scandal finale Season 2 Episode 22 White Hats Off Recap Season 2 Finale

Did anyone else have a panic attack in sheer anticipation of what was going to happen on Scandal this evening? Because I know I sure did. I completely abandoned Twitter today knowing it was sure to be a veritable minefield of spoilers. But now the time has come. The Scandal finale, “What Hat’s Back On,” is ready to knock our socks off.

The episode begins with Pope and Associates reassessing. Billy Chambers is the mole? Billy Chambers? The supposedly dead one? Yepperoo. In flashback, we see that Billy, whom we thought had been killed by Charlie at the end of season one, convinced the lackluster assassin that they should team up. Charlie apparently took the bait.

Liv takes her information about Billy to the old tribunal: Hollis Doyle, Cyrus, Mellie and Liv are back in the same room. Talk about elephants in the room. These four are possibly the fiercest power players in Washington and more than one of them has beef with the others. But there’s a new addition to the team, and it’s not Verna’s ghost: Fitz has been let in on the action. Hollis immediately proposes killing Billy, but of course that’s not on the table. Liv points out that Billy isn’t the problem, Defiance is the problem. They need to get that Cytron card back and all will be fine. No, Liv, all would have been fine had you merely destroyed the card in the first place, but okay, sure. Get that card back.

After the meeting, Liv tells Fitz she’s okay with waiting for him for another four years, but Fitz laughs. She won’t have to wait; he wants to move her into the White House, he wants to marry her. She reminds him—and we’re thinking the same—that there are one million reasons that can never happen. In the hallway, Mellie tells Cyrus she is tired of being humiliated.

Rowan and Jake talk again in the park. Rowan tells Jake that it’s time to bring Olivia into their fold, whatever that means. Jake is hesitant and asks what Rowan intends for Olivia, but our mysterious man is all secrets, so he’s not telling.

Cyrus finds out from James that Vice President Sally Langston is planning to run against Fitz in the next election. She stands upon her soapbox and claims that she has to run if Fitz is committing adultery. Her constituency relies on her piety.

With the associates, Liv relates that she thinks Billy is working with Governor Reston (a character introduced earlier in the season; he ran against Fitz early in the presidential race). She thinks Billy may be helping him in the event that Reston wants to run for election. Knowing about an election rigging would certainly be ammunition enough to propel him to a win. Huckleberry Quinn, our favorite pair, is in HQ, hacking into the security cameras outside of Reston’s house, and they find footage of Billy with Reston. Huck also confesses to Liv that he thinks Quinn is picking up too quickly on what he’s teaching her. He’s not yet worried about Quinn, but he’s worried about Liv being with Fitz. And it’s here that I get a whiff of what’s to come later in the episode. Liv tells Huck that Fitz wants her by his side, but you can almost see in her face that she doesn’t truly believe it will ever happen. Only time will tell.

Meanwhile, at the park outside the White House, Rowan approaches Cyrus. They pow-wow and Rowan talks to Cyrus about Liv, telling him to “drop the bomb” already. He looks uncompromising. When Rowan leaves, Liv calls Cy and tells him about Reston. Reston? he asks. Reston is currently in the White House for a meeting! They have to shut it down. But when Cyrus spins around to run back to the White House, he grabs his arm. He’s having a heart attack.

And so are we. Because Reston is showing his cards to Fitz. He knows about Defiance and he wants on Fitz’s team. He wants to be Fitz’s VP in the reelection.

scandal finale Season 2 Episode 22 Finale Recap White Hats Off Recap

Next we know, Cyrus is on his cell phone on a gurney, grilling Fitz and Liv on the Reston situation. But Liv figures out that Reston doesn’t want to be on Fitz’s ticket, he just wants to catch Fitz on tape admitting to Defiance. James comes to visit Cyrus in the hospital, imploring him not to die because James is way too mad at him right now.

Billy meets with David and asks for the Cytron card, but interestingly, David insists that he doesn’t want his friends to go down. Billy rants about how the associates aren’t David’s friends, they ruined his life. Okay, true. David hands over the card, but the smart cookie she is, Olivia already knows that Billy probably has his hands on the card. She sets up a meeting with Reston and smartly, innocuously asks for the Cytron card in good faith.

After she hears that public opinion has turned against her opinion to air her dirty laundry on television, Mellie rushes to Cyrus’ bedside—where Fitz is—and starts rattling off ways that they can look like a couple to the public. Then Fitz gets an amazing speech wherein he plans their futures apart. Mellie gets to run for political office and Fitz will go on a few dates with intelligent, age-appropriate women before news breaks that he’s seeing Olivia, one of his trusted aides. There’s a great series of lines about how Fitz publicly seeing Olivia will change race relations in the country, opening the Republican party to the world, making the political party fall in love with Olivia. Mellie storms out and Fitz admits to Cyrus that all the spin was Olivia’s idea. Cyrus, who has been operating under the belief that the only way Fitz could win reelection was with Mellie by his side, is obviously impressed. He now sees a new path in their situation.

Back at HQ, the associates may have tracked down Billy.

