Dear Shonda Rhimes,
I'm writing you today to talk about something serious. Very serious, in fact. I've given up on Scandal, and I think I owe it to you to explain why.
When I first started watching the show it had everything I was looking for in a Thursday night indulgence. A sassy-yet-sympathetic lead character. Love triangles. Political conspiracy theories. Cliffhangers and more secrets than Gretchen Weiner's hair. And oh so much wine. I jumped on the Gladiator bandwagon so hard, volunteering to stay in every week to write the show's recap, drinking glass after glass of cab sauv for research.
And for awhile, it was good. I was eating it all up, and on a Scandal-induced high for basically all of 2013. Sure, there were lots of dizzying plot twists and the Fitz-Olivia back-and-forth was starting to get a little aggravating, but it was like exercise for my brain! After all, it's not like I was going to read or anything.
But, I was living in a fantasy world. One in which Quinn was just the starry-eyed new girl sucking up to the team of OPA and not a cold-blooded killer/torturer. Where we still thought maybe James and Cyrus' baby really existed. Where there wasn't a possibility of staging a human auction as if it is a totally normal turn of events.
Then, some warning signs started to appear. The love triangle between Olivia, Fitz, and Jake would. Not. Die. I'm all for complicated relationships livening up a show, and I understand that it is difficult to choose between a philandering/law-breaking (and Republican!) president and an underground murderer soldier. But, switching man-sides multiple times an episode is too much for me.
Then, there was Huck's descent into evil. Cyrus' hitting of ethical rock bottom bothered me, too, but there always need to be a few villainous regulars and ol' Beenes just had to take one for the team. Huck, on the other hand, felt like a cheap shot. There is absolutely no way that a former hired assassin (and murder addict!) would be able to descend back down to the dark side without going completely mental. I don't buy this season's I-like-killing-again-but-am-also-a-good-Gladiator version of Huck. It feels like the writers are keeping him around OPA for convenience's sake.
So, just when did I hit my Scandal breaking point? It happened at approximately 9:49 p.m. on February 5. Season four, episode 11, entitled "Where's the Black Lady?" Sure, that senile neighbor bit was funny, but Fitz goes to war in West Angola for a woman he isn't even sure if he wants to be with. He is the literal worst president in the entire world and they should charge him for war crimes immediately. Round up the military tribunal! (Or whoever it is that's in charge of war crimes. The Hague?! Irrelevant.)
All of this talk about West Angola (which I'm 99% sure is not a real place) was annoying, and the war put me over the edge. As did the fact that Olivia was even kidnapped in the first place. Am I really watching her film a terrorist-style ransom video right now? was one of the many questions floating through my head. Insensitivity issues aside, it's just plain outlandish. And this is coming from a person who did not blink at the fake male prostitute wedding.
That fateful night proved to be the last time I set my DVR for Scandal. Over the last two weeks I've filled my Thursday nights with more productive activities, like scrolling through Instagram and eating chips while I wait for How to Get Away With Murder to start.
I may decide to give the show another shot after all this kidnapping/human auction/"West Angola" nonsense is put to rest, but I may not. For I have learned a valuble lesson: Fool me once, shame on Shonda Rhimes; fool me twice, shame on me.