Scandal twists and turns for the worst into a Deep State dead-end
Current arc is bad because it has so little Olivia in it. She should be orchestrating the twists, creating the ride. Instead she’s just along for it, writes Johanna Schneller.
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The show: Scandal, Season 6, Episode 6 (ABC/CTV)
The moment: Rowan’s weakness (contains spoilers)
Mystery Meanies — a shadowy group who want Mellie Grant in the White House — made Rowan (Olivia Pope’s dad, played by Joe Morton) kill Mellie’s rival. They did it by threatening to kill Rowan’s lover Sandra (Tonya Pinkins). But now they want more from him.
“Our account is settled,” Rowan says.
No, you’re too useful, says Woman Meanie: “And you have a streak of weakness. It’s standing right next to you.”
That pisses Rowan off. “You people always think you’re better than us,” he says. Then he — blam! — shoots Sandra between the eyes.
“I have no weaknesses,” he says. “No one owns me.”
Except . . . Woman Meanie shows him her phone. She’s surveilling Olivia (Kerry Washington). His weakness.
With the crazy crap happening in the real White House, I get why the Scandal team thought they had to shake up their case-of-the-week formula. But their solution, this season-long, Deep-State mystery thriller, is batty.
First, it’s a dead end: What Rowan did to Sandra is so unpleasant, there’s no coming back from it. What has to happen now is no fun. (And what’s with the “you people” line, a remark that seems racial, but led nowhere?)
Mainly, this arc is bad because it has so little Olivia in it. She should be the one pushing her moral limits. She should be orchestrating the twists, creating the ride. Instead she’s just along for it.
We’re supposed to marvel at the lengths Olivia goes to. Not just notice the length of the orange gloves she wears to ask Daddy’s advice.
Johanna Schneller is a media connoisseur who zeroes in on pop-culture moments. She appears Monday through Thursday.