Scandal s4 ep 22

So what does Rowan want from Mellie? A list of names – and if he doesn’t get it, he’s going to release a (surprisingly slim) file with details of all the bad things Fitz and Mellie have been up to over the past few seasons. Mellie instructs Elizabeth to hand over the names, and as soon as the grand jury hearing evidence from Jake about B-613 takes “a break”, you know that something bad will happen; sure enough, the list contained jury members, and everyone on the jury is B-613-ed. (Although why did Rowan need their names, given that the jurors were all sitting on the same bus when they were slaughtered? Never mind. There’s plenty about this week’s episode that doesn’t make sense.) A shaken Mellie confides in Cyrus – because she thinks he can fix it – and Elizabeth, because she trusts her. She’ll regret that.

Meantime Olivia is exploring other ways of getting to her father, including asking Maya for help, and going to the CIA, which presumably she could have done, like, at any point ever. But nothing works until she applies the Al Capone solution, and Rowan – no longer with the protection than comes with being Command – is brought down by financial malfeasance rather than mass murder. And Mellie, meantime, wins election as the junior Senator from Virginia.

All good, then? Well, no; Elizabeth faux-disingenuously mentions to Fitz her relief that we need no longer worry about the file held by Rowan, whereupon Fitz realises that both Cyrus and Mellie have been conspiring – whether willingly or otherwise – with Rowan. Cyrus is sacked, allowing Elizabeth to slither into the Chief of Staff’s office. And Senator Mellie is kicked out of the White House, allowing Olivia to make out with Fitz on the White House balcony.

It’s an unsatisfactory end to a not wholly satisfactory season. The writers are now in a position, should they wish, to put the B-613 era behind them, and try to steer the show back to where it was in the second and third seasons. On the other hand, though, no-one’s actually dead, or even in a lot of jeopardy. I can’t imagine Cyrus and Mellie will take this humiliation lying down, and I don’t want a show without them anyway. Quinn’s not going to shoot Huck. Jake and/or Maya might leave, I suppose, but I’m not sure they’d be missed. And, most significantly of all, Rowan is very much alive, and I’d guess that Papa Pope will regard allegations of financial chicanery as nothing more than an inconvenience, which would mean that he’ll still be sitting on the bench, ready to get suited up any time Shonda thinks that monologues and daddy issues are called for.

On the bright side Portia de Rossi is moving from guest star to the regular cast, and there’s going to be a new Gladiator (unnamed, but presumably Marcus), which suggests that OPA might actually get some proper work to do in season 5. I don’t think this season has been anything like as bad as some of Scandal’s detractors have claimed; at the same time, though, compared to the near-perfect season 2, for example, it has been patchy at best.

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7 thoughts on “Scandal s4 ep 22

  1. CPS June 12, 2015 / 6:53 pm

    To answer your question, “Although why did Rowan need their names, given that the jurors were all sitting on the same bus when they were slaughtered?, Rowan did not need Mellie to get the names but he wanted her to be an accomplice and have blood on her hands. He knew Mellie is a power hungry idiot and could be easily played.

    If Shonda has any common sense, B613 is dead and had better stay dead (Rowan, Jake and Mama Pope should have all died since the show has veered wildly off track upon their appearance).

    Also, I hope we saw the last of the Jake character who is boring and irrelevant to the show. The forced plots in season 3 and 4 were to try to make Jake relevant and completely failed. As one TV reviewer said Kerry Washington and Scott Foley have as much chemistry as two pretty plastic mannequin. You can’t force chemistry when acting and it is not there for those characters. It is time to move on.

    Actually, the Presidential divorce needs to happen to take Scandal in a new direction. Having Olivia, Fitz and Mellie deal with the fallout will make for an interesting storyline.

    Olivia has to rebuild OPA with new team members and focus on her career. Mama Pope is on the loose and Papa Pope will be plotting from jail. If Jake returns, he can get a job (not at OPA) and a new girlfriend – maybe Lizzie or Mellie’s sister Harmony or even Mellie since some folks think Jake and Mellie are so great (haha).

