Shonda Rhimes brought Olivia Pope back in a big way on Thursday night’s Scandal, tackling the Ferguson police controversy with an episode that set fire to social media.
In the episode, titled "The Lawn Chair," Olivia is called to the fictional D.C. suburb of Rosemead to "handle" a police slaying similar to the August 2014 killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. As in Brown's case, a young black man, Brandon Parker, is shot to death after a confrontation with a police officer.
Parker's father holds a vigil over his son's body, sitting in a lawn chair holding a shotgun, refusing to budge until justice is served. Olivia promises to help, convincing Attorney General David Rosen to subpoena security footage and discovering that the officer responsible for the shooting planted a knife on the victim after his death to make him appear to be a bigger threat.
The Scandal cast and creator Shonda Rhimes opened up on Twitter about tackling the difficult topics.
Ultimately, Olivia was able to prove that the police officer tampered with evidence and give Brandon Parker’s father the news that his son's killer is behind bars, a "happy" ending that Rhimes admitted she struggled with.
The episode resonated across social media, sparking responses from many, including Selma director Ava DuVernay and Judy Smith, the "real life Olivia Pope."