*Disclaimer: spoiler alerts ahead*
On Thursday, April 19, the award-winning show, Scandal, aired for the final time. Fans of the show said goodbye to Washington D.C fixer Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington), the beloved “Gladiators”, and other key players.
Scandal revolutionized primetime TV in 2012 by being the first TV show to cast an African-American woman in a strong leading role in 40 years. Rhimes also incorporated several characters diversifying in race and sexuality. Representation of minority groups on television was rare at the time, and Scandal changed that for the better.
Shonda Rhimes adequately paid homage to the show’s role as a representative of African-American excellence one last time. With a powerful monologue from Joe Morton (Eli Pope aka Rowan) in front of a white Congressional committee, as well as, a scene depicting two young African-American girls observing a portrait of Olivia Pope in Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, Rhimes maintained the message of black empowerment prevalent throughout the show.
— Chris Witherspoon (@WitherspoonC) April 20, 2018
For the past six years writer, Shonda Rhimes has constructed complex, arguably outrageous storylines that highlight the workings of D.C.’s inside circle. From secret spy organization B6-13 to election rigging, amorous affairs, and shocking deaths, the show stayed true to its name. Shonda Rhimes has written and produced various projects, however, this is the first popular television program she has ended in her career. Fans, including myself, were anxious to see how Rhimes would end the whirlwind of a series. Scandal did not disappoint in leaving fans with multiple plot twists while cultivating an open letter of inspiration towards America’s future generations.
Although the characters were immoral and problematic at times, they were like no other. Pope and her allies crossed the lines between good and evil constantly in the name of the “Republic”, the United States. In episodes leading to the finale, Olivia Pope, as well as, other valuable cast members were set on exposing the truth of their crimes in affiliation with B6-13. This was all done to expose past and present atrocities and give America back to the people, a noble cause.
— Scandal (@ScandalABC) April 13, 2018
In typical Shonda Rhimes fashion, the series finale sent Attorney General David Rosen (Joshua Malina) to his death at the hands of corrupt Vice-President Cyrus Beene (Jeff Perry). As a viewer, his death was very upsetting to me because he was a good man that abided by the rule of law. He led his life by principle and never took off the “white hat”, the show’s recurring symbol of honor. Furthermore, Beene was never properly held accountable for his actions, but it is implied he will lead the rest of his days in misery. I’m appalled by Rosen’s death, however, the tragedy ascended Scandal’s plot towards closure.
Rosen’s fate was the only one sealed at the end of the show. Rhimes left every other character’s storyline open, leaving it to personal interpretation. Some Scandal fans were not pleased with how the series ended, claiming Rhimes did not give the show a proper conclusion.
I have so many questions for @shondarhimes. You inspire me, but wth was that?! The finale left everyone questioning everything! Where was the closure? What and why roams my brain. I – we need answers !
— Sincℯrℯly Kℯshia G (@KeshiaTheWriter) April 20, 2018
— orange oreos. (@caucasiandoves) April 20, 2018
— TV After Dark (@TVAfterDark) April 20, 2018
Scandal’s finale left the audience with loosely tied ends, however, I believe this was intentional. In my opinion, Rhimes was attempting to siphon the idea that we are the writers of America’s narrative, as well as, our own. The characters of the show often fell short of justly serving the “Republic” in its seven seasons.
Therefore, Rhimes left it up to us, the future generation of young women and men to wear our “white hats” proudly in the face of demoralization. To do better than Olivia Pope and her associates.