At her apartment, after a cute but short phone call with the president, Liv’s apartment door rattles. Liv tries to call 911, but Jake comes up behind her with a hand over the mouth. The person on the other side of the door finally breaks through and points a gun in Liv’s face, but Jake shoots her first. It’s a cute, blond assassin that we’ve never seen before. Someone just tried to kill Liv! Clearly they’ve never seen her fierce swag before.

Jake takes Liv back to headquarters, telling her not to leave. He tells her that so long as she’s in a relationship with the president, she’s in danger. She needs to break up with him. The people that he works with, the person that he just killed was a member of B6-13. That’s right, the organization Huck and Charlie were once part of. He admits that sleeping with her was just part of his mission, but she obviously doesn’t buy that’s all that their relationship was because she kisses him thank you for saving her life.

Liv is still reeling from the assassination attempt when Cyrus shows up at HQ asking about her. He heard that her apartment was attacked and wanted to make sure she was all right. When she asks him about B6-13, he tells her he can’t talk about it, but blows up at her when she says he wants to be with Fitz, no matter what. He yells that they’re behaving like children. Love won’t solve everything. And to prove it, he tells her that Fitz killed Verna with his bare hands. Liv is shocked, but I can’t help but feel so many worse things have happened in this show. Just cut him a break, Liv.

Huck takes to torturing Billy with Quinn in the room, and on the other side of town, Cyrus approaches Fitz with his Jake-Liv sex tape. Huck can’t bring himself to torture Billy; he’s having PTSD flashbacks. So Quinn does it for him. And that is possibly the first time I’ve seen Quinn seem authentically anything on this show. Meanwhile, Fitz watches the sex tape.

scandal finale Season 2 Episode 22 White Hats Off Season 2 Finale Recap

In the torture room, Billy gives up the location of the Cytron card, but there’s nothing on it. It’s a fake. He divulges that David is the one who gave him the card, and everyone realizes what happened. David played them. We see in flashback that David was only the mole because he was held at gunpoint by Charlie and Billy.

Fitz is understandably upset by the sex tape, but I can’t really see why. He and Liv weren’t together at the time; they were hardly speaking. And that was all on him if anyone remembers that little detail. Not to mention, this is the man who got his wife pregnant just to make good on appearances to the American people. That was essentially cheating on Liv, so why is Fitz pissed that Liv hooked up with someone else while they weren’t seeing each other? Men!

The tribunal reconvenes. No one is really up to speaking to one another, but when they learn David is in Cyrus’ office at that moment, they are rendered speechless. Apparently, David gave Cyrus the real Cytron card and a gift for Liv: a recording of his previous conversation with Billy in which Billy admits to being the mole and David admits the associates are his friends. In a press conference, Fitz announces that David is an American hero and names him a new district attorney. Also in the box for Liv? A cute white hat. She puts it on.

Liv and Fitz meet in the Oval Office. They lay all the cards on the table: she knows about Verna and he knows about Jake. He was prepared to forgive her for Jake, but he knows she won’t forgive him for murder. Oh, c’mon Liv. Forgive him! But she says that they went to far. This is time for everyone to hit the reset button. He can run with Mellie by his side and she and her associates can get back on track. Her people need her; she’s their gladiator. I can’t be the only one who wondered why they couldn’t just have both?

So we see Liv lying in bed alone; Fitz laying his head in Mellie’s lap; and Cyrus destroying the Cytron card. Jake is hauled into the B6-13 hole; Liv happily struts to her headphones in a white workout outfit, but the moment she leaves her apartment and unplugs her headphones, she’s bombarded by reporters asking her if she’s the president’s mistress. Someone spilled the beans after all! And we learn who in the very next shot.

Liv is ushered into a town car, and we see Rowan in also inside. Still reeling from the ambush outside, Liv looks at him confusedly. “Dad?” she asks.

Finale Conclusions

And that’s it! Who else yelled at the television at that little reveal? Definitely didn’t see that one coming. But other than the last-minute reveal, I can’t really say this season finale did it for me, Scandal fans. I can’t help but feel too much of “White Hat’s Back On” was dedicated to Billy and Reston, neither of whom were the least bit engaging as villains. It was nice to see David acknowledge his friendship with the gladiators, and it was especially nice to see him set up in a cushy job again. I can’t imagine where the Huckleberry Quinn relationship will go now that Quinn has experienced the high of torture and has no one else to share it with beside the recovering torture addict that is Huck. But most disappointing was the end of Liv and Fitz’s relationship.

It was strange to see Liv looking so chipper at the end of the episode, ready to occupy her mind with a morning run. I expected her to be more upset, but her attitude may be a result of feeling lighter now that she believes she did the right thing. Beside that, the rest of the episode felt like a retread for our favorite couple of previous emotional conclusions. I can’t help but feel the really daring thing for this show to try at this point would be to allow them to actually be together without Mellie in the picture. But that would mean nixing the phenomenal Bellamy Young, and that should never be an option.

“White Hat’s Back On” was an episode that felt tightly packed with information. Barring Rowan and the B6-13 storyline, every plot point we visited over our season was neatly tied up. (Side note: How gross for Rowan to insist a man sleep with his daughter and then use the resulting sex tape as political leverage? Blech.) Maybe too neatly.

Where can we possibly go from here, viewers? What do you think is waiting for us come fall? What did you think of the Scandal finale, “White Hat’s Back On?”

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