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Who Dies in the Scandal Series Finale?

Scandal's Series Finale Includes the Gut-Wrenching Death of a Beloved Character

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Extremely sad spoilers for Scandal's final episode below!

Scandal aired its final episode on Thursday night, and no — we're not even a little OK. Shonda Rhimes's iconic political drama has had plenty of dark twists and turns over the years, but the last episode, "Over a Cliff," includes one of its most gut-wrenching losses ever. Ever.

The finale begins with Olivia Pope and co. resolving to finally testify about B613 in front of Congress and put Cyrus and Jake away for good. There's a fun montage in which they each voice some bold revelations — Huck trying to figure out how many people he's murdered over the years is a highlight — set to an appropriately upbeat classic song (it's Scandal, after all).

This choice of action doesn't sit well with Cyrus, who orders Jake to kill David, the Attorney General of the US and an all-around good guy. David's fierce commitment to doing the right thing (and his declaration that he's only "the b*tch of the United States of America") seems to genuinely touch Jake, who realizes he can't follow through with the murder. Again, Cyrus is pissed, and he decides to take matters into his own hands; he's going to sit down with David and come clean.

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Or is he?

While sharing a tender moment in bed with Abby later that night, David gets a text from Cyrus saying that he's ready to make a deal about the B613 situation ahead of the hearing the next morning. David, believing the best in humanity (as usual), rushes over, and Cyrus offers him a drink as he blathers on and on about how everything he's done has always been with a specific intent. As if on cue, David starts choking and clutching at his throat, and Cyrus utters a final crushing line: "You, David Rosen, are in my way. No hard feelings."

The liquor in David's glass is poisoned, but that's not what kills him. Cyrus begins to panic as he watches David continue to writhe around on the floor — still alive, mind you — and chooses to suffocate him with a pillow. Later, Abby, Quinn, Olivia, and Huck go to the morgue, where Olivia tells them David's death is being billed as "a heart attack." It doesn't take a genius to see the truth, but Huck still offers to "take care of it."

Fortunately, David's dedication to doing the right thing continues when Jake confesses and takes the fall for B613. Although he dies, David's legacy of wearing the white hat, of standing in the sun, will live on through his friends.

In the end, Olivia coerces (OK, forces) Cyrus to resign, and he notes that he'll forever be stuck in the darkness because of all the terrible things he's done. We would've preferred he paid for his actions with Huck's idea of punishment (What? We loved David!), but at least we know he'll spend the rest of his miserable life haunted by his choices. Good riddance.

Image Source: ABC
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