As the final season of Scandal rolls on, Shonda Rhimes isn’t about to close the curtain on the hit show without dismantling the patriarchy. This week’s episode focused on the sexual harassment on The Hill and how it has affected the lives of female politicians and professionals for centuries.
This isn’t the first time that Scandal has taken a real life movement and turned it into the focus of the 9:00 hour; the series is known for delving into topics deemed “controversial” or “taboo” and running with them. Shonda Rhimes has easily become a household name for her no-fucks-given attitude when it comes to what she will show on her multitudes of series. This episode took influence from the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements and brought it to The Hill. On top of that, it even showed just how easy it is for someone to buy a gun in this country.
Politics is no stranger to sexual harassment; numerous politicians have been outed for being predators. Harassment in the workplace happens everywhere. What you don’t see is the aftermath of the harassment. The effects the harassment has on the victim — be it mental, physical, or career related. This episode delved into just that.
“The List” kicked off with the victim in a store — like Walmart, Target, etc. — on the phone, telling her father that she’s fine. She hangs up and promptly buys herself a gun. Later, we find out that she bought it to kill herself after being blackballed from any potential job in politics. Why wasn’t she hired? She refused to sleep with her boss to get the job. He then stuck her on The List claiming she was a no-go in the lay department.
This eventually opened up Olivia’s search into finding The List and figuring out that the staffers on Capitol Hill used it as a way to hire easy lays. Countless women had been subjected to putting out for a job. Some agreed; some didn’t. The ones that didn’t were soon outcasted from getting the careers they had worked their asses off for.
By the end of it, they had kicked off a movement to do better. With a sitting female president, it wasn’t hard to get her support for this — well, kind of. Mellie’s advisors, of course, were telling her to wait until this budget thing was taken care of; but she did what she wanted to do and pushed the movement forward, showing that women get shit done.
In the real world, women have been the champions behind these movements that are exposing the predators and making sure that anyone that comes after them knows this is not okay. How many incredible minds have lost out on years, if not more, of creating magic in this world? Politicians, actors, scientists, authors, businesswomen, etc. Sexual harassment doesn’t discriminate which industry it hits; it’s everywhere. Not everyone is lucky enough to defeat it. It’s time to dismantle the patriarchy. This is not okay. We’re not about to sit back and let it be any more.
Aside from Olivia’s case, her old team was looking into Cyrus’ involvement in the plane hijacking. This doesn’t seem to go with the whole approach but fit right in with Olivia’s dismantling the patriarchy motto. She may no longer be in the White House, but she promised Mellie she would fight for her and she’s still doing this. Women have to be each other’s support forces. The first female president is never going to last without the power of her girls fighting for her. There are too many men out there that want to see her fail. Not on Olivia’s watch. And not on Abby’s because she’s definitely in. By the end of it, Quinn had enough motivation to fall back in, as well.
Are the gladiators back? There are only three episodes left before this revolutionary series takes its final bow. Shonda Rhimes promised that she was going to give it her all and end Scandal with a bang. What will happen before the final curtain closes? Stay tuned to find out!
Scandal airs Thursdays at 9/8c on ABC.