Olivia Pope is a magnetic, powerful, and ultimately amazing woman. She’s made many mistakes, but her victories and pure heart far outweigh any bad she has done. (Like, you know, rigging a presidential election.) However, she has one major Achilles’ heel that will ultimately be her downfall — her gut, especially when it comes to choosing friends.
When you think about it, you can’t really blame Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) for being a bad judge of character. As we saw during Scandal‘s Nov. 21 episode, “Vermont is for Lovers, Too,” her mother is a capable of biting the flesh off of her own wrist, and as we’ve seen throughout this entire season, her father is… well, who he is. But during Scandal‘s insane third season, one thing has become abundantly clear: Olivia Pope is a terrible judge of character — and don’t they say you are the company you keep?
The heart of Scandal lies in its cast of morally ambiguous characters, and despite what Olivia says about those white hats, the writers threw away any chances of a “Saint Olivia Pope” back in season two with the whole election fraud and killing Verna thing. Still, she always tries her best to do the right thing, but the people in her life hold her back by being completely insane. She might not realize it, but by hanging out with the wrong crowd, she’s becoming far too complicit in their crimes. (Olivia, you in danger, girl.)
Take Fitz, for example. I’ve already stated my unpopular opinion that “Olitz” should never again be a thing, house or no house. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m only human — Tony Goldwyn was powerful and sympathetic and oh-so-sexy in that scene, but that doesn’t meant that Fitz isn’t still a horrible choice for Olivia. She wants so badly to wear that white hat and live up to her Gladiator name, but palling around with the likes of Fitz and Cyrus (Jeff Perry) — who literally used his husband as bait to frame someone for a sex scandal last night — is never going to get her there. (P.S., what do we think Olivia’s reaction will be when she finds out about that one? Pretty sure she’ll join “Team James.”)
At this point, as much as I love him, it’s pretty clearly that Jake (Scott Foley), is also going to drag Olivia further into the mud. Jake and Huck (Guillermo Diaz) are probably irreparably damaged by their time in B6-13, and they’re also Olivia’s current direct link to her father, the worst human being on the show.
So after they finally get to the bottom of that terrible plane crash, maybe she can finally dump Fitz, Cyrus, and Jake, put Huck in therapy, and move on with her life? It won’t happen, but for the love of Olivia, boy does it sound nice.
Admittedly, most of the women in Olivia’s life haven’t been as impactful or personally damning as the men. Her best friend Abby is relatively together given her circumstances, she isn’t close to crazy Quinn, and she doesn’t like Mellie very much at all.
However, her mother resurfacing only means one thing — chaos. Many people would rejoice at their dead mother being (shock!) actually alive, but when your mother is literally capable of biting apart her own flesh until she finds a vein, Walking Dead-style, you’ve got to RUN WHILE YOU STILL CAN. Don’t you just know that Olivia will eventually be stuck between a sharp rock and a terrible hard place when it comes to the mom situation? There is absolutely no way that this new relationship will bring anything but bad, bad, bad to Olivia’s already far too tumultuous life — being a die-hard Olivia fan, my heart breaks whenever she’s forced to make another very un-Gladiator, devastating decision to protect the people she loves.
At the end of the day, Olivia’s terrible circle of friends make Scandal fun to watch, but we also have to stop kidding ourself about this whole “gut” thing. Olivia’s gut, when it comes to the people she loves, is tainted — and until she severs some of these deadly ties, her life will continue to be (totally entertaining) chaos.
What do you think, HollywoodLifers? Is Olivia guilty by association?
— Shaunna Murphy