Scandal takes a page from Law & Order’s “ripped from the headlines” playbook with a Ferguson-style shooting that leaves a black teenager dead at the hands of a white cop.
Let’s bitch it out…
Still reeling from her kidnapping, Liv chooses to go back to work instead of hanging out with Scott Foley’s Jake (to each her own, I guess). After the above mentioned shooting, protesters gather at the crime scene and the DC Police Department calls in Liv to fix it. Just as Liv’s about to calm the situation, the boy’s father, Clarence Parker, shows up with a shotgun. Convinced his son was innocent, he will not leave his boy’s dead body and risk a police cover-up until the truth of what happened is revealed.
Marcus Walker (Cornelius Smith, Jr), a neighborhood activist and Clarence’s friend, shows up to lead the protesters (and provide the titular lawn chair, which Clarence heartbreakingly places over the body of his son to keep watch over him). Marcus also calls Liv out for being out of touch with the typical black experience while helping to get another white Republican male elected.
When Marcus finds out the name of the officer involved in the shooting, he leaks it to the press. Officer Newton (Michael Welch) says he shot Brandon after he pulled a knife on him. Meanwhile, Liv notices the cops moving the press away so they can deploy riot gear and tear gas without showing up on TV. Realizing that they care more about ending the protest than uncovering the truth, Liv walks right to the other side of the police tape and joins the onlookers.
Over at OPA, the team discovers that the police have the surveillance tape of the shooting and they’ve withheld it. At first it seems to exonerate Officer Newton, showing Brandon reaching for something in his pocket before being shot. But upon further inspection, it depicts someone in the back of the police car at the time of the shooting. Newton stole this criminal’s knife, planted it on Brandon after he shot him, and released the other man in exchange for his silence. In a bittersweet end, Newton is arrested and Clarence is let go, but his son is still lying dead in the middle of the street.
Over at the White House, Fitz (Tony Goldwyn) is looking for a new VP. While Cyrus (Jeff Perry) wants him to choose someone charismatic that will be the future of the party, Fitz wants someone who will just ride out his time (ahem, Joe Biden) and not be a threat to Mellie’s (Bellamy Young) future bid. He promised Mellie that her time is next. He even leaks info to the press about Mellie’s strongest competitor to get her out of the running. To which I’ve got to say: I am SO conflicted. When did Fitz start caring about anything but himself, his teenage emotions and his extramarital affair? When did I start liking him again?! I’m so confused!
Mellie turns out to be the one that selects the perfect candidate: Susan Ross (Artemis Pebdani)! Remember her? OPA helped her get elected against Abby’s ex-husband (with an obligatory makeover). She doesn’t want to become President (“your job is the worst job in the entire world”) and she’s horrible at diplomacy. She also enjoys discussing genital herpes vaccinations. This is going to be fun.
- If you did not shed a tear when Clarence breaks down in the Oval office as he says “my son’s name was Brandon”, then you are dead inside and I’m concerned for you.
- Kudos to Michael Welch for the chilling delivery of Officer Newton’s philosophy of the black community not respecting him. In a show full of expert monologue deliverers (yes that’s a term), it takes a lot for a guest star to be able to command the screen the same way.
What did you think of ‘The Lawn Chair’? Are you happy with the way it handled such a timely and sensitive subject? Are you excited to see more of Susan Ross? Sound off below!
Scandal airs Thursday at 9pm EST on ABC. Next week looks like more fall-out from the kidnapping. Here’s your preview