'Scandal' fall finale recap: The devil came in through 'A Door Marked Exit'

tony-goldwyn-a-door-marked-exit-scandal-fall-finale-recap-abc.jpg
You know you're watching "Scandal" when the cover-up of a murder -- the murder of the vice president's husband, in fact -- is hardly the most shocking event of the episode.

The hit ABC drama went into its fall finale on Thursday (Dec. 12) with several balls in the air, what with the three insane cliffhangers left dangling last week. Not only did Sally Langston ( Kate Burton) murder her philandering closeted husband, but Quinn ( Katie Lowes) was ready to dispatch of Eli ( Joe Morton) and Olivia ( Kerry Washington) realized her mother ( Khandi Alexander) wasn't the angel she thought.

The episode picked right up with Sally and Daniel Douglas ( Jack Coleman), giving us a peek into the epic fight over his tryst with James ( Dan Bucatinsky) that resulted in a letter opener in his back. "I cannot wait until you meet your maker. I cannot wait until you are judged for your lies," she bellowed, at which point DD really ought to have hightailed it out of that room. Instead, he jabbed at his unstable wife, taunting her for not having a "set of balls." Well, I guess she showed him.

As Cyrus (the remarkable Jeff Perry) arrives at her house, it's clear she's lost her mind. He finds Sally in a fugue state, murmuring about how "the devil came in." She wasn't the only person in the room who let the devil in, though. We get a nice shot of Cy vomiting into her toilet, as he realizes just how spectacularly his plan failed him.

The idea of letting the devil in runs through the entire episode, however. There's Quinn dealing with her regret over letting Charlie ( George Newbern) into her life, leading to the gutting moment when, after escaping her creepy new boyfriend, she makes her way back to OPA, where Huck ( Guillermo Diaz) drops a truth bomb: "You're not a Gladiator anymore." So, she goes back to her devil. This does not spell good times for dear Quinn. Hey, at least Eli got away before she could kill him?

And then there's Liv, frantically trying to track down her mom after piecing together that Maria Wallace (her mom's real name) was a wanted terrorist, just after putting her on a plane to Hong Kong. There's a spectacular moment between Liv and her dad, who's been held in captivity by a misguided Fitz ( Tony Goldwyn), wherein both father and daughter come to terms over how they were both duped by the woman they loved so much.

"She fooled you like she fooled me, didn't she?" Liv asks a devastated Eli, who admits that Maya/Maria had told him a bomb was on the plane to provoke him to shoot it down and save countless lives in London, when there wasn't one.

Let's let that sink in. Not only did Maya, who we learned was part of an anti-America group that sent her in to steal government secrets from Eli, destroy her husband and daughter's lives, but she also turned Fitz into a mass murderer. It's safe to say she's the devil of "Scandal," right? Right.

And it doesn't stop there. Her plane never makes it to Hong Kong. Rather, it's found in Malaysia with the entire crew shot dead. Maya is in the wind. That is, until Liv's phone rings and the scariest taunt ever uttered on "Scandal" pours through the receiver: "Hi, Livvie. I know you must be angry with me, but I just wanted to hear your voice. Don't worry, sweetheart, I'll see you real soon." Cut to Maya, resplendent in all white like some perversion of Liv herself, tossing a burner phone into a trash can right outside the White House. It looks like the devil is here to stay.

Spare Parts:

- Creepy Leo Bergen ( Paul Adelstein) isn't going to let Sally not run for President. Something about his talk with her was unsettling, right? "I am your first call, Sally. I am always your first call. You kill somebody, you kill me." Yikes.

- Mellie's ( Bellamy Young) glee over DD's death was perverse and perfect: "Please tell me you didn't hear already because I really want to be the one to share the good news!" Cy's retort was just as perfect: "We've done many, many bad things, Mellie. But this, I'd say this takes the cake. We can quit now."

- Can we talk about Quinn taking that tracking chip out of her mouth with a piece of the paper towel dispenser in Wonderland? It's no chewing through wrists, but still. Ick.

- And then can we talk about Eli reading Fitz to filth over his admission of knowing "the way [Olivia] tastes"? (Also, stay classy, Fitz.) ""You're given the world and you can't appreciate it because you haven't had to work for anything ... You love that she is a door marked exit. You love that she is a way out ... If you are with Olivia, you no longer have to be your father's son ... Don't use the person that I made to make you a man. You're a boy. You disappoint me as a suitor for my daughter's hand." Slow clap for Eli in 3, 2,...

- "Do you wanna not love me anymore? because I still love you. You're still the love of my life. And I'm still the man you married. You just never noticed the 666 on my forehead before. But now you see it." Cy's plea to James. Who knew all he had to do was offer White House press secretary?

- Jake ( Scott Foley) to Olivia: "I came to say goodbye. I loved you. Whatever happens next, I want to make sure you know I loved you. I love you." And then, boom, he's Command. His dismissal of Eli was epic: "If you'd like a job here at Wonderland, you can take our aptitude test."

- That woman in David Rosen's ( Joshua Malina) office with the tape of Sally's phone call to Cy after killing DD? That won't end well for anyone.

- Adnan Salif Watch 2013: After Harrison ( Columbus Short) learned this mystery man was in the country last week, there was nary a mention of him tonight. Sorry Harrison, we'll pay you some attention next year!

- Again, let's just savor this until "Scandal" returns on Feb. 27: "Hi, Livvie. I know you must be angry with me, but I just wanted to hear your voice. Don't worry sweetheart, I'll see you real soon." Shivers. Happy holidays, y'all.
Photo/Video credit: ABC