(Spoiler alert: Do not read ahead unless you have watched through last Thursday’s episode of “Scandal”)
All the white hats are about to come off when Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) and her associates sit down to testify to their worst crimes on the “Scandal” series finale, titled “Over a Cliff,” Thursday.
If you believe they were ever on to begin with, that is. And Shondaland executive producer Betsy Beers believes they were. Or at least thinks they didn’t need to be on at all times? It’s all very “crazily ambiguous” here.
When TheWrap spoke with Beers ahead of Shonda Rhimes’ politically-driven drama’s final bow, we first asked her to weigh in on Scott Foley’s, who plays Jake Ballard, comments to us about the last episode having an “ambiguous” moment — to which Beers literally said you just need to tune in.
“I think the best thing I can say to anybody is just watch the finale, and enjoy the finale, because it’s a really good finale,” Beers said. “It’s really satisfying. It’s emotional. It’s fun. I think Shonda did an amazing job delivering what I consider to be an incredibly satisfying finale for seven seasons of what I would call a real roller coaster ride for characters. I think there are a number of things in it that are surprising and I’m sure people will be discussing and questioning back and forth for weeks to come. But all I can tell you is just watch it.”
Now, while we were digging more to see if Beers could speak to what happy endings might look like for Pope & Associates (oh, the answer to that is “no, I don’t think I really can”), she took issue with the use of “not good people” as a descriptor for the characters.
“I don’t think that they’re not good people,” Beers said. “I think these are people who have all been faced with large and very difficult decisions and choices that they’ve made over the course of a long period of time. And different people have made different choices. I think what I find really appealing about the show is that these are flawed humans. And when they’ve made some of these choices that might have been the best choice in the moment or it might have been the best choice for the greater good … I don’t know in some cases — I might not have agreed with what they did, but I could always identify with the dilemma that they were in.”
“One of the things I love best about this show is that every season I would identify with somebody totally different,” Beers continued. “And sometimes it would be a character like Huck (Guillermo Diaz), who you thought that you knew. And then you watch ‘Seven Fifty-Two,’ the episode in which you get to know why Huck is like Huck. And I couldn’t blame Huck for anything after that. And I think I’ve sort of gone through that with each character. So the bottom line is that I think what you will find in the finale is it’s satisfying in a lot of different ways. How’s that for crazily ambiguous for you?”
Yeah, that was arguably more vague than what Foley said. Just like the morality of Liv, Fitz (Tony Goldwyn), Mellie (Bellamy Young), Cyrus (Jeff Perry) and practically every other member of “Scandal”s core group.
“They’re not good guys or bad guys — they’re just guys,” Beers added. “I think you watch a show wanting it to be one or the other … I think one of the things I love most about my job and working here and getting to develop shows and working with Shonda and the other writers, I think one of the great things about the show is nobody is ever bad or good. People are people and they’re surprising. And very often you’ll meet somebody on one of our shows and you’ll think they’re bad, but you’ll find out there is this heart and a soul there.”
“The more you get to know somebody, the more complicated and three-dimensional they are,” Beers said. “And over the course of seven seasons of ‘Scandal,’ these are characters who have been exposed to and confronted by and immersed in a world which is really complicated, and a lot of it has to do with the question of ‘How would you react in a situation where there is a lot at stake?’ And it’s uncomfortable to sit and say ‘I can identify with that.’ It’s scary, which I get. But it’s also why I keep watching, because I want to see what the hell they are doing next.”
You can see what the hell the “Scandal” characters are doing next — for the last time — when the series finale airs Thursday at 10/9 c on ABC.