Friday, 4 October 2013
Scandal's third season returned with a bang rather than a wimper. Last season, we were left with two big revelations. The first was that Olivia had been outed as Fitz's mistress and the second was that Rowan (Byron as I like to call him. Someone here must have seen a different world) was Olivia's father. Nothing quite compares to the opening segment of this premiere. We see Olivia's father lecturing her in the limo about being stupid enough to sleep with a white man and not just any powerful white man, but the president. The scene continues with them in some sort of airplane hanger. He's going at her and its lie watching a bulldog attack my poor livvy. I want him to get out of her face and to back the fuck off. But, even with all his crazy, I can't deny that one of the things he does say to her is the truth "You have to be twice as good, to get half as much." I love that Olivia isn't just a woman of color, she is written like one. She doesn't get things easily. She had to fight and crawl for the scraps. But, her story is not just one that black women can understand its universal to all women of color. I love that we are seeing that on this show. It's not simply a black woman playing the part of a white character, its that she embodies much of what it means to be black in america. Shit ain't easy. You will lose far more and loving outside of your race when you are a woman of color is much harder and carries more stigma than when it is a man.
But, Olivia takes bullshit from no man, not even her father. So she takes that call and while Cyrus ends up proving Byron-Rowan right in the short-term, she realizes that she is not going to just walk away from this with her tail between her legs. Olivia is a fixer and she's going to try and fix her own scandal.
Another powerful scene in this episode to me was the bunker one with Olivia, Fitz and Mellie. This scene was such a contrast to what was happening earlier. She cares far too much for Fitz's well being and career and not enough about herself. She's basically laid out how they are going to play this, but it does nothing for her. Either way she is ruined. Mellie's speech got to some in fandom, but frankly it left me cold. She knew what she was getting into when she signed up for a political marriage and frankly I'm not down with her slut shaming Olivia. She annoys me. While I do understand and sympathize that it can't be easy to be an ornament, but thus is the nature of this show. No one is totally likable. I don't like Mellie, but it has more to do with the kind of woman she represents to me. I'm tired of the bitchy rich girl who feels she can go around shaming other women because of their own insecurities. But, she also gives me hilary vibes and I can't stand Hilary Clinton. I do not like people who allow themselves to be used a ploy all to gain political advantage or maybe its my own internalize misogyny speaking and it only bothers me because they are female. But, like Olivia, Fitz, Cyrus and everyone else bar David, she is a dark horse. She's not totally bad nor totally good. It's just a matter of what appeals to you as an audience member. Mostly she is in my girls way. She is attacking her and getting in her face and I'm not there for that shit, not at all. Also Fitz is funny when he is all like "psst do I look like I give a fuck?"
No one can really accuse him about lying. he has been straight up about his feelings about Olivia and his disdain for Mellie. He's a cruel motherfucker and very naive. Cyrus is a monster who ruins reputations for the heck of it. Olivia engages in cover-ups and doesn't mind throwing people under the bus if she feels its serving the greater good. She is an antihero. She's not your traditional good guy and I wouldn't want her to be. Normally I don't care for those types of characters, but I like Olivia just as she is.
The final moments of the episode were probably the most shocking. The discovery that Fitz outed Olivia so he could get out of the White House. He should have let Olivia in on this and his reasoning doesn't make sense at all. But, he wouldn't be Fitz if he wasn't capable of such darkness. This is Tony Goldywyn after all. Just watch ghost. I don't want to spoil you guys, but once you watch you will understand exactly what I mean.