Killing Off the Good Guys on Scandal and Lost Girl

On Scandal, Cyrus Beene (Jeff Perry) had one good thing: his husband James (Dan Bucatinsky). James represented love, conscience, family. Cyrus is ruthless and corrupt and capable of any betrayal or nefarious power grab. James still believes in justice and good.

Cyrus and James
Cyrus and James

Cyrus’s corruption finally leads to a situation that gets James killed.

On Lost Girl, Bo Dennis (Anna Silk) has one pure relationship: her sidekick Kenzi (Ksenia Solo). Kenzi is the sister she never had, the friend she relies on, the person she loves without reservation.

No words needed
Kenzi hugs Bo

A crisis prompts Kenzi to sacrifice herself to save the world. Like Buffy diving into a ball of light, Kenzi steps into the light and is taken. On BtVS, Buffy was retrieved from the netherworld by her friends. Will Kenzi be? As in BtVS, there is supposed to be a way to do this in the sci-fi world of Lost Girl.

There’s no hope for getting James back on Scandal. This drama is about real life, not science fiction, and when people die they are just gone.

On Scandal, Cyrus may come through his loss a better man. If I were Shonda Rhimes, I would write this in a way that Cyrus develops a moral compass as a result of losing James. It would certainly cause a lot of drama in the White House if Cyrus developed a conscience. After James’ murder, Olivia Pope herself (Kerry Washington) was even talking about her desire for at least one good person, one person in a white hat, in the morass of evil portrayed on Scandal.

On Lost Girl, I don’t see a way that the writers can use the loss of Kenzi to create character evolution in Bo or any other character. Kenzi is integral to everything Bo does. I cannot imagine how Bo can even continue to be Bo without Kenzi. It’s like Batman without Robin, Sherlock Holmes without Dr. Watson, Don Quixote without Sancho Panza, Buffy without Willow.

Because of that, I think Lost Girl will write Kenzi back into the story somehow. But here’s my problem. When they announced the cast returning for season 5, Ksenia Solo was not listed. This announcement makes me nervous.

Lost Girl played with the fans throughout all of season 4 using red herrings and secrecy. Is the absence of Ksenia Solo’s name in the returning cast another game, another secret, another mystery? If so, does that mean she will be back and they just want to keep it secret to drive us crazy? They certainly enjoyed driving us crazy for all of season 4. Then there’s the very important fact that no one from the show – not even Ksenia Solo herself – has said a word about Kenzi in season 5.

We usually know when people are really leaving. We know K.C. Collins really left Lost Girl. We know Sandra Oh is leaving Grey’s Anatomy. Announcements get made. There’s no official announcement about Ksenia Solo and Lost Girl parting ways.

Do you think Kenzi will be back?

A Quick Note on The Good Wife

I wrote this post before last night’s episode of The Good Wife, which took me completely by surprise and will be all over the news today. If you have any comments about how they handled Josh Charles leaving the cast of The Good Wife, feel free to include them in this discussion.

Here are a couple of articles in The Hollywood Reporter to fill you in with details on The Good Wife.

The Josh Charles story is a little different from Dan Bucatinsky leaving Scandal and Ksenia Solo possibly being done with Lost Girl because he was one of the lead characters, not a supporting character.

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Lisa Kudrow Kicks Butt in Scandal

The last couple of weeks Lisa Kudrow has been on Scandal. She plays Congresswoman Josephine Marcus who wants to run for President. Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) is helping with her image and her PR.

Their first hurdle was a child the Congresswoman had at age 15. That child, played by Sally Pressman from Army Wives is now 30 years old and thinks she’s the Congresswoman’s sister. Olivia is impressed by Congresswoman Marcus when she owns up to the birth on TV – even though she doesn’t reveal who the child is on TV.

Other hurdles involve the Congresswoman’s basic honesty and her desire not to accept big money contributions with all the strings that come attached to such contributions. Also, Olivia isn’t quite sure the Congresswoman is tough enough to get through a campaign.

Olivia gets the Congresswoman a TV interview with James Novak (Dan Bucatinsky), which is where this scene comes in.

I love so many things about this. I love every word that comes out of Lisa Kudrow’s mouth and the perfect way she delivers the lines. I love the look on Kerry Washington’s face as she listens. I love Shonda Rhimes for writing this and finding such an effective way to say it to the world. I love the way the sister/daughter character thinks she needs to shut the Congresswoman up and I love the way Darby Stanchfield’s character Abby says, “Don’t you dare.”

We may have a woman running for President in 2016. When that woman ran for the nomination in 2008, she faced sexism much more overt than what we saw in this scene from Scandal. That’s another reason why I love this scene. It isn’t about the big gender gaffes that get everyone’s attention. It’s points out the subtle sexism that is so insidious. It points out the quiet sexism that nobody rails against in The New York Times, that nobody editorializes about it in Salon. It’s about the framing: the lovely home, the feminine props with the iced tea – the subtle sexism escapes our overt notice but influences our worldview. It’s about the language: the Cinderella story wording – the subtle sexism doesn’t raise any red flags, but silently shapes our worldview.

Even the title of this clip, “Josi loses her temper on TV,” is sexist. I don’t know who titled it, but it’s not the title anyone would put on a clip like this if a man were pointing out inequality.

Congresswoman Josephine Marcus kicked butt. Lisa Kudrow kicked butt. I speak for every woman on the planet when I say, kick a lot more butt, Congresswoman. Can I vote for a fictional Congresswoman? I sure want to.

A big thank you to Shonda Rhimes for Congresswoman Josephine Marcus and a storyline on Scandal about gender in politics.

As an aside, the Congresswoman created in Scandal reminds me of the truly outstanding political role model in the Danish series Borgen. Once again, I recommend Borgen for your viewing pleasure.