Foxtail On 'Scandal' Is Evil, Right? There's Just No Way Something Rowan Pope Thought Up Is A Good Thing

In case you missed the final moments of last week's Scandal (DVR issues and barking dogs sure have a great sense for timing), the Scandal mystery Foxtail is Mellie. Foxtail is Mellie! Those were the words going through the head of every Scandal fan after last week's penultimate episode of Season 4. After several weeks spent wondering what the heck the enigmatic codename used by Papa Pope meant, we finally got our answer in the closing moments of the hour: As Mellie Grant, First Lady of the United States and Senatorial candidate for Virginia, entered a room to meet a donor, a Secret Service agent muttered, "Foxtail is secured." And just who was Mellie's mystery donor? Why, none other than Rowan Pope, of course!

Putting aside the fact that it's patently absurd to think that Olivia Pope of all people doesn't know Mellie's secret service code name, this was actually a pretty good twist. It brings together two of Scandal's biggest plot threads that have existed frustratingly independent of each other for most of this season: OPA and the White House. The stage is set for an exciting season finale collision between Olivia and her gladiators, Fitz and Mellie, and Rowan and his B613 agents.

However, in true Shonda Rhimes fashion, as soon as one question is solved another one comes up. Sure, we know now what Foxtail is. But now we need to know why. Why is Mellie Foxtail? What does Rowan want from the First Lady? And is there any possible way this isn't an evil master plan?

Over the course of the two years since his introduction in late Season 2, Papa Pope has somehow managed to develop from a fascinating three-dimensional character into an invincible, one-dimensional cartoon villain. (Remember when he was so pathetically desperate for Olivia's love that he would literally pay her to have dinner with him?) Since Mellie's popularity has only increased in the same amount of time that Rowan has begun to grate on viewers, tying these two characters inextricably together reads as an attempt to salvage whatever's left of the B613 storyline. (Seriously, everyone these days is a secret B613 agent: Rosen's secretary, that JAG lawyer, your mom. Are you honestly trying to tell me that an agent can impersonate a Naval officer and not one person in the Navy will notice?)

So let's imagine for a moment that Foxtail isn't the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad thing we all assume it to be. Could Rowan actually be trying to help Mellie? Sure, he'd probably use her indebtedness to his donations to try to influence the White House once she's elected, but at least his master plan would involve helping someone achieve their goals this time, rather than sending an agent to seduce them or using their chest as a pincushion for butcher knives.

Oh, who are we kidding? This is Papa Pope we're talking about. Surely his plan for Foxtail involves death, destruction, and more than a few scenery-chewing monologues. He'll probably use his leverage over Mellie to force Fitz to choose between his wife and Olivia. Or he'll threaten to torpedo Mellie's campaign unless she does something incredibly illegal for him. (As long as this storyline ends with Mellie finding out that her donor is also the man who killed her son and driving a stake through Rowan's cold, undead heart, I'll be a happy camper.)

Pretty much the only thing I think it's safe to say at this point is that Foxtail doesn't involve killing Mellie. If Rowan wanted her dead, there'd be a tag on her toe already. (Unless he made the mistake of sending Russell after her. That dude can't do anything right.) Whatever his master plan, Olivia seems more determined than ever to bring him down. "We have one goal: to bring down my father," she says in the promo for the finale. "No matter what happens, no matter who gets hurt." And she means it — Guillermo Díaz himself told People that there will be "more than three deaths" in the finale.

Hopefully such a high body count is in service of bringing down Rowan Pope and B613 once and for all, starting Season 5 over with a clean slate so that Shonda Rhimes can bring Scandal back to its soapy political roots... rather than the torture-happy spy thriller it's become in its latter seasons.

But I swear to god, if the finale reveals that Vice President Susan Ross, who has quickly become one of the best characters in the five episodes she's been on the show, is actually yet another super secret undercover B613 agent, I'm going to pull out somebody's molars.

Images: Nicole Wilder/ABC (4)