Scandal 2.02: Wives and Mistresses*

With their likeness, that is. The obvious question is: when will the cheating husbands be made to voice their messiness? Not in this episode apparently, so this review will focus on mistresses when it comes to examining blame, since that’s what the wives did in this episode. Also, while our heroine is a mistress like Nancy, there are a couple of differences between the two triangles:

1) Nancy just found out about her husband’s cheating while Mellie found out long ago and has been content, in Olivia’s case (is it canon that Olivia isn’t the only woman he’s cheated with?), to live with it as long as it meant Fitz doesn’t mess up his job. 2) Fitz doesn’t want to stay with Mellie. We don’t know what the pastor wanted, but we know for sure that Fitz doesn’t want to be with Mellie and would divorce her if the U.S. was like France and the President divorcing and remarrying was acceptable to the government and the public (in that order).

With that said, let’s look at the wives!

“Nancy, right now you are angry. Right now you feel betrayed, but here’s the thing. You are his partner. You are his wife. Some mistress doesn’t change that. He made a mistake. You have to forgive him for it. You weren’t wrong about him. You were just stronger than he was. He’s not a monster. He’s the man you fell in love with [….] Somewhere in all the cheating is the man you married, and you are his wife. Right to the end.”-Mellie Grant

I love the way this show writes relationships. I love that it lets them all breathe and doesn’t (or barely) takes a side. I love that explores every angle and every perspective.

The scene between Mellie and Nancy (played by Lorraine Toussaint, who is Trinidadian!) is my favorite scene of the episode. And the line quoted above is my favorite of the episode. There’s something to be said about a woman (remember what I said in the opening paragraph) who can carry on an affair with a married man. That’s on a more ratchet level than simply cheating. Having a relationship where you develop habits and traditions (Christmases in Nancy’s case, phone calls in Olivia’s case), fully knowing that there’s a wife involved, who has been involved for years, and is completely in the dark to what you and this man are doing. There is a level of contentment there because…..you’re not leaving him. You’re not demanding that he leave his wife. You’re just content with your secret traditions. And that’s where the condescension and lack of respect comes from with regards to the wives. What do they owe the mistresses? They’re illegitimate, and they’re okay with that. I think Mellie respects Olivia’s work and cunning and brain, but as a person? We’ve seen how she looks at her.

Mellie said the pastor made a mistake. The pastor simply made a mistake and should be forgiven. Mellie has simply forgiven Fitz (I really don’t think she has, based on her behavior). And the mistresses get the vitriol because of their willingness to accept second-best, the illegitimately, and the complete disrespect of the wives just as people.

Mellie’s line is about reasserting the wife’s place and influence in and on the husband’s life, reasserting their accomplishments when faced with the reality that this man decided to choose someone else and lie to them about it, and it’s about reasserting their choice of this man. It’s about trying to find something to soothe the ego, to keep from wishing another choice had been made. And I say it’s about trying to soothe the ego, because it’s not about the kids. I don’t want to say that the kids made it worth it, because having kids doesn’t take away the personal. The wives, Nancy, Mellie, they’re still there, the women are still there, not just the mothers,    and they need to reassure that they were duped, not that they duped themselves. I love it.

Lorraine was great as Nancy. I don’t think I’ve seen her in anything before. I loved Nancy’s indignation throughout the whole thing. I loved that she broke down from the farce and popped a sedative. The ending scene where she lets Anna be a part of the funeral. Do you know how hard that is? Imagine! Hard and unfair, she has to set aside her feelings and recognize Nancy. She has to give Nancy legitimacy. Oh my Jesus. Fifteen years of lies! Oh goodness.

Now on to the mistresses.

“I know. What you want is fifteen Christmases on December 25th. Fifteen birthdays, fifteen years of sleeping next to him and waking up with him. You want anniversary dinners and parent-teacher conferences and school plays. You want fights over who’s turn it is to wash the dishes and walk the dog. What you want, what you’ve always wanted is to be part of his life. And now he’s gone, and you want to be part of his legacy, but you aren’t, and you never were.”-Olivia Pope

Over the course of the episode Olivia is increasingly made to see herself in Anna. Notice that for most of the episode, she’s harsh on Anna while soft with Nancy (understandable since Nancy is her client). It isn’t until the scene where this line happens that she’s understanding towards Anna and it isn’t until it comes to giving Anna a place in pastor Drake’s life that Olivia is a little harsh with Nancy. I think it’s interesting that they didn’t show Olivia getting permission from Nancy to bring Anna inside. Do you think Nancy gave permission or do you think Olivia went rogue? Based on Nancy’s reaction to seeing them, I think it’s the latter.

