ABC’s ‘Scandal’ season 3 finale review: Who died, and did Olivia Pope leave OPA?

More scoop -On Thursday night’s “Scandal” finale, you expected there to be some pretty significant things that transpired … but not exactly anything like this. It was good, it was, and it was ugly. There were also about 3,000 things going on.

There were deaths that took place in this episode, and that was only the tip of the iceberg. Fitz learned the truth on so many terrible things, and Huck refused to acknowledge his past and the pain that was there (at least at first). He ended up greeting his past at the end of the episode, but that was all we got on that. A shame, really, since this story was one of the best of the entire episode.

But we have to start here with what we personally believe to be the worst part of the episode to watch: The death of Fitz’s son in devastating fashion. Maya was eventually taken down, as well! The shock is that Maya was not “killed” in the way that Rowan told the President, but she is in custody. Then, things got even crazier when it was revealed that Rowan was actually behind the person behind what happened to Jerry, as both revenge and also the “price of free and fair elections.” That is where the title of the episode comes from, and this show just keeps getting even more insane … but at the end, we started to wonder if that was a good thing or not.

Speaking of insane, another death seems to have happened with Harrison, who had just started to figure it all out. Given what has been happening to Columbus Short lately, it may be good for there to be some distance … but still, another big moment that could be more effective if there was more time to flesh it out.

So Fitz did win the election, and is now President of the United States. That’s great for him … but is it? We wanted to love this finale way more than we did, since it put such an emphasis on being shocking or crazy that it made no effort for most of the episode on being human. This is the perfect show for Twitter and the instant-gratification generation, but it’s like watching a movie with 200 villains in it. You don’t really get time to digest anything, and if there are too many shocks, then none of them start to mean as much.

Olivia closed things off in the finale by running off with Jake and seemingly leaving OPA behind, but we’ll see how long that lasts. This was a nice ending in that we can imagine her being happy as a result of this, but we feel like we need to watch this a few more times to really understand it. There was way too much going on in this hour, and not enough context to back it up. It feels like with Kerry Washington’s pregnancy in mind, Shonda Rhimes took the originally-planned five episodes of the season (which were cut down to accommodate the actress) and tried to jam them all into a single hour. Grade: C+.

Do we still have faith in “Scandal”? Sure, but it needs to get back to what made it great through much of season 2 and even parts of season 3. Don’t feel the need to rush to get us to the next popcorn moment. Allow your actors to do great work. Give us time to emotionally process. It doesn’t have to be mired in subtlety like “Mad Men,” but there does need to be balance.

What did you think about the “Scandal” finale as a whole? Share some of your thoughts with a comment below, and for some more news related to the show, including a tease for what lies ahead, be sure to click here. Also, you can sign up now to get further news and updates from our CarterMatt Newsletter.

Photo: ABC

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