Last night, Scandal chose the most obvious person to be Frankie's (Ricardo Chavira) killer. But it didn't have to be that way.
Earlier this week, my colleague Ariana, Refinery29's TV expert, reminded me that we never saw Frankie's brother Alex (Danny Pino) after his death. He wasn't a big character, but, still, you'd think he would be mourning the loss of his brother.
We found out last week that Olivia (Kerry Washington) was being framed for framing Cyrus (it's all very twisted in Shondaland). Scandal didn't wait to tell us who was transferring money to Tom under Olivia's name. It turns out, there's another secret organization even more powerful than B613 — one that makes Rowan/Eli (Joe Morton) cower in fear.
The introduction of the new group was disappointing — we've already seen enough B613 plots on this show. But it's also disappointing because Alex Vargas is such a better choice, if someone had to frame Olivia.
We know Alex Vargas never liked Cyrus (Jeff Perry). The two frequently butted heads on Frankie's campaign trail. So it makes sense that he'd want to set Cyrus up to take the fall for Frankie's death.
Why he'd want to set Olivia up is less clear, but stranger things have happened in the Scandal-verse. Alex went to OPA with "dirt on Susan Ross" during the campaign. At first, she didn't want to drag Edison down, but Olivia eventually agreed to tell Alex that Frankie's competitor had been to rehab.
The sixth season's flashbacks have been revealing a lot of details we didn't know about the campaign trail, though. So it's totally possible there was a lot more going on between Alex and Olivia than we knew. Maybe something happened that upset him enough to frame Olivia — we know Alex likes playing dirty.
Instead, though, we learned last night that Eli killed Frankie. There couldn't be a more obvious answer. Yes, he was doing it out of fear from the newly revealed secret agency — but it's still not much of a twist, considering how many deaths he already has on his hands.
We still don't know a ton about this mysterious new agency, though. So it's possible that Maya Pope, or Alex Vargas, could still be involved. But it seems unlikely that Alex would be connected to an organization this devious.
The current season of Scandal has already been floundering, and introducing a new secret organization is not a compelling storyline. We don't even know why this group wants Mellie in the White House so desperately in the first place, although if their comments to Eli are any indication, racism could be the reason.
There's no point in building up to a "twist" if it's not a good one — maybe it's finally time for Rowan to meet his death. That way, we might never have to hear about secret groups controlling the government on this show again.