Dear Shonda Rhimes (A.K.A. Queen of TV Broadcasting),
I want to begin this letter by saying I absolutely love your work. I was a bit late in registration and missed the Grey's Anatomy class, but I was present and on time for Scandal from episode 1, "Sweet Baby." I love the story arcs, pacing, character development and plot twists, and have seen every season in full at least 3 times, thanks to DVR. So, when I say I'm genuinely confused and curious about this current season, it's not coming from a shallow, "I'm not amused" place. As a devoted "gladiator," it doesn't make sense to me how much the direction is shifting, much less why.
Confused Face #1: How Universes Work
When I say "universes," I don't mean the cosmos. I'm referring to the entities and canon that creative people form when they put together a recurrent body of work, like that of comics, television shows, movies and even albums (that is, if you're Janelle Monae). Much like how our universe has laws (gravity, physics, chemistry, etc.), story-writers ultimately formulate each character, setting and scenario to abide by their own terms of "laws." These are things like a character's weaknesses, strengths, thinking and behavioral patterns, social interactions and the significance of certain environments. I know you're aware of this; it's why Olivia is still head-over-heels for Fitz, and why Mellie is beginning to snap, but has political aims. Taking this into account, I'm puzzled as to why this season is beginning to defy ALL the basic logic of the "universe" your team has worked so hard to build, mainly in the area of character development.
Why would Olivia consider helping her father and getting him released from prison? Why would she sway?? I get that it was a difficult choice between her independence and possibly getting "lost" in White House trappings while being married to Fitz (it's also against the show's logic that Olivia would internalize Mellie's warnings about this or even have an advice chat with her, but I relevantly digress), but she would never take the illegal route when there's a perfectly legal one right in front of her that wouldn't take much work to fix in her favor. Part of her rationale was that she "didn't want him to die," but she aimed a gun right between her father's eyes and pulled the trigger (it was unloaded, unbeknownst to her). She's helped set him up twice and tried to have Jake kill him on multiple occasions. Letting this man go makes no sense after working for God knows how long in Scandal-years to have him arrested to begin with. All of this support for Rowan has come from nowhere, much like her left-field "at least my father loved me" statement during an argument with Fitz, but we'll talk more about that later.