Olivia is not going to be part of Fitz’s legacy. Her and Nancy have that in common. When books are written and tv specials are done about President Fitzgerald Grant III, it will be Mellie who has the throne. Mellie will be interviewed, and Mellie will tell the stories, and there will be replays of when they found out the sex of the baby, and pictures of the family will be plastered on the screen. Mellie will be recognized. Not Olivia.

It must suck to be the second one to find the love of your life. Someone found him first, had him for years, built something, built a lot, and then here you come having to deal with all of that. And it isn’t one-sided! He feels the same way, only….he’s a public figure or there’s money at stake or there’s reputations at stake. Bottom line is that you can’t just be together. So do you try anyway or do you attempt to move on? And what if he keeps sweet-talking, courting you as if he’s actually single? Telling you that you can get through this? Telling you that he’s only happy with you? It’s an intoxicating thing to be chosen. Not wanted, chosen. This man cares about your life, about your job, about your hard day at work, he talks to you about his work, and you have a bond. That bond leads to fifteen years and late-night phone calls.

The late night phone calls are Olivia’s Christmas on December 28th.

It is legitimate, because you’re both involved and committed to what you have.**

Concerning Olivia in the episode: last week Fitz blew up. This week Olivia did. She was calm about the pregnancy special, but she’s getting antsy (whether it’s a phase or it’s permanent). Her and Fitz aren’t getting anywhere, and I think she has to remind herself that, lest she let their phone calls and chats about his job and her job lull her into a false sense of security. There was a frustration every time she spoke to him.

“Tell me to stop calling. Tell me you don’t wanna hear from me. Okay then. I’ll speak to you tomorrow night.”

“Who’s fault is that, who fixed that for me?”

While Olivia was tired of the status quo between her and Fitz, Fitz gave me the sense that he was tired of both Olivia and Mellie fighting agains the tide. With Mellie towards the beginning of the episode, he wanted to skip ahead to the end of their pattern of fighting where she leaves the room. With Olivia, “I’ll speak to you tomorrow night,” I got the sense that he wanted her to stop trying to fight against what they have. She hates it, he knows she hates it, and he hates it too, but the only way they can talk is at five o’clock in the morning.

And then of course Olivia does tell Fitz to leave her alone, and he can’t handle it. He won’t handle it in the next episode. I imagine they’re both scared that they are not going to triumph over the many obstacles in their way. With Olivia, she’s scared that it’s just not going to work out. For Fitz, part of it not working out would involve Olivia letting him go. She’s free in terms of the choices she can make with her love life, so why should she suffer for him? And I think that line of thinking, that insecurity, is why he’s going to be upset that she has been succeeding in avoiding his calls.

As for the third part of the triangle, that BAMF named Mellie: she’s still taking pleasure in Fitz’s plight. She is. Her delivery of the news about the pastor was….I mean it’s like, Mellie why in the world would he consider that you came to give him bad news? She seems to have this attitude of, “Wait Fitz, you’re not happy with your life? I really hadn’t noticed” and it’s hilarious. That was the attitude she had when she was going on and on about Kimberly Mitchell and the colors for the nursery in the first episode, and that’s how she was in the first scene.

I said before I don’t believe she’s forgiven Fitz, so I don’t know what she was talking about in the car. But the car scene is amazing! Bellamy and Tony did a superb job, her with playing Mellie’s reminiscing and asking for forgiveness and he with playing out what Fitz had said earlier, the part where he feels guilty and they make up. Fitz threw her for a loop though when he went back to his documents, lmao. And we see that in the next episode Mellie will be over her tender moment. What forgiveness? And by the way, I love love love the way Bellamy delivers her lines. I love her inflections and I love her voice.

Huck! Oh Huck! Boy is drowning. I’m happy that they’re playing out the consequence for him torturing that guy. I’m glad he’s finding ways to resist such as going to AA meetings, but holy crap did he look manic when he was listing what he’d need to “take care” of the pastor. I look forward to he and Liv talking about it.

“Pinky swear and hope to die?”

Oh David! I really think he’s hurt by what Liv did. Like, as a friend. Remember their banter last season about how they’re not friends and then he said maybe they could be friends? ;(. They are friends, and I think he’s hurt on top of angry about how far she went to protect her client. I look forward to him getting somewhere with that wall.

Abby seems to think human saints should be asexual? And her slut-shaming continued in this ep. I know she’s abrasive, and she of course had no respect for Anna helping the pastor cheat, but I swear this woman has a problem with anyone who has sex. Unless she’s watching it on a tape *_______*.

Quinn. We found out that Liv called a Supreme Court Justice in order to win the case. Now we have three people who know the truth about Quinn (does Huck know the whole truth?). Quinn went to see her father, and I liked what he had to say about her leaving him in the dark and then showing up two years later after he had moved on. I don’t know why she was surprised that Liv had her followed? Is she new? Does she not know who Liv is?

Favorite shot: Liv and the Supreme Court Justice eyeing each other in the mirror. They looked so sinister!

