Scandal “That’s My Girl” Review (Season 5, Episode 21)

Scandal wrapped up this season with a couple political rallies and vice-presidential announcements. Mellie was none too happy with the speech Fitz was planning to give, and true to form, she didn’t hide her displeasure. On the one hand, I can see Fitz’s point. He and Mellie had a very public relationship and an even more public divorce. It really doesn’t matter what wonderful things he says about Mellie and how he thinks she will do a great job leading the country. In people’s minds, his comments will always be tainted by what they know of Fitz and Mellie’s past relationship. It also didn’t help that Fitz initially came out in support of Susan Ross instead of Mellie. So, while I can understand Mellie’s position that Fitz’s speech was the epitome of arrogance, I can see why he decided to go that route. On the other hand, I can see Mellie’s point. The national convention is supposed to be her moment to shine. It’s supposed to be all about her and how great she will be for the country. She was also correct that Fitz viewed the Presidency as a prison because it wasn’t something that he necessarily wanted for himself. He wanted to prove to Big Gerry that he (Fitz) is the better man. He wanted to win because Olivia wanted him to win. But he didn’t necessarily choose to be President. Mellie was also correct that he didn’t appreciate the presidency because he didn’t earn it. He won his first term because Olivia, Mellie, Cyrus, and Hollis rigged the election. He won his second term mostly because the country felt sorry for him after his son’s death. I’m not saying that he doesn’t love the country, but if the Presidency isn’t something you want for yourself and that you’ve earned, then of course it’s going to feel like prison. Not only does Mellie want it bad, but she’s earned it. She’s sacrificed a great deal, the least of which is her dignity, and she has earned the chance to at least try for the Oval.

I know there are a lot of folks who don’t particularly like Jake, but I’m feeling kind of bad for him right now. He thought Olivia was his path to freedom. He thought her saving him meant he would actually be free. How disappointing and disheartening it must be for him to realize that he’s simply traded one gilded cage for another. Granted, Olivia isn’t likely to pull a gun on Jake and threaten to kill him when he doesn’t do what she wants, so I suppose that’s a step up. But that only makes Olivia marginally better than Eli in that regard. When Jake told her he wanted to buy a normal little house, go to a normal little job, and raise two or three normal little kids, Olivia scoffed at him and told him he shouldn’t be striving for mediocrity. Um…what? When did getting married, having children, working a stable job, and buying a house become something to be sneered at as oppose to aspired to? When did having a family and putting in an honest day’s work become mediocre? I understand that people have different priorities in life, and that’s ok. I guess running people down because their priorities are different seems awfully small to me. At any rate, Jake thought Olivia was going to help him obtain freedom, but he didn’t realize that Olivia is just Eli with a better wardrobe. If Jake wants his freedom, he’s going to have to figure out how to do it himself. I don’t know exactly how he can break free, but there’s got to be a way. That’s the only way his life is ever going to be his own.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Cyrus is truly a piece of work. It has always bothered me that he adopted Ella just to distract James from looking into Defiance. He never wanted children, and his relationship with Ella has been distant at best. When James died, one of the things I wondered was who was going to take care of Ella since James was her primary caretaker. Enter Michael. He’s stepped right up and seems to love Ella very much. I mean, look at her. She’s adorable. How could you not love her? Anyway. The point is, Cyrus is using her (and Michael) as a means to achieve the end of him becoming the VP. I’m going to ignore the fact that she narrative didn’t even deal with the fact that Cyrus is a registered Republican who is now running on the Democratic ticket. So putting that aside, I can’t say I saw Cyrus being Vargas’s running mate coming. I kind of figured Cyrus wasn’t really asking David to be VP because no matter how much he may believe in Vargas, Cyrus doesn’t like people that he can’t control. So for him to ask David to be VP without it being some sort of quid pro quo, I knew something was up. The problem for Vargas is that Cyrus cannot be trusted. If Vargas and Cyrus win the election, I wouldn’t put it past Cyrus to have Vargas killed just so that he can become POTUS. Cyrus was being sincere that he needed help getting Eli and Jake off his back, but his reasons for doing so were total lies. I also had to laugh out loud when Olivia got so scandalized after learning Cyrus was responsible for what happened in Harrisburg. Seriously, Olivia? Let’s not pretend you’re a virgin to murder. Also, the way Cyrus brushed Tom off is probably going to come back and bite him. Tom was a B613 operative. They aren’t exactly known for their mental stability.

Fitz went poking around in Abby’s office and found the medical record of Olivia’s abortion. Why was Fitz snooping around in Abby’s office? I doubt that she would’ve left that kind of information just sitting out in the open. So what was Fitz looking for that he would’ve found those documents? It really doesn’t matter. That whole scene was just so that Fitz could be made aware that Olivia aborted his child and he could absolve her of guilt. Not that she needs it since she doesn’t have any guilt about the way she handled that situation anyway. But I’ve already written at length about that, so I’m not going to do it again. But that kind of clunky writing is what stepped this episode down from great to pretty good.

As far as season finale’s go, this one wasn’t that bad. Despite the rather intense scene of Eli Pope threatening to blow Jake’s brains out, this wasn’t an edge of your seat finale. But it was pretty solid. It left a few questions open for next season to answer. Overall, this has been a rough season for Scandal. The story has been all over the place, the writing has been uneven, and they’ve taken the main character in a direction that was pretty detrimental. It’s really difficult to continue to be invested in a story when you no longer care about the main character. The last handful of episodes got back to the format that worked for Scandal in earlier seasons, thus, they were much more enjoyable than the rest of the season. From all the news reports I’ve read, Scandal may have an abbreviated season next year, and maybe that will help some of what ails the show. If the writers have fewer episodes, then maybe they’ll tell a more focused story. I guess only time will tell. I honestly don’t know whether I’ll continue reviewing Scandal next season. I didn’t enjoy most of this season, and life is too short to waste time on television that you don’t really enjoy anymore.