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Scandal: All Seasons Discussion


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#9301

yarnover

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Posted Mar 28, 2014 @ 11:17 PM

I think Shonda Rhimes confuses shock value with risk taking. And it is killing whatever potential this show once had.


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#9302

pennben

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Posted Mar 29, 2014 @ 8:07 PM

I LOVE this show.  LOVE it!

 

In the first season or so, when they tried to anchor it with seemingly realistic episodes, all it did was piss me off about how not real it was.  Then the show embraced the crazy, and so did I.

 

And now? Each week batshit crazier than the last! And each week?  Me cackling along with the crazy!

 

Give me more you crazy, crazy show!!

 

P.S.  Shonda, don't be mad that I call this a "guilty pleasure", because good lord I mean that as a high, high compliment!

 

PPS  That guy died? Well sure, it made me sad, but I get it.  Have you thought about killing that other guy?  Because that would be awesome!!  Just keep on being your crazy overthetop self show!


Edited by pennben, Mar 29, 2014 @ 8:08 PM.

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#9303

Worldyfan

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Posted Mar 30, 2014 @ 3:58 PM

Why oh why won't Melli tell Fitz that his father raped her, and that's what caused the distance and coldness in their marriage? The whole time Fitz was yelling at her last week, I kept thinking - and maybe even saying out loud - "TELL HIM. TELL HIM."


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#9304

arty

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Posted Mar 30, 2014 @ 5:37 PM

I hear you, Worldyfan. It took Mellie all of ten minutes of Fitz laying into her before she cracked and told him that the reason their kids wouldn't be visiting was because he'd become a mean drunk. But somehow ten+ years of mutual misery and hatred isn't enough to get her to tell him about his father's assault? Keeping that secret was worth sacrificing a once happy marriage? Poor story-telling.
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#9305

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Posted Mar 31, 2014 @ 3:43 PM

I think it's harder to reveal a rape than it is to tell your husband he's a drunk. She probably feels ashamed that it happened, betrayed by the man who did it, terrified that Big Jerry may be the father, terrified of the reaction, etc. Mellie did try to kill herself--the rape isn't an easy reality for her to deal with.


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#9306

arty

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Posted Mar 31, 2014 @ 6:19 PM

Oh, I don't doubt that the rape is a living nightmare for Mellie. And I know that the comparison I made is facile. But, I am trying to understand why she wouldn't attempt to tell him after so much time had passed, or after Big Jerry had died, or after she saw what this secret was doing to her and to her marriage. I don't know; I guess I just don't see how telling Fitz could have had a far worse outcome than not telling him has. He's already rejected her many times, he's flaunted "the woman I'm in love with" in front of her many times, he's been nasty and disrespectful and cold to her. She's begged for his love and affection and been denied. How much more awful can Fitz be to her should she tell him the truth? What has she got left to lose from him?

 

It's unfortunate that they never sought counseling. 

 

What a mess.


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#9307

Mulbag

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Posted Mar 31, 2014 @ 6:27 PM

I don't think she expected THIS to happen. She probably thought he would get over it and, over time, it became harder and harder to talk about. And do you think Fitz will believe her now?


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#9308

jmhm

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Posted Mar 31, 2014 @ 6:47 PM

I think it's a shame she didn't trust him at the beginning, but once their marriage turned adversarial I can see why she didn't tell him. Given how nastily he responds to her, I think it would be really hard for her to be vulnerable with him.

Especially since she seems to equate technical fidelity with virtue. I can absolutely see her being afraid that he would decide that she asked for it.

Edited by jmhm, Mar 31, 2014 @ 6:48 PM.

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#9309

insanityproject

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Posted Mar 31, 2014 @ 6:55 PM

Fitz is using Fitz math when he says "10 years". It was 5 years of frigid Mellie and then Fitz started banging Olivia. In those first 5 years, Mellie may have been trying to get "over it" but couldn't. Then Olivia came along & Mellie was "ok" with it because she thought it was just sex, Fitz needed sex and Mellie still wasn't ready. Seeing Fitz fall in love with Olivia clearly initiated a change in Mellie. She was willing to try again (to make Teddy). She saw Fitz get shot & realized how much she had been repressing her love for him. But then it was too late and when she would try again (like the shower BJ) Fitz was now frigid with her.

