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.
Proud to even be a part of this episode. Of this message. #Scandal— Katie Lowes (@KatieQLowes) March 6, 2015
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.
We had a great deal of debate about this ending. Whether to be hopeful or not. It was really hard. #scandal— shonda rhimes (@shondarhimes) March 6, 2015
In the end, we went with showing what fulfilling the dream SHOULD mean. The idea of possibility. And the despair we feel now. #scandal— shonda rhimes (@shondarhimes) March 6, 2015
The episode resonated across social media, sparking responses from many, including Selma director Ava DuVernay and Judy Smith, the "real life Olivia Pope."
An episode like this isn't easy. Isn't easy to write. Isn't easy to direct. Isn't easy to get on air. I appreciate the effort. #ScandalABC— Ava DuVernay (@AVAETC) March 6, 2015
On the heels of the DOJ report on Ferguson... we needed this justice... even if it was just on #Scandal ... can life now imitate art???— Gabrielle Union (@itsgabrielleu) March 6, 2015
Weeping. As if I hadn't read it and didn't act in it. Just weeping. #scandal— kerry washington (@kerrywashington) March 6, 2015
WATCH: Stars React to Verdict in Ferguson Shooting
What did you think of the episode?