I’ll admit it…. Scandal is one of my guilty pleasures. I’m not sure whether it’s the fact that the first season is so binge-able (only seven episodes… come on, you can do that in a weekend), or the fact that it stars the beautiful Kerry Washington, but something about it has me hooked.
The finale aired last week, and, since my heart beat has finally returned to normal from all the twists and turns, I figured it was time to put pen to paper (or fingers to key) to begin coping with the long wait for season four. If you haven’t seen the end of season three, this won’t have major spoilers, but I definitely encourage you to hurry up and watch!
I’ve put up with all of the turns that Scandal has thrown at us, watching it shift its focus from managing media crises to a convoluted story of secret government organizations and bloody cover-ups. Don’t get me wrong; I’ve loved most of the twists, and am still a fan of the show. However, one piece that always drags down an episode for me is the relationship between Olivia and President Fitz. Since I’m being honest, the scenes sometimes make my stomach churn.
The relationship between Fitz and Olivia has been the driving force behind most of the last three seasons of Scandal, and yet, as the seasons progress, the soapy drama has turned into something that seems to borderline on emotionally abusive. Sure, Fitz is charming, and, as my Tumblr and Twitter feeds remind me each Thursday night, the two do have amazing chemistry. Yet, “When it’s good, it’s great,” doesn’t really make up for all the bad he puts her through, right?
Over the years, Fitz has developed into a character who has made it almost impossible for viewers to feel any connection towards. The great thing about Scandal is that the characters live in a world of “grey”… there is no black or white, and lines between good and evil are blurred….. all except for Fitz. I struggle to see past his whiney, self-absorbed exterior. I struggle to see past the man who forces himself upon Olivia too aggressively. Who chases away her other suitors. Who treats her like a plaything that exists only to pleasure and please him. Who makes promises to her about leaving his wife and family, but then never follows through, leaving Olivia sitting there, waiting for him to choose her.
The worst part is that he has her believing that this is all she deserves…
Olivia: I don’t want normal, and easy, and simple. I want…
Edison: What? What do you want, Olivia?
Olivia: I want painful, difficult, devastating, life-changing, extraordinary love. Don’t you want that too?
Edison: Love is not supposed to be painful or devastating. Love isn’t supposed to hurt, Liv.
Even Olivia’s Mom, who is literally (in the fictional TV series sense of the word) an internationally wanted terrorist and criminal, knows that the guy is bad news. She told Olivia, “That man hurts you. He uses you and will throw you away when he’s done with you.” That is coming from a woman who bombed a funeral…. if she is telling you that someone is bad news, you better run.
This proved all too true as the finale progressed. Sure, Fitz made all of these grand promises to Olivia about their life together at the beginning, but, at the end of it all, Olivia was left crying in the waiting room by herself. Olivia is strong, tough as nails, and can sass like nobody else on TV, but even after she explodes or says she is finished, something about Fitz always brings her back to him.
Despite the evidence, my social media feeds are still flooded by fan support for these two. Do they not notice that Olivia is just (as she finally said herself) sitting there waiting for a house in Vermont that she can’t live in and a man who makes promises he can’t keep? What does he have to do to make the rabid fans turn on him? He’s already killed an old lady with cancer… Maybe he could try organizing the mass murder of the entire country’s kitten population? Would that work? Tumblr lovers support cats like no one else can.
However, all hope was not lost by the time season three came to an end. Again, it appears that they are on a break. However, this time, for the first time in the history of three seasons, Olivia ignored a call from the President. It seems that she is finally beginning to see the light, and realizing (especially given some dramatic changes and revelations within the President’s family) that she may never end up with Fitz. Sure, Olivia has gotten angry and made some sassy quips in the past, but is this the moment we’ve been waiting for, where she will stick to her guns and end things? Will she finally fly off into the sunset without him? My guess is no, but, until we know for sure, I will hold out hope that the writers will honour the strong, sassy, charismatic woman they’ve created, and (as she so eloquently put) find her a man who earns her.
Oh by the way… if you still aren’t sold on how awful this character is, let’s all enjoy him blaming his wife for his affair in handy gif form. Let’s keep in mind that this is the man who had an affair without even trying to hide it from his wife (who gave up her own political ambitions to support his presidency) and then hired his “mistress” to work on his campaign. Oh, and when he finds out that his wife was unfaithful he literally has the temper tantrum of the decade.
*Disclaimer* I realize none of these gifs come from the finale… they just really spoke to what I was writing AND represent some of my favourite scenes… just play along OK?