So for Mellie, once she started lying about the rape it become harder & harder to tell the truth. While BJ was alive, she may have feared that (a) Fitz would believe BJ over her or (b) Fitz would believe her & lose all of BJ's support. Once BJ died, Fitz had already moved on to Olivia emotionally and Mellie may have felt that Fitz would either pity her (as if she were a loser) or accuse her of lying to ruin Olitz.

Edited by insanityproject, Mar 31, 2014 @ 6:56 PM.

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#9310

L star

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Posted Mar 31, 2014 @ 7:31 PM

I'm not surprised that she wasn't able to tell him right then. He was listing off all the ways she was an awful wife and failed their marriage sexually. Her defense was that his father raped her and might be the real father of their first son. We already saw from her reasons for her suicide attempt that she felt a really deep sense of shame that had eaten at her since it happened, combined with IMO, a misguided sense of betrayal towards Fitz. Fitz has repeatedly hit her with the ways that their marriage was never real, never truly love, and she doesn't measure up. Remember when he completely ripped apart their first meeting and marriage then at the end of the conversation, asked if he made her this way? Because if he did, he was sorry. To some degree, I think she believes Fitz that she is the one with something wrong in the marriage. Now that he has repeatedly accused I think she knew she needed to defend herself and wanted to so she tried to steel herself. Then Olivia walked in and she was both faced with an escape and Fitz's hypocrisy in the flesh. She took the less immediately destructive option for her, her family, and I think in her mind, Fitz.

Especially since she seems to equate technical fidelity with virtue. I can absolutely see her being afraid that he would decide that she asked for it.

I would be shocked if the chance that he would say she asked for it didn't cross her mind. He told her flat out that he believed she tried to kill him, something that has absolutely no basis in reality from what I have seen of her behavior other than he thinks she is the worst person he knows. He already believes she was sleeping with Andrew during that decade she rejected him. What indication does she have to think he would hear the news and think, 'oh no! I was so wrong about Mellie!'.

 

I don't actually think it is Fitz math. She was raped 15 years ago. I think Karen was born very quickly after Jerry. Those kids seriously seem like Irish twins. She tried to kill herself three years ago. During that time after the rape, she went from hugging Fitz and playing happy about being pregnant to shaking when he tried to touch her. I think she tried to suppress it and instead of getting better, it ate her from the inside. She couldn't even handle going to a dinner honoring Big Jerry. After the suicide attempt, I think that is when she truly distanced herself and devoted herself completely to Fitz's career. In the process, she killed her marriage but was able to be around Jerry again to further Fitz's career.

 

From what we know, they didn't have sex again until they had to conceive Teddy. That was between two and three years ago, making Fitz's ten years about right if we track from her suicide attempt. After Teddy was born, she offered to blow him in the shower. Those are the only two times we've had any indication they had sex.

 

My biggest question is what will prompt her to tell him? How bad would what he accuses her of have to be before she breaks? I have this awful feeling that Andrew being the only other living person to know the truth will play into the reveal. My hope though is that it comes out when another woman says Big Jerry raped and/or sexually harassed her. I don't believe for a second that Mellie is the only woman he raped. I'm guessing there is a whole string of women who worked for him with similar stories. With the show's love of blasts from the past, I'm hoping that bombshell drops without all the weight being on Mellie.


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#9311

Nancylee

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Posted Mar 31, 2014 @ 7:39 PM

Oh, my! I forgot they had a baby! I think they forgot, too! Was wondering whose kid she was holding? Lol! Nice job keeping the baby totally out of the story!
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#9312

yarnover

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Posted Mar 31, 2014 @ 7:57 PM

 But, I am trying to understand why she wouldn't attempt to tell him after so much time had passed, or after Big Jerry had died, or after she saw what this secret was doing to her and to her marriage. 

