'Scandal' Has Olivia Pope Taking On Police Misconduct Again, So Is This Going to Be a Recurring Angle On the Show?
Several weeks ago, Scandal devoted an episode to police brutality and corruption in an episode that was clearly based, at least loosely, on the events in Ferguson, Missouri last August and other police shootings of black people that have gotten media attention in the months since. This week, Scandal once again took on the subject of police misconduct when an activist from the last episode dealing with police brutality is framed for murder. And during the same episode, the new vice-president, Susan Ross, digs into a bill that would try to make an impact on racial profiling and other questionable police practices.
So is this going to become a recurring issue on the show? And if so, what does that mean for the future of the show?
In the episode, the activist Marcus Walker, who is now running for mayor, is picked up by police without being arrested after being framed for murder. Olivia Pope storms into the precinct with an epic speech to save him from being wrongfully convicted and from having his political career jeopardized by the investigation, taking a police captain to task for illegally detaining Walker while she's at it, threatening to call the department of justice who, she happily reminds him, is already investigating the department for misconduct. It's the second time in 2015 that Olivia has lectured police, and it's just as welcome this time as it was several weeks ago.
While Olivia is battling individual police officers, the White House is trying to pass a bill that would require police districts to provide the federal government with statistics, including information on officer shootings. It's a bill that, for all the problems Susan Ross finds with it, is still not something we have even managed to cobble together in real life.
So will the show be focused on this issue going forward? Scandal has briefly touched on real issues in the past, including things like illegal surveillance in season 2 and politicians behaving badly in...basically all the time. But most of their plot lines have always been pretty far fetched, especially as they involve the super secret spy organization B6-13. In fact, it's a pretty common refrain in the show that everyone has to keep certain things secret because they are so bonkers that the American people would have a conniption fit if we found out. But police brutality is a very real, very high-profile issue in the real country right now.
Only time will tell, but even if this was the last time we see the issue on the show, it's been great to see this issue portrayed on television, especially given the number of shows that only show the positive side of police, as though that is the only side to the story.
Image: Nicole Wilder/ABC