Life is Not a Romance Novel

» written by Adam ・ May 23rd, 2013 ・ filed under: Reviews+Recaps, Scandal,

This recap+review covers the final five minutes of the season two finale of Scandal, “White Hat’s Back On,” which originally aired on Thursday, May 16, 2013.

As of today, it has officially been one week since Scandal ended its second season. Seven days. And the storm, the outrage? It hasn’t quieted one bit. I’m still seeing tweets flood my timeline and my mentions about the finale. My dear friend 411 is still making posts trying to calm people down. And why? Because of the final five minutes of the season finale. That’s it. Just the final five minutes. The outrage? It kind of sKERRY WASHINGTONurprised me, actually. I don’t know why – I think I forgot, even after seven years of doing this, just how worked up and upset people get about a Shonda Rhimes finale. Because Shonda Rhimes likes to burn the house down. She likes to work herself into a corner. She likes to do exactly what everybody doesn’t want to see happen. And why? Because it’s good television, people. It’s television that makes you feel, television that you are passionate about. And, hopefully, it is television you want to come back to – because you want to see exactly how they get out of this mess. Because lest we all forget, this was not the Scandal series finale. There’s at least twenty-two more episodes to come. Twenty-two more episodes that provide hope for explanations, character development, scheming, plotting, revenge, and perhaps even some reconciliation. This is not the end of the story, and to act like it is would simply be silly.

There’s been a lot of questions raised regarding Billy Chambers as the mole and David Rosen’s role in the plot, as well as Senator Reston’s role. The questions I’ve seen are all valid, and they’re all good. But I don’t think that the finale was simply meant to serve to explain everything that had taken place over the course of the final nine episodes of the season – we got our answer as to who the mole was, why they were doing it, and a simplified explanation into the mechanics of it all. But the story of the mole? It’s not quite over yet. Billy Chambers may be in custody, yes, but Jake is also now in the hole – the same hole that Huck was thrust into by B6-13 to forget about his family. There’s still a lot of questions out there, questions that the writers have not forgotten about. This is a story that is very much going to spill over into the third season, much like the first season did into the second. Because that’s the thing: just because season one came to an end, it did not mean that that story did. In fact, it launched the “Who is Quinn?” phenomenon that led to the discovery of Defiance, which circled all the way back around to Billy Chambers. This story is not over yet, and there is still plenty of time for the questions that have been asked to be answered.

Cyrus was a dastardly man in this episode. Not that he hasn’t been for the past twenty-eight episodes either, but he took it to a new level in this finale by not only exposing the details of Olivia’s relationship with Jake to Fitz but by informing Olivia that Fitz murdered Verna in order to keep her quiet about Defiance. Because Cyrus? He loves Fitz, and he loves Olivia. He does. The amount of concern he showed for Olivia during the finale when he thought she might be dead was very telling. But he does not love them together. He might, he might could love them together, except that it threatens his chance at being in the White House. Ultimately, I think Cyrus’s motivations go back to the declaration he made to James in “Nobody Likes Babies,” the scene in which he detailed that he was born to be the President of the United States, he needs to be the President of the United States, but he can’t be the President of the United States because he’s not tall enough or handsome enough and he likes having sex with men. Thanks to Fitz, Cyrus has a stronghold on the White House. At least for four years, eight best-case scenario, he’s got an in at running the country. He’s Fitz’s right-hand man. Chief of Staff is as good as it gets for him, and I think Cyrus will do anything he can to keep hold of that. So when he finds that Olivia has not been killed, he is relieved. But when he realizes that she still plans on pursuing the plan she created to get herself into the White House as First Lady, he is infuriated. Olivia’s plan was absolutely brilliant and it would be a thrill to watch it actually play out, but it threatens his chances at a second term in the White House. It threatens Olivia’s life. It threatens Fitz’s life. It threatens his life. So Cyrus has had enough. “Life is not a romance novel,” Cyrus declares to Olivia before filling her in on Fitz’s extracurricular activities. From there, he goes and fills Fitz in on Olivia‘s extracurricular activities as a result of the threat from B6-13, but also I think because he’s finally had enough. He’s fed up with all he’s gone through to protect these two and he knows that showing Fitz the sex tape will destroy him.

Which it does, but only temporarily. I really did think Fitz would actually hold the whole thing against Olivia, even though he had no right to, so I was both surprised and very pleased to find that he didn’t when Olivia came to see him. I think he realized what awful things he had said to her and done to her and that they had spent so much time apart. The thing that probably hurt the most wasn’t that Olivia was sleeping with somebody (after all, Fitz did have sex with Amanda Tanner), but that it was Jake whom she slept with. But he had no real reasons to hold that against her, so he was willing to let all of that go and move on. Except for one little thing: Fitz murdered Verna Thornton.

