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Scandal “The Lawn Chair” 

Photo Credit: ABC/Nicole Wilde
Photo Credit: ABC/Nicole Wilde

Olivia Pope is back (thank goodness) and rather than taking time for herself, she’s already up to her neck in a serious case.

Clarence Parker, played by Courtney B. Vance, holds a rifle in the street, standing over his son’s dead body. He insists that his son being shot was injustice, while the police maintain that the son posed a threat.

Sound familiar? This episode definitely hits some nerves, taking on a story with some obvious parallels to the events in Ferguson, MO.

My initial reaction on this was that maybe it was too soon, especially since the correlations from the real story are so very blatant. But did the episode do its job in raising the issues? You bet. And maybe that’s all that matters.

Olivia is there to try to defuse the situation, but finds herself on the other side of the yellow tape, chanting along with the crowd.

Olivia: “The fact that they stand in groups and say thinks you do not like does not make them a mob. It makes them Americans.”

Now, the hope is that Olivia can prove the boy wasn’t a threat after all. She convinces Rosen to help her in that effort, and they gain access to surveillance footage. Turns out, the boy did reach for something in his pocket. They check the body to find a knife, and there it is. But here’s the thing, it feels like a set up. And Mr. Parker refuses to take that knife at face value.

He insists that his son never carried a knife, and he pulls his gun on the crowd.

Olivia has had on a brave face for the most part, but her hand trembles and we know she’s dealing with a lot more than meets the eye. She has suffered an incredible trauma, and as she told David, she was afraid for her life every second while she was kidnapped.

Something in her has changed, and I think we’ll see that more and more going forward. There’s no way Olivia will be the same character after that. I’m also glad we haven’t just dropped the ball on that idea. There’s plenty of mention in this episode of what Olivia has recently been through.

Back to the case, Huck and Quinn help Olivia by doing some research, and they find evidence that proves the knife was planted. What was the boy pulling out of his pocket? A receipt. He was killed over a piece of paper. Mr. Parker breaks down in tears over the news for an amazing guest star performance.

But when Olivia takes him to meet the president – that’s when the tears really flowed. It’s a perfect scene, especially when we see in Fitz’s eyes that he truly can feel Mr. Parker’s pain in losing a child.

Other thoughts:

  • Susan Ross could easily become one of my favorite characters on this show. I wonder if the decision to bring her on as V.P. will actually end up backfiring on Mellie.
  • I love how Fitz is supporting Mellie’s hopes of running for president. He’s actually willing to do whatever he can to help her in that effort, and he looks happy doing so.

What did you think of “The Lawn Chair?” Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments below!

Scandal airs Thursdays at 9/8c on ABC.

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