You remember Stephen, right? Good-looking, British, charming philanderer from Season 1, left before Season 2 with No Explanation Whatso-Fucking-Ever? Yeah, that Stephen comes to Liv's rescue (technically because Abby called him).
The episode ended with a PTSD-ridden Liv ('cause Lord knows that's just what an already damaged Liv really needs right now) tearing into the Prez because he went to war for her and can't seem to figure out what's wrong with sacrificing dozens of innocent soldiers for his mistress. There's also a great scene where Cyrus (who looks like he's on the verge of yet another heart attack) fantasizes about screaming his resignation at Fitz for this bullshit. Cyrus, mind you, was ready have to Olivia "neutralized" for the sake of national security.
The Pope parents make an appearance which, by the way, does nothing to save Liv. (We do, however, get to see a little more Anthony Ma.)
Which brings me to why I'm writing this post this way. This isn't about a recap. This is about how Scandal can save itself by bringing Stephen back. Henry Ian Cusick (Chávez) is playing an unnecessary role on CW's The 100, but as Stephen Finch, he could have a stabilizing and enriching presence on Scandal.
1) The actor is Latino. Harrison is gone, and Joe Morton, though tiresome and repetitive, was a strong black presence on the show. It will be nice to have another male actor of color back on the show.So I'm going to be among the growing voices who pushes for Shonda Rhimes to bring back Stephen Finch. 'Cause let's be real - nobody cares about Grey's Anatomy anymore. Private Practice is off the air. Rhimes herself doesn't see a long shelf-life for Scandal, the story which has gone nowhere. And How to Get Away with Murder technically isn't hers.
2) OPA is dwindling. Harrison's dead, Abby's working for the White House (even though she gets no respect), Huck is unstable, and Stephen would perfectly fill the growing void at Olivia Pope & Associates (how ARE they paying bills these days???).
3) Scandal has gone off the rails. I did a marathon recently, going back to the beginning and watching Seasons 1 & 2, back when the show was tolerable, and then amazing. Scandal has tried too hard to be ABC's House of Cards and a military thriller AND a political thriller, and Stephen's character could bring back the lighter-hearted nature of the show, replete with scandalous cases and his amusing womanizing.
4) Liv.... Stephen was Liv's most rational voice at OPA. In Season 1, when he talked about accepting responsibility and not demanding too much, he flat-out told her about Fitz, "You can't have him." And unlike everyone else, Stephen always had a way of calmly talking sense into Liv and helping her to see things clearly. Since I could swear Mellie's about to get a spin-off anyways, she could take Fitz, Jake, and Cyrus with her while OPA gets back to business, and Stephen acts as a barrier between Liv and the White House.
Rhimes is powerful, but her power has its limits, and she needs to get back to thinking long-term.