Now, Fitz has done a lot of things that Olivia has had to forgive him for and overlook. I mean, just off the bat, he was cheating on his wife. Granted, it was with her, but still. Then there was the whole Amanda Tanner debacle and then all of the terrible, terrible things he said and did to her following the Defiance reveal. She’s had to forgive him for a lot, but she has always done so, because she loves him. Despite what Cyrus may think or feel, Olivia and Fitz really are “MFEO” – made for each other. Even with all of his flaws, I don’t think Olivia ever imagined that Fitz could actually kill someone. There are people she expects it from because that’s who those people are and so, in her mind, she’s willing to overlook it. Because, like I said, that’s just who they are. The best example? Cyrus. He’s a bad, bad man. He hired out to kill Amanda Tanner. He almost killed his own husband. And, at least for a moment there, Olivia believed Cyrus was trying to kill her too. They even make jokes about it – she expects that to come from Cyrus. But Fitz? No. Not Fitz. Fitz can’t kill anyone. Cyrus may be her best friend, but Fitz is her lover. The man she loves. And Olivia Pope, wearer of the White Hat, can’t love a man who’s killed somebody in cold blood. Who’s killed somebody for power. It’s a horrific reveal for her to digest and it changes everything. And Olivia’s not stupid. She realizes that she herself had made her fair share of mistakes and is far from perfect, but she’s never resorted that far and would never resort that far. If I remember correctly, she didn’t even know that Huck had hired Charlie to kill Billy Chambers at the end of the first season – Huck did that on his own after Olivia instructed Huck not to kill Billy Chambers. (Side note: What is it about Billy Chambers that makes it so that I have to call him by his full name every time? I can’t just say “Billy.” It’s got to be “Billy Chambers.”)

But I think Olivia’s daddy issues come into play here as well – and this is what will figure into the next season. Even though we may not know much about Olivia’s backstory (though that is about to change), we’ve been able to gather enough so far to surmise that the poor woman is suffering from some terrible daddy issues. She has the worst taste in men (see: Edison; the fact that Fitz is married and the President of the United States makes him a bad pick even if they are MFEO). And though we can’t be certain until the curtain rises on season three, I think it’s fairly safe to assume that Olivia knows her father is the head of B6-13. The moment Jake names the organization, Olivia is shocked and horrified, and just a few minutes later when she’s talking with Cyrus, she reveals that she knows exactly who has been after her. The scene is telling, because I think Olivia is talking about her father. It would also certainly help explain how Huck was able to escape the grasp of the organization. And, by all accounts, B6-13 is kind of a nasty, dark part of the government. Granted, they are doing what they are doing to obtain information in order to keep people safe, but it’s a nasty organization. They throw people in holes in the floor and brainwash them. They threaten the President. Apparently, they send people to have sex with (and perhaps even kill?) their own daughters. They may not be the bad guys, but they aren’t exactly the good ones either. So I think that the revelation that Fitz has killed Verna hits a little too close to home for Olivia. She may be able to handle a lot of things, but she can’t quite handle this. She can’t fix the fact that Fitz killed Verna and she can’t fix the fact that it cuts her so deeply.

From what I’ve been reading, a lot of people didn’t seem to understand why, after so much time and so much hard work, Olivia would simply give up on her future with Fitz so easily. I can understand that. And I think that it can be hard to see, especially with as fast as this show moves, because I will say I think this episode moved a little bit too fast, which is part of what has led to so much frustration. But after a repeat viewing and a week of reflection, I can understand it. I can see why Olivia would put an end to things with Fitz. And I don’t think it’s really just as easy as pointing to one simple thing or one big moment and saying “YES! That’s why!” It’s more complicated than that; decisions like this generally are, and they are generally a result of many different things going on in someone’s life. In Olivia’s case, I think Cyrus’s words really did have an effect on her. Life is not a romance novel. Your life, his life, my life – they’re all in danger if you try to continue this. And I know you love him, but it shouldn’t be this much of a struggle. She can’t quite look the same at Fitz after finding out he’s killed Verna. He’s a darker man in her eyes now. I think Fitz says it best when he tells her, “I was going to tell you that I don’t care about Jake, that I forgive you, that we can start over, start fresh, no big deal. I’m guessing you don’t feel the same way about murder.” Because it’s true: she doesn’t feel the same way about murder. And why should she? Why would anyone?

You can almost see it in Fitz’s eyes the minute Olivia tells him Cyrus told her about Verna: he knows that’s it. He doesn’t quite give up just yet, but he knows that was the final straw and everything with Olivia has been ruined. Olivia doesn’t even need to say anything, because Fitz already knows, and he doesn’t even try to cover it up. He admits that it wasn’t a mistake and wishes he could say anything to fix it, and all Olivia can do is watch in silence. Hearing Fitz say those words, actually admit to her that he did kill Verna and that it wasn’t an accident, she’s come to a resolve: that they’ve gone too far. That everyone has gone too far: Fitz is killing people, Cyrus is having heart attacks (…and also killing people), Mellie is airing dirty laundry on the evening news (among other activities, like forging signatures), Abby’s constantly getting her heart broken, Huck is slipping back into PTSD “Seven Fifty-Two” mode, Quinn is turning into a (kind of creepy, kind of awesome) Little Huck, Harrison is… well, God knows what Harrison’s up to… Everybody’s gone too far. And Olivia just can’t do it anymore. She can’t be with a man who killed someone else, especially considering that Olivia probably blames herself for that. Most likely, she thinks she has done this to Fitz: turned him into a murderer. Because if she had never signed off on Defiance, if the election rigging had never happened, Fitz never would have killed Verna. In Olivia’s mind, she did this to him, and she is not alright with that.

