The Scandal Season 5 winter finale didn’t involve rigging votes or killing off main characters, but it still managed to grab the attention of the Internet. The Thursday, Nov. 19, episode got people talking when former First Lady turned Junior Senator Mellie Grant (Bellamy Young) filibustered in favor of funding for Planned Parenthood, and then again when a distraught Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) got an abortion without telling President Fitzgerald Grant (Tony Goldwyn), her boyfriend and Mellie’s ex-husband.
As “Silent Night” played (the Christmas season was in full swing in Thursday’s episode), Olivia's procedure was depicted in a more detailed manner — stirrups and all — than is normally shown on network TV.
The emotional and controversial episode ended with Fitz and Olivia breaking up for the umpteenth time, which, in this context, was one of the least shocking moments from the winter finale.
Naturally, the Internet exploded with reactions to the Shondaland creation’s bold plotlines. Planned Parenthood tweeted, “Thanks to @shondarhimes for standing with Planned Parenthood & for being groundbreaking creator! #Scandal #StandWithPP. Mellie Grant is #InOurCorner! #Scandal #TGIT #StandWithPP.”
Young and Shonda Rhimes also clarified that every item Mellie lists as a wasteful spending measure by the government — "$331,00 to study 'hangry' individuals," "$5 million we're spending on Senate haircare services," and "a $25,000 travel stipend for the Alabama Watermelon Queen" — and during her 16-hour filibuster is factually accurate.
“The #Scandal writers did their research– every budget item Mellie recites it actually REAL. #TGIT,” creator Rhimes tweeted.
See what others on the Internet had to say about the shocking moments:
— Planned Parenthood (@PPact) November 20, 2015
— Portia de Rossi (@portiaderossi) November 20, 2015
— Laverne Cox (@Lavernecox) November 20, 2015
— NJ Kingston (@jakeandpooky) November 20, 2015
Never watched #Scandal but I'd certainly stop after ep. that was an informercial for Planned Parenthood with "Silent Night" music. Shameful.
— DeWayneHamby (@DeWayneHamby) November 20, 2015
Kudos to #Scandal for showing and normalizing the medical procedure of abortion
— ? David Pumpkins ? (@lizzylynngarcia) November 20, 2015
— Marcia (@Marcia_Rayshaun) November 20, 2015
what kind of disgusting turn did #Scandal take this week? I'm so disappointed.
— The Fashion Analyst (@FVSHION_ANALYST) November 20, 2015
— Sherrie (@olitzlover) November 20, 2015
— Cecile Richards (@CecileRichards) November 20, 2015
Apparently I'm naive b/c I didn't think it was still a big deal for a TV character to have an abortion in 2015 #Scandal
— Melissa Siegel (@MelissaSiegel89) November 20, 2015
Tell Us: What did you think of Scandal’s winter finale?
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