I love the schtick of everyone waking up.

“And Middlebury’s just as good as the Ivy League, you elitist, high-brow conservative snob. I cannot believe I fell in love with a Republican!”

To end on the lightest part of the episode, how cute are Cyrus and James?!! I felt at certain points during their arguments that Cyrus was super condescending, but I guess that’s just his abrasive personality. I loved his coyness when James asked him if he wanted to fool around. I love them a lot, and I can’t wait until we see them again.

*Episode title: The Other Woman

**I’m not talking about how the mistresses view the wives, because I don’t think they do for the most part. The husband is unhappy with the wives and is choosing the mistresses. I’ll just say that in Anna and Olivia’s case, they don’t hate the wives. The wives are just the husband’s past, feelings-wise.

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16 thoughts on “Scandal 2.02: Wives and Mistresses*

  1. This is my first time posting on your site- even though I read it all the time. I am glad you started a section on Scandal. More people really should watch this show. I love it!

    I find it disturbing that this show can make me root for a man and his mistress when in real life I would certainly never get behind a man looking for ways to sneak around his wife and call his mistress at all hours and set up secret clandestine meetings– but this show takes me there. Brilliant acting on Kerry and Tony’s part I suppose.

    I too thought the scene in the limo between Mellie and Fitz was well acted- but I could not recall what Fitz was supposed to be forgiving her for? The affair she supposedly had? The fact that she “kicked” Olivia out of their lives and got pregnant to save this re-election chances? Honestly I sat there thinking— which part of shadiness that she has engaged in does she need forgiveness for again? I honestly could not recall!

    I also liked how he kissed her head and leaned in all close and was like- ok I forgive you. And then snatched up his papers and kept reading again. Dismissed….. I laughed out loud at that.

    • Hi!

      I know right?! I hate cheating and cheaters irl, especially when there’s a marriage involved. Heck, I hate cheating on my tv. My favorite character on TVD got cheated on *rage.* I think what’s different with Scandal is that they’ve positioned one of the cheaters as the main character, and basically given a lot of reason to root for them. Smh.

      He was forgiving her for basically trapping him with a baby. I don’t think he’d be half as mad or resentful if she (and Olivia) had just come up with a reason for why he cheated, but for Mellie (and Liv) basically say, “Okay we’re going to have sex for the sole reason of you getting me pregnant so we can present this to America) and then for her to spend 5 months or however many months we skipped, acting like it was all normal: I think that’s what she was asking forgiveness for. But yeah, it was very vague. Because Mellie’s done so much! Lol.

      I thought they were gonna kiss at the end of that scene, I’m not gonna lie. And I won’t put it past the show to have them work out their marriage in the end. I mean it would be making Fitz act out of character or maybe assassinating his character, but I won’t put it past them. Because I really don’t think Fitz and Olivia are going to get a happy ending. They’re not set up to get one.

      • No!?!

        You think the show would have them work their marriage out in the end? Like come to a happy ending? I don’t know about that. They have created that Mellie character to be absolutely odious. To me anyway. I mean the woman is acting the hell out of her part because when she comes on screen I think: oh lord, what’s she going to do now? She just needs to sit down somewhere and stop trying to be all up in the business. Stop trying to push your husband into war. Stop trying to boost poll numbers with fake miscarriages. Just SIT DOWN. I can’t stand her. But that’s a good thing because she is playing her part well. But with all her grasping and lying and trying to manipulate him at every turn – I don’t know how you get past that in a marriage.

        But then as I type this I think Fitz really is a weak character. So perhaps he would simply go on with Mellie as he was when he met Olivia-simply coasting along tethered to a woman that he can no longer stand. That is something else that amazes me about this show. I kind of like Fitz. When IRL I can’t stand weak men who cheat and then try and act like circumstances just drove them to it and that they were powerless to stop themselves. No- you always have a choice. Yes– just like Jeremy on TVD. No one made him kiss on Anna in the bathroom and then try and hide it! He had a choice. Fitz has a choice. And Fitz is even worse because he just gets caught in the whirlwind and does whatever he is told. He whines to Olivia he only slept with Amanda because she left him. So it’s Liv’s fault he boned that 24 year old intern? Mellie’s fault he was sleeping with Liv? What is his fault? What is his part in all these affairs? And yet– I like the guy. SMH. I like it when he breaks down and calls Liv at home and sneaks to her house just to hold her. Can’t wait until he corners her in the park next week or wherever that was in the preview and starts kissing her.

        I also think this show is going to have a problem if it continues because where do we go from here? As long as Fitz is President he can never be with Olivia- but can we have 3 or 4 seasons of phone calls and them pining for each other? No. That will get old real quick. But neither can they be together because that is not plausible either. The president leaves his wife for his mistress in the middle of his second term? Nope. So what can they do? And Shonda can’t kill their relationship because Fitz and Liv are WHY I and all my friends watch the show. Hell, that is even why my mom watches. So Liv can never move on to a healthy relationship with someone else cause the audience won’t have it. I have no idea how you write this show for more than 3 seasons.

