TLF Scandal Chat, Season 3, Episode 5

because come on, this dress was the best thing about the episode.
Because come on, this dress was the best thing about the episode.

This week’s Scandal Chat is especially Learned Fangirl-y mostly Viv, Laura, and Keidra getting geeky about privilege, female relationships, and Mary Sues.

KDC: This episode really pissed me off on a lot of levels. I actually liked the “Congresswoman Buffay”(™ Luvvie) storyline because it got us back to what I think the heart of Scandal really is, showing Olivia Pope’s talent for fixing everyone’s problems but her own.

The Phoebe storyline was kind of unrealistic in that someone would have figured that shit out immediately, long before she put her hat in the ring for the presidency. Also she was definitely a hypocrite for firing Liv because she made her publicly own up to her own mistake. Lady, you fucked up, and she helped you out of a PR nightmare. But…she seemed to be the kind of person to operate out of emotion, so I get that.

VO: Am I weird in getting excited to see Lisa Kudrow? I think that she’s one of those actors that has a hard time overcoming the whole Phoebe from Friends thing. The whole congresswoman storyline is unrealistic as well as her whole “I didn’t expect this to happen! I’m just a simple girl trying to do what’s right!” line, but that’s all right. Politicians do that all the damn time, so I’m fine with that.

Count me in as happy to see her take Olivia’s advice, even though she was mad and fired Olivia, only to try and re-hire her again. Which to me seemed even stupider, given how well Olivia Pope is supposed to be known in the power circles. If I was her, I’d be pissed off that I had to do it, but really, I would’ve fessed up earlier and gotten it out of the way. But it seems like most of the people on Scandal are driven by impulse and lack of foresight.

Like you, I’m happy to see Olivia and crew in their element of fixing and hustling in this episode. I feel like the past few episodes have been really focusing on Olivia’s meltdown, which may make some happy, but I liked the intertwining of the client of the week with the hot mess of Olivia’s life.

KDC: But the Fitz storyline, really everything about him, is making me want to stab someone. I am SO SO SO SO sick of him, this “mouthbreathing child of privilege” as someone online called him, and the fact that everyone: Mellie, Liv, Cy, EVERYONE is willing to give up a bit of their soul to see this idiot succeed. Because ultimately he’s their only shot at power and influence. And maybe that’s Shonda’s point (though I don’t think she’s deep enough to go there as much as I’d like her to.) But I am TIRED of it.

When Liv dug through the trash to pick up her Side Chick Burner Phone, I was done with her. I was like “bitch, you deserve everything you get, and DON’T get from your sad life with Fitz.” Because you have had opportunity after opportunity to let him go, and you still keep crawling back. I know the sex was hot but damn. And then Mellie, basically begging Liv to “come back to us” I nearly threw up. I do think Mellie has an ulterior motive going on with this, but I cannot stand seeing these two strong capable women debase themselves for this alcoholic, murderer clown-boy. I don’t care how charming he is. He makes everyone around him worse, and he’s NOT EVEN FUN. If you are gonna hang with someone who ruins your life, he should at least be fun while he’s doing it.

Fitz is like a needy baby otter, but not nearly as cute.

VO: Aw, I kinda felt for Olivia. I hate that Olivia loves Fitz, because she’s that friend who has that asshole boyfriend and she’s all “I wish you could see the good that I see in him,” and you know he’s an asshole who is looking at Internet porn when she’s not around. She deserves better, but dude, she loves that asshole. And as her friend, you just wince.

She’s in a really vulnerable state and while I don’t like it, I get it. I just wish that the person on the other end was worthy of Olivia. And I hate to say it but it’s like love between those two dysfunctional asses. you know you love someone when you’re digging through the trash to answer a phone call from them. Sad but true.

This entire time, I’ve seen Fitz as the symbol of privilege and power. He’s just an object for Mellie, Cyrus, Olivia and others. That’s why they’re willing to ride or die for him. I don’t know if Shonda set it up like this on purpose, but look at all the people willing to go to the wall for him — an African American woman, a white woman, a gay man and every-damn-body else — they want him simply because he is power. Whoever controls Fitz wins. Olivia can say it’s out of love, but really? I wonder if it’s also a want for power.

You don’t see people courting Sally or Congresswoman Buffay’s ass as much, and you know why? Because they don’t have the privilege and power like Fitz does. I’m not sure if it’s a respectability politics thing — my gut says it’s just straight up battle for power. While Fitz may be the figurehead, his hold wobbles and now everyone’s fighting for a piece of him. I know this idea isn’t fully formed to be honest — it’s something that’s been kicking around in my head for awhile half-baked.

Can I also talk about Mellie and Olivia? I’ll admit to kicking it around the fanfic world and I’m waiting, WAITING, for the Mellie/Olivia fic. That meeting in the suite? That’s where I wanted them to hook up. Did you see the doe eyes that Olivia was giving Mellie? It’s like she saves those eyes for the Grants or something. Those two could rule the world. But it’s gonna burn first when Mellie starts blabbing about Fitz leaking that he leaked Olivia’s name. But that’s how soaps operate.

KDC: I dunno if Mellie loves Olivia. I think she’s the closest thing Mellie has to a real friend. And it’s very sad. I think both of those women are in need of girlfriends. It’s crazy to me to neither of them have actual trusted girlfriends to go to, that seems so unrealistic to me. And it’s sad because outside of Fitz, they would have had that relationship, I think.

LN: Were Liv and Abbie ever girlfriends? I know she never had, or will have, that relationship with Quinn – a) she’s a guilt-hire and b) Liv is out of her league. But Abbie could have, once upon a time, been a confidant.

VO: You’re absolutely right and it’s just kind of sad for both of them. I think that their backgrounds (if they ever explore Mellie’s) are probably going to be similar — they both strike me as lonely people who don’t feel like they can get close to others without some strings (witness every single of Liv’s “friendships” where someone owes someone something) attached. But everyone on this show seems like they don’t have any close friendships — it’s all partnerships based on some outside desire.

KDC: Harrison is clearly second in command; he deserves a backstory. I think when it gets it, it going to be a humdinger. And probably unrealistic. I also love Harrison because he’s all “WE GOTTA PAY THE LIGHT BILL” As a fellow hustler, I know that mindset and I salute you.

VO: Seriously, when is Harrison gonna get more than the job as exposition boy? He deserves more.

KDC: Fitz killing Liv’s mom is a crazy storyline but if it finally gets her to FINALLY hate his ass, I am here for it. But everyone is connected to Liv’s past because Liv is a damn Mary Sue. Plain and simple. I am OK with this in that black women TV characters NEVER get to be the center of anyone’s universe. Scandal is crazy wish-fulfillment at play for Shonda, and honestly for many of us in the audience. It’s goofy, but I will accept it.

LN: As someone who read a lot of Harry Potter fan-fic as a teenager, I can get behind a Mary Sue that doesn’t have alabaster skin and amethyst eyes. Hey, New Girl is a conduit for the writer’s outlook too, and nobody says boo (okay, bad example, everyone said boo until it got rolling in the second season.)

VO: Speaking of fanfic tropes — I’m waiting for the inevitable avalanche of Jake/Fitz fic based on the basketball game. Or fics where Huck and Jake are roommates. Huck has bad days after work and Jake’s there to offer beer and basketball and illicit surveillance of random people. There’s conflicts regarding Jake bringing home women to bang, but Huck just kind of grouses and goes to stalk his family or make sure Quinn doesn’t blow up a building in her budding psychopath path.

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