5 Ways to Fix ‘Scandal’

Kelly Woo
Writer
Cornelius Smith Jr., Scott Foley, Joshua Malina, Tony Goldwyn, Kerry Washington and Bellamy Young in ABC’s ‘Scandal.’ (Photo: Richard Cartwright/ABC)

UPDATE: Scandal is ending after a seventh and final season. Here’s our take on how it can go out with a bang.

Scandal… we need to talk.

For six seasons, we eagerly watched — with wine and popcorn, of course — as Olivia Pope fixed various scandals, international incidents, family brouhahas, and even her personal problems with flair and style. We cheered as she and her team of gladiators put on their white hats and took down politicians, businessmen, assassins, and even Papa Pope.

But things are getting kind of stale, and ratings are dropping as a result. This season’s strategy of giving different perspectives on Election Night worked at first, but quickly got repetitive. And there were noticeably fewer jaw-dropping revelations than usual.

Hey, after 100-plus episodes, it happens. The show just needs a boost to get back to the dizzy, fizzy fun of the early years. So, here are some ideas on how to get there:

1. Bring back the sex!

Scandal started with a presidential sex scandal. Olivia had to deal with Amanda Tanner’s accusations, all while struggling with her own feelings for Fitz. Remember how tense and steamy every encounter between Liv and Fitz was?

And then, there was Jake and Olivia’s romance, which was nearly as hot. That love triangle fueled several seasons’ worth of drama.

Now, Fitz and Olivia are sleeping together again, but it lacks a certain spark. And Jake seems totally out of the picture. Perhaps Liv needs a new love interest to raise the relationship stakes.

2. Kill off a main character.

We love the gladiators, but considering the danger they’re in all the time, how is it that none of them have died on the job with B613 operatives lurking on every corner? Huck surviving a gunshot and near drowning earlier this season was a superhuman (and unrealistic) feat.

The show has killed off supporting characters like James and Elizabeth North, but it’s time to take out a main player. And make it a case for OPA! It will introduce a huge amount of drama, as the gladiators deal with grief and track down the killer.

3. Bring back the case of the week.

This season has focused solely on the assassination of Frankie Vargas and its aftermath. But when OPA still took on cases, they brought in interesting new clients and gave us a chance to see everyone doing what they do best. We miss those fast-cut montages of Quinn fake-flirting with a source, Huck hacking into a computer system, and Olivia dressing down foolish clients. We miss the pictures taped to the windows.

4. Introduce new faces.

The world of Scandal has always been populated with delightful and despicable characters revolving around Olivia, like former veep Sally Langston, slimy oilman Hollis Doyle, and the ever peppy Susan Ross. Francisco Vargas was a great addition, until he died.

But this season has revolved mostly around the core group of characters, and OPA hasn’t been taking on cases so there are no new clients — it feels claustrophobic. Expand the world of D.C. again. And if a character gets killed off, as we suggest, then that leaves room for a new gladiator to join the mix.

5. Make the bad guys feel real.

The only new faces this season were the Mystery Power People (Peus and Marjorie), but they were comically villainous — and complete nonentities. It’s like they emerged, fully-formed and fully-funded, from the sea. They were walking, talking sharks who had congressmen and electors and hitmen ready to do their bidding.

And just as quickly and easily as they killed a president-elect, they were taken out. We never even really understood what they ultimately wanted, aside from Mellie as president and Peus as vice president.

Ever since Rowan was exposed as the head of B613, it seems Scandal needs every new bad guy to top him in evilness. But that isn’t necessary! We’ll take cheating politicians and fraudulent CEOs, if they’re fleshed out and realistic.

Scandal airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on ABC. Watch clips and full episodes of Scandal for free on Yahoo View.

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