        But anyway- do you have a theory about the Supreme Court justice and her connection to Quinn? Clearly she is the one who pulled the strings to get Quinn off but why? I said to my friend maybe she is Quinn’s grandmother and they are related in some way? Like Quinn’s mom was part of this powerful family but fell in love with Quinn’s dad who had a blue collar job and ran away to Illinois or wherever Quinn ran to last episode and the grandmother disowned her daughter but still kept tabs on her and watches over her granddaughter? And Quinn had been told her grandmother was dead and never knew who her real family was and how powerful her grandmother was. Just throwing ideas out there…

        • But then as I type this I think Fitz really is a weak character.

          This is it right here. I don’t think the writers would have them work it out in the sense that they end up living happily ever after, but at his core Fitz is passive. He’s not passive with Olivia; he can be pretty dominant with her and I love that, but we have seen enough forceful people in his life make decisions for him to conclude that he’s pretty passive (Cyrus, Mellie, Liv). Or if passive’s not the word, then let’s use “accepting.” I could see him “accepting” to live in a loveless/passionless marriage with Mellie if Olivia resists him long enough and starts seeing other people and stops waffling about him. Maybe he’d hit her up once her finished his term(s), but it might be too late then.

          I also think this show is going to have a problem if it continues because where do we go from here?

          I agree, they can’t. For me, Fitz/Olivia isn’t a deal breaker. I love them and I love Fitz, but the beauty of them, what makes them interesting is that fact that they can’t be together right now or possibly ever, so with me knowing that, I can’t get mad at the thought of Liv moving on. I think they’ve done a good job of making her happiness more important or equal to Fitz’s which will make it easier for the audience to move forward with her if she ever changes her mind. Like, if they decide to put her with David? He’s the only other choice I see for her, and we’d still have the push-pull that Fitz/Liv have. By that I mean, there would still be the threat of a Scandal. That is the biggest thing Fitz/Liv does for Olivia: it gives her a Scandal of her own. If they break up for good or get together, then there goes Olivia’s own Scandal.

          Then again, this Quinn thing could take the place of sleeping with the president in terms of a Scandal for Olivia. I don’t know. I don’t think their relationship will break the show.

          I can’t even begin to speculate on Quinn, mostly because she’s not that interesting. I think the cover up will be more interesting than whatever part she played in it. She clearly knows nothing about her situation. But I don’t think the Supreme Court Justice is her grandmother. The way she spoke about her seemed very impersonal. She said Quinn could bring down this government, but I hope she has nothing to do with Fitz. Ugh. Hopefully she has something to do with the VP, but they haven’t shown her this season yet.

  2. But then as I type this I think Fitz really is a weak character.

    I don’t think he’s weak, I just think he’s surrounded by too many people pushing their own agendas from the personal to the political and everything in between.

    I don’t know how he got saddled with Millie. Chances are it was a mutual agreement between two consenting adults…and maybe various family surrogates. So far, so good.

    Fitz’s not weak, he’s honest. The moment he saw and heard Olivia, he smelt trouble (the nice kind) and he did ask Cyrus to fire her, but he was over-ruled. He pretty much tried to stay out of Olivia’s lane, but she just dazzled him with her awesomeness.

    Fitz’s is not weak, he’s someone who likes to fight fair – He didn’t want to over-manipulate the voters on the campaign trail, but did Millie care? No. She over-ruled him and went rogue with her miscarriage story. At no time did he display an appetite for the Millie approach -unnecessary lies and deceit. Oh well, maybe when his hand was forced -see Sally Langstone. Then he was not weak. Olivia on the other hand -unlike Millie- knew how to play the game, she watched him in action, listened to him, learnt his personality and when it came to the crunch, advanced game plans that he could co-sign – subtle, nuanced y’know as fair as fair can be in that dog-eat-dog-environment they inhabit.

    Fitz’s is not weak. Post elections, he tried to re-dedicate himself to that sham of marriage, obviously it didn’t work. Later, on we see the missus proclaiming to the mistress, that his needs were never her business. The world and his wife are still reeling from that scene.

    Even the Amanda debacle , face it guys , he was manipulated into it. It wasn’t like he went cruising for Amanda, or asked to be set up, Amanda was fully orchestrated, she caught him at a very bad, bad moment,Millie had stopped handling business a long time ago, Olivia had hit the road…there he was nursing a broken heart… ‘Billy weaseled that shiny Amanda apple into his hand’. We all have our bad days no?

