If you’ve followed the TV series, Scandal, you’ll know how Olivia Pope is definitely one of the most iconic characters on television. Not only is she the first black female lead, her much-envied lifestyle will live forever in our hearts after the series finally ends this month.
In an interview with Deadline, American TV producer, Shona Rhimes says she just has “no way of describing the finale.”
Rhimes says the Shondaland show was a long story that needs tying up at the end. “Telling a story this entire season and heading towards an end” and “the finale is really just about finishing telling the story.”
Kerry Washington’s iconic Olivia Pope will remain as a role model for many with her character’s complex layers of “strength, power, vulnerability, and insecurity” and Rhimes said that for the whole series “we’re watching the evolution of somebody who has sort of been to hell and back.”
“She started out as the character that we knew who has very much believed this power and how important this particular kind of power was and how molding it and being a part of it was,” continues Rhimes. “We watched her like everybody else become absolutely corrupted by it and make all of the same mistakes that everybody else makes to get what she wants from it — and then we watched her sort of hopefully fight her way back from it.”
For the end of Olivia’s journey, Rhimes said there wasn’t a struggle in where they wanted her to go. “Once I knew what story we were telling this season, I always knew exactly how we were going to end it,” said Rhimes, still keeping a veil of secrecy on the finale. “We were doing our table reading for the final episode where I realized that it was – it works, like the story that we wanted to tell and the ending that we wanted to get to was actually going to work, which might’ve been the first time I actually cried about the fact that we were finishing, because it meant that we were actually doing it correctly.”
Although Rhimes says she is “Team Olivia,” she admits to having equal affection for the other characters too – many of whom will be returning for the season finale.
The series has been known for breaking many barriers and has included so many different storylines that are relatable to many – people of colour, the LGBT community, women and most importantly, women of colour.
Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope marks the first Black female lead in a network drama in almost 40 years.
“I feel like she’s been a very three-dimensional independent woman who was, at a time when female characters really weren’t anti-heroes, an antihero,” said Rhimes. “And now it feels very normal and obvious that female characters can be anti-heroes. It feels normal and obvious that women of color can lead the shows. So hopefully that is something that this show has done.”
Rhimes hopes to have “made a dent” and influenced the portrayal of nuanced characters from marginalized communities on narrative television. “We’ve created a world in which we’ve stopped seeing these characters on televisions and it’s a magical anomaly that they’re there,” she points out. “Getting to be a three-dimensional character on television isn’t something that only happens to white people.”
Scandal has broken ground, shattered glass ceilings, defied stereotypes and has left a mark on popular culture. As the drama closes its final chapter, Rhimes says she is in denial that the show is ending. She and the cast have had many goodbye dinners and spent hours together up to the last night of shooting. And of course, they will all be together on Thursday night as the finale airs.
For those who are finding it difficult to let go of such an iconic series, there’s no hope for a Scandal spin-off in the future as the show will definitely be the end. “Scandal is done.” confirms Rhimes.