Almost 18 months after it roiled the Chinese political establishment, the Bo Xilai scandal is drawing to a close. The trial of the former Chongqing Communist Party chief could have already started.

If anything, the ignominious end of Bo — once viewed as a shoo-in for a spot on the party's Politburo Standing Committee, China's top decision-making body — is an anticlimax. Even if the trial were public, we would witness no courtroom drama.

Bo, who hasn't appeared in public since March 2012, will almost certainly be presented as a broken and penitent man. A guilty verdict is a foregone conclusion.