This Scandal review contains spoilers.
Scandal Season 7 Episode 4
The subject of tonight’s episode, “Lost Girls,” was relegated to the side hallway while I had to suffer through yet another Olivia tries to deal with her feelings for Fitz. Several seasons later, everyone knows they’ll end up in bed while intermittent lovers brood off to the side. Olivia’s current fling is Curtis Pryce, a primetime political talk show host.
Scandal is make-believe, however, lost girls and boys around the world are real. I thought of the girls kidnapped by Boko Haram in Africa, and any number of amber alerts on my cell phone. A nighttime soap opera isn’t the best platform for an international crisis, but if viewers are made aware of the number of predominately girls of color who have gone missing, score one for the show’s creative team.
I increasingly tire of the ease in which Olivia Pope and her father, Rowan Pope, resort to righteous indignation, pouting and shouting, and one too many unnecessary soliloquies. Whenever Olivia tosses her hair, squints and raises her voice at whoever she feels isn’t listening to or agreeing with her, I zone out. Shouting to scare off a would-be attacker or kidnapper and draw attention to yourself is useful, but as a conversation style in more episodes than not, it can grate on my nerves.
The scene in Rowan’s lab was yet another unhinged moment when a shouting soliloquy wasn’t the best course of action. Regardless of how bad of a father you think you are, when your adult child seeks your counsel, it isn’t an ideal time to bray and belittle her. I oftentimes think how differently one of his now infamous smart-alecky speeches would’ve played had the director and actor gone about it differently. Rowan sucks the oxygen out of the room when he goes off on his “I’m cleverer, more cunning and worldly than you” diatribes.
Why is Rowan threatened by his daughter? Is it because he knows the devilment she can create because she watched and learned from him up-close and from afar?
The fictional lost girls in this chapter were Olivia and Mellie. Olivia is presumably the most powerful woman on earth in her White House role, yet when Fitz comes around, she’s reduced to a helpless and blushing high school varsity cheerleader waiting in the parking lot for her quarterback boyfriend. Why has the first woman president been written as a horny divorcee whose judgment might be compromised because of a man? Girls might run the world, but Scandal painfully reminds us that they can’t do it without the comfort of a man.
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