Maya is arrested – very easily, one might think, for such a megastar of the international criminal community – and immediately starts claiming that she isn’t back to cause any trouble, oh no; she’s there to protect her daughter Olivia. Rowan, in turn, stays out of her interview room until he thinks the time is right; which means that, left on her own, it’s Maya’s turn to monologue, mostly about race and gender, which is fair enough.
OPA investigates what Maya is, and has been, up to, and arrive at two conclusions: the plan is to assassinate Mellie at her inauguration, but Maya didn’t hire the assassin: she is the assassin. Which means that there’s someone lurking behind Maya. Mellie is offered the chance to take the oath of office behind closed doors, but understandably decides that the symbolism of the first female POTUS being publicly inaugurated is non-negotiable. Incidentally, I don’t quite share everyone’s pessimism about the effect that killing Mellie would have on the country in general and the financial markets in particular; after nearly six seasons of Scandal, the lesson to be learned is that nothing dents the Republic for too long, and I suspect we’d be able to rustle up another President soon enough.
So despite having established Maya’s intentions, she’s released anyway with the intention that she’ll lay a trail back to the person/people who hired her, which strikes me as quite a gamble. And Rowan suggests to Fitz that his last executive order should be to reinstate B-613 and run it himself once out of office, which I could maybe… get on board with in a final season…? Or maybe not. Anyway, this is a curious little episode: not terrible, but had it been called ‘The Place-Holder’ rather than ‘Tick Tock’ I don’t think anyone could have objected.