‘Scandal’ Won’t Return For Season 8, But Shonda Rhimes Has Had Plenty Of Time To Plan An Explosive Ending

It’s the end of an era. ABC political thriller has anchored Thursday night programming for six years and seven seasons, but it's all coming down to the Scandal series finale on April 19. Shonda Rhimes confirmed in a statement last spring that Scandal will not return for Season 8, because she is ready to end this epic story.

Fans have watched Olivia Pope’s unbelievably messy life take seemingly infinite twists and turns as she's gone from being a crisis guru to living in the White House as the First Girlfriend to becoming Command of B613. Her complicated love affairs with former President Fitzgerald Grant and Jake Ballard, confusing relationships with her parents Maya and Rowan Pope, unlikely friendship with Mellie Grant, and her adventures with on-and-off colleagues Abby Whelan, Quinn Perkins, and Huck have all been heart-racing, dramatic TV gold. The show’s stars connected with fans on Twitter to live-tweet episodes from the very beginning, helping to change how many viewers watch television. There have been a lot of dead bodies, broken hearts, and empty bottles of wine left in her wake but Pope’s TV saga will be over for good soon.

In her statement, Rhimes said that it was a tough decision to make, but that she knew it was time to put a cap on Olivia’s saga. Her Shondaland production company is still churning out hit shows How to Get Away With Murder and Grey’s Anatomy, plus launching new series such as Station 19 and For The People. So, the Scandal creator and her team will still be very busy after Scandal’s last episode. Rhimes told her fans:

“Deciding how to end a show is easy. Deciding when to finish is quite simple when the end date is years away. But actually going through with it? Actually standing up to say: ‘This is it?’ Not so much. So, next year we are going all out. Leaving nothing on the table. Creating this world in celebration. We are going to handle the end the way we like to handle the important things in our Scandal family: all together, white hats on, gladiators running full speed over a cliff.”

Star Kerry Washington recently tweeted an article about the show’s final episode and counted down the (short) days until fans find out what will happen to their favorite characters. As usual, it's chaos in Scandal's version of Washington, and in a series finale, no one is safe.

The most recent episode ended with a cliffhanger involving almost every major character. Olivia revealed B613 to Lonnie Mencken. She also told Mellie, Fitz, and David Rosen what the audience has already known for years — that they are all terrible, shady people, and it's time they own up to their countless crimes. Abby, Quinn, and Huck blew the lid off of everything by giving information about B613 to talk show host Sally Langston, which she revealed to the world on her show. They even included an excerpt from Rhimes' statement in the dialogue by saying they were all going over the cliff together. Now, Cyrus and Jake’s plans to take over the White House are in danger, and everyone has incriminated themselves in the process of destroying them.

Will the whole crew be trading in their designer handbags and tailored suits for prison uniforms? Probably not. “It’s Handled” is a way of life on Scandal, so some unforeseen loophole will probably show itself. But there are some other plot points that will need to be wrapped up.

The Future Of Olitz

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Olitz has been a centerpiece of the story since Season 1. They carried on an illicit affair, and then had it exposed to the world, landing Olivia on the cover of several magazines when she moved in the White House. Fitz has treating Olivia shabbily, and she once left him after having an abortion without his knowledge. But, many fans wonder if they will still live out their dreams of making jam in Vermont. The couple just jumped back in bed together (again), so it’s a strong possibility that they will both walk away from political life and live in a cabin together. But, this final scandal could break them if either ends up imprisoned. Or, they could decide to amicably walk away from each other and start fresh lives after all these years of drama.

President Mellie

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Mellie could end up as Olivia’s cellmate. She has had her hands in a lot of dirt over the years and isn't likely to catch a break as the first woman President. But, if Mellie can avoid prison time, will she continue to be the POTUS? She strongly hinted to her sort-of boyfriend Marcus Walker that she is ready for it to be over. She may make a decision to resign and let the next in line (not Cyrus because he is going down) take over the monumental job. Mellie could leave the political sphere too and find a place to be happy with Marcus.

Quinn Perkins & Associates… Plus Abby

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Quinn took over Olivia’s spot and does a great job running the place. But, her kidnapping woes, new baby, and Charlie’s recent imprisonment might be the last straw for the Stanford Law School graduate. She may decide to dissolve the firm for good and pursue a career in law. Or, she might keep it going and rebrand the firm to fix problems that don’t involve murders and political scandals. Quinn and Abby would make a dynamic leading duo at QPA.

Will Huck Finally Find Peace?

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Huck has come full circle from being an unstable, quiet hitman to a person who doesn’t want to kill. He’s extremely loyal to his colleagues, but the final episode of Scandal may see him leaving D.C. to find a better, calmer life. He could return to being a “regular” person again, using his hacking talents to work in an IT position. No matter what he does, every Scandal fan wants to see Huck happy.

The fates of Rowan Pope, Jake, and Cyrus also hang in the balance with the exposure of B613. Those shifty guys always have a way of getting out of trouble — until now, possibly. So, break out the popcorn, wine, and your favorite white hat one last time for Olivia C. Pope. This twisty ride is sure to have an explosive ending.