SOME SPOILERS AHEAD.
I don’t understand this episode. Not that it was bad – it wasn’t – or that I didn’t like it – I did. I just don’t see how it fits into the wider narrative of the season.
Given the character centric episodes we’d gotten recently, I supposed this was to be Liv’s. However, it’s not exactly in the same vein as those of, Eli, Abby and Huck. Whereas their character episodes revealed what they had been doing leading up and following Frankie’s assassination, this episode was a “what if” scenario about what could have happened if Liv hadn’t fixed Fitz’s presidential election.
Considering that Liv has been insistent on running a clean campaign for Mellie and winning the election fairly – although throwing Cyrus under the bus for a crime she knows he didn’t commit doesn’t constitute fairness – I thought that the point of the episode may have been to serve as a comparison between how she ran Fitz’s campaign versus how she ran Mellie’s. Except that that doesn’t work since we see what could have happened and not what actually happen.
Despite it being a fun and at times funny episode, I don’t get what the point of it was.
I should have known that this was a “what if” episode when Jake said to Liv that Fitz’s life would have been worse had she not fixed the election. Of course, without her having done that, Fitz lost. So it wasn’t surprising when he divorced Mellie and married Liv. Without his being president, neither of those occurrences would have been a huge scandal. Without the presidency, Fitz was free. Mellie says as much later in the episode in a conversation with Liv.
What was surprising – and wholly disturbing – was Mellie and Cryus themselves being a couple and getting married. That is a ship I never would have thought of, but am now certain exists somewhere in the Scandal fandom and is the core of a fanfiction. In this reality, Cyrus never came out as gay.
I found it interesting that in this timeline, in which Liv isn’t the high powered individual that she is normally, her hair is natural. I wonder if there is some connection between her status and her hair and am curious as to the reasoning behind that creative choice.
Also of note is that as a powerless nobody in Washington and without her career as a fixer, Liv has undertaken a rather altruistic and noble cause; helping Marcus get his criminal justice reform bill passed. As a whole, she’s far more of a moral and ethical person since she’s not doing anything shady, underhanded or illegal. Her white hat is in no way dingy. Liv still had the same tea
m nonetheless, except for Quinn who was instead a contestant on a Bachelor-like show of which Huck was a huge fan and she was his favourite.
Fitz became Sally Langston, having his own political commentary TV show with a similar name; Sally’s was The Liberty Report and Fitz’s was The Grant Report. Unlike Sally though, Fitz hated the job and was tanking in the ratings. Not only that, his marriage with Liv was not an exactly happy one. As in love as Fitz and Liv were in the beginning of the episode, I got the feeling that their relationship could sour and go down hill fast. And it did. I thought that by the end of the episode they would get divorced, especially since Liv had divorce papers written up.
Frankly it was sad that it looked like she didn’t love Fitzgerald Grant III the man as much as she loved Fitzgerald Grant III the president; like the only reason she loved him was because he was the president. That being said, Fitz the man was not as strong, confident or commanding as Fitz the president. He just wasn’t the same person.
Jake’s assertion that Fitz’s life would have been worse had Liv not fixed the election ultimately proved to be untrue. His marriage to Liv didn’t collapse and he started on the road toward becoming the Fitz we know. Funnily enough, it appeared that it was Mellie and what she said to Liv – as much as Fitz’s speech to Liv perhaps – that made Liv change her mind about leaving him and saved their marriage.
If anything, it was Mellie who was worse off because of Liv’s decision. She wound up trapped in her marriage to Cyrus and under the thumb of Papa Pope. Both of whom were running Mellie’s presidential campaign however they saw fit, without her having a say in any of their decisions. She was their puppet.
- Murder isn’t always the answer, Jake.
- Hollis clearly doesn’t know what he’s doing in the bedroom because only an idiot can’t find a clitoris.
- I legit forgot about James.
- Why didn’t Papa Pope walk Liv down the aisle?
- Quinn and Fitz?!
Scandal airs Thursdays at 9 PM on ABC.