    Fitz’s is not weak. He’s someone who likes to think things through; choosing diplomacy and dialogue over death and destruction (East Sudan) but Millie mistakes diplomacy for weakness as she said ‘show some power!’ meantime he was thinking of the soldiers coming back in body bags.

    Fitz is not weak. He’s honest (well sometimes) when the Amanda story threatened to take down his presidency, he got to that point where he decided to put the American people before his needs and offered to resign. having tasted that power it takes a strong person to walk away from it all. Once again his wishes were overlooked. In one corner was Millie, urging him to lie, in the other was Cy, seething refusing to contemplate life as a Civie. Cy got to Olivia and they parceled him around straight back into the Oval.

    Ideally everyone needs to hit the re-set button and go back to start- mind their manners and remember their place. Fitz’s obviously gotten over that ‘dedicate myself to my marriage’ malarkey and accepts that his marriage was a business transaction all along. Someone needs to remind Millie of the terms and conditions of the agreement ab initio. Fitz needs to give Millie seat at the table in exchange for Millie turning a blind eye to Litz. Olivia needs to get with the programme and remember that she signed up to be a courtesan in her spare time, I mean who knows what will happen once he leaves office. Everybody needs to stop manipulating this man and provide him with the tools he needs in his personal life in order to allow him to shine politically, After all, if there’s one thing they all agree on is the fact that he was born to do this.

    The man is not weak, he’s just surrounded by vultures. That’s my story and I am sticking to it.

    • The moment he saw and heard Olivia, he smelt trouble (the nice kind) and he did ask Cyrus to fire her, but he was over-ruled.

      He wasn’t overruled, he wanted to win. Fitz did want the presidency, let’s not forget.

      Even the Amanda debacle , face it guys , he was manipulated into it. It wasn’t like he went cruising for Amanda, or asked to be set up, Amanda was fully orchestrated, she caught him at a very bad, bad moment,Millie had stopped handling business a long time ago, Olivia had hit the road…there he was nursing a broken heart… ‘Billy weaseled that shiny Amanda apple into his hand’. We all have our bad days no?

      Oh my God, Fitz was manipulated into cheating? This is the first time I’ve seen someone excuse Fitz’s cheating, and using manipulation too? If Fitz can be manipulated into cheating, as opposed to making the choice to cheat, then how is that not weak? I don’t want Olivia with a man who can be manipulated into cheating, if that’s what we’re going for here.

      Olivia needs to get with the programme and remember that she signed up to be a courtesan in her spare time, I mean who knows what will happen once he leaves office.

      That is absolutely not a binding thing. She doesn’t have an obligation to be with Fitz. Olivia didn’t “sign up” for anything. She’s not the one in a government position, she’s not the one married to Fitz, and on and on. She’s the freest agent in that whole mess.

      Fitz is not a puppet. I can’t stand that reading of him. Why would I want Olivia to be with a puppet? Is he a shark like Mellie and Cyrus? No. Is he astute and fast-thinking like Olivia? No. But a puppet, or a man who is being controlled, is not going to get his secret service to make way for him to go see somebody with a lot less security than is recommended. A puppet is not going to use everything in his power to drag somebody to him because of his needs. No, Fitz isn’t weak, but he isn’t a poor little lamb who’s being manipulated in every facet of his life, from cheating to getting elected to staying president to eating. If that’s true, then what is there to root for in this guy? What is there to like? He can’t not be weak while also being someone who’s manipulated at every turn. That’s kind of a contradiction and having your cake and eating it too.

  3. I’m not saying Fitz is a puppet. I am saying he is surrounded by people who are willing to exploit their connection to him for their own intentions and purposes. There is a difference, don’t you think?

    RE: Amanda Tanner. Allow me to execute a radical about turn

    Really what irrebutal evidence is there that Fitz was being a slutty president? All Billy had was the audio tape and logs of Amanda’s visits to the West Wing. As Fitz told Olivia, they needed a girl for the audio tape. We don’t even know what transpired between Amanda and Fitz (he offered to give details of their encounter but Olivia interrupted him), but one thing we know for sure, is that Fitz was uber-confident that the baby wasn’t his (and rightly so – the autospy results vindicated him ). What if all that transpired between Fitz and Amanda was a kiss and in that foggy moment he muttered the endearment ‘sweet baby’ ? Does that amount to a slutty president problem?

    The evidence was circumstantial but potentially damaging. All Fitz ever asked from Olivia was that she afford him an opportunity to explain in private, but it never happened and things just spiralled out of control from there. However, it is highly significant that by the time he was leaving Olivia’s apartment, she was more than willing to share ‘one minute’ with him. He must have explained himself sufficiently to Olivia, for her to understand that the Amanda thing was but a minute blip on the horizon. Heck! later Olivia was willing to let him walk the plank so that they could be together. So jazzed up was she, she only came to her senses when Cyrus and Stephen staged an intervention. I doubt if Olivia would still be hung up on him if he’d done anything remotely serious with Amanda.