So Olivia does what she does best: she turns to fixing things, starting with Fitz. Realizing that Fitz is a changed man, a darker man, and that she took him down that path, she decides it is best to let him go. But not before giving him one last piece of priceless fixer advice: Let it all go. She details a plan for him to run in the next election for a second term with Mellie at his side, because she knows he can win with Mellie at his side. Start fresh, start over, run and win. And do it cleanly. No killing, no election rigging. Win the White House, and let the rest of it go. Most importantly, let his father go. “The reset button has been pushed,” she tells him, and it’s true: for Fitz, it has been. For Olivia? Not so much, not just yet. Defiance may be dead, but her Gladiators are in a whole new world of trouble that she needs to fix. She’s taken them to the brink and it’s time to reel them back in. Exactly when she came to this realization, I’m not sure of, but she did, and she realizes that she needs to be there for them because she’s hurt them all pretty badly too. So she leaves Fitz in an effort to set him on the right path and so that she can be there to support her Gladiators.

For what it’s worth, Fitz isn’t exactly thrilled at Olivia’s suggestion of returning to Mellie. “That is not the plan,” he tells her. But it leads to Fitz’s final scene of the season, a scene that seems to have more people up in arms than anything else that took place in the final episode of the season: Fitz slinks back to Mellie, resting his head in her lap, almost like a puppy or young child asking its owner for forgiveness. And that’s how I see it: there was absolutely nothing romantic about Fitz’s return to Mellie. Mellie herself may see it that way or want it to be that way, but it wasn’t. I think Fitz took Olivia’s words to heart because, despite everything, she is good at her job and knows what she’s talking about, and Fitz isn’t stupid. He knows that Olivia is right: running with Mellie by his side will be his best shot at re-election. And he’s just been dumped by the love of his life. He’s hurting. And the love of his life told him to go back to his wife. His best friend and Chief of Staff is telling him to go back to his wife. The country is telling him to go back to his wife. It’s an enormous amount of pressure. So he returns to his wife, sullen from his heartbreak, but also asking for forgiveness. What kind of forgiveness? That I can’t be sure of yet – I need to see what happens next. Because I don’t see Fitz reconciling his marriage with Mellie, but he does need to reconcile his political alliance with her. Because, honestly, what would be the point of going through the mess of a divorce in the White House while trying to run for re-election if he still won’t be with Olivia? All Mellie seems to want is Fitz back in her life, which is something Fitz was made aware of by Cyrus, and so he returns to her. For the politics. For the power. Because Olivia told him to.

It wasn’t a scene that upset me or enraged me – it was a scene that intrigued me, because I want to see where these two head next. Fitz was dead-set on getting rid of Mellie, and has been for the better part of the season it feels like. So while I can admit it is surprising that he is seemingly not sticking to that plan and is, in fact, returning to her, it doesn’t bother me. Because this is going to bring a whole new dynamic to their relationship, one that is going to be very interesting to watch play out, especially as Fitz has said some truly awful things to Mellie and was so intent on exiling her from the White House. That’s certain to be something that doesn’t get tossed aside too quickly. After all, this is Mellie we’re talking about.

Olivia awakes the next morning… happy. There’s a smile on her face as she wakes up in her bed alone, and there’s a smile on her face as she gets ready to go for a run. But why should she be so happy if she just gave up the love of her life? If someone just tried killing her the night before? If she just found out the man she loves killed someone in cold blood?

The answer, and I don’t know how satisfying it will be to anyone, is this: It’s a new day. She took her own advice that she gave to Fitz and she let it all go. Or at least that’s how I see it. She came to a decision regarding Fitz and regarding her Gladiators, and she’s happy with the decisions that she’s made. Likely, they are the first decisions she’s made in a while that she doesn’t feel bad about. She feels like she is heading on the right path once again. The white hat is back on. She’s going to work on fixing her Gladiators. Defiance is dead. It’s a brand-new day. And even though she may have had a rough day yesterday, even though she may have lost the man she loves, she’s happy with the choices she’s made. She’s not going to wallow about it because it was her choice and she’s sticking to it. She’s going to make the best of it. Sometimes that kind of feeling can have you feeling really great about life, even if a whole bunch of crappy stuff is happening all around you.

