This Scandal review contains spoilers.
Scandal Season 7 Episode 9
I don’t know anymore. Two weeks ago I thought Rowan had murdered Quinn after she birthed baby Robin. Last week, a charred body in the trunk of an abandoned car was thought to have been Quinn’s corpse. The flashbacks in tonight’s episode have once again changed my mind.
I think the episode was meant to highlight Marvin, the humble American patriot who worked at the big box retail store, exemplary of good people. Everyone else historically hasn’t been a textbook definition of “good” over the course of the series. Rowan might not be the personification of evil, but he’s a far cry from being an upstanding father or citizen. Bad people, villains, typically want to play an omnipotent being, god, for those who believe, and his scorecard is stacked in that regard.
Olivia, his pouty, inexperienced-as-villainess daughter, got in over her head a few seasons ago when she gorged herself on the addictive White House ambrosia. It was sometimes hard to keep track of her evolution from her original white hat hero to minx to aspirant shadowy black ops leader. The latter has never suited her because she was and is ruled by different motivations that point to a Tudor mansion in rustic Vermont.
Refer to last week’s review on Scandal’s credibility, which reminds me of some of the antics from primetime soaps in the late 1980s to early 1990s – Dynasty, Falcon Crest, Knots Landing, and Dallas. The challenge with Scandal as a possible update to those shows is that some of the storylines were and are on steroids. There have been episodes that strained my imagination and caused me to double-take. Do I blame it on the need for Nielsen ratings? Good and great stories have identifiable and enviable characters that audiences root for and secretly want to stumble.
I don’t know many people who plan and execute elaborate kidnap scenarios with requisite cover stories. To that end, if you’re going to be a badass, keep your temper tantrums in check. Rowan loves to bray and showboat in soliloquies and for different-sized audiences. If you’re going to be an evil mastermind, embrace it fully without second thoughts, remorse, or contemplating the consequences.
Marvin was a good person who unknowingly – and was later willingly – lured into Rowan’s power play because of his desire to help others. As the saying goes, “No good deed goes unpunished.” The disposal pawn paid for his kindness because he’d surely have been a liability. On Scandal, there’s no sustained place for good people, so this episode might be viewed as social commentary. Should we be separated into groups of great, good, and bad people and live among our designated tribe?
Is Quinn really dead, or have she and Rowan conspired to exact vengeance? Is the show careening toward a disgraced ending for the woman who originally wore a white hat and handled people who committed some of the same, if not worse acts she’s taken to doing?