TV Review - Scandal: The Final Season / How To Get Away With Murder: Season 4
Kerry Washington (The Last King of Scotland and Django Unchained) stars as Olivia Pope, the main character of Scandal. The series is in its seventh and final season. A lot has happened in those seven seasons. The most relevant is that Olivia was the Chief of Staff to the first female, American president. In the reality and timeline of this show, the 44th President was not Barack Obama but a white man named Fitzgerald Grant aka Fitz, played by Tony Goldwyn. In a crazy turn of events in the sixth season, Fitz's wife, Mellie Grant, played by Bellamy Young, became president. Olivia helped with her campaign but once in office, Olivia got drunk with power and did some illegal things to hold onto power. Eventually, she was fired from the White House or forced to resign and then took a teaching gig.
Annalise has trouble getting her lawsuit in front of the Supreme Court, so her former student and law assistant, Michaela Pratt, played by Aja Naomi King, recommends she ask Olivia for help because of her connection to the White House. Annalise hops on a bus and heads to Washington, DC, and sits-in on Olivia's class. At first, Olivia thinks Annalise is too much of a mess to get the case in front of the Supreme Court, given the vetting of the White House and all the media attention that would be needed. Aside from the murder charge, Annalise is also a documented alcoholic, which almost cost her her law license.
Olivia criticizes Annalise for being a mess, but Annalise sizes up Olivia and realizes that Olivia might look well put-together but Olivia is equally as a mess. There are two crossover episodes. The first is Scandal and its episode is called "Allow Me to Reintroduce Myself," which concerns Olivia and Annalise trying to reintroduce themselves and take steps away from being messes and instead being better people. In that effort, they first have an epic showdown while getting their hair done in a beauty salon, which brilliantly brings up issues concerning African-American women from classism to colorism. It was one of the best verbal sparring matches ever seen.
Annalise gets help reintroducing herself from her parents. Her dream as a lawyer was to argue in front of the Supreme Court. Such a monumental event compelled Annalise to have her parents there, especially her mom, Ophelia Harkness, played by Cicely Tyson. With Ophelia, this crossover puts four, powerful, black women in frame and shows representation across the generations. Tyson is in her 90's. She's a nonagenarian. The experience and reflections of an elderly black woman are a kind of cherry on top of the already female, black excellence here.
Running Time: 1 hr. / 2 eps.
Thursdays on ABC.