Gladiators, it's time to say goodbye: "Scandal" to go 'all out' in final season

Gladiators, it's time to say goodbye to our beloved political thriller and Thursday night rendezvous with Olivia Pope and the cast of "Scandal."

In May, creator and executive producer of the show, Shonda Rhimes, announced that season seven would be the show's last.

What started out as a seven-episode series in 2012, Rhimes' show has blossomed to a must-watch, award-winning television show for ABC.

And to think that Pope, played by Kerry Washington, was partly inspired by Judy Smith. Smith worked as deputy press secretary to former President George H.W. Bush.

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Crisis management guru Judy Smith, real-life Olivia Pope helps clients navigate political hot potatoes and personal hot messes.

"Deciding how to end a show is easy," Rhimes said in May. "Deciding when to finish is quite simple when the end date is years away. But actually going through with it? Actually standing up to say: 'This is it?' Not so much. So, next year 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."

During season six, we saw many jaw-dropping plot twists inside the nation's capital. From the election night assassination of President-elect Francisco Vargas (Ricardo Chavira) to Huck (Guillermo Diaz) being shot by his then-girlfriend, there is plenty in store for the final season.

Copyright © 2017 ABC, Inc. / Richard Cartwright

Copyright © 2017 ABC, Inc. / Richard Cartwright

What will happen to the romance between Pope and outgoing President Fitzgerald Grant (Tony Goldwyn)?

Will Mellie Grant (Bellamy Young) succeed in her role as the new President of the United States?

"Scandal" returns Thursday, Oct. 5 on ABC.

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