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Scandal Episode 414: The Lawn Chair

Scandal Episode 414: The Lawn Chair

Scandal Episode 414: The Lawn Chair shows Olivia attempting to get back to her regular job in the aftermath of her kidnapping while being challenged by an activist who calls her out for being on the wrong side of an injustice. She is still feeling vulnerable but rather than taking time to heal, she dives headlong into this latest traumatic scene that stems from a police shooting of unarmed Black teenager.

Courtney B. Vance delivers a masterful performance as Clarence Parker, the bereaved father who is determined to get justice for his son who was left laying in the street for the entire episode reminiscent of the incident in Ferguson last year.

Fitz needs to come up with a new VP now that Andrew is incapacitated without picking someone who will pose a threat to Mellie’s future political plans. Cyrus encourages him to make a bold choice, but he wants to pick someone who is going to be a team player and won’t compete with Mellie’s plan to run for office. Fitz says that it’s her turn and Cyrus asks him if he has any idea how difficult it will be for Mellie to make the leap to the oval office. Why let a little thing like experience stand in the way of a bored First Lady’s dreams?

The DC Police  department hired Olivia in the wake of the fatal shooting of unarmed teenager Brandon Parker by a White officer. Crowds of angry residents have formed, and the police chief does not want a riot on his hands.

The victim’s body is still lying in the street when his father shows up with a gun demanding to see the officer who killed his son.

Olivia tries to negotiate with Mr. Parker to keep the police from shooting him, but he will not leave his son’s side. A local activist brings the man a lawn chair to sit on and encourages him to remain there since that is the only power he has in the situation.

Olivia accuses the activist, Marcus, of inflaming the situation to try to make a name for himself. She told him that it would be his fault if the boy’s father is killed. “You don’t want justice. You want anger. You want outrage. You want retribution,” Olivia admonishes.

Marcus is not impressed by Olivia’s arguments and calls her out for living in DC but having never visited that neighborhood unless it was to pick up soul food. He lets her know that he knows exactly who she is and brings up the fact that she worked to get the President elected twice.

Scandal Episode 414: The Lawn Chair Black CardScandal Episdoe 414: The Lawn Chair

She tells him he doesn’t know her and that they both want the same thing, but he is not convinced. “You want to put it to bed quietly and go to the Hill and say that you came down to the hood and you saved us. No thanks Olivia. Your black card is not being validated today.” Sir, I am sure that Olivia does have an actual Black card – the kind that gets issued to high net worth individuals.

This Marcus character totally reminds me of Rev. Bullock from Preachers of Detroit (don’t judge me). But I digress….

The officer claimed that Brandon matched the profile of a shoplifter. He said that he stopped the young man who became belligerent and pulled a knife before charging him which is why he shot him. Yeah, because Black boys pull knives on police officers all the time.

Once Olivia realizes that the Police chief is trying to keep the protests out of the news so that he can unleash brutal tactics on the crowd, she joins the protesters behind the barricades.

Huck comes down to the crime scene and tells Olivia that the police have the surveillance footage from the night of the shooting but they have not released it.

Olivia goes to David and tells him that she needs his help. She explains to him that justice is not available to everyone and he tries to squash her comments, but she says that she felt helpless and afraid each day that she was in captivity and asks him to imagine feeling like that every day.

She also told him that Brandon’s father believes that his only way out of the situation is in going to lead to prison or the morgue. And he cannot argue with that.

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David issues a subpoena for the surveillance tape which shows the victim reaching into his pocket for something, but it does not show the item. The father allows them to check the body for a weapon and they find a knife. Mr Parker kept repeating that his son does not carry a knife and raises his gun as if he is about to shoot.

Olivia and Marcus manage to walk away from him without being shot, but her hands are shaking, and she is clearly not okay. Ms. Pope is going to have to be checked into the psych ward before it’s all over.

