Shonda Rhimes’ Scandal boldly took on a Ferguson-inspired storyline and it was an emotional experience for viewers. In last night’s “The Lawn Chair” episode, a young black man, Brandon Parker, was shot in broad daylight by White cop Jeffrey Newton. His father Clarence (played by Angela Bassett‘s husband Courtney B. Vance), with a shotgun in tow, demanded to know which cop killed his child. He’s eventually joined by activist Marcus Walker, who gave him a lawn chair so he could sit over his son’s dead body while Olivia Pope figured out how to handle the situation. Racial tensions rose as protestors surrounding the crime scene chanted in support, “No more Black man under attack! Stand back! Fight back!”
Olivia experienced a conundrum between her Blackness and protocol as she tried to maintain her peacemaking position. Her mounting feelings imploded after the police chief suggested the protestors were animals. “What would you do if there was a child, a child you knew lying in the street in front of your home?,” she asked. “Just because people stand in groups and say things that you do not like doesn’t make them a mob. It makes them Americans.” Jolted by the police chief’s disregard for the protestors, Olivia joined them behind the yellow tape.
Instead of reenacting what happened in Ferguson, “Scandal” explored multiple point of views. Clarence Parker’s impassioned plea for justice was personified by a moving dialogue with Olivia Pope that detailed his determination to raise a respectful child. He was determined to get his son past the age of 18 and into college. His final scene, where he cries in front of President Fitz, will move you to tears. Courtney B. Vance just might score an Emmy for his portrayal.
“White cop” Jeffery Newton’s chilling speech, that was lined with racial undertones, left us uncomfortable as his frustration with the Black community revealed unspoken risks cop take on the front line.
Because this is television, Newton was convicted for shooting Brandon. It was a shift for Scandal viewers as even the most dedicated #gladiator knows the show is filled with soap opera-y moments. This episode is no exception as certain scenes were over the top and unrealistic. However, the episode was powerful because it helped relay the “Black Lives Matter” message to mainstream media in the wake of the Department of Justice’s decision to clear Darren Wilson in the real-life shooting death of Michael Brown.
Celebrities like Gabrielle Union, Selma director Ava Duvernay and Olivia Pope inspiration Judy Smith, tweeted their appreciation for the storyline.
Beauties, how did you feel about last night’s episode? Tell us your thoughts in the comments, on Facebook and Twitter.