 

Perhaps Mellie thought Fitz wouldn't believe her. Sadly, that's something that happens IRL - especially when rape or other abuse happens within families.


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#9313

MedicineCrow

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Posted Apr 3, 2014 @ 4:16 PM

Is anyone else sick to death of the dizzying camera shots that are done to hide the pregnancy?  (It doesn't matter though, because she's got "pregnant face"!)


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#9314

topanga

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Posted Apr 4, 2014 @ 8:48 AM

 

Is anyone else sick to death of the dizzying camera shots that are done to hide the pregnancy?  (It doesn't matter though, because she's got "pregnant face"!)

 

I think the show is doing an pretty good job of hiding Kerry's pregnancy. And the pregnant face? Part of the circle of life. I'm glad that female actresses no longer have to play pregnant characters just because they're pregnant. 


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#9315

SunFun

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Posted Apr 9, 2014 @ 11:59 AM

As a newcomer to this show (curious from all the attention it was getting), I prefer Mellie over Olivia (of the contorted mouth acting). Hate Fitz.

 

God help us if any of this is remotely realistic.


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#9316

yarnover

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Posted Apr 9, 2014 @ 9:45 PM

Who else is waiting for Olivia to learn that Fitz leaked her name to the press? Or did that already happen?


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#9317

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Posted Apr 12, 2014 @ 1:22 AM

I was thinking about all the secrets on this show and who knows them. Some of the secrets- like Defiance, Sally killing DDL with Cyrus and Mellie covering it up, the First Couple's affairs, Mellie forging Fitz's signature- are known by all four at the White House so they don't really matter anymore in my opinion. At this point, OPA knowing doesn't really matter. This is a list of the ones left and who knows about them to the best of my memory:

-Fitz killed Verna: Fitz, Olivia and Cyrus know

-Mellie's rape and question of Jerry's paternity: Mellie and Andrew know, Olivia knows a little

-Mellie's suicide attempt: Mellie and Andrew know, Olivia suspects

-Fitz released Olivia's name: Mellie and Fitz know

-Fitz built Olivia a house in Vermont: Fitz and Olivia know

-Cyrus had Amanda Tanner killed: Cyrus and Olivia know

-Existence of B613, Jake as Command, Jake killed James, Rowan is former Command and Olivia's father, Fitz helped terrorist Maya escape, etc.: everyone but Mellie knows

 

I didn't add Fitz shooting down the plane to either list. It isn't really a secret at this point but I think it is still on the list because I don't remember anyone knowing that Big Jerry told Mellie well before anyone else found out. I also don't remember anyone telling Mellie that Olivia's mom was on board.

 

I think the differences in knowledge are important for context in the relationships. Mellie doesn't know how dirty Fitz's hands actually are. She knows he was ordered to shoot down the plane when he was in the military but that's very different than murdering Verna. She doesn't know that he helped a terrorist escape because Olivia asked him to. Fitz doesn't know the truth about why Mellie pulled away from him or her history with Andrew but Olivia knows enough to know it was bad. Mellie and Cyrus don't know how far Fitz has gone with his Vermont plans for him and Olivia. Olivia doesn't know that Fitz chose to wreck her business without telling her. Fitz and Mellie don't know how dangerous and self-serving Cyrus actually is which would be helpful information when he is the last line of defense from a terrorist attack that would take out the competition. That is especially important information considering he has worked for them all along so if he gets caught, he'd take them down with him.

 

This show likes to drop bombs then move on like they never happened and I'm guessing a lot of these secrets will follow that trend into oblivion. I hope a few are actually brought back. It's almost definite that the rape will be revealed but even among the other things, there is still some interesting potential in there. My top picks: Fitz finds out about the suicide attempt along with the rape, Olivia finds out Fitz released her name, and Mellie finds out that Fitz killed Verna.


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#9318

insanityproject

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Posted Apr 12, 2014 @ 10:19 AM

Tom knows about Fitz leaking Liv's name & the house in Vermont (though he may think that's just a getaway & not realize it's their future home).

