Scandal “You Got Served” Review (Season 5, Episode 5)

Scandal "You Got Served" Season 5 Episode 5 (1)

Life has a funny way of taking you places you never thought you’d go, so you’ve got to be very careful about which bridges you choose to burn. That’s a lesson both Olivia and Fitz learned in this week’s Scandal. They also got a lesson in humility that, quite frankly, couldn’t have come at a better time for both of them.

After Olivia and Fitz’s very public date night, Olivia decided it was time to change the conversation about her affair with Fitz. So she borrowed Leo to help her fix her situation. Leo’s plan was to have her do an interview and talk about how deeply in love she is with Fitz, but she scrapped that idea immediately in favor of showing the world that she’s a woman of the people. The problem with that strategy is that it’s completely a lie. Olivia may have come from humble beginnings, but she hasn’t been a “normal” person for some time. She’s worked hard to get to a place in her life where she has power, lives in a nice home, owns nice clothes, and orders all of her meals. However, trying to act as if she worries about bills the same way most of us do or that she shops at JC Penny wouldn’t do anything except further alienate her from the public. To get around that, Olivia had to enlist Edison’s help.

I always felt kind of bad for Edison because it was pretty clear that Olivia didn’t love him. I think she liked him ok, but she never loved him. It always seemed that he figured if he loved her enough, then she would grow to love him over time. Things didn’t end well between them, and I get the sense that Olivia sincerely believed she wouldn’t need Edison again. That’s a pretty foolhardy thought though considering the nature of DC politics. So Olivia had to go eat some humble pie and ask Edison to help her. I can’t say I blame Edison for the way he treated Olivia when she went to ask for his help. She’s treated him just as bad or worse, but it still sort of felt like kicking someone while they’re already down. Ultimately, Edison did what Olivia asked him to do, but his help came at the cost of Olivia being taken down a notch or two. However, all of that became a moot point because of one little ring.

It’s often been said lawyers make the worst clients and doctors make the worst patients. That’s very true. It also appears that we can add fixers to that list too. Leo asked Olivia to tell him everything that he needed to know about her relationship with Fitz. Including whether Fitz had ever given her anything. Olivia said Fitz had never given her anything, but that was a lie. A lie that cost Olivia the chance to run her case the way she wanted. The only option after the reporters got a hold of the news about the ring was to follow Leo’s original plan. I guess I don’t understand why Olivia would lie to Leo about the ring. She knows just how important even the smallest details can be when trying to work a situation like this, so why not give Leo all the information he needs to do a good job? A big part of it no doubt goes back to the fact that Olivia likes to be in control. Even after she called Leo, she was still trying to manage the situation herself, and if she’s going to do that, why call Leo in the first place?

Olivia finally seems to understand how well and truly screwed she is. Before she stood up and told the world about her and Fitz, she should’ve counted the cost. She should’ve counted on the fact that there are people who have been waiting for their opportunity to take her down. She should’ve counted on the fact that Fitz made enemies when he decided to break away from the party line and that those enemies would pounce on him as soon as the opportunity arose. She should’ve counted on the fact that the business she’s spent all these years building rests on the foundation of her being able to wield a certain amount of power that she no longer has. She should’ve counted on the fact that the fallout of her confession wouldn’t be confined to just her; all of her family, friends, and acquaintances would be subjected to scrutiny that they didn’t ask for or deserve. Mostly, though, Olivia should’ve counted the cost to herself. I’ve said before that part of what makes Olivia and Fitz’s relationship work (for lack of a better word) is the fact that Olivia keeps in the back of her mind that she’s not tied to Fitz. She’s always got an exit. However, ever since her announcement, those exit doors have been slamming shut. Now, she’s got no way out. That’s why she didn’t want to go with Leo’s plan. By going on tv and talking about her relationship with Fitz, she’s forever tethered to Fitz and this whole business. And that scares her. However, one thing her tv interview did accomplish was humanizing her. The media has spent a great deal of time dehumanizing Olivia and talking about her as if she’s some sort of robot instead of a person. Olivia’s heartfelt declaration that she wishes she could stop loving Fitz and that she wishes she’d never met him resonated in a way that very little has since the whole mess began. A lot of people understand the concept of falling in love with someone you shouldn’t and being unable to force yourself to stop loving that person. A lot of people understand the guilt of causing people you care about unnecessary pain. A lot of people understand the fear of losing everything you’ve worked your whole life to build. By doing that interview and laying herself bare like that, she reminded people that she is just a flawed, fragile person just like the rest of us. More importantly, that was Olivia being honest with the people and with herself.

