ABC’s ‘Scandal’ season 5, episode 4 reaction: Cornelius Smith Jr. on Marcus’ arrival

ScandalThursday night’s “Scandal” was significant for many reasons, and not just because it brought us an opportunity to see Olivia Pope and Fitzgerald Grant have their first public outing together. It also brought us the introduction of new Gladiator Marcus Walker, an activist whose work we saw at times during season 4.

We’ve already seen him successfully show off a little bit of his master spin during “Dog-Whistle Politics,” but is he really going to be able to adapt to this world and all of its crazy machinations? This is something that Cornelius Smith Jr., who plays the character, explained could trouble him in an interview with Entertainment Weekly:

“I think [his biggest challenge is] going to be his moral compass. That’s going to be coming into question for Marcus time and time again because he not only lives in a world where everybody’s moral compass is not on center, but now he is flirting with the idea of working with people who may need reminders. And they found him! It’s not necessarily peer pressure, but when you’re in an environment where everybody says “Let’s do it this way,” it takes some grounding and centering for you to stand up for yourself and say no. I can only imagine that as he continues to deal with OPA, working for them or working against them, his exposure to the world and to people is going to expand.”

We personally hope that he does keep his sort of morality around on the show, largely because this voice is something that “Scandal” is currently missing, but could very much benefit from. So many of these people have grown too comfortable bending the law.

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