The following story contains spoilers from this week’s Scandal. Proceed at your own peril.
Proving the ol’ show still has a few tricks up its sleeve, Scandal sent a major character to the Other Side in Thursday’s episode. (Last chance to hit the nearest exit without getting spoiled!)
Towards the end of the hour, Portia de Rossi‘s Elizabeth was brutally murdered as poor Mellie looked on. (Read Andy Swift’s complete recap here.) The decision to send “Lizzie Bear” packing was made after De Rossi asked to be let out of her contract.
“I am incredibly grateful for my time here at Scandal,” she said in a statement. “I will miss playing Elizabeth North, but I’ve made the decision to focus on a business opportunity. Shonda, Betsy [Beers] and the cast have been incredibly supportive of my decision. I will always love my Scandal family. I’ll be watching!”
The twist represented one of the more significant cast departures since the series launched six years ago.
“I have been a fan of Portia’s for years and it was an honor to have her join our Scandal family,” Rhimes said in a statement. “Portia infused Liz North with a smart, powerful and vulnerable soul while also making the humor sing — and that brought all of us in the writers’ room a lot of joy. If I could keep her forever, I would — but kidnapping is illegal. Besides, I am incredibly impressed with the vision she has for her creative future. I wish her all the best.”
De Rossi joined Scandal in Season 4 and was promoted to a full-fledged series regular in Season 5. “I came on as a fan,” she told TVLine back in 2015, adding, “I’ve been on a lot of shows. People get a little jaded or complacent. There’s something so magical about Scandal. I have to say, Kerry Washington really sets the tone for the rest of us. She is so enthusiastic and happy and grateful and humble. She is a class act. She shows everyone else how it’s done. I have to give the credit to her.”