Pour some merlot and start popping the popcorn: Scandal is reportedly coming to an end. Sources have confirmed to TVLine that the Shonda Rhimes–created drama’s upcoming seventh season will serve as its last. The news isn’t hugely surprising, considering Rhimes’ interest in bringing the show to a proper conclusion. “I feel like there is a finite amount of Scandal to be told,” she told NPR a few years back. “So I know what the end of Scandal will be, and I feel really good about that.”
Scandal, which balances soapy White House drama with episodic crisis-management storylines, has had a long, bumpy ride. After its abbreviated first season, the show broke out as a major success with viewers and critics alike, earning star Kerry Washington key Emmy and Golden Globe nominations and regularly ranking among the most-watched shows of the week. It has served as the centerpiece of ABC’s Thank God It’s Thursday, or TGIT, lineup for years, maintaining relevance as very few contemporary broadcast dramas have been able to by exploring topics of election-hacking, the Electoral College, and even the machinations of a Trump-like figure. (One of its main themes in its current sixth season has felt especially prescient: Anyone who wants to be president is completely out of his or her mind.)
Of course, in spite of the show’s increasingly innovative and unconventional approach to storytelling—with the latest batch of episodes using alternate timelines and aggressive point-of-view structures—it’s lost much of its juice over time, with bodies continually dropping and the stakes continually raising to (literally) unbelievable heights. (Last week’s episode featured a homicide by dinosaur tooth—seriously.) And while Scandal has admirably tried keeping up with the horror show of our actual political reality, it seems that nothing it tries, as the cliché now goes, is able to match the real thing.
There are only three episodes left in Scandal’s current season, and so the end is indeed nigh. Given that Rhimes and her writers have taken the show’s characters in so many insane directions, it’ll be interesting—to say the least—to see how they try to reel it all in and come to an appropriate conclusion. Will it end with Olivia in Vermont, making jam? With her swigging wine from the comfort of her couch? With whoever ends up president firing the FBI director? (OK, too soon.) One thing we can count on: Rhimes has it handled.