Huck and Quinn discover that the officer planted the knife on the body because he arrested a suspect the previous night but the arrest was never formalized and the man’s knife was never booked into evidence. Brandon was reaching for his receipt when he was shot.

Scandal Episode 414: The Lawn Chair

Olivia goes to the confront the officer who launches into this psychotic rant about “these” people and how they disrespect him. “Brandon Parker is dead because he didn’t have respect. Because those people out there who are chanting and crying over his body didn’t teach him the right values.”

Whenever someone starts throwing around “you people” it is always nasty business, and I would bet that he was speaking for many of his real life counterparts. Not all, but enough to create this constant mistrust and hostility.

The officer is arrested and the police department is placed under a federal probe,

Olivia takes Mr. Parker to the White House to meet the President, and he breaks down in tears talking about his son.

Scandal Episode 414: The Lawn Chair

This episode was so powerful and emotional because it is loosely based on real events.

Michael Brown was gunned down in Ferguson and left lying in the streets for hours last August. Massive crowds showed up to protest for weeks after the shooting, and the police treated them like enemy combatants.

The similarities end there because there has been no arrest to date.

Although the Justice Department recently released a report on the Ferguson police department that found a pattern of systemic racism, discrimination and hostility toward Black residents, federal charges will not be filed.

This was an important episode because Ferguson is a deeply divisive issue and unfortunately, it is but one of many stories about Black men being killed at the hands of law enforcement.

As much as I disliked the recent episodes about Olivia being kidnapped and trafficked, I have to give kudos to the writers for getting it right this time.

Olivia is very much a person of privilege living in her own little bubble even as her own father tried to warn her that she would never be one of “them.” So she needed that reality check that Marcus gave her.

Well done Shonda and crew.

Now can we please get our girl some counseling before she completely loses her mind?

Scandal Episode 411: “Where’s the Black Lady?”

Scandal Episode 411: “Where’s the Black Lady” shows Olivia saving herself from a hellish fate as Fitz, Jake and Huck work to find where she was taken. This episode is much better than the previous week’s offering which was so tedious that I did not even bother to recap it. This title comes from scenes with veteran actress Marla Gibbs who is a friend of the elderly lady who was killed in the last episode. I am still salty with them for killing Big Mamma in cold blood last week because that wasn’t even necessary.

The murdered lady’s name is Lois, and her friend is concerned that she has not been able to contact her, and she knows that Lois gave a spare house key to the nice Black lady who lives across the hall because she helps people for a living — Olivia. This is a pivotal moment because up until Scandal Episode 411 Where's the Black Lady?then Huck and Quinn were not able to figure out where Olivia might have been taken.

The episode opens with Fitz in the Oval office getting an unwelcome visit from the Secret Service. Apparently ole Randy Andy has co-opted multiple levels of government to get them to watch the President to make sure that he does not search for Olivia. Andrew’s henchman warns Fitz that Olivia will be beheaded if he fails to cooperate by declaring war on West Angola.

Ole Randy Andy is awfully bold in this episode, and I really wanted him to be dropped in the hole with Mamma Pope.

A visibly shaken Fitz is in the bedroom with Mellie who has suddenly decided to come clean about swerving with Andrew again. She starts running her mouth about all their dirty secrets including the stolen election, and Fitz tells her to stop talking since he is being followed and recorded. Mellie always has bad timing.

Fitz demands proof that Olivia is still alive before taking any action, so her captor films her holding up a newspaper and reading a statement. Ole girl requests a glass of water and uses that glass to show her captor’s reflection on camera. I knew she wasn’t just thirsty!

Scandal Episode 411 Where's the Black Lady

Huck pays Mrs. Ellen a visit at her house after she tucks her daughter in and warns her that he will cut the girl up and make her watch him do it if she does not tell him where to find Olivia.

She seems legitimately shook, but hell, who did she think they were dealing with here? This chick is the child of assassins and rolls with psychopaths. Huck could kill Lizzie and her daughter and have that house so clean that no one would know that she ever lived there.

