Thursday’s episode of Scandal took a  break from the usual craziness for an understated, but powerful episode based on events in Ferguson Mo. There were some mentions of ongoing storylines; concern over Olivia’s (Kerry Washington)’s state-of-mind post-kidnapping, and Fitz’s (Tony Goldwyn) problem of how to pick a replacement Vice-President.

But it took on more of a day-in-the-life feeling.  The centre story happened on the streets of Washington when D.C. police shot an unarmed black kid.  Amidst the protests Olivia Pope was called in to ‘fix the police force’s reputation. Complicating things was the boy’s dad Clarence (played to perfection by Courtney B. Vance) sitting in a lawn chair with a gun by his side over top of his son’s body.

Olivia had to balance a father’s grief, rising racial tensions, and her own feelings in order to get to the truth.  The truth was key video was missing showing the officer in question shooting the victim, and a second suspect arrested earlier that night carrying a knife.  The knife was planted on the victim to make it look like he was confronting the cop before he was shot.

Unlike in Ferguson the episode ended with a measure of justice being done.  Following a racist tirade the cop was arrested, and charged.  His fellow officers looked ashamed, and the Chief even shed some tears.  The audience was left with hope that things would improve.

Scandal Musings:

  • It’s tough to do an episode like this without going over the top, but Shonda Rhimes managed to get it perfect
  • Loved how even the silences had power this episode
  • The song “I shall be released” was written by Bob Dylan, and first released by The Band” as part of their debut album in 1968
  • Back to the usual craziness this week in this preview: