Home > Scandal, tv > Scandal: Characterization and Plot Problems

Scandal: Characterization and Plot Problems

So, Scandal, guys. For me, I’m having some problems with the show. It’s not as problematic as last season, but a lot of the carryover from that is affecting this season. Instead of a recap, I’m going to talk about things that are bugging me. Because, you know, it’s my blog and I’ll cry if I want to. Wait…

I don’t know who to root for anymore – but not for the reason you might think. I’ve been a Liv and Fitz shipper from day one. I’ve loved the moderately dysfunctional Scooby Gang at OPA. But the dynamics between each character feels off, and not in a character growth/potentially-awesome-plot-point kind of way.

Last week’s episode finally had Liv and Fitz in the geographical region of the Feels. Their theme started to play, and it could’ve both been redemptive and romantic. Instead, it made me want to hurl things at the scream and yell obscenities. I DID yell obscenities, but I like my TV too much to wound it. Fitz, even wrapped in his grief, should never have used Liv as means to prove his manhood. He couched the entire conversation in terms of his rampant failure (pity party, Presidential party of one!) – and instead of it being about their reconciliation, about them as a couple, Fitz was one shade away from Drunk Elevator Fitz. He tried to use Liv as some kind of sex bandaid, and it was all kinds of wrong. This wasn’t some kind of emotional reunion moment. And while yes, they always have that spark – that physical chemistry – that scene made me cringe so hard. Because it wasn’t about them being together; it was about her filing a need. It undervalued her as a person AND their relationship on the whole. In summation: it was not motherfucking Vermont.

Additionally, there was Liv and her highly insensitive reveal about her Sex Vacation. I still have issues with her up and abandoning Fitz, right after his son died, regardless of ANY extenuating circumstances. Because you do not FLEE someone’s life who just lost a child. Immediately and without looking back or even trying to check in. NOPE. NOPE. NOPE. So, she ran off with Jake, who seems to have been Fitz’s only friend. (Cyrus is not his friend. He’s everybody’s monster. Except for that thing that died on his head. That thing has managed to upstage him. Seriously: WHY?) Jake and Fitz have a history. And Jake went after Liv. That’s shitty. Then, Liv dashes off with Jake for MONTHS, and she then (with all the grace of a two-legged elephant) blurts out that Jake went on her escape with her. How is that even remotely sensitive? (Hint: it isn’t.) It was done purely for shock value, and I don’t like it. Liv is not that callous. And yet…

So, this week’s episode. Jake is being held in the Pentagon, because Shady Tom pegged him for the murder of Jerry Grant. He stops eating in an effort to force Fitz to show up. He eventually tells Fitz that it was Rowan. And knowing exactly how slim-tastic Rowan is, of course Fitz believes him. Oh, wait – no he doesn’t! Because we’re supposed to believe this far-fetched plot point that Fitz suddenly has  no understanding of how Rowan operates. Hi, believability? I’m going to need you to take a vacation, mmmkay?

I can’t root for Jake at all either. While I liked him when he first appeared, and he seemed like a relative white hat in a sea of grey hats at best, he’s well beyond being redeemable. And therein lies a big problem: nearly everyone on this show is a murderer. Once he killed James, that was it: he crossed the line. He also has the maturity of three-day-old roadkill, because of his constant nagging about Olivia not being his girlfriend/their relationship being only about booty calls/how amazing he is in bed – then bragging to Fitz about their sexcapades. Is he five? I mean, really.

That aside, let’s talk about Davey Crockett’s Raccoon Hair himself: Cyrus. He goes and tells Liv what’s going on with Jake. He gets his gloat on. And she tells him that no one should believe Rowan. Also, guys? THE EMEPEROR IS NAKED. Meanwhile, we had a previous scene were Rowan and Liv have a majorly awkward father/daughter chat, wherein he chides her for not spending a kidney on her wine. Speaking as someone whose wine has often come in a box, you’re on very thin ice, sir. Annnnnyway, Liv can tell CYRUS never to believe her father, and yet we’re supposed to swallow this tentative relationship between the two? I don’t think so. It is inconsistent at best. The fact that any of the characters believe anything Rowan says is infuriating.

