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Scandal Review: We The People

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The life of Scandal President Fitzgerald Thomas Grant III is full of parallels. He earned his presidency on the back of a scandal. And earned back his presidency with a scandal. And while he knows about the latter, he's still in the dark on the former.

Through the skillful use of flashbacks, "A Criminal, a Whore, an Idiot and a Liar" revealed the inner workings of Olivia's deal with the Devil Hollis, while bringing together Pope and Associates for the first time and also complicating Olivia's life in the present day.

Election Flashback

While the jury's still out on whether or not Hollis is solely responsible for Fitz' attempted assassination, tonight made it appear that he set the wheels in motion on the election rigging. He had the plan in place as an ace up his sleeve, ready to pull it out and play it when the time was right. After losing yet another debate, and subsequently points in the electoral race, it became clear that an intervention would be necessary if Fitz would take the White House.

The first attempt at helping him gain necessary ground was to call in Fitz' father, a politician with a penchant for pretty women. Hmm, sound familiar to anyone? While Papa Fitz was a garden variety philanderer and our Fitz prefers a monogamous mistress, the apple didn't fall very far from that tree. Seeing Fitz' disdain for his father's cheating ways was interesting because it's always seemed that while Olivia is the one thing he seems truly to love, his relationship with her - or perhaps the lack of a relationship - is something he seems to hate.

Maybe that's where his anger and frustration comes from in his dealings with her. It's not Olivia; it's their role as star-crossed lovers. But I digress.

Fitz intended to run a clean campaign, and as far as he knows, he did. It was his "people" who got their hands dirty, all for the sake of the Once In A Lifetime King.

Hollis: I may be a son of a bitch, but Fitz is clean as a whistle. Am I right, Cyrus?
Cyrus: He's the real deal. A patriot. A bleeder.
Hollis: How rare is that? How often does that come along?
Verna: Once in a generation, if you're lucky. | permalink

Everyone kept talking about how good Fitz is, how clean he is, how Messiah-like, and all I could think was "he's cheating on his wife." Which is, of course, his secret sin, and part of what gave Olivia pause in going through with the election rigging. She knows him and knows that he is a good man. She knows that he deserves to be President, but due to what she probably perceives to be her fault, he cannot get there on his own. And so she compromised herself, and him in the process, for the sake of his future.

Olivia knows his strengths, but she also knows his weaknesses. And as he said, weaknesses are strengths.

And I'm suddenly all conflicted about my thoughts on Fitzgerald Grant. He's good yet flawed. In a word, human.

Olivia is his weakness and the source of his strength. No one spurs him to be a better man like she does. But does their relationship in its current state make her better? I can't say yes.

Edison doesn't make her better, that's for sure. Unless we define "better" as "delivering verbal smackdowns" because she was certainly able to do that tonight.

Olivia: [to Edison] Five, that's sexist and insulting. You'd never suggest Scooter Libby was screwing Dick Cheney. Four, the lengths you're going to try to twist this into a conspiracy are cause for concern. You should speak to someone about that. Three, the President is awake and talking and the suggestion that he isn't is partisan political crap that I thought you had enough integrity to rise above. Two, in the past three minutes, you have called me a criminal, a whore, an idiot, and a liar, so this is pretty much the last time we'll be speaking, so one, who I am or am not screwing, what I am or am not doing, is no longer any of your damn business. | permalink

And there must have been something about that little speech of hers that spoke to Edison because he came back and proposed. Of course she shouldn't marry him. There's no love there for her. (And there's no chemistry there for the viewers!)

But Fitz telling Mellie he wants a divorce doesn't mean that he and Olivia can be together. So these two are still stuck. Apart. And I'm suddenly rather desperate for them to be together because of it. 

Fitz and Olivia's opposing revelations to one another when the show returns in two weeks should be interesting.

