Scandal: The Price of Free and Fair Elections

"When did we stop being people?"

We've pretty much stopped covering it, but I feel compelled to write just a bit about the Scandal season finale. Maybe I just need therapy. Why am I still watching this show? Lately, it's (and I know, old cliché) like watching a train wreck in slow motion. But somehow, I just can't avert my eyes.

Sally had her moment of Jesus, the photo op of all photo ops. Wow, that was calculating. Suddenly she has the election all sewn up. No, that can't happen, I'm saying to myself. Who is the star of this show? What character is the star of the show in love with? What last minute shocker will change the election?

Fitz was ready to leave the White House, move to Vermont and have babies with Liv, and I wish he had. (And he tells her this while Tony Goldwyn is leaning over Kerry Washington and the camera angle is concealing the baby bump -- does anyone else find this distracting?) But no. Liv has to go there with Big Jerry and Mellie. Why now? Because it's the finale and everything has to come out? Does Liv want Fitz to be president more than she wants Fitz himself?

Mellie said "Olivia Pope can't do anything right." I'm starting to agree with her. Fitz and Mellie had a bonding moment that didn't touch me at all. At least he did the right thing there; he held and comforted her, and said the words she needed to hear. Can we put this plotline to bed, now? So to speak? But then…

Jerry? Jerry is dead? WTF? Was the kid contaminated as a character because he initially might have been Big Jerry's son? And "we're going to win the election now"? Really Liv, you thought of that? Yeah, not as bad as Cyrus, who was going to let an entire church full of people explode to win the election, although there was a moment at the beginning of the episode when it looked like Cyrus was going to change his mind and say something.

(At one point, Cyrus was advising Leo to try and hang on to his soul. Too late, Cyrus.)

Poor Fitz was down on his knees in the Oval Office. He didn't care that he just got another term. Don't take that drink, Fitz.

Maya told Liv, I did it for you. I blew up a church, just for you. I think Liv would have preferred something smaller, possibly some jewelry, maybe a compact car? And then Rowan said Maya was dead, and I knew that hadn't happened, that they'd be keeping Maya alive until they needed her for another plot twist. I should have realized whodunit. Rowan had a child killed to keep his daughter's lover in the White House. Although really, he had a child killed so that he could get Command back. What a prince.

Olivia decided it was time for a new life. She's the eye, the center of the storm, she's the scandal. So it's time for her to go, and Jake decided to go with her. I sort of can't blame them. At least Jake left a lovely present for David! How nice. David always wanted boxes of incriminating files. Let's hope they will include a way to get rid of Rowan.

I wonder if they made the wrong decision shooting around Kerry Washington's pregnancy this season? She's really the heart of the show and instead of being the center of the storm (as mentioned above), she's pretty much had one facial expression this season -- distressed. And one major camera angle to hide the baby bump, which has been obvious in every scene she was in.

But what was the other alternative -- to have Olivia gone and focus completely on the other characters? Because I almost don't even want to address the other stuff. Okay, I will.

I used to find Huck sort of fascinating, but now I pretty much want Huck and Quinn to quietly vanish from the show and not have sex in conference rooms ever, ever again. I even don't care that Quinn found Huck's family, although it might be fun to have Astrid from Fringe around next season. And I wish I cared that Harrison's life, or possibly his soul, is in danger, but he could vanish from the show like Huck and Quinn and I wouldn't miss him a bit.

This finale was all over the place. Will I be watching next season? Probably. Could someone please tell me why?
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Billie Doux is the founder of Doux Reviews and has been reviewing her favorite shows for quite some time. More Billie Doux.

6 comments:

sunbunny said...

Better than a lot of the last part of the season has been, but not good. You're absolutely right about Liv's lack of role lately, Billie. All she does is react to whatever the men in her life are doing around her. The first season, we liked her because she was intelligent and savvy and knew what was going on and how to handle it and now she's being batted back and forth between her lover and her father and it frustrates me.

Billie Doux said...

It was probably the only thing they thought to do with the limited amount of time that Kerry Washington could work. Maybe they'll fix these problems next season.

ChrisB said...

I know what you mean about being unable to stop watching the show. It's those OMG moments that keep me coming back for more.

Killing off Jerry was one such moment for me. I was in complete shock. For a show that takes some risks, killing a kid was a big one. Although, truth be told, the first thing I thought was "oh, so that's how Fitz will stay in the White House." Guess I'm a monster, too.

I agree with both you and sunbunny about the change in Olivia's role this season. I'm hoping that it was temporary and they get back to what worked so well next season. Oh yeah, I'll be watching.

Billie Doux said...

A reviewer at The Daily Beast says it was the best Scandal episode *ever*. Really? I suppose he does have a point that it was super duper outrageous, though.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/04/18/the-explosive-scandal-finale-was-its-best-episode-yet.html

Enid said...

Actually, I agree with the Daily Beast and TV Club about it being good. It was like Scandal of old. I didn't have as big of a problem with Season 3 as some did as you guys know. Was it the best season? No. However, it's better than most shows as far I'm concerned. I liked how they used the first half to build up the pace for the second half. And I liked how Olivia's world blew up in her face. She's not a good person, she's a mix of complexities and always trying to put on the white hat but it's not so simple especially in a political world.

They always talk about The Machine on Person of Interest (thanks, Sunbunny for the recommendation) and being a DMV resident not far from D.C. I often think of the government as being The Machine. You don't change it, you get changed by it.

This season to me was the fallout from power. You know the line "with great power comes great responsibility." This season looked at the other things that come like greed, hatred, fear, loathing, longing and so much more. Each character with probably the exception of Huck and Harrison went through the gauntlet because of their maneuvering and machinations. The title of last night's episode fit well. Power just like magic always comes with a price.

Also, I think the third season of some shows just get clunky like with LOST. Season 3 wasn't great but I kept watching. I know I'll keep watching Scandal.

Luce said...

This season went really off the rails on several levels (the most noticeable being Scandal trying to be Alias-lite).

In all truth, I wished TPTB had kept the B613 storyline in the background and focused more on the weekly cases. What would've also worked would've been if Lisa Kudrow's character had remained in the show. That way, there would've been a hella lot of tension between Liv and the combined forces of Fitz, Mellie, and Cyrus.

My enthusiasm was at a 'meh' level for the principal characters. Week in and week out, I found myself cheering for the "wrong" people: Mellie, Papa Pope, Maya Pope, and Jake. #IDEK

I feel that TPTB didn't notice how far off the trail they had gotten the narrative until after the show went on a 2-month hiatus due to the Winter Olympics. Can't quite say that they managed to tie up things but, at least, they've cleaned up some of the messier storylines?

Despite everything that went wrong for S3, there were times I had fun watching the show. So, even though I might not be cheering for the show like I once was, I'm curious enough about S4 to give it a try.