Next up, let’s talk about Mellie. Now, I loved the hell out of Drunk Mellie. I felt like it was real and honest, plus an interesting character turn. You can identify with Mellie not giving an immaculate damn about anything, after losing her son. Except, she was getting better there for a hot minute. She had a good heart-to-heart with Karen last week. Put the pearls back on for personal appearance in the episode before that. And now, she’s back to swirling around her vodka cup. Um, NO.

The exchange between Fitz and Mellie about the death of their son…it rang hollow, to me. It felt false that Mellie would offer up that their son died for a reason, a cause, like a solider – and find solace in that. Because she doesn’t really believe in anything right now. And to think that she’d see Fitz’s election as a silver lining for Jerry’s death? Not buying it at all. Of course, when she gets in the shower toward the end of the episode (after learning the supposedly murderer is in custody), we’re now supposed to see that she’s on the upswing. As if knowing that his murderer was caught is somehow the key to her mental state. That implies that her mess has been tied to not knowing who killed Jerry, not necessarily the loss of Jerry. That seems problematic to me, given the nature of grief and Mellie’s character.

Lastly, I want to talk about Huck. Huck, who apparently confessed to his ex-wife everything that ever happened to him, is a flipping mess. Don’t get me wrong: Guillermo plays the hell out that character. I am constantly astounded by his facial expressions, which convey multiple layers of feelings. The fact that he isn’t believed feels like it’s nothing more than a plot device. Maybe it’s to set it up for him and Quinn to be together, again. Maybe it’s just to put him through the ringer with another tragedy. But all the crazy crap that’s gone on in his character’s life, this reunion/reconciliation going wrong, too? It’s too much. It’s also easily avoided if Huck asked Liv to speak with his ex. Or even Quinn. ANYONE to back up his story. Instead, he just plods along like the saddest trombone in comedy of errors in which NO ONE is laughing. His ex also comes off as an unfeeling bitch, so congratulations for making me NOT root for them to be together, ever.

That’s it. That’s my rant. There’s no eloquent ending, just my slowly fizzling displeasure.

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Categories: Scandal, tv Tags: ,
  1. Anonymous
    October 24, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    I agree on many of your points. Except for Mellie. It wasn’t the how or why Jerry died. I think it was a sobering (and sobriety may help) realization that Fitz is over it! He’s supported her mourning up to that point. That, coupled with the belief that she has a purpose to fulfill, gets her going. I’m sure her and Fitz have a while before they heal, but I’m glad the “Melle” thing is finally over! Huck makes me cry, especially with the gift wrapping. His scenes with Quinn are sooooooooo awesome! I’m sorely sick of Liv at this point. I’m disappointed with her character arch. I’m beginning to feel like Cyrus and Rosen. Who wants to Olivia Pope?

  2. October 24, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    I agree on many of your points. Except for Mellie. It wasn’t the how or why Jerry died. I think it was a sobering (and sobriety may help) realization that Fitz is over it! He’s supported her mourning up to that point. That, coupled with the belief that she has a purpose to fulfill, gets her going. I’m sure her and Fitz have a while before they heal, but I’m glad the “Melle” thing is finally over! Huck makes me cry, especially with the gift wrapping. His scenes with Quinn are sooooooooo awesome! I’m sorely sick of Liv at this point. I’m disappointed with her character arch. I’m beginning to feel like Cyrus and Rosen. Who wants to Olivia Pope?

  3. My2Cents
    October 24, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    I too agree on your points. Love your write ups. I will never stop watching the show but man, the writers and the person that glues the show together better get it together. OIivia wearing the same shirt from earlier that day, after we see her having wine with daddy. Then she visits Rowan the next day after she finds out that Jake is being held at the pentagon and she wears the same Jacket/Blazer Fitz fingered (LOL) her in. That stuck with me. Sorry, it just so NOT! I can’t believe nobody caught that. I could go on and on but i am getting very frustrated with Olivia not being the Olivia i fell in love with in season 1 and 2. Like i said they better get it togther or i will do nothing ….. but Dang gon it.

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