Political thriller "Scandal" aired a dramatic episode revealing the deep, dark motives of some of the characters. Olivia Pope, fearless “gladiator,” and others are challenged by the events that transpired in this episode on Oct. 23.
Scandal has changed in the past four seasons. Originally based upon the scandals that occurred in the White House, the scandals have now extended to the personal lives of the characters.
In season four, President Fitzgerald Grant and his wife, Mellie, are mourning the death of their son, Jerry. It is not initially revealed who was responsible and why.
The entire season, Mellie’s wardrobe has merely consisted of Ugg boots and a robe. She visits her son’s grave every day. Fitz reveals to her in this episode that Jerry’s death was murder — it was intentional.
Somehow, this comforts Mellie.
"It wasn't random, it wasn't senseless. It had meaning," she says. "He died so we could stay in the White House for four more years."
Even so, Mellie doesn't know who is responsible for the death of Jerry, although suspicions lie with Olivia’s boyfriend, Jake.
In this episode, Jake is investigated at the Pentagon regarding his involvement with Jerry’s death. He wishes to speak with Fitz, who arrives at the Pentagon to see him.
Although their encounter initially begins on friendly terms, Fitz later beats Jake, demanding if Jake killed his son. Jake responds by taunting Fitz about his relationship with Olivia, since Fitz is still in love with her.
Meanwhile, Olivia is unable to contact Jake.
“I’m turning into one of those people I hate, who wanders around going, 'Oh, my boyfriend, why doesn't he call me?’” Olivia says to her father.
Olivia is convinced that her father is responsible for the deaths of Jerry and also her friend, Harrison. However, he tells her that Jake is responsible for both deaths.
In this season, Olivia and Abby have not been on good terms. This episode allows some reconciliation to occur as Olivia confides in Abby that Jake murdered Jerry and Harrison. Abby embraces Olivia as the episode comes to a close.
Additionally, Huck encounters issues with his family. He has been watching his family at night, despite warnings from his ex-wife. His ex-wife is convinced that he has gone insane as he tells her about his job.
Disregarding his ex-wife’s warning about watching them, Huck continues to do so and is caught. Surprisingly, she is not upset and tells him to come back so he can see their son.
Huck does so, but his ex-wife has brought a doctor to the house to investigate Huck’s mental health. Huck is livid and attempts to choke the doctor.
As interesting as these events are, Scandal has been increasingly focusing more and more on the personal lives and drama of the characters and losing the political undertones that tied the series together.
In season one, the audience was exposed to the shocking events of the White House and Pope's efforts to save Grant’s name. The focus of the show was driven by the political implications not just for the main characters, but also for the entire nation.
Scandal has lost that quality in recent episodes. Politics are less important and the show has invested more energy into the storylines driven by each character’s lives, rather than having the storyline drive each character’s actions.
While Scandal still remains exciting, popular and certainly interesting, the prominence placed on the political aspect of the show is diminishing.
Can we revive the “old” Scandal? Can a major outbreak occur that would jeopardize Fitz’s presidency? Can we see some drama develop with the Senate as Fitz attempts to propose some legislation but faces gridlock?
Scandal will always retain interest from the public. Who does Olivia Pope not inspire? But Scandal should step back and reevaluate the direction of the show.