How Did 'Scandal' End? The Gladiators Have Left Shondaland Forever
Last night the Gladiator's run came to an end. Backed into a corner by Vice President Cyrus Beene, in his attempt to impeach Mellie Grant and take the Oval Office for himself, everyone put on their white hats and marched into Congress to testify about the truth about B613. Cyrus' response was to order his fixer Jake to kill Attorney General David Rosen, thereby ensuring charges would be brought. But Jake refused, a sign that Cyrus' hold on Washington was slipping. So how did Scandal end? Warning: Spoilers for the Scandal series finale follow.
Boy, that was a lot in a single hour. Fans on Twitter asked how the show could possibly wrap up everything in one hour's time, and the truth is, despite how fast everything moved, they didn't. Not really. I mean, the important points happened. There was the fastest wedding ceremony on TV in the jailhouse for Quinn and Charlie. Everyone testified before Congress, even Papa Pope. Olivia decided to walk off into the sunset where Fitz was waiting.
But Cyrus? Well, when Jake wouldn't do the deed, he took matters into his own hands, poisoning the AG in his own living room, making sure David and Abby would never find happiness. And then, after Papa Pope swooped in and kept everyone out of jail, all that happened to Cyrus was a forced resignation from his VP position? Really? That's it? Jake goes to jail, taking the fall for everyone, but Cyrus walks away?
Not quite. Concurrent with the airing of the series finale on the West Coast, Shonda Rhimes held a live table read of the episode for charity at the El Capitan, benefiting the Actors Fund. The script was the full version, with all deleted scenes included, which were either cut for time or other reasons. Among the scenes added back in for this read was the one that revealed Cyrus' fate.
Not every scene involving Cyrus made it into the episode. For instance, one that hit the cutting room floor was Mellie confronting Cyrus for his crimes, and accusing him of poisoning Rosen. This is before Papa Pope takes the stand, when Cyrus looks to have won on all counts. But Cyrus is not happy about who he became to make it happen and even cries in the scene.
That's not all though. At the end of the episode, as the Gladiators accepted they were free, and it was all going to work out fine, there was a montage of everyone moving forward. Mellie signs gun control, making sure that Lonnie's suicide at the top of the hour had not been in vain. Quinn and Charlie play with their daughter. Olivia and her father drink together.
But in a scene cut by the show, Cyrus gets what's coming. According to Entertainment Weekly:
Cyrus sits alone in his house when he hears a noise from the other room. Huck (Guillermo Diaz) arrives to get justice for David’s death, his famed torture toolbox in tow. So yes, Scandal fans, Cyrus definitely paid for his crimes in the end.
This scene most likely comes before the clip of Abby and Huck standing over Rosen's grave, paying tribute to the true "white hat" of the group, and would have added an extra level to the scene had it been included. But at the same time, did we really need to see Cyrus pay?
For some, the answer is probably yes. But once the show cut Mellie and Cyrus' face off, it makes sense that they chose to simply truncate his fate down and off the screen to make room for the more important characters farewells, and more optimistic endings. And thus Scandal said farewell on the brightest note they can.