It seems to me that the blacker berry, the tighter the noose. Hear me out: Scandal now openly advocates for Black lives and addresses racism and misogyny head-on. In short, Shonda Rhimes has gotten increasingly "Blacker" and less apologetic with this show, so naturally its paler critics are more frequently throwing it under the bus.
I'll be honest, Scandal hasn't been all that great in years. We got over the loss of Stephen because we only had him for seven episodes. We never got over the loss of Harrison.
We got tired of Olivia/Fitz and Oliva/Jake, but like with B613, the writers just kept giving us more.
But the second half of Season 5 of Scandal showed us a new Olivia Pope, one who broke up with Fitz, aborted his baby, and then - quite literally - bashed in the brains of her kidnapper with a chair. And when the race for the White House really began to heat up, we saw her snap and tell Jake she hadn't spent years working twice as hard only to get half and live a mediocre life. We saw her in her cold-blooded, ruthless glory, and I for one thought, Finally...she's become interesting again.
I'm now genuinely interested to see what ShondaLand does in Season 6, and I haven't felt that way since the end of Season 2.