Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Gladiators! Get Ready For Scandal's Final Season...

Kerry Washington and her fellow Gladiators return for one last twisty ride.

The seventh & final season of ABC's Scandal is almost here & we're ready.

Following a crazy penultimate season in which Shonda Rhimes' game changing drama had to scrap storylines because they hewed too close to the country's real political landscape (Russians hacking the election!), the final run will kick off with Bellamy Young's former first lady Mellie Grant back in the White House — as the president.

Kerry Washington described the cast of “Scandal” as “sad” to know the hit TV show is ending but “grateful” to be going out on their own terms. 

“Sometimes as an actor you don’t know when you’re going to be out of a job and so it’s nice actually to go into the last season knowing that it’s our last season,” Washington, 40, said on “Good Morning America.” "It’s going to be like no-holds-barred, better than ever, no holding punches, putting it all out on the table.”

Here's everything to know (so far) about the final 18 episodes of Scandal.

There's some new faces. Shaun Toub (Homeland) and Jay Hernandez (Bad Moms) will both guest star in season seven. Details on their characters are being kept under wraps.

Olivia (Kerry Washington) is Command. In the season six finale, Mellie tapped Olivia as her chief of staff. But that's not the only new gig for the political fixer: She's now Command, the head of black-ops group B613 after using her power to reinstate it.

Cyrus (Jeff Perry) may also be taking on a new role — as Mellie's vice president — after Olivia realized he was the puppet master who attempted to put Luna in the White House with the former first lady. Of course, Cy hasn't been sworn in yet so in Scandal terms, that's not really set in stone.

Quinn (Katie Lowes) also has a new role: as Charlie's (George Newbern) bride-to-be. The character, like Lowes, is pregnant & about to add "mom" to her CV alongside her role as the new head of Olivia Pope & Associates.

Abby (Darby Stanchfield) is now Quinn's right-hand at OPA after leaving the White House with Fitz (Tony Goldwyn).

Speaking of Fitz, he, too, has a new role in season seven: The former president left D.C. for Vermont — to head his own foundation after Olivia talked him out of taking over B613 so she could do it herself. As for their relationship, well, that's still open to interpretation.

Here's how Rhimes, in a May press release, described the final season: "We are going all out. Leaving nothing on the table. Creating this world in celebration. We are going to handle the end the way we like to handle the important things in our Scandal family: all together, white hats on, Gladiators running full speed over a cliff."

Washington described herself as “so grateful” at this point in her career. She began “Scandal” as a relatively unknown star and has now become a household name. The star also got married and had two children during the show’s run.

“It’s so exciting for me to be going into our final season and feel like the abundance of riches,” she said. “I have a beautiful husband and beautiful kids and I’m really happy about my life and I love my job and I get to bring all of that to work for one more season.”

“I feel really blessed,” she said.

The final season of Scandal begins Thursday, Oct. 5, at 9 p.m. as part of ABC's Rhimes-branded TGIT programming block.