Anatomy of a Scandal season 1, episode 6 recap – the ending explained

By Marc Miller
Published: April 15, 2022 (Last updated: November 4, 2023)
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Anatomy of a Scandal season 1, episode 6 recap – the episode explained


Anatomy of a Scandal wraps up its run with a satisfying conclusion, with combustible performances from Dockery and Miller.

This recap of the Netflix series Anatomy of a Scandal season 1, episode 6, contains spoilers, including for the Anatomy of a Scandal ending.

Read the season 1 review of Anatomy of a Scandal.

Anatomy of a Scandal season 1, episode 6 recap

The jig is up, but no one is going to admit it. You aren’t showing your hand until you know what you intend to do with it, right? Does Sophie ask if she knows her or knows a friend of hers, maybe, Holly Berry (not that one)? She leaves, but not before making it obvious she is interested in Woodcroft’s meticulous notes. Kate scurries off to her best friend’s house, telling her Sophie knows. Yes, she is in real trouble here.

Meanwhile, Sophie returns home and starts to eat the cake her kids made for them. Of course, cake time is always the perfect time to tell your wife you cheated on her in college. So, James admits that, apparently, upon further reflection, he ran into Holly on the way to Sophie’s dorm room that night. They were both drunk, and they had sex. Consensual, in James Whitehouse’s opinion. Sophie picks up on how crazy this is. “Am I to understand, a man jumped or fell to his death, ran from the scene, collided (there is that word again) with a woman who looked barely familiar, and proceeded to have sex with her?” “Consensual sex,” James yells. He explains that she did not seem pleased with his performance, and it must be because she was a virgin. (I mean, this guy and his insight into the female mind).

James now starts to cry. Perhaps, being so young and drunk, he may have gotten it wrong. (I presume he means the consent here). Oh, but there is more. He left out one small detail about that night from Sophie, and if you remember, it was his alibi that night. Tom supplied the heroin that night, but James is the one who got rid of the evidence. His lovely wife points out his stories keep changing. He assures her that he has finally told her everything now and he swears it.

He swears it, you all!

During closing testimonies, Kate points out that James is a rapist. Shockingly, Angela disagrees. When they are changing in the locker room, Angela admits to Kate freely, admitting they are sick of defending people like James Whitehouse. Meanwhile, Sophie goes back home, sees her kids, and has a cigarette on her back porch. She had left her husband there while he awaited his fate.

It took only four hours for the jury to come in. Sophie is back in the rafters. The jury foreperson announces a unanimous verdict that he is, in fact, not guilty. The judge tells James he is free to go. Kate walks out of the court and makes prolonged eye contact with James, and runs into Sophie accidentally in the process. And during his press conference thanking the jury and apologizing to his family, Sophie no longer looks overcome by anxiety and weak-kneed. Perhaps she is finally ready to face what James did head-on? For that matter, Kate is overcome with grief and destroys her television with the remote in her right hand.

Anatomy of a Scandal ending

And James? He gets a promotion as the Undersecretary of State in charge of the drug policy. He tells Sophie his “core” truth about how the teasing comment was brutish, but he said it as a game they played together. That Olivia loved risky situations. Now, incredibly arrogant, he tells Olivia liked it, the situation, the aggressiveness, the dirty talking, and him. Again, he then walks away, practically oozing arrogance and leaving a trail in his wake.

Then, things begin to hit the fan. Sophie shows up at Kate’s friend’s house looking for her, and she confirms that James raped her. Kate is now worried since Sophie and James both know about her secret identity. She calls her lover, her former boss, gets his advice, and then promptly dumps him because she saw him in the first place because he was unavailable.

Finally, Sophie leaves James because, you know, he is a rapist. He begs her, even kneeling before her, but she goes anyway. When he asks what she will tell the children, she replies, “The core truth.” She later meets Kate and tells her the color-coded notes gave her away. Kate gives her a secret — her new name is accurate. Kate is her middle name, and her last name is her ex-husband’s surname.

To end the series, Sophie performs a false correction. She tipped off the press about James and Tom’s actions that night decades ago. “The British government is about to implode. Merry Christmas, Holly Berry.”

Again, not that one.

What did you think of the Netflix series Anatomy of a Scandal season 1, episode 6? Let us know in the comments below!

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