Guest Review Scandal

Scandal 7×16 – People Like Me

“Time’s up! We’re coming for you.”

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There are only two episodes left before Scandal bids farewell, so why are we still wasting time on mundane episodes like People Like Me?

A Mellie Problem

Before we get to the bad stuff, there appears to be a Mellie problem now. After deciding to work with Olivia to get Cyrus killed in last week’s cliffhanger, Mellie spends most of this episode completely out of character. There definitely seems to be something wrong with her, especially when she’s walking around in the Oval Office, having discussions and arguments with herself. To be honest, this is more confusing than it is entertaining or worrisome, and even though I have lost faith in these writers over the years, I’ll be damned if I didn’t say I was intrigued to see where this is going. Also: don’t you dare kill off my President, writers.

Rowan 2.0

Sadly, it’s come to my attention that Cyrus has become a worse version of Rowan/Eli Pope. Whether he’s giving cringeworthy, lengthy speeches or pretending to connect with Olivia, Cyrus is not ashamed to label himself as a bad guy this week. I get that the show wants to introduce an unlikely twist with characters revealing themselves as evil, but it completely undermines the nature of Scandal. The show prides itself in painting characters as people who may not be horrible but will stop at nothing for power, and yet doesn’t bother making anyone likable anymore. Plus, if there’s an Emmy for the worst scene of the year, Liv holding a gun inside Jake’s mouth while Cyrus watches on the sidelines better take that award home. It absolutely deserves it.

QPA Fun

If there’s one silver lining to all the weirdness and atrocious writing that comes from watching an episode like People Like Me, it’s the unlikely friendship that forms between Quinn and Abby. I say unlikely because even though the two have been working together for a little while now, the writers are too busy being in love with Olivia that they’ve missed the mark when it comes to these two. Their hacking scenes are a hoot, and I’m not ashamed to admit I’m going to miss seeing Darby Stanchfield (Abby) on my screen every week. Let’s hope she gets a more deserving and ass-kicking role soon (Bellamy Young already did).

Scandalous Bits

– Loved the callback to Olivia killing Andrew with a chair in season five’s perfectly titled episode Thwack! during her confrontation with Cyrus this week. What a tease.

– As ludicrous as it is, Mellie’s speech in the Oval, which references the #TimesUp movement, is excellent.

– Cyrus asking Liv if she thinks she would have been a better person had she never met Fitz is an intriguing concept, but sadly doesn’t hold up as well as expected because I absolutely cannot stand either actor at this point.

– So am I to understand that Olivia does not have the guts to kill Cyrus, but feels no shame in blowing up an airplane with an innocent man and his teenage niece on board? Mmmkay.

– How about that God-awful ending with the reveal that Jake killed his wife Vanessa? Not only does she suddenly get more screen-time this week than she ever has, but V was incredibly underdeveloped that I am sure no one will even remember this death after a few days. Nice try, writers.

Quipyness

Mellie: I am the state, he is the enemy of the state.

Mellie: Two women outran the boys all the way to the Oval. Cyrus doesn’t get to steal that out from under us. Cyrus does not get to rewrite the history of women. He doesn’t get to erase our climb.

Mellie: Don’t worry.
Marcus: I worry when people tell me not to.

Marcus (to Fitz): You seem haunted, tormented. And yeah, you survived. But don’t you think Mellie deserves better than that?

Cyrus:  If I wasn’t keeping Fitz’s secrets, I’d be keeping someone else’s. If I wasn’t knocking Mellie from the throne, I’d be doing it to someone else.

Mellie: We don’t need their methods, their tools. We don’t need to adopt or justify violence just because it’s been business as usual for the men who have led this country since its inception. The sins of our past leaders don’t need to be our sins. They may always outnumber us, out-muscle us, outgun us. That is why we need to be smarter, better, more just. The only way we can win this is if our bond is stronger than theirs, if we hold fast together, no matter what comes.

Conclusion

A confusing and mediocre hour of television. Two episodes left!

Chris Rating
C+

7 comments

  1. I noticed that callback to the Thwack! episode. I thought it gave a nice bit of tension for the scene. But I was bored by most of the episode. I could barely watch Mellie talking to herself in the Oval Office.

    I think the point of Olivia’s dilemma is that, despite the murders she has committed in the past, she is trying to be a better person or at least who she was before she got used to eliminating people as a solution. Being tempted to kill Cyrus is meant to be an obstacle on Olivia’s road to redemption.

    I’m glad Jake is embracing being the bad guy. Hopefully, it means we get to see him die in the series finale. And I think Cyrus may turn against him before then. Vanessa’s murder has opened his eyes to how out of control Jake is.

    When Cyrus admits that he would be the same if he didn’t met Fitz, I believe him. But I wish they had handled his character differently this season. He could have remained a scheming bastard on Mellie’s side, doing all he can to protect her legacy against Olivia or alongside Olivia against Jake. But it seems too late for what-could-have-beens.

    1. Cyrus admitting he would be the same didn’t feel like the unexpected speech I think the writers were going for. I just felt like that entire scene was a missed opportunity for some reason.

      Hahaha too late for what could have beens indeed! I’m glad you stuck around this far too, Justin. Can’t wait for this mess to finally be over!

      1. I mostly stuck around because Scandal gave me something to watch on Thursdays. I look forward to the end as well.

  2. There are only two episodes yet and I don’t feel confident about the series finale being a strong one. Season 6 was pretty bad with Luna Vargas being revealed as the supposed mastermind because that made no sense, but the final scene would have been a decent note to end on. Season 7 seems to be a retread of season 6 in some ways with someone trying to take the oval office, but this time its two people that have overstayed their welcome so it doesn’t really feel as threatening. I hope they can pull off something, but how do you predict it will end?

    1. I have very low hopes for the series finale too, and I doubt it will be memorable. Like you said, this season really felt like a retread of last season (which was also a mess). But if I were to predict how the finale will go, I’d say Olivia and Fitz will get their undeserved happily ever after, and for some reason I feel like Abby and Mellie will get killed off. I really hope they can pull off some awesome twist, but certainly not holding my breath.

      How do you think it’ll end??

      1. I feel like at this point Scandal might have Cyrus and Jake either arrested or (finally) killed or a combination of both where one is arrested and the other is killed. As for the fate of everyone else I’m not too sure, but I’m assuming a “happy ending” for everyone else unfortuntely.

        This is such an odd season because it feels like it devoted a lot of time setting itself up to end with a moment of reckoning for Olivia but they kind of abandoned that by mid season and it seems like they had to scramble for an antagonist.

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