The Bar Bows to Courtney B. Vance
How ironic. I was going to announce how I was done watching Scandal this week.
But then...this week's Scandal was a wish fulfillment episode of the Michael Brown story, in which the racist cop goes to jail, and grieving single father (portrayed magnificently by Courtney B. Vance) is comforted by the Prez.
Now, because the focus of the BGNO is the titular subject, I gotta say...my favorite part was when black activist Marcus Walker (Cornelius Smith, Jr.) verbally hands Olivia Pope's ass to her because she shows to the crime scene as a fixer on behalf of the cops. He states in no uncertain circumstances that she is most assuredly the enemy, one who worked her ass off to elect a white Republican President twice, and is now pretending to be a friend to the people while cashing a check from the police department.
I mean seriously, Liv? What were you thinking?
Luckily, Liv wakes up pretty quickly and takes the side of the growing number of protestors. She and David Rosen have a brief showdown in which she reminds him that all talk of justice and fairness is bullshit because justice in America is set up for people like him. To which Rosen gives that classic response of, "Oh, come on...."
Things that Really Worked
Less Jake. We see Jake for about five seconds in the beginning, trying to convince Liv to see a therapist and to not start back at work yet. He's gone for the rest of the episode (for the most part) and he is not missed (no offense to the actor, who's actually quite good).
Liv goes back to back to work. Lying to Jake, Liv actually goes to the crime scene, back on the job. While I question her initial taste in cases, it's good to see her back at her job and working with what's left of her team. Speaking of which, #BringBackStephenFinch.
Increasing focus on Mellie's political ambitions. Cyrus thinks the Grants are insane to believe Mellie could ever be President. And since they have to replace the now-comatose VP, Fitz has to choose someone no one would ever elect President, to stay out of Mellie's way. Could be an interesting arc in the future, provided that the show maintains:
The separation of Pope and State. This is perhaps the most crucial aspect of the episode which worked. No Olitz drama. No love triangle bullshit. Fitz deals with political matters within the white house while Liv goes to work someplace else. They don't talk and they don't meet. Sure, Liv's the one who brings Vance's character to meet the Prez, but while the two men bond over murdered sons, she's not really a part of that scene.
Seriously...if Shondaland keeps this up (and #BringsBackStephenFinch), they could rescue this show.