by Vivian Obarski
Looking back at Season 3 of Scandal, I have to say that while the show may have veered off the rails, I was pretty cool with most story choices. I’m willing to believe there’s secret agencies that operate independently of the executive branch. Their whole thing about the government monitoring our every move has proven to be frighteningly true with the NSA. Hell, I wouldn’t bat an eye at the idea that a candidate would take a tragedy and use it to bolster their poll numbers. Power breeds sociopathic tendencies at times.
But what I had ultimately a hard time believing was the whole election. I have a hard time believing that the American public in the Scandal universe voted Fitz in for another four years. Hell, I have a hard time imagining the public going for Sally Langston also, given the extreme nature of politics — she’s a third party and despite what we like to say about elections and everyone having a chance, third party candidates rarely win or they’re co-opted into the two dominant parties (see the Tea Partiers and their contentious relationship with the Republicans).
And that doesn’t even get me started on Governor Reston. Who the hell in the Democrat party thought it would be a good idea to have an also-ran who admitted killing a man go for another shot four years later? True Congresswoman Josie Marcus withdrew from the race in a way that greatly disappointed me, but usually the primary field is way more crowded than just Marcus and Reston. Unless Reston murdered all the other candidates stares suspiciously at him.
I know Shonda like to reuse actors (and bless her for that — Keidra and I both are hoping to see Sandra Oh pop up on Scandal as a former mentor to Olivia so Olivia doesn’t have to drink alone all the time), but the Reston thing was a little implausible. And you’re talking to the person who accepted the fact that B613 could get shut down like when I forgot to pay my cable bill in college.
Maybe that’s what I wanted to see more of — the work to get the election that ran throughout Season Two. The hard choice for Defiance was rendered in a more believable way than this season’s election which seemed to be put on the back burner for all the espionage shenanigans and murder. I would have loved to see more of the gamesmanship regarding elections and the work that goes into getting someone elected.
Fitz throughout Season 2 and 3 has proven to be a less than effective leader — he botched one terrorism rescue and his wife did an interview saying he cheated on her. Now unless the economy was doing spectacularly or Fitz was showing up at everyone’s houses offering a full-body massage, I have a hard time imagining voters going for a second term like Olivia jumping into bed with Fitz when he shows her a nice house in Vermont.
I suspect some of this is because of the abbreviated season (BTW — Congrats Kerry and Nnamdi!), but my little policy wonk heart was disappointed by the lack of election plot. Even with his son dying, did Fitz deserve four more years? I don’t know, but I suspect if I was in the Scandal world, I’d be writing in Josie Marcus’ name on the ballot as protest.