This Scandal review contains spoilers.
Scandal Season 7 Episode 13
Tonight’s episode was a big letdown for me after last week’s crossover event. In the span of one week, the show dealt with the oftentimes overlooked or forgotten the reality of the excessive number of incarcerated minorities, to a manufactured crisis. It was unrealistic within the constraints of a sixty-minute episode with the obligatory last-minute resolution.
I have questions that previous years’ episodes didn’t lay a paper or digital trail to retrace. Who’s to blame? The first three years of the show were true to its inspiration and one of its executive producers, Judy Smith. Subsequent years, the show evolved into a nighttime soap opera with a few unbelievable plots and characters.
If Cyrus acted alone in planting the malware on Hannah’s laptop, when did he do so in the time he was uninvited to give his speech at the awards dinner? Has he been walking around with malware on a thumb drive waiting for a good opportunity to sabotage his enemies?
To my recollection, Cyrus has never been associated with hackers, and to believe he’d suddenly have access to friends on the dark web, tests believability. Have these sometimes disheveled and disgruntled outliers been living in his basement or attic waiting to be activated like sleeper agents? He rarely gets his hands dirty, and even less so he would leave fingerprints on a laptop. The timing seems off at this point as the series draws to a close that Cyrus would yet again plot overtaking the current Oval Office’s occupant.
The more credible suspect is Maya Lewis, aka Mama Pope. It’s in her wheelhouse and Rolodex to carry out this type of plan. I thought for a brief moment that the black female reporter on the plane was involved in the scheme, however, she’d have no access to Maya. She and Hannah were both red herrings.
If Maya’s been locked away inside a luxurious prison for one, how did she arrange her alleged revenge plot against the White House for summarily dismissing Olivia? This from a woman who has made no qualms about double-crossing and scheming against blood relatives. I was under the impression that she was cut off from the outside world save for the track phone Olivia gave her. Does the phone unfold into a Wi-Fi-enabled laptop without a firewall?
How could she have known about Annalise’s Supreme Court case without a television, newspapers, or the internet? Olivia was pressed for time and stressed out after being fired from the White House, and especially during the time leading up to the first day of court. I don’t accept that Maya was behind the hacking. She’s selfish and doesn’t care to avenge perceived slights against her daughter.
This episode served no purpose other than attempting to sustain the adrenaline rush, titillation, from the previous double-header. What better way to accomplish that goal than to follow up with Cyrus and/or Maya, two villains viewers love to hate, twisting their respective bicycle mustaches? Do most evildoers seek to destroy the world even at their own peril?
Cyrus would’ve to have known that QPA would be free at the very moment the plane was hacked to then attempt to unravel his malware puzzle, and that they would do so with mere seconds to spare. The one-time computer nerd, former IT support agent in me scoffed at Cyrus the Master Hacker. They might’ve done better with the oft-used ticking bomb inside a suitcase plot device with someone on the ground talking David or Cyrus through disarming with a ten-minute countdown.
Malware that can hack and hijack a military plane can’t be remedied by standard desktop anti-virus software and several reboots. The remaining loyal viewers probably didn’t question the series’ character relationships and timelines, and the validity of Cyrus’ non-denial when confronted. They are hanging on for the cheap thrills they’ve come to expect. Next week’s preview hints at other potential hacking culprits. We’ll have to tune in for the flashbacks and flash-forwards to discover who was responsible.