Last week, Olivia Pope shocked the world when she boldly proclaimed that “Yes,” she is President Fitzgerald Grant III’s mistress. Not knowing that Olivia has just come out of the closet, this week, Fitz and Mellie prepare to do a joint interview in which they will denounce the rumored affair and declare their ceaseless love for each other to the world … but Abby yanks them out of the interview just in time to prevent them from making fools of themselves.
Now that Olivia has spilled the beans (or the tea), Fitz is thrilled at the chance to take his relationship with Olivia public, and Mellie enlists Cyrus’ help in creating a list of demands to which Fitz must agree in order for Mellie to do an interview with Fitz during which he will admit to the affair.
However, after much plotting and politicking, Cyrus persuades Mellie to bail on the interview at the very last minute. Recognizing that the media needs a villain and it can’t be Fitz, Olivia permits Abby to let her be the villain. After asking Fitz to “Sit there and watch me choose you,” Olivia and Fitz watch Abby throw Olivia under the bus in front of the press: Abby says that she can’t confirm the affair, but “Olivia Pope has a certain reputation here in Washington,” referring to Olivia’s party-girl past and affinity for powerful men. Meanwhile, Mellie and Cyrus ride off in their motorcade to stake out a new Fitz-free future.
What was more surprising than this unexpected ending were the levels upon levels of disrespect displayed in this episode. Between Fitz kicking Cyrus and Mellie out of his office as if he had never met them before and Olivia taking a stroll through Mellie’s closet, this episode stands out for introducing us to brand-new levels of disrespect.
Here are the eight most disrespectful moments from this episode:
1. When Olivia sashayed into the Oval Office in the beginning of the episode like she owned the joint and didn’t even acknowledge Mellie’s presence.
Olivia has already taken Mellie’s husband from her. The least she could have done was acknowledge Mellie’s presence as she flaunted her unfettered access to what was very recently Mellie’s house. Yet Olivia spent most of the episode elegantly draped on various pieces of White House furniture and standing regally in windowsills like she was posing for a Vogue cover, while calmly operating Fitz like a puppet master as everyone scrambled and flailed to clean up the mess she made.
2. When Fitz banished Mellie from the Oval Office while he and Olivia came up with a sidepiece strategy.
Fitz literally said to this grown woman, his wife of 20 years and mother of his children, “Go to your office. Wait there. We will inform you when it’s time to do the interview.”
3. When Olivia asked Abby, “Is there a problem here?”
Olivia bold-faced lied to Abby when she asked her if she was still sleeping with Fitz. Then Abby had to find out the truth at the same time as the rest of the world, and instead of apologizing for lying to Abby’s face and making her job exponentially harder in the process, Olivia had the nerve to open with, “Is there a problem here?” Olivia and Abby should stop calling each other best friends immediately. Or put a disclaimer on the friendship à la, “She’s my best friend … from work.” Because this situation right here is unrecognizable as a sisterhood.
4. When Jake was ready to drop everything to come to Olivia’s rescue … again.
Olivia called Jake from Fitz’s bed and wondered aloud if she had made a mistake in confessing to being Fitz’s mistress, and Jake immediately said, “Just say the word, Liv, and I’m on my way.” To do what, Jake?? To do what??? Olivia chose Fitz for all the world to see and she’s calling you from his bed. Jake continues to disrespect himself.
5. When Olivia went searching for solace in Mellie’s closet.
Not satisfied with just taking Mellie’s husband, Olivia decided she needed to also take a walk through Mellie’s closet, where Mellie was scouring for her hooch stash. Mellie took this as an opportunity to paint an ominous picture of Olivia’s future—Olivia will have to give up her life, her job at Olivia Pope & Associates and the “thugs” who work for her (that’s Huck and Quinn) to host galas, smile for the cameras and decorate Christmas trees. She warned her, “I hope you know what you’re really fighting for.”
6. When Fitz finally apologized to Mellie.
A million days late and so many dollars short, Fitz finally apologized to Mellie for abandoning her after he took all of her love, support and sacrifices over the previous decades. Of course, it was just a tactical maneuver to get Mellie back on board to do the interview where they would proclaim their love for each other because Olivia and Cyrus talked him into it after Olivia got cold feet after heeding Mellie’s warning.
7. When Fitz kicked Cyrus out of his office.
Cyrus came into Fitz’s office with his hat in his hand and his heart on his sleeve and begged Fitz for his job back, but Fitz barely even looked up at him when he said, “You don’t work here anymore.” Fitz was so ice-cold that Cyrus practically froze. So Fitz added, “You can go.” Cyrus has actually had people (that’s plural) killed for Fitz! Yet this is how Fitz treats him.
8. When Jake showed up at Papa Pope’s jail.
Jake, who tried to kill Papa Pope on more than one occasion and played a key role in putting him in jail, showed up to that same jail and let him know that someone had set the Louvre Museum in Paris on fire. Papa Pope replied, “Lazarus won?” Or was it “Lazarus One?” We’re not sure what he said or what either response could mean, but it sounded like a call to action, and Jake is going to need Papa Pope’s help. Too bad he put Papa Pope behind bars.
Akilah Green is a recovering Washington, D.C., lawyer-lobbyist-politico turned TV and film writer and producer living in Los Angeles. She currently works for Chelsea Handler’s Netflix talk show, Chelsea. She has also worked as a staff writer for Kevin Hart’s production company, HartBeat Productions, and as a consultant for Real Time With Bill Maher on HBO. In addition, she co-wrote and is producing Scratch, an indie horror-comedy feature film, and is a regular contributor to The Root. Follow Green’s adventures in La La Land on her blog, Twitter and Facebook.