    Fitz cheating with Amanda Tanner? I don’t think so. I am willing to bet all Billy had was;

    the audio tape,
    the visitor logs from the West Wing -albeit at odd hours- the man was insomniac
    some visuals placing Amanda and Fitz in the same vicinity ( what he gave to Gideon)

    Circumstantial hot air that nevertheless had potential to be highly damaging. and you know what? WE all bought it hook, line and sinker. Just the way Billy would have wanted.

    The only time Fitz has been weak, is when it comes to Olivia. And She is the worse of the two, because she should have known better than to hop into bed with him. Don’t get me wrong, I love them to bits, but I am way past pointing fingers at the married man. In my opinion, men will be men and it behoves a woman to use her powers to sidestep the shipwreck that is a married man. Whatever the soulless state of the Grants marriage, Olivia should have stayed way out of that man’s bed for personal, professional and political(???) reasons. He pursued her? so what? She didn’t have to succumb. I don’t want to hear that she fell in love with him. She wasn’t some giddy intern fresh out of college.She’s now wracked with shame cause of her mistress status? What was she thinking then? I say too little too late.

    Honestly, I would like to know what SHE was thinking when she decided to carry on with him. That is the million dollar question nobody wants to ask. I can see why HE was fascinated with her and made the decision to pursue her, but I can’t see how SHE thought HE was a good idea with all the attendant luggage -married, with children, running for high office. Now, he’s madly in love, sitting alone in a prison she conspired to have him in and a mess and she can’t have the deceny to keep him company. If I was Fitz I would bloody act up too.

    • I’m not saying Fitz is a puppet. I am saying he is surrounded by people who are willing to exploit their connection to him for their own intentions and purposes. There is a difference, don’t you think?

      Yeah, there’s a difference if they’re exploiting their connection to him (which I don’t think Olivia is doing), but exploiting/manipulating him? Then he becomes a puppet.

      Circumstantial hot air that nevertheless had potential to be highly damaging. and you know what? WE all bought it hook, line and sinker. Just the way Billy would have wanted.

      I don’t really get what point you’re trying to make, although yes something did transpire between Fitz and Amanda like you said (and what kind of a jerk is he if he’s just saying ‘Sweet baby’ all over the place? Smh). If you’re talking about Olivia and Mellie coming up with the plan to say it was Mellie + going the extra mile and adding a baby: it didn’t matter how circumstantial Billy’s evidence was. We’re talking about an American public who is gullible, thirsty for scandal, and 24-hour news stations desperate for soundbites. We’ve seen on the show itself how the public pounces on any scandal.

      Don’t get me wrong, I love them to bits, but I am way past pointing fingers at the married man. In my opinion, men will be men and it behoves a woman to use her powers to sidestep the shipwreck that is a married man.

      Actually, people (society) always points the finger at the mistress, so you’re not doing anything different or revolutionary here. As a real life example: did you hear about the Kristen Stewart cheating with a married man story? She got fired, he didn’t. “Men will be men” hasn’t gone out of style.

      • I’m not saying Fitz is a puppet. I am saying he is surrounded by people who are willing to exploit their connection to him for their own intentions and purposes. There is a difference, don’t you think?

        Yeah, there’s a difference if they’re exploiting their connection to him (which I don’t think Olivia is doing), but exploiting/manipulating him? Then he becomes a puppet.

        .
        Nope a puppet condones the manipulation, a puppet is actually fresh out of ideas and seeks to be manipulated.

        Millie Manipulates at her own behest. She fancies herself time in the WH? She manipulates.Time and again Millie has been seen to run interference without Fitz’s behest, moreover, she does it in a public space thus forcing him to bite his tongue. Let’s go back to the campaign bus, on this occassion he stated that they refrain from using campaign intel to secure the womens’ vote, instead just duke it out straight with Sally. Millie then came up with the miscarriage story. RE: East Sudan? remember when he scorched her with the ‘ornamental not functional’ monologue? On both occassions she was forcing his hand, in public, fully well knowing that he could’t squash her stories in such a forum without ending up with egg on his own face. On both occassions, Millie did these things to fundamentally make herself relevant. The moment his presidency seemed to be going south, and there seemed to be nothing in there for her, that woman had her bags packed so first. I’m yet to stop gawking.

        Cy manipulates at his own behest. He doesn’t fancy himself time on Civie street? He manipulates. Amanda could have still been alive, if Cy hadn’t run interference at the State Ball, preventing the tete-a tete between Litz.I believe that any ensuing dialogue at that stage between Litz would have brought about a different outcome. Instead Cy interfered, things were left to fester and as the threat escalated, Cy compounded matters by taking matters into his own hands and issuing a hit against Amanda.Cy went off on a murdering excursion on his own, no input from Fitz’s . We are yet to see how that pans out when Fitz finds out Cy’s role in Amanda’s death.

