Scandal

Scandal 7×03 – Day 101

"He has lived his entire life in the eye of a hurricane, and now? The weather's changed."

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I never liked Fitz. But this episode? This episode single-handedly made me get the character.

It’s not Tony Goldwyn’s fault, but Shonda Rhimes and her writing team unfortunately succeeded in making Fitz immensely unlikable over the course of Scandal‘s seven seasons. But if the show intends on having Olitz ride off into the sunset by the time the series finale comes around, then we certainly need to start liking the character again. Day 101 accomplished exactly that.

By slowing down the pace and focusing on just one character for most of its running time (or at least for the opening stretch), Day 101 successfully places us in Fitz’ shoes. I actually felt unease and anxious for Fitz as he struggled to find something to do after moving to Vermont. All the little details from trying to perfect the chicken recipe to activating the debit card were absolutely perfect, and they helped inject the story with a genuinely realistic vibe (which is extremely hard in a show as ridiculous as Scandal). What DOES the most powerful man on the planet do after he’s no longer President? There’s a real emptiness and void, and this episode taps into that beautifully.

Usually, when a show bookends two consecutive episodes with the same ending (Olivia and Curtis finding Fitz outside her door), one of these hours end up being filler. I”m pleased to report that this was not the case, because not only did we really get to dig deep into Fitz’s psyche, but the character got to do some “meaningful” work before returning to Washington as he provided his support for Steve the activist in taking down the monument (even more real-world parallels of a similar case in recent news). This hour is definitely winner in my book.

Scandalous Bits

– Very amusing moment with Fitz firing the entire staff.

– The term “Olitz” is so prominent in this episode. I bet Twitter went wild.

– Fitz asking Marcus about Mellie was pretty darn awkward.

– The whiskey exchange with Fitz treating Marcus like the help was horrifying.

– How fantastic was Marcus destroying Fitz? Read their brilliant dialogue below.

– Of course the guys ended up physically fighting like kids. Who didn’t see that one coming?

– Mellie recounting the “stages” of a relationship with Fitz was on-point. And I’m rooting for Marcus and Mellie now.

– I’ve given up trying to make sense of Rowan or his schizophrenic character arc. He was a nefarious villain for a large part of the show, and now we’re supposed to feel sorry for him as he begs and cries with Fitz to save his daughter? Ugh.

– Steve saying “I’m so cold” to Fitz really broke my heart. The selfie was a good cure for that depressing moment.

Quipyness

Agent: No President has driven on public roads after leaving office, Sir.
Fitz: It’s good to know I can still make history.

Fitz: You’re comparing Monica Lewinsky to Olivia Pope?
Marcus: I’m not. At all. Which is kind of the point. Olivia worked in your White House, advised you, ran your campaigns, lived with you. She was America’s first-ever First Girlfriend. She stood tall in front of the American people and assured them you’d be okay after you got shot, and now she’s the Chief of Staff to the President that succeeded you. Olivia is Hillary Clinton, Beyonce, Oprah, and Sista Souljah all in one. I’ll play you a Sista Souljah record sometime.
Fitz: I think you reference things you know I don’t know to prove a point.
Marcus: All I’m saying is Olivia is important. People, the world, they care about Olivia. When I was driving in from the airport last week, there was a house with “Olitz” written on the front in Christmas lights.
Fitz: What?
Marcus: It’s your name and her name, I think.
Fitz: I got that. It’s just… that’s crazy.
Marcus: You need to decide which portions of your relationship you want to highlight and if she gets her own wing.
Fitz: Does Cyrus get his own wing?
Marcus: Did you neck Cyrus on South Lawn – in front of 40 million people?
Fitz: I spent 8 years in the most powerful office in the world, running the most powerful nation in the world, and you’re basically telling me I’ve been reduced to a man who loved a woman.
Marcus: Welcome the plight of almost every successful woman in the history of mankind.

Fitz: don’t need to defend my record to you.
Marcus: Your record? Your accomplishments? Are Olivia’s! A black woman held you up, and now you’re screaming to everyone about how well you fly. And what does she get for that? A stained reputation. You took the first woman who successfully managed a Presidential campaign and turned her into just another home-wrecking black ho. I guess you can call that an accomplishment, except people like you have been doing that to black women for centuries!

Fitz: You are a coward.
Marcus: Say it one more time.
Fitz: You gonna hit me?
Marcus: No, because you wouldn’t dare say it again.

Fitz: Is Olivia Pope everyone’s world or just mine?

Must-Download Tune
Heaven Help Us All by Stevie Wonder

Conclusion
A nuanced and highly captivating hour of Scandal that finally salvages a pivotal character. I’m very impressed!

Nad Rating
A-

6 comments

  1. Not a bad Fitz episode. I still don’t like him but it was interesting see him trying to figure out his post-WH life. I doubt he’ll have much luck turning Olivia away from B6-13. She’s addicted to the power. It is going to take something big to make her go cold turkey. And I still hope for Rowan’s death. He’s been a bane of Scandal’s existence.

    1. Me too, I can’t stand Rowan but at this point I think Shonda is so in love with him that she’s keeping him until the very end!

  2. Wow, this was very captivating! I never liked Fitz either but this episode shows that it’s definitely Shonda and the writing team’s fault because when given the right material, the character can be pretty damn fascinating.

    Loved the stuff with him cooking dinner and activating a debit card so much that now I kind of want a show about a President adjusting to normal life after the White House!

    And the silent Marcus/Mellie phone call was so nice. Very unexpected for such a loud show.

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