It's true, Scandal has been called the most social show on television because most of us can't keep our hands off Twitter as the twisty plot unfolds. For the most part, Twitter tends to determine the conversation all on its own because, after all, that's kind of the point of Twitter, but without fail, at the end of every episode ABC flashes its latest hashtag of the week, designed to force us into a practice we've already been exercising for the past hour. The screen will command "#badjake or #goodjake" to determine whether Jake (Scott Foley) is a Noel or a mole; it'll beg us to post "#operationremington" because ABC clearly has no regard for 140 character limits; or it will plead and pray that we're obsessing over this "#MamaPope" story line when all we want to do is figure out everything else.
ABC, leave us alone. We will tweet; it's what we do. Let us determine what's interesting about each episode. Asking us to use an 18-character hashtag so you can push the one story line that's getting far too much screen time for how slowly the information is being revealed is sad and somewhat ridiculous.
Yes, I do want to know what the deal is with Operation Remington and whether or not Olivia's (Kerry Washington) father is lying about ordering the hit on the plane crash that killed her mother. Of course we do; we want to know everything. But what's more important at this moment in time is Olivia's choice in the election.
What's pressing is the fact that while Liv wore shades of blue and dark grey all episode — a contrast to her usual white — she was trying to decide whether or not throwing her white hat into Josie Marcus's (Lisa Kudrow) ring was really the right thing to do. She was trying to hear her gut over all the chatter.
Meanwhile, the rest of us are just a little fed up with Fitz's (Tony Goldwyn) hypocritical possessiveness over Liv, Cyrus's (Jeff Perry) willingness to compromise national security that make Liv compromise her decisions, and Mellie (Bellamy Young) constantly being swept under the rug like an indignant dormouse. Some of us are focused on the fact that for once, Olivia might not be under Fitz's spell. For once, she might choose the candidate she believes in because she believes in her, not because she's hopelessly in love. And some of us are excited about the potential of Scandal being the one to give us the "first woman president" (Gena Davis, don't worry — we remember Commander in Chief, in which your character happened to inherit the title).
For the first time this season, we have a carrot that's not "Will Fitz tear Liv away from Jake?" or "Will any of us every really understand Operation Remington and its cadre of made-up rules?" Instead, we get to wonder: what would happen to this show built around Fitz's presidency if Olivia carries Josie to a victory? The number of ways in which Shonda Rhimes' D.C. snow globe would be shaken is kind of a delicious notion.
So no, I won't be tweeting "#MamaPope" theories, ABC. But if you want to hear what I think will happen to Cyrus Bean if Kudrow's character becomes president, I'd be happy to deliver #DownWithFitz tweets for the next few months.