Of course, the happiness doesn’t last long, because Olivia quickly finds that her name has been leaked to the press as Fitz’s mistress. But by who? Who could have leaked it? There are several different theories, all of which I’m sure will be explored at the beginning of next season. Olivia doesn’t even have time to process or think about it, however, because she’s quickly pulled into a car that contains the head of B6-13. The guy I’ve been calling “Mysterious Man” for weeks now. The guy that Olivia calls “Dad.”

And just like that, within the last five seconds of the season, Scandal gets me to scream at my TV before going off the airwaves for a sure-to-be too-long summer hiatus.

I totally see why people are upset over the events that took place over the course of the final five minutes of the Scandal season finale. I think that this episode perhaps moved a little too quickly, glossed over a bit too much, and maybe even left a little bit too much to subtext and that made it hard to understand a lot of the things that went on. But I was surprised to see just how many people were upset and how much they were upset over the episode. I, personally, wasn’t upset at all. I loved the finale. The way I see it, I already knew there was no way Fitz and Olivia were going to end the season together and happy, so I just wanted to see what it was that tore them apart, and I liked how it was handled. I know the views and opinions I’ve represented here are unpopular and I’m sure there will be an ocean of disagreements that come out of this, but I wanted to share how I viewed the episode. How I interpreted it for myself, because it has been very different from what I’ve seen others saying.

A lot of the things people are questioning and upset about? I think you’ll get your answers and your explanations next season. 42 minutes isn’t exactly a lot of time, even in Scandal land, and it wasn’t enough time to get through absolutely everything. Some stuff had to be held until next season. And I think that it is entirely possible that many of the things that have upset people about this episode will make more sense or be able to be viewed in a different light after we’ve seen the next season, as we dive into Olivia’s past, her relationship with her father, and see just exactly what’s up with Fitz and Mellie. Again, it all just comes back to this: this is not the end of the story. There’s an entire ‘nother season of Scandal right around the corner – 22 more episodes to further explain, divulge, and dissect. And if this second season of Scandal has taught us anything, it’s this: that just because it seems like a story has come to its end, that doesn’t mean it has. Who knew so much of season one would come back into play during the course of the second season? I certainly never would have expected that to happen. So one can only imagine how much of this season – of just this last episode, even – will come back into play during the course of the third season.

The story’s not over. I just hope you’ll all still be there with me to see it continue.

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  • Khazenfield

    Finally! Someone who liked the finale just as I did. At this point, Olitz can’t be together and happy or the show is over (I know I’m showing my age, but Moonlighting anyone?) Shonda left us in a perfect place to ruminate, scream at the tv and ponder unresolved questions all summer. And wait with baited breath for Season 3. What fun would it be if everything were tied up neatly with a bow? No fun at all and certainly not worthy of a Shondaland show!

    • cudascrawl

      there’s about four years left in real time for Fitz to hold office

      if the show follows the real time pace, the show will be tied up in a neat bow for a series finale mid-season as it’s familial op Private Practice

  • Crystal

    Interesting review. Some points I agree with some I don’t. I will say the that I LOATHED Mellie fitz lap scene. LOATHED. It was disgusting, degraded, weak, and pathetic. Literally yelled ” you pu$$y get the f*** up. And I have no desire to see a mother/child relationship with Mellie and fitz explored. No thank you . Mellie isn’t motherly to her own children let alone fitz, and fitz is not a child and the characterization of him as one annoys me.

    the breakup of Olivia and fitz wouldn’t have upset me as much if either 107 or 213 hadn’t happened. I mean the EXACT same scenario between Mellie/fitz/Olivia has played out 3 times in only 29 eps. It’s redundant. I wish they hadn’t bothered with 20 and 21. You show so much growth with Olivia and fitz especially Fitz and then yank them back to square one. Eps 20 and 21 might as well not have happened. The story has remained stagnant and there has been no movement. They are in the exact same place at the end of 222 as they were when we first saw them in 101. It’s like shonda decides to finally develop the story and then decides she not quite ready to go there yet.

    • shownufftuff

      Crystal: I just read ur post and we are both saying the samething.. it would have been better if we hadnt see 219, 220, 221 that’s what made it such an insult or better yet waste of our time especially 220…although TG did a great job! directing and hats off to him and Kerry they performed magnificently! I feel bad that bc of 222 it seems like a joke now:(

    • Renee

      I totally agree. Why give us 220 and 221 if you were planning to put Fitz’s head in Mellie’s lap and bring Olitz back to point A? It was all extremely disappointing.

  • Trixie

    Great analysis. Watching Olitz try to be together in the finale was uneasy & painful. Liv did the right thing, the noble thing, the best thing for all parties involved.

  • Yvonne

    I love your review and agree completely!! I loved the final and can’t wrap my head around why everyone is so upset. Thanks so much for sharing your views

    • cudascrawl

      what did you like about it…

  • denise walker

    The Mellie lap scene was pathetic and weak. Big Jerry was right about Fitz. I think Olitz is basically over RIP and It will Be Mellitz scenes and basically I dont watch TV in the first place and became hooked on Scandal. Im glad it happened because now all i will watch i sports. What also made me mad. is saying life isnt a romance novel. I completely disagree with that. Cyrus has James against all odds, I think by not implementing the plan they discounted the power and beauty of love. Love is the Ultimate Superpower it survives aboves all else. It has started and ended wars, gave and taken away life, Built and destroyed countries. Whether its romantic love, love of country love of children. Romantic loves power will ALWAYS ENDURE!!!!

