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Lev Raphael

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Has Scandal Jumped the Shark?

Posted: 12/06/2013 12:55 pm

Last night Scandal turned into 24 and dumped torture porn on us Scandalistas.

We knew well enough that Huck enjoyed torturing people, had seen it in nasty detail. It's his drug, it makes him feel.

And in a bizarre bonding moment, he had shared that love with Quinn, who turned into a torture pervert, too. Her "conversion" wasn't surprising, since she had been so trapped and powerless early in the series and has often seemed to be suffering from PTSD; you could see how she would relish being in the reverse role of master.

But having watched them separately and jointly torture people in previous shows, did we need to have Huck actually brutalize her, and in such gruesome detail? It made me think of books I'd get as a crime fiction reviewer for the Detroit Free Press, thrillers that seemed to revel in damaging women's bodies and grossing out readers.

Quinn could just as easily have been tied up, threatened by Huck, and the torture put off entirely while he left to help Olivia and her mother. Knowing Huck's sick propensities and seeing Quinn tied and terrified was more than enough. Hell, that one moment where he licked her face was enough creepiness for a whole season.

But instead of sticking with terror, the show went for gross and disgusting. Yes, a hallmark of Scandal is fast turns by fast-talking people, but this time the show itself turned into something almost grotesque.

I realize Scandal is a harsh satire of the GOP, with actual criminals or borderline criminal behavior skewered in show after show after show. But satire and saturation in sadism aren't the same thing.

We get it, Shonda, you don't have to beat us over the head with the script.

 

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