Liv is still struggling to get back into the swing of things and also looking for closure. Preview tonight’s Scandal, “The Testimony of Diego Muñoz,” airing at 9:00pm ET|PT on ABC.
In last week’s Scandal, Shondaland tackled a topic that has recently gained a lot of public attention and (unfortunately) become all too common in everyday America—relationships between police and black communities, with particular attention to the use of excessive force against black men.
In all honesty, I’m not really sure how to recap “The Lawn Chair.” As I watched, I was too overwhelmed with feelings of despair, anger, and eery déjà vu. But oddly (and thankfully), the episode ended with the possibility of hope…hope that justice will prevail and hope for improved relations between African-American communities and law enforcement. This, in fact, was Shonda Rhimes‘ intent all along:
In the end, we went with showing what fulfilling the dream SHOULD mean. The idea of possibility. And not the despair we feel now. #scandal
— shonda rhimes (@shondarhimes) March 6, 2015
So rather than a typical recap, I’d like to just highlight the parts of the show that were most poignant for me, and I hope you’ll also share your thoughts in comments below:
1. Courtney B. Vance was sensational as Clarence Parker. SENSATIONAL. I was completely blown as he captured the fear, desperation, and rage of African-American parents with teenage sons. Just trying to get them through high school…get them to 18; not being able to sleep until your son is home; advising them on the best way to avoid bringing negative attention to themselves; how to interact with law enforcement to minimize any suspicion; and then the overwhelming fury when realizing all of it was for naught.
Mr. Parker was backed up against the wall—his son gunned down and no hope for justice because (supposedly) Brandon was at fault. But Mr. Parker knew his boy, knew there was no way Brandon could have had a knife or been guilty of trying to attack an officer. With his conviction and help from Marcus Walker (Cornelius Smith Jr.) and Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington), the truth was discovered. Watching Mr. Parker realize that Brandon would have justice…patting his son’s back and then finally leaving his post…*TEARS*TEARS*TEARS*
And instead of being arrested Liv lead Mr. Parker to meet POTUS Fitz (Tony Goldwyn), who also knew what it meant to lose a son to senseless circumstances. The hug between them and Mr. Parker’s resulting breakdown caused ME to break down.
2. Michael Welch played Officer Newton (ironic to us Twilight fangirls who recognized him as Mike Newton…was that a shout-out Shonda???), who was eventually arrested for tampering with evidence and obstruction of justice for lying about the circumstances under which Brandon was killed. For me, the most salient part of Newton’s “confession” speech was his indignation. Everyday he put his life on the line for people and a community (AS HE SAW IT) that were taught to disrespect him. Of course this didn’t excuse Newton’s actions in any way, but I think Welch’s performance and the writing really embodied a lot of the frustration that we’ve seen from law enforcement in these police brutality cases.
3. You know I have to talk about Liv, and it was so interesting to see how this case pushed her boundaries. Her true loyalties were repeatedly questioned…by Marcus, by the police Chief (Chris Mulkey), even by David Rosen (Joshua Malina). Was Liv black enough? Did she know what it meant to live in fear?
In particular, two scenes really stood out to me—first, when Liv joined the protesters to start chanting and was able to stop the police chief from sending the SWAT team in; and second, when Liv went to David and confessed her fears, for herself (through the kidnapping situation) and for the black community. She couldn’t fix this without his help, and the situation needed fixing.
4. The brief secondary story followed Fitz and Cyrus (Jeff Perry) trying to pick a new VP. While Cyrus wanted to pick a strong, compelling candidate, Fitz was hesitant. He’d promised Mellie (Bellamy Young) that it was her turn and didn’t want to pick a VP who could be competition later on. Mellie ended up suggesting Senator Susan Ross (Artemis Pebdani)—her awkwardness and passion for vaccination policy surely made her non-threatening, right?
But I think Mellie grossly underestimated Susan. That “speech” Susan made in the end about why she would make a horrible VP…to me, it actually highlighted why she would do well in the position. She was humble, passionate, and dedicated to getting actual work done. Mellie might end up regretting this suggestion…
LOOSE LIPS SINK SHIPS—David Rosen is caught off guard when a surprise visitor reveals insider information about B613 that could take down the White House and destroy Pope & Associates. (via ABC)
The following two sneak peeks give us a glimpse of what we can expect in the upcoming show. In the first, Liv is back at her apartment, drinking wine, plagued my the memories of her kidnapping. She gets a phone call from Cyrus, who’s eager to get her back to work. In the second clip, Liv goes to OPA and Quinn (Katie Lowes) and Huck (Guillermo Díaz) are a little surprised/worried to her her. Liv asks the team to search for Lois Moore, her neighbor who was killed during the kidnapping. Apparently Rose (Marla Gibbs), the “Where’s the Black lady” lady is still looking:
*sigh* Poor Liv! After last week’s episode, even though there was a positive resolution, I think she still needs a long break and some therapy.
Take a look at photo stills from “The Testimony of Diego Muñoz,” which show David and OPA trying to deal with this whistleblower. The new Scandal airs at 9:00pm ET|PT, so tune into ABC and come live tweet with me while we watch!