremely refreshing to see the two of them as colleagues and best friends. Although, Scandal fans knew that Mellie and Fitz wouldn’t be standing in the sun for too long. At her winning rally, Elizabeth (Portia De Rossi) reveals to Fitz that Mellie was the one who helped kill all the jurors and that her main donor was Papa Pope. Let’s just say this was the last straw for Fitz and in a fit of rage and something four seasons in the making, Fitz kicks Mellie out of the White House and says he will not help her become President of the United States. Talk about an ultimatum. What does this mean for Mellie and Fitz’s perfect ending? And is everyone’s most deranged but highly lovable couple really done? Goldwyn comes to the forefront of this episode, which is refreshing considering he hasn’t played a major part in season four. This episode got back to basics for Goldwyn and it was something fans were really missing this season.
Scott Foley in the Scandal season 4 finale "You Can't Take Command." Photo Credit: ABC/Nicole Wilder
Scott Foley in the Scandal season 4 finale “You Can’t Take Command.” Photo Credit: ABC/Nicole Wilder
The last ten minutes of this Scandal finale seemed to be the wildest ride to date. Every character was left hanging and most of their futures seem quite unclear when the episode comes to an end. Olivia finally gets the justice she has been searching for when she has the police arrest Papa Pope for funneling money from the Smithsonian for the past few years. Olivia says it best when she says, “We couldn’t take Command, but we can take Eli Pope.” Take that Command! Meanwhile at Pope & Associates, Quinn pulls a gun on Huck after she realizes that he was the one that killed all the jurors for Command. Lowes swoops in and creates one of the most epic moments this season and fans cannot help but cheer for. A teary eyed Quinn holds a gun to Huck’s head and threatens to kill him and that’s where their story ends for now. Talk about a Scandal moment for the ages.
If those two major plot developments weren’t enough, Scandal continued to deliver crushing blows and Fitz fires Cyrus! That’s right, Cyrus has left the White House and it will be hard to see where this character goes from here but one incredible woman is basking in Cyrus’ newfound unemployment, Elizabeth has now taken his job! Great news for Portia de Rossi, who is now a series regular come season five of Scandal. Also making a dramatic life decision, Jake decides his days with Olivia are done. In an emotional conversation Jake tells Olivia, “My mission is complete… they [Papa Pope and Fitz] both asked me to keep you safe… They both made you my mission. I’m in love with you. I am in love with you, but you are in love with him…” Jake leaves a stunned Olivia and what comes next is one for the ages.
Tony Goldwyn and Kerry Washington in the Scandal season four finale "You Can't Take Command." Photo Credit: ABC
Tony Goldwyn and Kerry Washington in the Scandal season four finale “You Can’t Take Command.” Photo Credit: ABC
Scandal season four ends on a surprisingly happy note for Fitz and Olivia. In a moment four years in the making, Fitz and Olivia stand on the front porch of the White House and take in the sun. They are finally in a spot where they can be together and all seems right in the world. Scandal undid the very fabric of the show and that wasn’t a bad thing. Come next season, every character will be in a new position and fans cannot wait to see where the show goes from here.

Scandal returns this fall with brand-new episode on Thursdays at 9/10c on ABC

Overall Grade: A-

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7 Comments

  1. In another review some one called fitz for what he is he is just a snake. I really wish he goes away other than that the season finale was awesome Oh yea it is time for huck to die. He stated this whole thing with wanting to disclose everything for his family sake and then he kills the entire juror for his familiy sake It is time for him to go!!

  2. awesome ending! Fitz and Olivia togrther at the end made all Scandal fans sp happy! They have such a hot staeamy chemistry that makes the people watching even feel it!!! Cant wait for next season, and who will be back and where.

  3. Good ending and best finale, Liv choose his man . It was time time .The show has to move with new stories.her story , Mellie by herself. Olivia and Fitz working as a couple in the light ( the bib scancal). Jake was honest with Olivia , because he knew how deep Olivia loves Fitz and gave her the little push to go after her man and sto to deny her love for Fitz. Very nice ending for a bloody season 4 with this crap of b 613 . .

  4. Good ending and best finale, Liv choose his man . It was time time .The show has to move with new stories. , Mellie by herself. Olivia and Fitz working as a couple in the light ( the big scancal). Jake was honest with Olivia , because he knew how deep Olivia loves Fitz and gave her the little push, she needs to go after her man and stop deny her love for Fitz. Very nice ending for a bloody season 4 with this crap of b 613 . .

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