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Shonda Rhimes' MVPs: Taking control of the situation

Although How to Get Away With Murder‘s season is over, Shonda Rhimes still kept fans enthralled this week with back-to-back intense episodes of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal.

Dr. Weber (James Pickens Jr.) steps back into his teacher roll on Grey’s, helping Dr. Amelia Shepherd get her head back in the game to finish Dr. Herman’s surgery. On Scandal, Olivia (Kerry Washington) jumps right back into work despite just returning home from her kidnapping. Then she gets pulled into a racially tense situation.

Grey’s Anatomy

Grey

While performing surgery, Dr. Shepherd stops because she can’t figure out a path to remove the tumor from Dr. Herman’s brain. Seeing that she’s frozen, Dr. Weber goes into the O.R. and asks Dr. Shepherd how he could help. She tells him to call her brother, Derek, and get him on a plane so he can help her. Thankfully, Dr. Weber knocks some sense into Dr. Shepherd and convinces her this is terrible idea because no one knows this tumor better than she does. “You are on your own here,” he says. “No one can help you, and you don’t need them to.” A slow clap for Dr. Weber, who’s been giving motivational speeches since 2005. Taking Dr. Weber’s advice, Dr. Shepherd is able to push forward in the surgery. She saves Dr. Herman’s life.

Scandal

Scancal

For Olivia Pope, there’s no such thing as “taking things easy.” Jumping right back into the thick of things, Olivia is called to help the police calm down black residents in southeast D.C. after a young black male is killed by a white officer. However, before the coroner arrives to take the boy’s body, his father shows up with a gun and says he won’t let anyone touch his son until they bring him the officer who killed him. So much for keeping everything calm.

The situation quickly gets out of hand as Olivia scrambles to find the truth about what happened. Being pulled by both sides—the police and the black activists—Olivia struggles to figure out whose side she’s on. Thankfully, the boy’s father, Clarence Parker, refuses to budge. The police claim his son, Brandon, reached for a knife, which is why the cop shot Brandon. Clarence refuses to believe his son had a knife—even when they move the body and find a knife under Brandon.

After Quinn, Huck, and Jake take another look at the video, they find someone else was at the scene. They discover the cop actually had someone else in his car that he had arrested earlier. The cop took that suspect’s knife and put it under Brandon’s body to make it seem like it was Brandon’s. Brandon had actually been reaching for his receipt for the cell phone he’d just bought, to prove he hadn’t stolen it.

Despite being questioned and bullied by both sides, Olivia keeps her wits and gets down to the truth about what happened to Brandon.

Shonda Rhimes also deserves all the awards for this episode. She poetically illustrated the massive racial tensions that are still occurring in the U.S., with Ferguson, the Eric Garner case, and so many others. The episode did the topic justice and handled it well. Good job to all those involved.