Scandal Season 3 Episode 5 recap
I started thinking about this as I began writing this article, and of course, just for irony, I don’t know. I don’t know what my blind spot is. I’m sure my friends or family could tell you, but I don’t immediately go "oh. Yeah. That’s what trips me up every time." (Lainey: Duana's blind spots are Ireland, Sarah Michelle Gellar, and Drake. Make sense of that.)
As inexplicable as it is to the rest of us, I believe this to also be the case for Olivia Pope. She doesn’t actually know that she dances to Fitz’s every tune. She thinks she’s making personal choices. With her father, yes, she admits to being stuck – but she also points out that he makes her do things against her will, and that she’s basically hamstrung into continuing to do his bidding.
But she doesn’t see that with Fitz; she not only makes choices that aren’t good for her – who willingly gets back into bed with Melly? – but that she undermines not only her personal life but her professional one as well. I meant what I said last week about Scott Foley being irritating, especially when he’s being self-righteous...but I have to admit he has a serious point here. Liv doesn’t see anyone as real people, except maybe Melly and Cyrus. She sees everyone else as obstacles between her and the president, or alternately, tools that will help her get ever closer to them.
What’s most incredible about this is that Olivia’s job is to help people eliminate their weaknesses. She did so to kind of poetically perfect effect this week, although I have to admit I was definitely hoping Lisa Kudrow would show more of her acidic side for longer. Hopefully we can expect more of that in the coming weeks. But seriously. She knows how to bail people out, she knows how to save them from their worst selves, and she profits from the knowledge. But she can’t help herself – or those closest to her.
For example, if I never hear the term "Baby Huck" again, it will be too soon. Shonda Rhimes really likes her a nickname, and that’s fine, but it’s making me crazy. Still, Quinn/That Nickname is in some pretty serious sh*t, in the sense that she pretty much willfully wants to be a killer and maimer. But Olivia’s staff – who really do seem like "the kids" - are taking care of her themselves. They haven’t even tattled to "mom" about it. Then there’s Abby, who clearly has issues, as pointed out by Harrison and David, respectively. She has some serious stuff to deal with, but does Olivia help her? She does not.
This is actually thoroughly refreshing. I complain a lot about perfect characters, but Olivia Pope isn’t one. She isn’t a girlfriend, helping her girls through everything. She isn’t a best friend who has a shoulder for everyone when they need it. She’s absentee a lot of the time. She’s saved them from whatever they needed saving from, but don’t expect her to bro down and giggle over whatever that senator was wearing or the fact that they really are overdue for Margaritas in Adams Morgan. She’s just…not.
And she’s only going to get more damaged. If what Huck and Jake uncover is true and her father is the architect of her mother’s demise, literally, Olivia will have to start destroying sh*t. There’s no other option. She can’t merely control stuff, she’ll have to start blowing stuff up. I’m so looking forward to it – but she’s going to be even more alone when she does. That’s the tradeoff for being Olivia Pope.
Also – David Rosen is totally my jam but he’s juuuust about becoming whipped for what he puts up with from Abby. She better be reallllly good at everything he wants her to be good at because he’s fast striking "sensitive and understanding" from his wishlist for the perfect woman. I guess red hair makes up for a lot.