Spoiler Alert: Do not read if you haven’t seen Scandal Season 5, Ep. 11 – “The Candidate.”
“Well, I am an overachiever.” — Olivia
Last week Scandal jumped back into the narrative with all the twists and turns we’ve come to expect from the series. This week it was more about stepping back and setting up the forces that will be driving the plot for the rest of the season. Unsurprisingly, with this being Fitz’s last year of presidency, that driving force will be the upcoming election.
But this is Scandal. There is no room for single individuals stepping up and answering the call of the nation. No, in the Scandal-verse the president is nothing more than a puppet being worked by the real masterminds behind the scenes too gay or black or generally off-putting to actually wield such power openly. So this episode was about aligning the players behind the players in the race to come.
In one corner we have Mellie Grant backed, oddly enough, by Olivia Pope. Mellie is running on less than one full term of senatorial experience and 23 years as one of the many, many puppeteers working Fitzgerald Grant III. Of course that bit of experience isn’t widely known enough to do her any good. At this point she is merely curiosity made all the more curious by the fact her husband’s former mistress is running her campaign (probably).
In the opposite corner we have Susan Ross. Good, sweet, noble minded Susan Ross. Susan Ross, who doesn’t even want to be president. Instead, a disgusting alliance between Liz and David has conspired together to manipulate her into running. This barely registers on the list of terrible things Liz has done in her short tenure on Scandal, but it’s quite clearly the worst thing David has ever done, to use Susan’s genuine feelings for him to trick her into something she doesn’t want. Its gross and it ruins a character that was once a moral center of the show. Although, ironically, Susan would make a really great president.
But that’s not all, ladies and gentlemen! Coming out of nowhere, a dark horse; an unnamed, unknown governor from Pennsylvania who cares about education! And he’s got Cyrus’ full attention. Yep, my money’s on him.
Who would you vote for gladiators? Also, if anyone can explain how Mellie and Olivia were able to write a gripping memoir after drinking a full jar of moonshine please let me know. Asking for a friend.
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