Other tidbits of tonight's episode that are worth a mention:

  • We saw the formation of Pope and Associates as Papa Fitz asked for dirt on Reston. Olivia called in her people to do the digging, introducing them for the first time. Too bad Stephen couldn't make a guest appearance because it's clear from Scandal season 1 that he predates Huck, Abby, and Harrison.
  • I want to believe that Sally was genuine when she said she hadn't slept since taking over the office, was only thinking of the country, and didn't want Fitz to die. Their exchange (which is on the Scandal quotes page) was nice.
  • Mellie was a bit insufferable. Sure, she was excited that he was alive and awake, but for the love, woman, let him rest.
  • I posited last week whether Mellie had retracted the letter before Fitz woke up. Tonight we got our answer: No, she didn't.
  • Hollis and Verna still had the most to gain from rigging the election and while it appears Hollis thought this up on his own, I wouldn't put it past Verna to have been in on putting the idea together somehow.
  • The parallels between Fitz at the press conference and Fitz at the debate were seamless. In both, Olivia's direction helped him overcome and triumph.
What did you think of tonight's Scandal? Do you like the flashback episodes, or do you prefer the show stick to present day?

Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.5 / 5.0 (292 Votes)

Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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I disagree with anyone that has a problem with Olivia the lady has been through so much trying to make everyone else happy will she ever be happy for more than 1 episode...as for her and fitz that's her soulmate anyone that has watched the show from the beginning knows they are meant for each other its there in the way they look at each other hello "I exist for you" enough said there... As for Edison and mellie I feel for them I really do they love Olivia and Fitz.. but you can't help who you fall in love with if so it wouldn't be so much heartache in the world. I'm rooting for Olivia and fitz I want some couple that has that kind of love to be happy

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Mellie will never divorce Fitz.By the way, who's baby is it anyway? Looks like Mellie goes into labor in the next episode. As crazy as the program is I bet Mellie and child don't survive

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thanks for the eps.Never Seen the Show Before Enjoyed

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"This love is a strange love' indeed. How many finger tingling, blood rushing, stomach turning moments have we had while Olivia and Fitz expressed their love for each other? Why is it necessary to follow up that pure kind of love with commitment or marriage? I think their discreet and forbidden love is sexy and hot. We wait for that next time they have another opportunity to make love again. If it was convenient, the show would be dull and we all know it.

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If Olivia had not ok'd the election rigging, & Fitz had lost, he could have divorced Mellie & been w/Olivia- no problem. Too bad Olivia, you almost could have had it all. But then we wouldn't have this great show.

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@whateva you are a genius!!! Maybe just maybe Hollis played them and the rigging was unnecessary. Dude will do and say anything to get what he wants. Hmmmm...

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I still under belief the rigging was possibly unnecessary and it will come out he did win and Hollis just played them. But it going make the whole situation with blowing up that office really messed up.

Deann

BTW, I loved the speech that Olivia gave Edison, and I agree that there is NO chemistry between them at all, and she should not marry him. He's a bully and a jerk who has treated her poorly and whom she doesn't love. She's in love with Fitz, that much is plain, but she can't have him and he knows that. I realize that Fitz wants a divorce, but realistically, that ain't gonna happen, people, because Mellie is a power-hungry,narcisistic witch. She is cunning, manipulative and it wouldn't surprise me one iota to find out that she's a sociopath who could easily kill someone if she thought she'd get away with it. So Fitz thinking that he can divorce Mellie and be with Olivia is a pipe dream.

Deann

I am with Blu and CharminglyChandler, this was an excellent episode, and I, too, could write pages on why I adore Olivia Pope. She's an amazing woman who yes, has her flaws, but why blame her for an affair that Fitz started, when he is the one who is married, not her, and besides, I agree that if she were not a woman, and a woman of color at that, we'd not be having any posts about her as a homewrecker. I mean, did anyone think of Monica Lewinsky as a homewrecker? Probably not, since she went after the president and he was just as guilty as she was in the affair. It is Fitz who can't keep it in his pants, and remember it was Olivia who broke it off, several times, because she felt terrible about falling in love with him and having an affair.

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I think people are being a little presumptuous. 3 days to go for the election.So still anything could have happened.What if olivia used pope and associates to prevent the rigging.(Well huck can do that!)..and yet the president won.What if he did win both florida and ohio rendering the rigging worthless?
If olivia is well and truly involved then surely she is going to jail along with the rest of them.