        Billy fancies Sally in the WH? Billy manipulates accordingly. Amanda’s was a non-story, just Billy’s petty propaganda.

        So how about Olivia? the ultimate Keyser Soze? I just do not understand how someone of calibre got into his bed. Maybe she was being manipulative. Maybe, she initially got together with him to bring out his A game, thinking she’d eventually walk away unscathed, became horrified when he asked her to cool off things, subsequently precipitating her initial departure from the White House. We have never heard her tell this man she loves him. Maybe it’s lust and not love on her part.

  4. Circumstantial hot air that nevertheless had potential to be highly damaging. and you know what? WE all bought it hook, line and sinker. Just the way Billy would have wanted.

    I don’t really get what point you’re trying to make, although yes something did transpire between Fitz and Amanda like you said (and what kind of a jerk is he if he’s just saying ‘Sweet baby’ all over the place? Smh). If you’re talking about Olivia and Mellie coming up with the plan to say it was Mellie + going the extra mile and adding a baby: it didn’t matter how circumstantial Billy’s evidence was. We’re talking about an American public who is gullible, thirsty for scandal, and 24-hour news stations desperate for soundbites. We’ve seen on the show itself how the public pounces on any scandal.

    My point exactly, but in your own words I suppose… (minus the first four lines of your paragraph.)

  5. Don’t get me wrong, I love them to bits, but I am way past pointing fingers at the married man. In my opinion, men will be men and it behoves a woman to use her powers to sidestep the shipwreck that is a married man.

    Actually, people (society) always points the finger at the mistress, so you’re not doing anything different or revolutionary here. As a real life example: did you hear about the Kristen Stewart cheating with a married man story? She got fired, he didn’t. “Men will be men” hasn’t gone out of style.

    Nope, actually with Litz, it’s… er…um…how can you say it? It’s complicated. That’s it. It. Is. Complicated. We are all perturbed at how we all came to root for what in normal circumstances we’d regard to be an odious situation. Especially rooting for her; a potential homewecker? Tough stuff.

    Initially, everyone was highly appalled by the affair ,but somehow enthralled by their chemistry and so we agonised about our choice to root for them. It wasn’t until S1. Episode 6, when we were provided with details of the backstory; especially the dead marriage, that we allowed ourselves to release a collective sigh of relief. If anything at this point, we were rooting and reveling and rejoicing and….

    Love Litz as I do. In my quieter moments, I just wish Olivia could stop running around with quivering lip and drenched eyes and accept the fact that she made the wrong call in choosing to bed her extremely-high- profile-married client. Fair enough, He chose her, he flirted with her, but the bottom line is she did not have to succumb to his advances. I applaud members of the audience who have completely moved on from asking the why oh why? But in my quieter moments, I revert back and give her the side eye, especially like now when she’s holding him at bay (supposedly having developed a conscience) and he’s falling apart and acting up. Me? I applaud the courtesans of yore who knew their place. And please don’t argue that we live in modern times, plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

    The only thing that would somehow redeem her in my view, is if it comes to light that the initial break-up (the one that precipitated her initial departure from the WH) was instigated by Fitz. Only then it can be argued that she has every right act coy. Prior to this everyone was on script, Litz was happy, Millie was turning a blind and enjoying her FLOTUS status, all was well in paradise. For me, if it comes to light, that indeed Fitz waffled subsequently triggering various repercussions leading to the ensuing tsunami, that was the Amanda Tanner debacle, then I honestly think she has every right to resist as he tries to reel her in for part deux.

    Perhaps, the moral of this delicious but sordid tale could be that, America needs to borrow a leaf from how the French conduct their affairs (literally)? That is why after re-examining the facts, I believe everyone needs to sit back and give Fitz’s what he is asking for, especially ‘the Shakesperian drama that is the women in his life’.

    What is revolutionary is the fact that we find ourselves enthralled and openly rooting for them. IMy levels of support fluctuate.

    P.S. Maybe if we had Kirsten’s backstory we would root for her too. Who knows?

    • We are all perturbed at how we all came to root for what in normal circumstances we’d regard to be an odious situation. Especially rooting for her; a potential homewecker? Tough stuff.

      But see that’s the thing. I’m not actually rooting for Olivia to get with Fitz and take him from Mellie or whatever. I’m not invested in them getting a happy ending, because I don’t see how that’s possible. I’m just here for their (better) interactions, and then figuring out how to deal with their situation. I said in this review that I ship them for the tragic/bad-timing thing they are. My interest in them is in the fact that they can’t get together. If they eventually do, fine (though I don’t see it), if they don’t and Olivia gets with someone else (like David, long after that Abby thing has been washed from his brain), then that’s even better.