Andrew & Sally know about B613 but I don't think they know about Fitz helping Maya escape. If Sally survives the bombing and then learns who Maya is, that could be a big deal.
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#9319

PrincessTT

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Posted Apr 12, 2014 @ 11:43 AM

I wouldn't be surprised if Fitz had used Tom's details in order to buy the land and have the house built... He couldn't have used his own name to do it.


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#9320

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Posted Apr 14, 2014 @ 2:30 AM

Tom knows pretty much everything since B613 tapes the Oval every night, plus he goes through the security tapes of the Oval to decide what to archive and what to erase. I'm guessing he knows more about Fitz than any employee should ever have to know (did Fitz ever tell Olivia that everything they do in the Oval is recorded? That basically, the government has proof of her being his mistress in sex tape form?). He's a soldier though, not a leader. Command knows all the same things he does. So unless Command decides he should reveal his knowledge for some reason, I think he is irrelevant outside of spilling secrets to Mellie.

Andrew & Sally know about B613 but I don't think they know about Fitz helping Maya escape. If Sally survives the bombing and then learns who Maya is, that could be a big deal.          

Between Fitz helping Maya get away and Cyrus keeping Fitz at the White House instead of calling someone about the bomb, by all rights this should send them all to jail. They aided a terrorist plot- no grey areas or interpretation loop holes. We can throw Olivia in there too- in the process of committing treason, she destroyed an active mission to stop a terrorist action. All of OPA and David Rosen can be thrown in a cell too. They covered up a(nother) murder and helped Liv commit treason. While this show has an extensive history of the characters doing awful, selfish things, this clusterfuck takes the cake as far as I am concerned. At least there was handwringing over Defiance (as well as a lack of mass casualties) and everything with Sally was essentially a relatively minor scheme that spiraled way out of control and the response was the awful (for these people's standards) part. This has been a multistep process over an extended period of time with all these people helping it happen. It's just heinous IMO.

I wouldn't be surprised if Fitz had used Tom's details in order to buy the land and have the house built... He couldn't have used his own name to do it.

I assumed he used some kind of financial apparatus to do it. Fitz is obviously very wealthy. Has he ever had a job outside of military officer and politician? I know he is a Rhodes Scholar, a Ph. D. and a JD from Harvard and Yale but I don't remember any mention of him doing anything with those achievements. So since he told Mellie they were new money, he apparently got all of his money from his father. Then there is blue-blood, former law firm partner Mellie who could wire two million dollars to Jeannine on a moment's notice. I've always assumed that they have an entire network of investments and people handling their money. I'm guessing he used one of those things to cover it.

 

It would have to have been an extensive cover though. Not only did he buy the land, but he had that huge house built there. That's a lot to cover up, especially considering the trip with Olivia didn't seem to be his first visit. That's property records, building records, Secret Service records, presidential transportation logs- that's a lot of paperwork. Then again this is Fitz. I doubt he ever considered he would actually have to keep it a secret from anyone other than Mellie and Olivia.


Edited by L star, Apr 14, 2014 @ 2:55 AM.

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#9321

millicent

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Posted Apr 14, 2014 @ 5:16 PM

I read someone suggesting that KW and TG leave the show  ( cos it has become such a mess) and that KW might find it difficult if she leaves but that TG has a lot going on.

To be honest I had never seen or heard of this guy before Scandal and I was suprised that he had  actually  guest starred in a lot of shows Ive watched

I checked his IMDB page and he did some straight to dvd tv show  in 2012 and in 2011 he guest starred in Drop DEAD diva on LIFETIME . Shonda knows how to make people STARS on her shows .

TG is tall handsome great bod and famous last name but he just never became a star .I watched him in the last Samurai with Tom Cruise recently he had a small part .  Maybe with the sucess of  Scandal he will get bigger parts,  but so far hes gotten a small part in Divergent and a Lifetime movie. Im pretty sure he wont be leaving Scandal anytime soon

 Off topic Im watching Jerry Maguire right now. I forgot how good  that movie was. Soo good.  Tom Cruise and Cuba Gooding JR were amazing!!!


