This Scandal review contains spoilers.
Scandal Season 7 Episode 7
Olivia borrowed a hairpin from a museum two episodes ago for Quinn to wear on her wedding day. In tonight’s episode, it wasn’t clear what was borrowed. Is it meant to be Quinn? Unspoken dialogue and unseen action from Rowan, “Hey Olivia, I’m going to borrow your friend and blackmail you to get what I want.” If that’s the case, then yes, the episode title works.
Three episodes later, pregnant Quinn remains missing while her team nears their wits’ end searching for her without luck. Mellie’s proud of her nuclear peace treaty, and Fitz and Marcus are trying to worm their way back into her good graces to check off items on Fitz’s institute agenda.
Olivia doesn’t know what she wants, and therefore she has no forward momentum. Is she motivated by teen abandonment issues when she was shipped off to a swanky boarding school? Who’s to blame for my not believing Olivia’s evolution, the writers or the directing team? Olivia Pope wasn’t written to be Command. Chief of Staff, yes. Khandi Alexander in her role as Myra would’ve been a better choice. The writers had good intentions in progressing Olivia from a white-hat-wearing hero, to presidential sidepiece, and now as Command.
First impressions are lasting. Viewers were introduced to Olivia as a rectifier of wrongs. The media was abuzz with the show because it cast an African American female in a pivotal leading role. Viewers were hooked, and we went along for the ride for at least three seasons before the show lost its way and fell into an all too familiar titillating sex sells primetime soap opera. I was on board with an updated version of Pam Grier as Foxy Brown, as were countless other people across a racial spectrum. And then it happened, the creative team stopped believing in and delivering on its original premise.
Olivia’s character struggles with being both Roberta Hood and The Big Bad Wolf. No one is one hundred percent pristine or evil. Humans are emotional beings, which can get us into trouble when we’re hurt, offended, mislead, or someone does something we feel is morally reprehensible. We lash out. Those who are directly and indirectly involved have to deal with the fallout.
I don’t know if Maleficent is a good example of a good girl temporarily bad, but she comes to mind. She was tricked and betrayed and took matters into her own hands. What she did thereafter was motivated by revenge, yet she never lost sight of her inner goodness with those who mattered to her. Scandal writers could’ve taken a few pointers from Maleficent.
I’m at a loss as to who hurt Olivia and Jake that caused them to assassinate President Rashad. The repercussions of her acting out against Rowan extend beyond their family strife and dysfunction.
If Olivia has had Rowan under lock and key, how did he manage to kidnap Quinn undetected? He’s petty and immature at his core. Why else would he hold Quinn hostage in an attempted blackmail scheme? With Rowan and Myra as parents, I’d rather have been adopted, or worse, fend for myself in the foster system until I was eighteen.
I’m over the cute zingers. “You can either be my mother, or you can be a bitch,” Olivia said to Myra. Her response, “Girl, if you don’t sit your dramatic ass down.” Quinn’s life hangs in the balance, and they’re puffing out their chest, trying to push the other’s buttons.
The final season is the slow and inevitable decline that plagues most once-successful shows; an attempted three-ring circus to keep viewers engaged and entertained. The show needed a winter finale cliffhanger to compel viewers to return in January. Who believes Rowan actually shot Quinn? I don’t, and I’m prepared to be wrong. We’ll see how successful this bluff will be in two months’ time.