Scandal Series Finale: Shonda Rhimes Weighs Olivia Pope's 'Impossible' Odds

In exactly 37 hours, Scandal fans will finally know how Olivia Pope’s story ends — even if that ending managed to elude the series’ creator on a few occasions.

Speaking with a group of reporters ahead of Thursday’s series finale (ABC, 10/9c), Shonda Rhimes admitted that the ending she once envisioned for her Gladiators — which she hinted about back in 2013 — has “completely changed,” in large part due to the 2016 presidential election its influence over the direction of this final season.

“I think we did basically what I had planned to be all of season seven in the finale of last season’s Scandal,” she said. “So no, it’s very different.”

Thematically, Rhimes said the finale isn’t about these characters paying for their sins as much as it is about “seeing what happens once that choice has been made.”

With Thursday’s episode, Rhimes said, “We’re finishing the evolution of the character, of Olivia Pope. The story is being completed. … We’ve sort of put them in a fairly impossible position, and you get to find out what happens and how that gets solved and where our characters go from there.”

And if you loved that generous helping of Kate Burton (aka Sally “Lover of Liberty” Langston) last week, you’ll be happy to know that Rhimes “tried really hard to bring back some familiar faces in the final episode.” (I’m not holding my breath, but if I’m being real, the only character who still deserves any happiness on this show is poor Edison Davis.)

Lastly, a word of advice: You’d better cherish your final hour with Olivia and her inner circle, because Rhimes confirmed that there are no plans to revisit any of the characters in a spinoff or even in a future episode of How to Get Away With Murder. Simply put, “Scandal is done.” (For the record, much like yourself, Rhimes admitted to being “fully in denial still.”)

What are your hopes for Scandal‘s final outing, including any surprise returns and deserving victims? Drop ’em all in a comment below.

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