      Initially, everyone was highly appalled by the affair ,but somehow enthralled by their chemistry and so we agonised about our choice to root for them. It wasn’t until S1. Episode 6, when we were provided with details of the backstory; especially the dead marriage, that we allowed ourselves to release a collective sigh of relief. If anything at this point, we were rooting and reveling and rejoicing and….

      I was never appalled by the affair, simply because of the way the show was set up, so “everyone” excludes me, at least.

      The only thing that would somehow redeem her in my view, is if it comes to light that the initial break-up (the one that precipitated her initial departure from the WH) was instigated by Fitz.

      We already know the initial break-up was initiated by Olivia. What in Fitz’s past and present demeanor says he’d initiate any type of break-up with Olivia?

      • But see that’s the thing. I’m not actually rooting for Olivia to get with Fitz and take him from Mellie or whatever.
        ___________________________________________________________________

        Nope I love happy endings, but I’m grown enough to accept otherwise. It’s my hope that the they’ll end up together.

        XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

        I was never appalled by the affair, simply because of the way the show was set up, so “everyone” excludes me, at least.
        ____________________________________________________________________

        When the show premiered, I didn’t see how they could be able to execute the premise in a convincing manner.Kudos to the entire team, they have succeded beyond expectation.

        XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

        We already know the initial break-up was initiated by Olivia. What in Fitz’s past and present demeanor says he’d initiate any type of break-up with Olivia?
        _______________________________________________________________________

        Olivia said he instigated the break up…in that scene (where she slapped him). Fitz -trying to explain how he got tangled up with Amanda- said he missed her, when she left him and that’s why he slipped. Olivia retorted that she’d left him because he said he wanted to be re-dedicate himself to his marriage and she accepted it because she wanted him to be a better man. S1. Episode 2.

        Do you really watch this show cause you seem to miss out alot.

        • Olivia said he instigated the break up…in that scene (where she slapped him). Fitz -trying to explain how he got tangled up with Amanda- said he missed her, when she left him and that’s why he slipped. Olivia retorted that she’d left him because he said he wanted to be re-dedicate himself to his marriage and she accepted it because she wanted him to be a better man. S1. Episode 2.

          Thank you for correcting me. I thought it was Olivia, but it was Fitz, and you even gave me a rundown of the scene and what episode it’s from. So why did you say the following:

          The only thing that would somehow redeem her in my view, is if it comes to light that the initial break-up (the one that precipitated her initial departure from the WH) was instigated by Fitz.

          Because you just answered your question. Fitz instigated the break-up, so Olivia left. And then he started sweet-talking her again and telling her he loves her because he decided he’d made a mistake and was weak. So, based on the condition you set for Olivia’s redemption, is she redeemed in your eyes? I mean I don’t think she needs redemption, but you do. The initial break-up, like you told me above, was instigated by Fitz.

  6. I accept that my arguments/statements sound contradictory, however this stems from the contrary words/actions of these two particular protagonists in the show.

    When one looks at the way they have been interacting thus far, it is easy to assume/conclude that it was Olivia who took the initiative to walk away from an impossible situation. However, as I previously mentioned, when embroiled in a heated and very emotional exchange, Olivia alleged that it was Fitz who voiced the desire to pull the plug on their relationship BTW, he didn’t deny this. The accusation was made in an intense moment, and I thought perhaps he was just unable to fully explain himself. From where I am sitting, I became confused and I began to wonder, if by any chance his ‘re-dedicate himself to his marriage’ statement was a case of ‘lost in translation?’…maybe Fitz was musing out aloud and an insecure Olivia (already full of misgivings and doubts about their liaison) latched onto his words,and took them out of context. It doesn’t make sense for him to be in hot pursuit now, when he is the one who made the decision to call time on them (he doesn’t even look capable of pushing her away).Call me a simpleton, but myself -together with the world and his wife- would happily do with another flashback episode, specifically/preferably covering the period of time after they started the affair to the time s/he or they decided to go separate ways.

    It’s pretty much the same way prior to S1 Ep 6, I couldn’t work out how she got involved with him, that is until we were treated to the flashback episode which brought us the Grants sham of a marriage and we were able to see amongst other things that Olivia didn’t break them up, if anything she really did try to encourage them to patch up things up in their marriage (talk about flogging a very dead horse).

    The show is very good at sending out mixed messages (a deliberate ploy employed by the writer/s). Even the actors say that half the time they don’t how a story line is going to pan out. It is crafted in such a manner as to illuminate and obfuscate both at the same time. Many a time, the answers given in one episode, when closely examined, just serve to throw up more questions.

    Also, please note that I do not seat in condemnation of Olivia, I am just fascinated/aghast by the choice she made. I imagine that she wasn’t looking to scratch an itch, but that she genuinely fell in love, then again I wonder how she ALLOWED herself to do that.

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