‘Scandal’ Series Finale: Shonda Rhimes Is Taking the Meaning of Olivia Pope’s Portrait to Her Grave

Star Scott Foley did tell TheWrap there would be something “sort of ambiguous at the very end of the show”

Last Updated: April 20, 2018 @ 6:57 PM

(Spoiler alert: Please do not read ahead unless you have seen the “Scandal” series finale that aired on Thursday.)

“Scandal” wrapped its seven-season run on Thursday night with a final episode that packed in fierce outfits, killer monologues and the most tragic death in the history of the series (RIP David Rosen). It also gave us a Shonda Rhimes’ cliffhanger that probably made more than one Gladiator knock over their glass of red wine in shock.

And we’re sure if you saw the finale you already know we’re talking about that “YAS QUEEN!”-enducing painting of Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) two young girls see hanging in the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. You know, something that suggests she eventually becomes PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

Following the episode, Rhimes, Washington and the rest of the cast sat down on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” to discuss the ending, and of course that moment came up.

When the late-night host asked Washington what she thinks the portrait is doing there, she nervously answered: “Gosh, I really want Shonda to answer this question. Because even in the script it’s written that we don’t know exactly why.”

Rhimes jumped in to say: “It says the audience is left not knowing.” But, of course, the showrunner revealed she actually knows what’s up, adding, “I get one last thing to say as a spoiler that I’m going to hold onto for the rest of my life.”

Well, that sounds par for the course for, Rhimes.

However, that’s OK, because Scott Foley, who plays Liv’s sometimes lover (other times brother) Jake Ballard, told TheWrap in an interview last week that the seventh and final season of “Scandal” would come to a close with an ending he wants you to make your own. And we’re 99.9 percent sure that portrait of Olivia is what he was referencing.

“Now there is one thing that is sort of ambiguous at the very end of the show and it’s going to leave people questioning, ‘Did this happen? Did that happen? I don’t quite get it.’ And I think it’s important to make it your own,” Foley said of the episode — titled, “Over a Cliff.” “And there’s going to be questions and disagreements and ‘It couldn’t be. Here’s why’ or ‘It has to be. Here’s why.'”

“But I think it’s important for the viewer, when that happens, and they see the moment that I’m talking about, to make it personal to them. And I know this is sounding very ethereal, and forgive me for that. But there is an opportunity there for it to have whatever you want it to have,” he added.

Watch Rhimes and Washington discuss the ending above and see the portrait below.