  • CrayolaGirl

    Great analysis!

  • cudascrawl

    …eh, there’s nothing to surmise that Olivia’s life was really in danger, less a rogue decided to off daddy’s little secret, and I doubt Liv left Fitz for killing Verna…her smiles speaks way higher volumes than theory…would you be surprised if Liv has killed?

    And last…the ever growing snowball that Fitz life is in danger…that remains to be seen since B6-13 operates at the discretion of the Seal, which the President leads.

    Liv left because she has to protect Huck. Clearly she made a deal for his life and abandoning him would make him erasable by Papa’s order. Rowan’s demeanor was disappointment in the ‘here and now’…perhaps he’s aware she’s still bedding the POTUS despite his warnings.

    I’d say pay more attention to what people don’t say and less to what they do. Fitz maybe down, but I doubt he’s out. Mellie’s bosom is required to run for re-election, but if you want to know exactly how weakened Fitz is by the alleged ‘end’ of OLITZ, watch how he positions for the revelation of Liv as his mistress.

  • mehere

    There are many with narrative reasons for not liking the season 2 finale. That said, I am one of the viewers who noticed something seemed off, edited out (turns out, yes.) The finale seemed way too dumbed down compared to other incredible episodes in the series. Scandal will survive. Millions of new fans who watched the finale and loved it will stay tuned. As for me, at least for now, I’ve lost interest because the intense angst and misery eventually crosses from dramatic to depressing–and that’s not entertaining.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Debbie-Jones/1123920334 Debbie Jones

      I loved the season 2 finale. Of course I already figured out that Rowan was her father. I was surprised that someone had outed Olivia and that her father there to either rescue her or scold her or both.

    • bebe

      Precisely.
      TV writers seem to think the audience enjoys being emotionally abused, and despite the fact that this tomfoolery always leads to bad ratings they stick with it.
      If they keep this up, Scandal will survive, but not for long as new fans will watch back episodes and end up feeling the same way.

  • christy

    At the end of the day Olivia loves wearing the white hat more than she loves Fitz, and that’s the true problem for me, because this white hat is just an illusion, in the real world and even more on scandal no one can wear the white hat.

    Yes for me this season final was a dissapointment because of the last 5 min, I don’t think any Olitz shipper thought that they would end up together, the problem is not here, I just feel like nothing I saw make sense, the reason of the break up, the mellitz’s scene, Olivia smiing. We were waiting for the break up, we knew that it was coming, but we wanted something coherent, and it’s was not the case.

    When it comes to relationship Olivia Pope is a coward. She needs to grow up, to treat Fitz as a partner and stop taking decisions for him.

    I’m getting tired of the back and forth and If they have to be together next season, I need Olivia to fight for him and to earn him this time.

    She said to him “stop getting my hopes up” but she’s doing the exact same thing over and over again.

    • Renee

      I so totally agree with you….She needs to be the one chasing him, next season!!!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Debbie-Jones/1123920334 Debbie Jones

      Any married man who sleeps with a woman other than his wife is by definition WEAK. A smart, well-educated, powerful rich woman who thinks so little of herself that she would have an affair with a married man think it’s love is definitely in a dream world.

      • christy

        The thing is Fitz and Mellie don’t have a conventional marriage! It’s not about love, respect, admiration, it is a business transaction. Olivia knows this, and the audience too! Life is not black or white, things are way more complicated than that. And this man was ready more than once to give up eveything to be with her, she’s the one who is not ready for that.

        And he’s the president of the united states, so he can’t take the decision to leave his wife all of a sudden . That’s the reason of Olivia’s plan.

        • cudascrawl

          He can do whatever he wants, sans breaking any laws. The plan is stuck in tradition, where the show is expected to be breaking conventions.

      • sharing

        Divorce attorneys and judges recognize that life is more complicated than that. Book authors, television script writers, and film screenwriters also recognize that incompatibility is the root of marital breakdown and that affairs or divorce are usually a symptom of such…incompatible financial views, child rearing views, household views, incompatible personalities undeniable once stressful events arise, or simply evolving and growing apart over the years. And, of course, falling in love with another person and wanting to divorce one partner in order to be with the other person. These realities are the basis of most dramatic fiction, autobiographies, and of course, very real divorces, at least in the U.S.

      • cudascrawl

        what do call a wife who peddles her husband for a gig as FLOTUS? a pimp?