    I’m looking forward to some more interesting story lines in season 5 since there is a lot to deal with going forward – presidential divorce, single white republican president with a black girlfriend (is the nation ready?), Olivia dealing with potential stepchildren, mama pope may be back, OPA team issues (Huck and Quinn plus rebuilding), Mellie establishing herself as a senator, Mellie dealing with the divorce (who gets the kids? shared custody? standing on her own without Fitz as a crutch), keeping an eye on sneaky Lizzie, Cyrus will want revenge on Lizzie, Olivia and Abby’s relationship now that Olivia and Fitz are together and so much more.

    Season 4 had some high points (Susan Ross as MVP and Fitz being a better President) and low points (all low points were B613 related, silly Mellie for Senator campaign and ridiculous love triangles). The show works best when Olivia is focusing on her work as a crisis management expert and her team is doing what they do best – handling scandals so we need a return to season 1 and 2.

  2. Jed Bartlet June 12, 2015 / 7:17 pm

    Fair point about the names, CPS.

    I think I agree with most of what you say. If – if – Shonda decides that B-613 has delighted us for long enough the path has now been cleared to getting rid of that plot more or less entirely. (Even Rowan and Maya could be re-purposed.) And the show has lots of interesting ways it could go in season 5: Lizzie Bear and Cyrus plotting against each other; Mellie starting a run for the White House as the wronged woman, possibly against Susan Ross; Olivia as FLOTUS.

    I just wonder, though, whether the writers might think it easier to hit the reset button, at least on the First Marriage. If you’re going to get back to OPA handling cases, could you have Olivia in the presidential bed (officially I mean) and dealing with crises at the same time, which will inevitably mean conflicts of interest? And without Olivia is there any point in OPA? Huck and Quinn can brutalise people for sure, but they don’t have anything close to Olivia’s array of skills.

    • CPS June 12, 2015 / 8:12 pm

      Yes, we could find out more about Maya’s background and how/why she became an international terrorist. Supposedly Maya had (has?) British activists parents. There is lots to explore there. Also, how did Rowan make it to his position of Command after leaving Detroit and getting educated at Princeton? The back stories could be interesting without going down the B613 path again – no more torture/murder porn. Let’s leave that to Game of Thrones.

      I foresee Mellie going up against Susan Ross whom she is underestimating. The problem for Mellie, Lizzie and Cyrus is that they know Olivia and her team can destroy them if needed. So they have to tread carefully in terms of opposing Fitz once he has Olivia on his side. It would be more interesting to see Mellie being a junior Senator and discovering it is not easy having to make compromises to succeed. Let’s see her being a political animal as she claims to be.

      Then there is the problem of Huck and Quinn and getting Huck back to semi-crazy from full out crazy. And we know Sally Langston (I love this looney tune) will have a lot to say on her TV show about the Grant divorce, firing of Cyrus and Olivia/Fitz relationship when they go public.

      Olivia does not have to become FLOTUS immediately. She and Fitz can deal with the fallout from them being in a relationship publicly for a season (s) or until Fitz is no longer President. Shonda could save marriage for the end of the show. But if they do get married, then Stephen could return to manage OPA and get Olivia’s private input on handling cases while she develops a platform as FLOTUS. There is a lot of room for growth of the show if the writers are not lazy.

  3. Jed Bartlet June 14, 2015 / 5:26 pm

    I’d kind of lost sight of just how far over the edge Huck has gone in recent weeks. I suppose this is an argument for getting Olivia back in full-time control of OPA – she may be the only person on the planet who stands a chance of controlling him.

    • CPS June 14, 2015 / 7:10 pm

      Yes, Huck and Olivia have a special connection. Huck used to be my favorite character aside from Olivia until Rowan appeared in season three and Huck lost his mind again. I need Huck to regain control of his murderous impulses. Otherwise he can’t develop a relationship with his son.

      • Jed Bartlet June 14, 2015 / 7:21 pm

        Team Abby, at least until season 4. I was excited when Shonda promised that this was going to be Abby’s season. It wasn’t.

        • CPS June 14, 2015 / 8:12 pm

          Yes Abby is also a favorite from very beginning with her snarky attitude. I miss the old OPA team.

          It was supposed to be her season. Instead we got more B613 nonsense when the writers should have been exploring the Abby and Olivia relationship (we could have learned so much more but their scenes were fascinating), Abby/Leo/David relationship and her work at the White House (her scenes with Cyrus and Fitz were great and we should have gotten more Abby not less).

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