Scandal is an excellent TV show but last night's episode - "The Lawn Chair" nearly brought me to tears on a controversial topic about police involved shootings and the two sides - the police against residents of a predominantly black community. For those who have never heard of Scandal, this ABC TV show is created by Shonda Rhimes, the creator of Grey's Anatomy and How to Get Away With Murder. The show stars Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope, an ex-aide to the United States President who left the White House to form her own company, Pope and Associates - a dedicated team of individuals who try to help people accused of crimes and other serious issues by "fixing" them, no matter the cost or the legality behind it. While this TV series plays like a nighttime soap opera full of plot twists, last night's episode was uncommon of Scandal - - probably a first for tackling a hard contemporary news story on police involved shootings in inner city minority neighborhoods.
The episode starts with Olivia Pope encountering the aftermath of Brandon Parker, a black teenager, accused of shoplifting who was shot dead by an unknown white Washington DC police officer while a predominantly black mob forms around the scene. As other police officers are keeping the crowd at bay, Pope steps in to diffuse the situation between the officers and the crowd while the matter escalates because the shooting takes place within a mile from the White House. Shortly after Pope arrives, Clarence, the deceased teenager's father jumps in while brandishing a loaded shotgun to protect his son while keeping the officers and crowd at bay. Meanwhile Pope tries to find out the circumstances which led to the shooting - - and a lawn chair (hence the episode title) provided to Clarence so he can sit on top of his son's body. The White House is involved because of the proximity to the shooting so President Fitz (Tony Goldwyn) assembles his team to try tell Americans that it is a local issue and they are not involved. I will stop here because I won't give away the rest of the plot or the ending. But what I can tell you is that the episode was well handled and it deals a father's anguish after his son is killed by a police officer, the mostly white police officers taking abuse from mostly black residents while on patrol - the majority of killings committed between minorities and the how cops protect each other after a police involved shooting. There is even a poignant comparison between the shooting incident and John F. Kennedy - two young men's lives cut short by a bullet.
You can watch last night's Scandal episode on your cable provider through On Demand, through the ABC TV website or on streaming websites such as Hulu. Even if you are not a Gladiator as I am, I encourage you to watch this episode because it will being a tear to your eyebrows at the end.