My roommate recently started watching Scandal. And by watching, I mean binge watching. “It’s so good!” she shrieks every six minutes from her bedroom, “I can’t stop watching!”
“Enjoy it while it lasts,” I mutter angrily under my breath, jealous of the fact that she still likes the show. That she hasn’t yet reached the part where everything goes to shit. While I know it’s an unpopular opinion on the interweb, I’m over the show. Sure I’m still watching every week, but only out of self-hatred now. Also, a little bit out of hope that it will get back to the glory days of season one and two. While it’s been living on the corner of Ridic and C’mon! for most of season three, last night’s “They’re All Murderers” episode put me over the edge. And not because of the supposedly suspenseful mystery shooting at the end, but because they’ve officially left us no characters to root for anymore.
The once badass Olivia Pope’s transformed from a woman in control to a woman controlled by her emotions. Gone are the days when she does the right thing for the right people. Everything she does now is for Fitz’s presidency — a thing that seems to be bad for her as well as for the entire country. Throughout the entire show, we’ve been told that he’s the best president to ever have presidented. And because of that, his team feels compelled to do whatever it takes to keep him in office. While we’ve been told this over and over and over, we have yet to see proof of it. If anything, the show seems to make the argument that Fitz does not want to be in the White House. Look no further than the Vermont House he built as proof of that fun fact. While I’ve never personally vetted a presidential candidate, I do think wanting to be president should be on top of the list of qualifications for the job. You can think of wanting it enough to not have an open affair on your wife as number 1.5 on that same list.
Last night we watched Fitz learn about the fact that Sally Langston, his VP, murdered her husband. And that on top of that, Cyrus Beene, his chief of staff, helped cover it up. And on top of that shit show sundae, his beloved mistress and campaign guru, Olivia Pope, knew about it. To sum that up for you, three of the most important people in the administration either murdered someone or helped cover up a murder. Let’s ignore the fact that Fitz is also a murderer for a second and focus on the fact that when he gets all this information, he does NOTHING with it. Why in the world would we want this man running the country? We’re always being asked to forgive Olivia, Cyrus and Mellie for their unforgivable actions time and time again because the country NEEDS Fitz. But again, I ask why? This man lack morals. Every single kind of moral you can have, he lacks. Including, but not limited to, the morals that prevent you from having an affair on your wife while the secret service stands outside your bedroom.
By the time last night’s episode started, Olivia was the only character that we still had a reason to care about. I would throw the gladiators in there too, but they’ve almost as MIA as Baby Girl Beene this season. While the show’s never shied away from the fact that the characters do unthinkable things to stay in positions of power, it always made sure that everyone remained likable. Or at least likable enough that we cared enough about them to keep rooting for them. There are few things more impressive on TV than when shows make you root for the bad guys.
But this season seems intent on destroying all that character development they spent so long building. Every single character’s crossed the line from redeemable to incorrigible. Fitz is a whiny baby, Cyrus is a sociopath, James is an idiot, Mellie is a martyr, Jake is a wimp and now Olivia is spineless. The fictional woman I once feared in my real life is now just another woman at the mercy of a man she loves. At this point, there’s nothing stopping her from packing up her stuff in the White House and returning to her job as D.C’s fixer. But she’s not going to do that. She’s going to keep managing Fitz’s campaign and stuffing his skeletons deeper into his closet because love. I mean, because he’s a great president and the country needs him. Gross.