Fitz and Mellie finally got divorced, Fitz and Olivia almost got married, Jake once again lost a woman he loved, and Papa Pope returned. Sounds like a Thursday! The Scandalcrew also had to contend with a Senate hearing and walking the fine line between truth and perjury, while keeping Fitz and Liv safe. So let’s dive into all this, shall we?
To Say I Do or Not to Say I Do?
A good portion of the episode dealt with whether or not Fitz and Olivia should get married. Cyrus essentially proposes to Olivia on Fitz’s behalf as the three of them talked in the Oval Office, explaining that if they’re married she can’t testify against him. Olivia, as we might expect, reacted in horror: “A shotgun wedding on the heels of a quickie divorce? You may as well turn the Oval Office into a drive-thru wedding chapel.” Of course, that’s not her main issue with the entire situation.
She confided in Abby, who characteristically rambled on without thinking as she freaked out over being in the president’s bedroom. She speculated about how hellish being First Lady must be until Liv told her that Fitz wants to get married. Liv, naturally, feels the same way Abby does, hence part of her hesitation in getting married. So instead of a wedding, she’s decided to lie on the stand, “because otherwise Fitz will be impeached and I love him too much to let that happen.” Abby, thankfully, asked the question on many viewers’ minds: If you love him, then why not just get married?
Olivia: We’re not ready to get married. It would just be a last minute get out of jail free card. I don’t want that for us.
Abby: If you take the stand, you could end up going to jail.
Olivia: And if I get married? What in the hell do you think this is?
She clarified her point by looking around the president’s bedroom, as did Abby. It’s lavish, but as First Lady, it would be a kind of elegant prison, just as Mellie told her.
Fitz thought if he redid the proposal in a more romantic way then he’d get Olivia to say yes—that it was simply the circumstances of Cyrus discussing their marriage like a business transaction that got in the way. He put together a romantic setting—rose petals, candles, him in a tuxedo, and getting down on one knee. But Olivia stopped him; that’s not what she wants. Since he admitted he didn’t want to do the elaborate proposal thing either, she asked why he bothered.
Fitz: Because I love you. Because you are what I want. But obviously you don’t feel the same.
Olivia: We’re not ready.
Fitz: You’re not ready. And you know what I think? You never will be.
Olivia: That’s not fair.
Fitz: Then answer the question, Olivia. What is it that you want? (She doesn’t say anything, just looks at him) That’s what I thought.
Poor Fitz. Even though I don’t think the two of them should get married, I felt for him in that scene. His actions later in the episode made me less sympathetic, but we’ll get to that. Eventually, Liv agreed to marry him, but she clearly started regretting her decision in the moments before the wedding when her new Secret Service detail explained how her life will now work. She was saved at the last minute by Mellie and her father, although instead of telling Fitz directly, she had Abby return the ring to him.
What do you think of Olivia’s actions here? Or Liv and Fitz’s love story? Olivia seems to have a classic “grass is always greener” attitude, wanting what she can’t have. Now that she has a chance to live happily ever after with Fitz, she doesn’t want it. Is it simply because of how public her life would become and how controlled it would be as first lady? Or is it because Fitz is no longer forbidden fruit, thus eliminating some of the appeal? Personally I think it’s a mixture of both. When she and Fitz started their affair, he wasn’t only president he was married. You can’t get more out of reach than that. I do believe what she said last week, however, that she’d tried to stop loving him and can’t. There is more there than simply wanting what you can’t have, or she would have been able to quit him a long time ago. But a marriage is permanent (sort of); there’s no turning back from that. Her life will change forever if she says “I do” to Fitzwilliam Grant.
The second part of it is, I think, the fact that she does not want to become First Lady. She’d no longer be able to run her business, go anywhere without Secret Service agents around her and the media documenting it, or even have her own cell phone that isn’t a White House approved secure communications device. She’d become the figurehead that Mellie was, smiling and waving for the cameras yet powerless to truly do anything herself without Fitz’s backing. That would be hell for someone like Olivia Pope.
Olivia and Jake
The third part of the equation in Olivia’s refusal to marry Fitz comes, in my opinion, from Jake Ballard. Yes, I’m unashamedly Team Jake—even more so after the way Fitz spoke to Mellie during their divorce in this episode.
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