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#9322

insanityproject

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Posted Apr 14, 2014 @ 7:19 PM

Why would they leave the show? This is just silly talk from the "fans" who think TG & KW are secretly married and that SR hates them. LOL.

I do think though that Scandal has a short shelf life based on comments that Rhimes has made. It probably has two more seasons to go. Personally I could watch many more seasons but that doesn't seem to be part of SR's vision. Assuming Fitz is reelected, we'll probably head into a divorce and an Olitz marriage. Once Olivia gets her HEA, there may not be much story beyond that.
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#9323

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Posted Apr 14, 2014 @ 7:35 PM

Isn't it funny - I see Fitz controlling how much of him anyone can have, so he's free to want Olivia as much as he wants, because he doesn't have to commit to an equal relationship. If his marriage and his office weren't obstacles between them, I feel like he would create new obstacles. It's easy to romanticize an equal relationship if it's all hypothetical. It's not easy to be in one, especially if you've never done it before, and neither one of them has.

I think she probably would too.

Edited by jmhm, Apr 14, 2014 @ 7:37 PM.

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#9324

insanityproject

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Posted Apr 14, 2014 @ 8:57 PM

I know it's dangerous to talk about Scandal and "realism" (lol) but I think a real-life couple that followed the potential Olitz model of an intense adulterous affair would probably not succeed in the long-term. I assume Scandal would end in year one of an Olitz marriage so that the shippers could get the HEA while the rest of us assume they eventually break up.
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#9325

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Posted Apr 14, 2014 @ 9:45 PM

Considering their big plan to make Olivia first lady involved Mellie shutting her mouth and stepping aside or they would paint her as a racist who objected to Olivia and Fitz because she was black thereby allowing their relationship to become a boon to the progression of race relations in America, I don't think their future plans have much to do with anything proportional to reality. Much like the way they haven't factored in any of Fitz's children, the outcry over breaking up not only the First Family but the parents of America's Baby, all the evidence showing that they were sleeping together all the way back to the campaign, etc. The whole plan sounds to me like a false legitimization of the argument that if you don't like us, it's just because you're a racist rather than giving any actual response to the real argument and issues.

 

I do understand now at least part of why Fitz never factors his children into the equation though. He obviously sees the kids as either Mellie's to handle or robots who should just do what he yells at them. He has no concept of the idea that the kids are old enough to state publicly that they would rather stay with their mother because they feel like their father's affair destroyed their family and his and Olivia's attacks on their mother are offensive. Mellie's side can dramatize and misstate the truth just like Fitz and Olivia can.

Isn't it funny - I see Fitz controlling how much of him anyone can have, so he's free to want Olivia as much as he wants, because he doesn't have to commit to an equal relationship.

I agree with the second part but I think it has more to do with Fitz's lack of attention span than any kind of design. Fitz's loyalties, intentions and affections shift with his every mood. I think that is part of why his love for Olivia annoys me so much rather than charming me- it's not just that he is unhappy or not himself when they are apart. I can sympathize with that. He is a useless sad sack with no appreciation for anything else in his life and that I have no patience for. He should not have to be fucking Olivia in order to be a decent person, president, or father.

I know it's dangerous to talk about Scandal and "realism" (lol) but I think a real-life couple that followed the potential Olitz model of an intense adulterous affair would probably not succeed in the long-term. I assume Scandal would end in year one of an Olitz marriage so that the shippers could get the HEA while the rest of us assume they eventually break up.           

What was it Mellie said in the bunker? The relationship they started and stopped and started and stopped and started and stopped? I think that says it all. There has been nothing to show me that if Mellie and public opinion and the White House just fell out of the way, they would live happily ever after.