Lizzie Bear pays Andrew a visit and asks him what he has done and tells him about her late night visitor. Ole Randy Andy basically tells her to man up and get her mind right because he is trying to get into the Oval Office.

Huck pays Lizzie another visit because she did not deliver the info about Olivia. He is sitting next to her daughter’s bed in the dark and muses about snapping the kid’s neck which turns out to be a bluff because he exacts his vengeance solely on Lizzie and left her back looking like she’d received 2,000 lashes. She may as well have stood up and yelled “Give us free!” after he got done with her.

After telling Mellie about the kidnapping, Fitz decides to declare war on Angola but Olivia is not freed because Andrew plans to use her to manipulate the President for the remaining three years of his term. Ian, her captor, says that they will keep her alive until the three years are up and then they will kill her.

Three years? Do they not know whose child she is? Mama Pope will burrow her way from that hole and chew iron bars to get to Olivia. And although he is angry with her, there is no way Eli is going to allow these people to just snatch his daughter up and treat her like some scullery wench without making them pay for it. Liam Neeson has nothing on the deadly Popes when it comes to bringing back kidnapped offspring.

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After Lois’ friend tells Quinn about Olivia having a key to the neighbor’s apartment, they go over there to investigate and find the ring that she left behind as a clue. Huck tells them that Olivia wears that ring for Fitz and never takes it off, so he is sure that she had been in that apartment. They also check the WiFi and are able to figure out the last person to have accessed it,  but they are not able to narrow down the location.

Mellie visits Andrew and tells him to give Olivia back to Fitz, but he goes off on some rant talking about how he’s doing all this devilment for them. Mellie takes one for the team and sleeps with him to steal his phones which she turns over to Lizzie who gives them to OPA so that Huck will leave her alone.

Andrew used one of the phones to contact Ian repeatedly, so the crew was able to locate where Olivia is being held and David Rosen uses the DEA to call in a drug raid on the location, but Olivia is already gone by the time they get there.

Realizing that she needs to save herself, Olivia brokers a deal with Ian to have him sell her to the highest bidder. She figures that it will be easier to take her chances on the open market rather than wait around to be killed.

Olivia reprises the hype man role that she played for Cyrus when he was about to quit in disgrace and asks Ian if he wants to remain a highly paid babysitter or try to gain some real power for himself. “Do you want to be a babysitter or do you want to be a boss?” she asks.

Scandal Epsisode 411 Where's the Black Lady - Stop right there

I can appreciate them trying to show Olivia saving herself, but I am not here for Black folks being auctioned off in 2015 – and during Black History month at that. Seriously? Is that the best that they could come up with for this storyline? I am side-eying this whole situation right now. Picture me glaring with my arms folded like that lady in the background of that infamous photo of Angelina Jolie and Amy Pascal.Scandal Episode 411: Where's the Black Lady?

What woman would come up with that plan? She had to know that her crew was coming for her, and even if they never found her dying in a cell has to be a better fate than being trafficked. I do not like this at all. I have given these writers a lot of leeway, but this is pushing it.

Olivia convinces Ian to get her cleaned up to fetch a better price, and she calls Fitz from a private jet to tell him about the plan. His excitement at hearing her voice on the phone is short-lived when Ian takes the phone and says that he is going to sell her to the highest bidder.

  • While this episode was more interesting than last week’s, the ending really ruined it for me. I find nothing clever or cute about this situation and there really was no need to go that route.
  • Are they going to have her sold off to some wealthy sheikh and added to a harem?
  • What is Mellie getting out of all this? Fitz does not love her, and neither does Andrew.
  • On the plus side, Mamma Pope is in the previews for the next episode, and you know that she is not going to allow any modern-day slavery to happen on her watch.

Scandal Episode 411 Where is the Black Lady?Scandal Episode 411 Where is the Black Lady?