Warning: this article contains spoilers from the Apr. 20 episode of Scandal. Read at your own risk.
Elizabeth North (Portia de Rossi) has reached the end on Scandal. In last night’s episode, Mellie (Bellamy Young) met with Elizabeth, the so-called mystery woman (Zoe Perry, daughter of Jeff Perry who plays series regular Cyrus Beene on the show) and her boss, Peus (David Warshofsky). The two told Mellie that they secured enough electoral college votes for her to be the president and that the mystery woman would be her chief-of-staff instead of Elizabeth. Mellie said she wasn’t afraid of them and that may have been true until they beat Elizabeth with a gold club and killed her.
After the episode aired on the East Coast, series creator Shonda Rhimes took to Twitter to confirm de Rossi’s exit from the show, similarly to how she confirmed Sara Ramirez’s exit on Grey’s Anatomy last year.
— shonda rhimes (@shondarhimes) April 21, 2017
The exiting de Rossi spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about why she chose to leave the show after only being on since the fourth season, first as a recurring character before being promoted to series regular before the start of the fifth season.
“It was my decision but not because I no longer wanted to be part of the show. It was more because I found a great business opportunity I wanted to pursue that was taking my interest away from acting and a career I’ve had for 20-plus years and putting it elsewhere that was very timing consuming. I approached Shonda and asked if it would be OK if I could leave Scandal. She was nothing but supportive and wished me luck in my business venture and was gracious and lovely about it,” de Rossi said.
She didn’t open up about what the new business opportunity was, saying it was too early to be talking about it.
She also said she didn’t have any input on how her character died, but did say she wanted her to go out in an “impactful way.”
As for the rumored new season of Arrested Development, de Rossi remained tight lipped about it, but did say “Arrested Development is very dear to me and I love being part of that franchise. Let’s just say nothing is off the table.”
This isn’t the first time that Scandal has killed off a character but it is the second time a killed-off character has been a series regular. Columbus Short, who played Harrison in the first three seasons, was killed off after domestic abuse allegations, making him the first series regular to be killed off. Amanda Tanner (Liza Weil), James (Dan Bucatinski), Frankie Vargas (Ricardo Chavira), Jerry Grant Jr. (Dylan Minnette), Verna Thornton (Debra Mooney) and Andrew Nichols (Jon Tenney) are some of the other major characters that have been killed off throughout the show’s run.
According to TV by the Numbers, the most recent episode of Scandal scored a 1.3 rating in the 18 to 49 demographic and was watched by 5.05 million people.
Scandal airs Thursday nights at 9 p.m. on ABC.