Olivia isn’t the only one who got a hearty helping of humble pie. Fitz had his fair share as well. Namely, he had to call Cyrus and beg him to come back. Cyrus has been sitting at home watching with a certain amount of glee as Fitz and Olivia’s lives unravel. Maybe not glee. Schadenfreude is probably a better description because he’s still hurt and angry about the way Fitz treated him. However, he did show up when Fitz called him to the White House, and he was quickly able to work out why Fitz called him back. He refused the offer and dressed Fitz down for the way he’s treated him, but underneath all of that anger was hope. Cyrus is a monster. There’s no two ways about it, but at the same time, he genuinely loves Fitz. Most of the monstrous things he’s done have been done in an effort to either protect Fitz or to push him into being the greatest President he can be. He’s been Fitz’s biggest supporter and solid ground for decades, and he was (justifiably) angry when it appeared that Fitz has never recognized or appreciated all that Cyrus has done for him. Even more than that. Fitz called Cyrus back to protect himself and not because he actually wanted Cyrus back. Cyrus has been watching Fitz’s life and presidency implode, and I think it’s been killing him because Fitz won’t let him help.

It’s true that sometimes we take our support systems for granted, forgetting that they should function as two-way streets. We can sometimes become complacent and dismissive toward them and just expect that our support system will suck it up and be there because they’ve always been there. That’s what happened with Cyrus and Fitz. It’s not so much that Fitz doesn’t love Cyrus. It’s just that Cyrus has been supporting Fitz behind the scenes for so long, that Fitz began to take Cyrus for granted. Furthermore, I don’t know whether Fitz realized it earlier or whether he didn’t realize until that moment in the Oval just how much he needs Cyrus. Fitz hasn’t really been thinking about anyone but himself lately and because of that, he’s been unable to see the bigger picture. By cutting Cyrus out, he cut out the one guy who has always been able to see the bigger picture and has always given Fitz good advice. Fitz admitted he was wrong and offered a sincere apology. He also admitted that he forgot that they’re not just friends. They’re family, and you don’t treat family that way. I really enjoyed that conversation because it needed to happen. Cyrus has done too much for Fitz to dismiss him the way he did, and I was actually glad that Cyrus didn’t just jump right back onto Fitz’s bandwagon. Now that they’re back on the same team, things may turn around a bit for Fitz. Kudos to Jeff Perry and Tony Goldwyn for very good work in that scene.

I enjoyed this episode quite a bit more than last week. I’m still not overly thrilled about the Olivia/Fitz circus, but hopefully we can start wrapping this up soon and moving on to more interesting stories. I am, however, thrilled by the fact that it looks like Elizabeth North is going away. She has about as much personality as a wet paper towel, and as a Chief of Staff she’s about as effective as trying to use a sieve as a water glass. Naturally, I don’t think she’s just going to fade away, but a girl can hope. I don’t think Mellie is just going to accept her fate either. She got mad and gave the go ahead to ruin Fitz, but now she’s been kicked off the judiciary committee and is not able to take part in the lynch mob. She can claim it’s not about her being a scorned wife all she wants, but it pretty much is. She’s hurt and angry and she wants Fitz to suffer for it. It’s pretty obvious, though, that Hypocritical Evil Senator #1 and #2 aren’t interested in the truth. They’re interested in bringing Fitz and his administration down. Nothing more. I’m pretty sure things are about to get really nasty. Excellent! So what did y’all think of this week’s Scandal?