Scandal s5 ep 21

I was in a bad mood when I sat down to watch this – personal shizzle, largely inconsequential. Sometimes, when a show lifts my spirits, that can work in its favour. Not this time, though; ‘That’s My Girl’ annoyed me more or less from the first scene, in which Jake kills his father-in-law so that his wife can claim her inheritance, and the money can be funnelled towards some B-613 purpose or other. I mean, I know that Jake’s always been a stone-cold killer, but there used to be a grander purpose: the protection of the Republic. Killing your wife’s father for… some money? Come on, Jake.

Jake is integral to the main plots of the week too, in which the Presidential candidates, Mellie Grant and Frankie Vargas, choose their running-mates. Olivia and her Gladiators – who, let’s face it, have barely had a proper job to do all season – screen some potential candidates for Mellie, ending up with Governor Bill Wagner, entirely perfect apart from the minor inconvenience of some college-age coke dealing. Despite Huck and Quinn’s best efforts the media get hold of that, so back to square one. Fitz, meantime, accommodates Mellie’s every whim with amused, out-of-here-soon tolerance. I’m still OK with Fitz/ Olivia/Vermont as endgame, and he clearly is too.

Over on the Dem side, Cyrus offers the position to David Rosen – which leads to an even-more-grotesque-than-normal makeout session between him and Elizabeth. But Cyrus – under threat of being unmasked as the creator of the Harrisburg shooting which propelled Frankie onto the national stage – is told by Rowan that Jake is going to be on the ticket, and Cyrus complies. Except, of course, as we saw last week, Jake wants to get away from Rowan. (I say again: you’re prepared to kill an old man for some cash, Jake. Why not kill Rowan?) Olivia engineers this, in what is quite a powerful scene: Rowan has a gun to Jake’s head, but she knows Rowan won’t pull the trigger, and he doesn’t.

So Jake gets away. Happily, there’s a vacancy for Mellie’s VP candidate, and Jake can just slot right in there. Yeah, whatever. Meaning that Frankie suddenly has a vacancy. One marital reconciliation later, and Cyrus is the Democratic candidate for Vice-President. Yeah, whatever, and I wouldn’t go making Tom an enemy quite so readily. (Although it’s worth noting that Scandal’s commitment to progressive politics hasn’t been entirely forgotten: I’m reasonably sure I remember Cyrus, years ago, observing that as his sexuality meant he could never run for elected office he’d done the next best thing and become the power behind Fitz’s throne. Now, though, he’s a viable candidate.)

Jake’s final misstep of the season is to suggest to Olivia, seconds before going on stage with Mellie, that the two of them could run away together, become lovers again rather than brother and sister, and “dare to be normal”. Of course, whatever else you can say for Papa Pope, that’s the very, very last thing he’s brought Olivia up to be. So she brutally shuts that idea down, makes it clear through inference that Jake is now her bitch rather than Rowan’s, and gets him the hell out on that stage. Which Rowan is able to watch, approvingly, on TV; he kind of knows what’s happened, and he also knows that his daughter is pursuing her route to power again. Hence the episode title.

So another season finishes. The infuriating thing about this show, of course, is that every now and again it soars, and it entertains, and it provokes, and it makes its points about power, gender, race, and sexuality; and that’s what keeps me watching, as much of a prisoner of Scandal as Jake is of the Pope family. For the first time, though, I’ve really started to wonder whether I’m in until the end; and, judging by the viewing figures, I’m not alone. The next season is going to be a truncated one, due to Kerry Washington’s pregnancy, and it might be worth considering whether it should be the last. Either way, it’s possible it’ll be my last.

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3 thoughts on “Scandal s5 ep 21

  1. CPS May 26, 2016 / 10:30 pm

    If the next season of Scandal is more of Jake/Rowan, then I’m done with Scandal. Their story line makes absolutely no sense. Like you said Jake can kill his father-in-law but not Rowan? Are we supposed to feel sorry for Jake who is an emotion less killer? I’m sick of him clinging to Olivia to save him from Rowan. I was glad when Olivia shot him down harshly with his stupid talk of escaping life to live his life of eating burgers, drinking beer and talking about sports. Hell no, Olivia is not about that life. Jake does not even know or understand Olivia only the fantasy version in his head.

    Also I’m done with the Mellie rants in which she is always a ‘victim’ and her pseudo-feminism. Fitz is so over her rants that he checks out during them out like I do while watching my TV. Actually I laughed out loud when she accused Fitz of ‘White Privilege’. Does she not look in the mirror – let’s see rich, white, attractive, entitled, lazy (did not earn the position of Senator or Presidential nominee), selfish, etc.? I can’t take her character seriously any longer. I used to find Mellie amusing but now she is just boring.

    I don’t want to watch a show with Mellie and Jake (major whiners – so something Olivia, save me Olivia) as President and VP. I would rather see Vargas and Cyrus win the election.

    The best scene in this senseless season finale episode was Fitz talking to Olivia in the Oval after he knew about the abortion. Fans expected an angry Fitz but got a reflective Fitz who realized that Olivia’s choice was for the best considering her mental instability and the state of their relationship at the time. Fitz has shown the most character growth on this show after being irrationally hated by some fans. Olivia does not know that Fitz knows about the abortion so her reaction when she finds out should be interesting.

    Finally, the ratings has proven that fans are not interested in Jake/Rowan/B613/NSA nonsense. Scandal needs to return to the basic premise of the show. Olivia and her OPA team handling crisis cases with the Olivia/Fitz relationship in the background. That was the successful model not this ridiculous show (no continuity so major plot holes) to force Jake/Rowan into the story.

  2. Jed Bartlet May 27, 2016 / 8:12 am

    Good point about Fitz and the abortion, CPS. Actually, I thought Fitz handled everything – including, as you say, Mellie’s entitled rant – very well. He’s mentally already making jam in Vermont.

    It may be that the next season is going to give us the aftermath of the election, in which case post-POTUS Fitz could be a very interesting character.

    • CPS May 27, 2016 / 2:33 pm

      I agree that post-POTUS Fitz would be an interesting character to follow. He could be a mix of Clinton and Obama – have to stay in DC for his kids since Mellie lives in Virginia and work on setting up his foundation like the Clinton Global Initiative and his Presidential Library.

      Plus Fitz he want to be in proximity to Olivia even if not together in a relationship. The house in Vermont will be his getaway – his country home.

      Actually I hope the show flashes forward to just days before the election or after the election so we can avoid more debates and the campaign trail. That way Olivia can get back to OPA and handling cases. Fitz can hire OPA to assist with his transition from the White House after the inauguration.

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