I was not an early adopter of Scandal. I wasn’t there for the early days of Amanda Tanner and Stephen Finch (I still really don’t know who they are). I’ll admit it, I was one of those bandwagon fans who jumped on the show in the peak of its explosion on Black Twitter. All of my friends and followers were tweeting about it, so I just had to join in to see what everyone else was talking about. Soon after, I was at the point where I couldn’t miss the show. However, somewhere down the line, I didn’t feel as strong of a pull to the show as I did before. The disappointment of the constant storyline of Jake/Olivia/Fitz’s triangle made even more room for Scandal‘s flashy Shondaland sister, How to Get Away with Murder, to gather all of my attention. First, I found myself watching Scandal simply because it preceded HTGAWM. Later, I would rush to watch HTGAWM as soon as I could, but could go up to a week before watching the latest Scandal episode.
But this all changed recently. Despite me thinking that most of this season has fallen flat, the past few episodes have shown me that Scandal is beginning to get its mojo back. We know that it’s coming back for a sixth season in the fall, but the future of the show still remains up in the air beyond that point. Regardless, it seems the show is strategically setting itself up for how it will look post-Fitzgerald Grant’s presidency.
In that case, you’ll want to be along for the ride. Here’s why you need to catch up on Scandal now, so you can be ready in the fall:
*Warning: spoilers ahead*
1. It’s addressing real-life politics. #BlackLivesMatter, Donald Trump & all!
Although Shonda claims that Hollis Doyle’s outrageous campaign wasn’t inspired by Donald Trump, we have to call her out on this one. The show slightly toyed with us talking about #BlackLivesMatter last season when Olivia got involved with the case of the shooting of an unarmed black man, and it went there this season at full throttle when Olivia’s former boyfriend Edison Davis, a the Democratic contender for president, gave a stirring monologue on why black lives are undervalued and the ramifications of Doyle’s (read: Trump’s) radical dialogue.
2. Speaking of Edison, he’s back. Frankie Vargas isn’t bad either.
Not only is he reading America’s current political state, but Edison’s reading Olivia herself as well. Now that he is out of the presidential race, let’s hope he will be Governor Fransisco Vargas’s running mate so he can stick around for next season, and maybe go head-to-head with Papa Pope. It’s also good to see him and Vargas as the show’s resident Democrats, as it’s always been quite jarring that the show’s plotlines are surrounded by Republicans. But are they really? Shonda has been using that as a punchline this season as well, with David possibly breaking the fourth wall last episode saying, “Are these the types of things Republicans do?”
3. Susan is officially the realest character on the show.
Face it, she’s down to earth, loyal and everything else you would want to see in a politician — heck, she’s the closest to anyone you would want to interact with from this show. Like we hope that Edison is Frankie Vargas’ running mate, let’s hope Susan will return to become Mellie’s.
4. Marcus Walker aka Harrison 2.0
When they announced Cornelius Smith, Jr. — who guest starred in the last season of the show — would be joining the main cast for the fifth season, I dismissed it and just knew they were trying to create Harrison 2.0. However, Smith has proved himself and the character of Marcus as valuable additions. Whether it’s questioning the morals of Pope & Associates, bucking from what Olivia wants them to do or just trying to fit in and bond with Quinn and Huck more, the character has brought a fresh energy to the series.
5. Marcus and Mellie
The show hasn’t exactly gone there yet, but it’s only a matter of time before they go deeper into the clear tension that has been building up between the two. Fans of the show have been shipping them for some time now, but I wouldn’t believe it until they started throwing major hints that they were heading in that direction.
6. Abby and Olivia were feuding — but now they’re back!
One of the most annoying parts of this season was when Abby got a little bit too far ahead of herself and thought she could one-up Olivia. She soon found out that she couldn’t trump La Pope, and essentially let Susan drop out of the campaign so she wouldn’t have to air out that Olivia aborted her baby with Fitz. Hopefully, she returns to being a gladiator after Fitz is out of office.
7. Quinn is the most likable she’s been in a while (maybe ever).
With Abby gone and Olivia’s head elsewhere most of the time, Quinn has stepped in as the de facto lead at Pope & Associates. No longer that wannabe, badass killer, she’s reigning in Huck, giving Marcus the ropes and taking names.
8. Jake isn’t totally Papa Pope’s pawn.
Another one of the most annoying parts of this season was the dynamic between Jake and Olivia’s dad. However, we got to see Jake’s backstory and saw why their relationship is the way that it is. Now we know that Jake doesn’t really want to keep doing Rowan’s bidding, but he needs a way out.
9. Olivia leading Mellie’s campaign is great.
I’ve always been a fan of when Olivia and Mellie teamed up, so them working together now is fantastic.
10. Papa Pope just keeps getting crazier and crazier.
…And his monologues keep getting better and better. Maybe Mama Pope will come back next season to clear her name and paint him as the real bad guy again.
11. Our actual election season takes place at the same time as the election season on Scandal.
We’ll be finding out who will be the next president of the United States right as Mellie and Frankie go at it. Granted, we might find out who our real president is before our fictional one, but it’ll be interesting to compare the two!
Scandal’s season finale airs Thursday, May 12 at 9 p.m. on ABC. If what’s to come is as lit as I think it’s going to be, you need to tune in so you won’t be left behind!
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