Olivia and Fitz’s relationship is the worst part of Scandal
‘Scandal’ is almost two different shows; one about Olivia Pope and Associates and another about the disastrous relationship between Olivia and President Fitz Grant.
I like Scandal. I like Scandal a lot actually. I have since day one. I think the show’s premise, the cast and the writing are particularly good. There’s something about the way the show is presented – specifically from a dialogue point of view – that’s reminiscent of the best of Aaron Sorkin and Amy Sherman-Palladino. Despite that love, there’s something that has bugged me about the show since early in the last season, something that I think is really beginning to drag the plot down.
Every once in a while, I have an opinion that is unpopular. By “every once in a while,” I mean quite damn often (I’m sure the editor of this post would agree with me … and the rest of my fellow Clackers as well). But I know fans of this show are particularly loyal, and particularly catty. So I know they’re not going to like what I say next.
I just don’t get what anyone sees in the relationship between Olivia Pope and President Fitzgerald Grant. In my opinion, their relationship is just wrong on so many levels. I don’t like the way it works, nor do I like the way it’s depicted. I especially don’t like the way how, every couple of episodes, the show focuses so much on their relationship that nearly everything — and every one — else takes a back seat. Less Huck, less Quinn … and, God-forbid, less Abby (what can I say? I have a thing for redheads).
My biggest problem is that I just don’t get how they’re supposed to click. Far be it from me to ever judge someone else’s relationship, but they are not the poster children for a healthy relationship. Fitz is the definition of unavailable; if the fact that he’s married isn’t enough – and it should be – his job will continue to be in the way as long as he works in the Oval Office. Plus, it isn’t like he treats her particularly well. Between his declaration of “war” last season, and his physicality in the infamous “tree” scene this season, he seems to be much more antagonistic than sweet.
That’s not saying that Olivia is a saint in the relationship either. She’s keeping a secret, and a massive one at that. The audience is slowly being clued into the fact that Fitz’s election was fixed, and that a cabal that included Olivia, Cyrus Beene, Hollis Doyle, Verna Thorton and the First Lady herself, Millie Grant, seem to be behind it. If Fitz is the most powerful man in the world, finding out that the two most important women in his life cheated to get him there is going to be a rather emasculating experience. I’m not looking forward to that particular reveal.
Don’t get me wrong; I don’t hate Fitz, nor do I hate Olivia. I’m continually blown away by Kerry Washington’s performance, and I think the world of Olivia; she’s got a heart the size of Montana. I love how she’s created a family out of strays, and how she — and the stories — shine when she’s working amongst that family — though that family has suffered greatly from the departure of Henry Ian Cusick’s Stephen Finich. I hate when she ignores them or forces them against each other like she’s done with Harrison and — to an extent — Huck. I guess Fitz is pretty swell too, but Millie and Cyrus are generally the best parts of any scenes in set in the White House.
Like I said, I don’t expect this to be a popular opinion, but I don’t really care. I like Scandal, but I really don’t like watching it when the focus is on this relationship that just doesn’t make a great deal of sense to me.