    • cudascrawl

      at the end of the day, Olivia is a character that will be scripted according to how the story leads her

  • http://www.facebook.com/penelope.amapa Penelope Amapa

    Excellent take on things

  • shownufftuff

    Thank you for your take on the finale…and now I know FOR SURE this isn’t something I want to be that heavily invested in again when It comes back…I would like to know what happened with Olivia and her father I would like to see what happens with her co-workers but none of that lights a fire in me…just something I will dvr and watch when I get a chance…but as for sitting up tweeting and holding friday morning wrap sessions in the office about the night before…not that kinda party anymore…and i for one was not at all looking for Fitz and Olivia to ride off into the sunset together in Season 2 but I surly didnt expect all that crazyness..and what bothers me the most..EP 219, 220, 221 had some really great moments and not just Olitiz moments but have you noticed they are all but forgotten nobody is even talking about them anymore bc it seems obsolete…almost like somebody should have jumped out at the ending of 221 and said “I’m just playing! scratch that lets start over people”.
    I have also decided that in S3 I’m going to stop reasoning and thinking Shonda’s story telling and just let her tell me the story…bc i think that’s part of the problem too with some of the gladiators..we thought we new these people after those leading up to the finale…but we didn’t at all… Shonda is telling us who they are and I guess we don’t like it but its her story and she can tell it the way she wants to and you either like it or not.

    • Renee

      I am leaning in your direction as far as the show is concerned. I’ll watch S3. Just not as passionately as I once did.

      • shownufftuff

        Renee, you know what I was reminded of today and now I kinda of get it even more…when I read all the people who are saying that’s it i’m not watching anymore..Shonda said on that Oprah interview with Kerry Washington that someone had said to her “scandle was her their “guilty pleasure” and she didnt like it one bit and even said “Then don’t watch it” because that’s not a compliment to me” and I was LIKE WHOA! and then started cracking up bc that’s just the kinda chick i am…but I had to do a rewind…did she just say “DONT WATCH THE SHOW THEN IF YOU THINK ITS A GUILTY PLEASURE” it still cracks me up because I have never heard an Executive Producer/Creator tell an audience of viewers TO NOT WATCH HER SHOW because of what he or she classifies it as in their own mind or opinion…because they don’t promote the show as a guilty pleasure that’s just someones take on how they classify it….okay i say all that to say …”GLADIATORS” don’t be sending Shonda tweets and messages about how you arent going to watch anymore…cause the woman done already told you she don’t care…matter of fact some one recently sent her a tweet talking about how they couldn’t watch one of her shows anymore… i don’t even remember if it was scandle but she said “i’m sorry to hear that we will miss you” oohh hahah tee hee….i almost fell out my seat at work laughing at that one! i was like aww poor thing thought Shonda was going to be like trying to get him or her to stay and that woman said “Bye” hahah.. she is a cold piece..hahaha

  • Madforscandal

    I hate that Fitz and Olivia are broken up but I fully expected it to happen. For the purposes of the show, they need to be in a secret relationship. I did expect more emotion in that breakup scene. Even a wordless 10 seconds as Olivia looks at Fitz and shakes her head to tell him it isn’t going to work and she couldn’t be his First lady while Fitz’s face crumples seeing his dreams dashed once again. After all he did figuratively go to the ends of the Earth for her to see naught for his efforts.

    • cudascrawl

      for the purpose of the show the writing needs to follow it’s own lead

  • VegasNevada

    No one said life was a romance novel. But you mean to tell me in 2013, a woman can’t have a career and come home and spend time with the man she loves? Give me a break. And I am not here for Mellie and Fitz or Jake and Liv or anyone else they wanna throw in. I’m here for Liv and Fitz, period.

  • meagain

    Can’t stress enough that some people have simply lost interest in the show. Also, for a lot of people, especially older ones (my group) with life experience, watching Fitz and Mellie’s toxic marriage is a buzz kill to an otherwise riveting show. Lots of middle age people say enough of this and they divorce. Watching a tv show that keeps telling us that’s impossible–when tv is packed with divorced characters and story lines about broken marriages–is not believable any more, not even in a political story line because, let’s face it, it’s 2013.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Linda-Singleton/100000221405027 Linda Singleton

