The Scandal marketing team promises: “No one will predict how the season finale goes down.” But one thing we do know is that both candidates — Mellie Grant and Frankie Vargas — will be picking their running mates. Scott Foley says none of the Scandal peeps guessed who it would be, and that there were “a lot of jaws on the floor in the table-read room.” And so, the time has come to make some predictions about who our former First Lady turned badass nominee is going to choose to run the country with her.
Marcus Walker: He’s the best choice, because he’s still mostly untainted by OPA’s brand of crazy. He would make a great leader, he’s authentic, he part of the reason that the Brandon Bill exists, which is Fitz’s one crowning achievement in office (and because Fitz is a terrible president, let’s just give all the credit to Marcus). He did have a scandal that made him drop out of the mayoral race in D.C., but let’s all remember what show we’re watching. If the worst possible thing they could find on Mellie (**cough** bus full of dead jurors **cough**) is Olivia’s abortion, they can definitely figure out that whole “watched a murder happen” thing. Marcus’s chances are high. His sincerity would help Mellie in the general. Plus, he and Mellie are definitely about to hook up and we know how horny talking politics makes these characters.
Jake Ballard: A good portion of the finale is probably going to be about saving Jake in some way (yawn). Maybe Olivia does that by making him Mellie’s VP, thus placing him out of the reach of Papa Pope? He’s got great name recognition thanks to Rowan, after all. And it’d be a perfect “screw you” to dear old dad for Olivia to steal his vetted candidate out from under him. Still, this might still mean that Rowan wins, right? He gets his guy in the White House. Jake can’t really be trusted, right?
Rowan Pope: They were supposed to have defeated him in the last season finale, but look how long that lasted! The question here is, how nuclear does Scandal want to go? And how much power does Scandal think the VP has? If the show wanted to end the show on a nihilistic note, he’d be Mellie’s pick. The only possible good thing to come from this narratively would be a dramatic VP debate with a lot of emphatic proselytizing. Still, Rowan is a nobody on the political scene (thank you, super-secret-organization, B613), so the chances of him being named veep are low.
David Rosen: There was a time when David would’ve been the right choice. He kept the white hat on longest, but even he was swayed by the power of a Fitz smolder. He blackmailed all those people! He cheated on Susan! Then he shadily went behind her back to make a deal with the governor of Florida. And worst of all it didn’t even help Susan. That’s the thing about David: He’s bush league in terms of deviousness compared to all the other players. When it comes to VP though, that could work in his favor — he still seems like a good guy to the American people.
Abby Whelan: She spends about 80 percent of her screen time talking about how great she is at her job and maybe two percent actually being great at it. Still, does she deserve to be rewarded for not telling everyone about Olivia’s abortion, for being a good friend (to her good friend who used the fact that she’d been abused by her ex-husband against her in season two)? Maybe it is Abby’s time now! She is probably pretty respected and a well-known face to the average American voter. Liv and her “over a cliff” days are behind us, but this would be a big move to show that Olivia and Abby are back on each other’s side.
Susan Ross/Elizabeth North: The question of how to keep either of these characters on the show and relevant looms large in this finale. Susan’s still the current VP, so she can be around for next season, but that also means it doesn’t really make sense for her to be VP again. Still, she’s had so little time at it! Elizabeth … well, she’d have to get the nomination to stay on the show. So, there’s a small chance it could be her, but probably not.
Governor Rauch/Governor Wagner: Here are some people listed on the Scandal IMDB page for the finale that I have never heard of before. Is it good to pick a governor from a swing state? Are these people governors from swing states? These two will probably be floated as possibilities and are clearly both red herrings. Because Shonda does not do boring choices. She makes big moves, which leads me to …
Olivia Pope: Really, it’s always been Olivia. It should be Olivia. Remember how shaken up Mellie was when she found out that Olivia killed Andrew, but yet kind of in awe too? Remember how she said she was trying to get Liv to swim again, but she won’t? Remember how Mellie told Fitz he had to go get Liv when she was kidnapped? Remember how Liv helped Mellie with the filibuster that would define her career even while sleeping with Mellie’s ex-husband? These two have become ride-or-die for each other. Sure, there’s a lot of bad history there, but this is Scandal. People get over other people doing terrible things constantly. It’s Liv’s turn now. The episode is called “That’s My Girl.” Mellie is Liv’s girl, Liv can be Mellie’s. And what better power play against Rowan than having Olivia, his own daughter, run for this huge office? If this does happen, there will definitely be a period of time where Mellie is sick and Liv is president next season. As Bellamy Young told Vulture last season, “Olivia and Mellie: It’s an unstoppable combination.”