 


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#9326

insanityproject

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Posted Apr 14, 2014 @ 10:37 PM

How could they be happy? They are both terrible people who bring out the worst in each other. And Olivia has little respect for Fitz. The fact that she thought she had more authority to shut down B613 than Fitz did? And now she's arranging a secret DNA test for Mellie -- keeping the secret of Melle's rape & Jerry's paternity from Fitz? Of course Fitz acts like a child around her so that's why she thinks she can decide these huge matters for him. But her judgments have been way off. Liv is the reason that Maya escaped -- twice! The deaths of the guys on the military plane, that poor janitor, dumb Clare and Dominic are all a result of Liv's poor judgement. I want to respect Fitz and I am waiting for him to truly act like a president & tell her to stop her overreach.
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#9327

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Posted Apr 14, 2014 @ 11:15 PM

I feel like Cyrus and Olivia look at the way they handle Fitz as managing rather than infantilizing. They have to do anything challenging or risky so that he doesn't have to. The difference for me is that they act like it is because he is so brilliant and special he must be protected while I see it as he has so little agency of his own that they are just accommodating his uselessness.

Back to my secrets post- does Olivia know about all the surveillance Fitz has ordered on her? I'm curious how long that has gone on. He was most forward when he was pissed at her after Defiance but since he also had surveillance photos of her having dinner with her father this season, I don't think it has been ruled out that it was long term and he just ramped it up when he was angry.

To go along with the lack of trust that they brush aside because they believe in each other, I wonder how they would fare when their relationship isn't being managed and facilitated by everyone around them? When they have their first big fight and there is no one there to arrange for them to see each other because no one actually gives a shit about their drama anymore? I think that would be a major adjustment hurdle on its own. Right now everyone around them has to deal with their drama all the time. When he is no longer in power or married and they have moved to Vermont, their love won't be nearly as crazy, tortured, or epic.

 

ETA: I remember something that Mellie told Cyrus one time; I think it was earlier this season. Fitz told them to do something and Mellie asked what if they didn't? Fitz said try me. Mellie basically rolled her eyes and immediately started telling Cyrus something else to do. Cyrus said that they had to do what he wanted because it was not the time to push him. Mellie said that Fitz was her husband and she would push him whenever and however she wanted. I think that scene shows the most significant difference among the dynamics around Fitz.

 

For all the fights and threats about divorce and importance, Mellie has a rock solid place in the White House and Fitz's life and legacy. Fitz will never be able to truly move past her the way he theoretically can Cyrus and Olivia because she is the mother of his three children and will go down in the history books next to Fitz's name as First Lady. When his first term is talked about, the birth of America's baby and Mellie, pregnant, with Fitz's blood spattered across her when he was shot will be right up front. Even if they divorce, they will still be the parents at all the special moments in their kids' lives. So her fights with Fitz have more to do with how much power and significance she has, not whether or not she matters at all.

 

Cyrus's importance will never be automatic in the same way that Mellie's is. She already has her place in history; he is still trying to make his. So he has to fight for everything he can get from Fitz. He may know too much to be fired but that doesn't mean his spot as top advisor is secure. He can be marginalized at any time if he pushes too hard on the wrong issue. And if he is, he has to have enough irons in the fire with other powerful people to gain back his influence and usefulness.

 

Olivia is a very important person in Fitz's life but the story about his 'true love' is for the extensive biographies, not textbooks. Mellie's name is going to go down in history as his wife and partner. If Olivia's is mentioned, it will be as his mistress while he was president in his first term and maybe his first lady in his second. The mistress label will never die though if she marries him in office. And if he is re-elected and their relationship does truly blow up, she can just be gone. He needs her most professionally when he is campaigning and that is almost over. If they broke up, she wouldn't even be moving out, splitting up the things you accumulate in a multi-year relationship, or giving the things he's forgotten at her place back. They were never that demonstrably official. They would just be exes who live in the same town and have some of the same friends and professional contacts. I think that reality is a factor in Olivia's behavior with Fitz. She knows he loves her but what does that really mean? What does she really get from that in a lasting way? Early on, I think love was enough but I feel like she is questioning that now as she should.

 

I feel like that is also an important distinction in the comparison of Mellie's behavior with Fitz and Olivia's. Romantically, Olivia has the role that Mellie wants back. But in every other sense, Mellie has what Olivia wants.


Edited by L star, Yesterday, 12:33 AM.

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