    I disagree with the way Fitz was given a backbone in 219 to 221 and to have him crawl back to Mellie was not only a disgrace to the character, it was truly pathetic … it was expected because that is what SR does. I also don’t believe that Olivia is out of love with Fitz because of Verna because Verna tried to assassinate him, so I believed Liv when she said to let it go … Cyrus is a selfish bull living his dreams through Fitz … Cyrus has the love of his life, but uses Fitz as a pawn to keep his “power” alive in the WH. I disagree that he loves Fitz and Olivia … he loves them to his benefit and advantage, but the selfish way he gets in between these two shows how selfish he really is. He is also using Mellie to his advantage because he knows that Fitz has to run with her because that is what is expected… I cancelled my DVD because I can’t even look at that ending in that fiasco of a finale and the other storylines in the previous episodes, 219 to 221, were negated with that foolish rendition of an ending. It is hard to re-heat passion and desire of the magnitude the fans had … and make no mistake … no Fitz and Olivia, you will see the viewership wane. The chemistry is there and people love seeing them together, so SR can bring in anybody she wants, and heaven forbids she pair Olivia with Jake, she won’t have the following that she has now. I would hope that somebody else would see Olitz and give them their own show … they are certainly strong enough. I will not watch Scandal without those two and that is the sentiment of most of the fans. Fitz’s character would have never crawled back to Mellie and Olivia would not keep running from him … she is a strong woman … the power of the pen made these two weak and pathetic after the strong stance taken by Fitz to make a stance. There is really no explanation I will buy that gave SR the guts to sabotage a great show… the fans are still upset, as I am, because we were 110% invested … and it was TG and KW with that wonderful chemistry that got this show into the stratosphere! So don’t sell us these explanations; as far as I am concerned there is no feasible explanation why SR would sabotage her own success. Who put Liv’s name out and the father that showed up was overshadowed by that bungling move SR made. Nobody is perfect and she should own up to her drastic mistake. I cancelled my pre-ordered DVD because the finale negated anything that comes before it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Linda-Singleton/100000221405027 Linda Singleton

    I saw the Glamour interview with TG after the finale and he was clearly not happy and when the interviewer asked how he felt, he said, “I was shocked and dismayed.” Now if he felt like that, then you know how the fans felt … I don’t like the way SR handles her stars … she has trust issues because they never know what is going to happen and neither did Judy Smith. Judy’s blog had the ending where she saw Fitz in the bed … the smile on Olivia’s face stemmed from the fact that she knew Fitz was there, but the way it was sloppily edited, it looked like Olivia was smiling after she told Fitz to run with Mellie … so, it was not a good night for me as a fan … what happened just didn’t connect to anything … nothing made sense.

  • Hope

    I respect everyone’s right to have an opinion about the finale but I disagree with the notion that Olitz fans wanted a romantic fairy tale for a finale. However, we did want continuity and a sense that these characters were evolving. I have to disagree with the notion that Fitz has committed some unpardonable sins against Olivia and the killing of Verna was one step too far. Olivia and Fitz were broken up when the Amanda Tanner thing happened and she doesn’t need to forgive him anymore than he needs to forgive her for Edison or for Jake. Secondly, Olivia has been involved with a plot that resulted in the deaths of 8 people and if she was as noble and righteous as some pretend then she would have turned them all in. The reason Verna is dead is because of a set of circumstances that were set in motion,not by Fitz, but by Liv and her cronies. Fitz said two unkind things about marrying his mistress and his erections and some people act like that’s tantamount to murder. It’s not, but that point has been discussed to death and I’m over it. As so many others have said, the last five minutes of the finale, rendered the beauty of 219, 220, and 221, moot. The reason that so many of us were disappointed is because we were misled and it’s obvious by the relative disquiet in the twitterverse that the last five minutes was a mistake on many levels. I get that there are more fans and celebs watching Scandal than there were last year, but there is no substitute for the passionate fans who tuned in before it became cool. Scandal was the only show that I watched live and then rewatched on Hulu, but absent some major damage control in the first couple of episodes, I don’t see myself tuning in the same way. I love Kerry and Tony and am only sorry that Shonda’s need to be provocative and to burn the house down may have permanently damaged the show.

    • sarahsmile512

      Thank you so much for this comment!! I AM SO SICK AND TIRED of everyone acting as if Fitz saying some stupid ass crap about a mistress and his erections were just so earth-shattering and life-altering that Liv had to step up on her throne and scream that she needs to be earned!?!? THEN for her to have selective memory and act as if what she and illuminati crew weren’t indirectly responsible for the death of 12 people and a dog but judge Fitz for his actions made my stomach turn!! Thank you so much for this post Hope!! THANK YOU!!

    • christy

      Yes to all of this!!

    • cudascrawl

      ita. I’ve read all over that many of the OLITZ fans expected, even anticipated the fail would be by way of the OLAKE sex tape…they literally predicted the shoe would drop

      I’ve found their dismay is due to the plot holes, the flat characters turned 3-D, and a blank stare and wonder how all of this was forced into one unconvincing finale episode when the previous two leading up to it were allegedly the rising actions.

      The finale is to supposed to be full of shock and awe, not shockingly awful.

  • Sandy W

    I liked the finale and to me, it was plain as day that Olivia realized that Defiance was driving everyone over the edge after she learned that Fitz killed Verna. She called a time out so she could keep her people from losing it, and told Fitz to go get re-elected by standing by Mellie to make sure he had the best chance. He was heartbroken, but he did it. He wasn’t crawling back to Mellie for no reason.

    Olivia was at peace with that decision and then BOOM! – she has to deal with her affair in the news.

  • yobi

    I love this recap!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Debbie-Jones/1123920334 Debbie Jones

    By the way, there will be 24 EPISODES in S3 divided into two 12 episode arcs.

  • Kay

    A lot of lies have been told in this review to justify bad writing and editing.
    Scandal has been jumping the shark for some time and has been largely held together of recent by the chemistry of the leads.
    It is now transparently clear that the writers have decided to do everything in their power to discredit the Fitz character and failed.
    (Probably because Fitz would have to romance a chimpanzee to not be good enough for a woman whose illegal activities and den of crooks and murderers got him shot)
    Having failed to destroy the possibility of a romance that brought in a significant portion of ratings, the writers decided to use it to bring in viewers and then at the last minute Shonda Rhimes cut it out instead of thinking of a genuine logical reason for a break up.
    THAT’S why people are angry.
    And pretending Fitz did terrible things to Olivia when he never actually DID anything to her, pretending Mellie can be maternal to Fitz when she has admitted she lacks the mother gene, and asking viewers to get excited about a mole revelation that makes no sense, isn’t going to solve the problem.
    The only way I can see to clean up the Fitz mess is if the kneeling was an apology for past sins and a prelude to a divorce, because running with Mellie ISN’T running clean. Their marriage is as big a lie as defiance, and after the election of Mark Sanford, the idea that you need a wife to win is ridiculous Fitz wouldn’t even be the first divorced president, that was Reagan.
    With Mellie having already outed him, there is no reason to return to her and no benefit in it.
    It was bad advice, from the brand new Olivia Pope, the one who was actually stupid enough to KEEP THE CYTRON CARD,
    How they’re going to clean up Olivia’s weird joy at dumping the supposed love of her life, I don’t know, but this is what bad editing DOES. Scenes stop making sense.
    The only POSSIBLE people who would have anything to gain by outing Olivia are James for his career, Sally Langston, or Billy for revenge. But knowing the writers, it’ll probably be someone ridiculous like Huck.
    Thankfully, I don’t intend to watch it live.
    As for Cyrus, he does show some genuine affection for Olivia, but he feels more for himself and has shown no affection whatsoever for Fitz.
    To him, and to Mellie, Fitz is a means to an end, nothing more.
    As for Olivia, she’s shown she has no problem with murder, by Cyrus, Jake, Huck and little difficulty forgiving Hollis and possibly her father.
    Is it any wonder people are disgusted that she was written to be unable to forgive Fitz?
    Is love supposed to make you LESS forgiving?
    That’s not love.
    It doesn’t mesh with the woman we saw fighting Cyrus to be with him.
    Fitz and Olivia have changed personality. It’s bad writing, and bad writing is ALWAYS upsetting.

    • cudascrawl

      thundering applause, if only I had read your post…which sums everything up I’d have saved myself some time…

      agreed. agreed. and agreed. Shonda is the writer of genius, the scripting that Olivia cannot or Mellie is the only ride in this year, is a 10 lb. pile of dung in a 5 lb. sack…

      Shonda is forward writing but seems stuck in the soap suds of 1970′s trend where a public would not dream of voting an AA male into the highest office of the land.

    • shownufftuff

      Kay: you brought up a good point I forgot about…she did say “run clean…the reset button has been hit” now that would be fine and a good breakup for Olitiz BUT…you are right..how is pretending to be with Mellie running clean? and basically she is telling him to continue to be dishonest, scheming and manipulative and in Mellie case let her be shrewd b4 the American people for 4 more years..dont rig the election again but keep on lying.. that’s DEEP! I didnt think about that to deeply until you wrote it..she should have left the white hat in the box..she aint ready:) hahahah AND…now I do believe this may have been a writers error or again its really how Olivia thinks..Fitz said Hollis was the worst (dark vader?) and OLIVIA said “HE IS NOT SO BAD” the man bombed a building innocent PEOPLE all because he didnt like being hit up for more cash! NOT SO BAD REALLY?
      But again…this is Shonda story and maybe she is telling us..this is who Olivia is we think she is one way but we got it wrong she really is this confused, double fisted,contradictive,selfish,unable to judge right from wrong type of person..so on and on and if so okay with me…we know what Mellie is and we still enjoy her antics so it may be time to see who Olivia really is as well?

  • thoughtcomment

    I hope critically acclaimed film director Tony Goldwyn and critically acclaimed film actor Kerry Washington stay interested in the show for several years–long enough to reach syndication. Scandal needs to get back on track with tight writing and tell this compelling story. TV is producing fabulous dramatic material which is why I don’t see them staying years on one tv show at the expense of signing on with varied creative projects in film and elsewhere in television. The duo are professional and respectful of boss Shonda but it’s still obvious from several press interviews this year that opinions differ on character development.

  • thoughtcomment

    One more thing…just as a lot of fans are pleased with the finale many fans are being vocal in expressing dislike of the gimmick and stunts, and concerns regarding Scandal character development. A lot of fans signed up for provocative nighttime drama (or nighttime soap), not a soap employing shock over solid story telling. I want Scandal to get back on track, win awards, and do something spectacular as did “24″ with Keifer Sutherland and Dennis Haysbert and as are the creators of Mad Men, Good Wife, etc. doing now. The casting talent is superb and the potential is great.