1) Shonda Rhimes wants us to believe that a Black woman can have an affair with a white dude and his white wife will be totally okay with it.Yeah...if you can believe that, I have one hell of a bridge to sell you.
2) She wants us to believe that a white president can have an affair with Black woman - while he's still in office - without some next-level repercussions.
3) She wants us to believe a Black lawyer/publicist/crisis manager can convince a filthy rich white CEO to just hand her son over to the police after he admits to being a rapist.
4) In short, she wants us to believe that all this super-rich and powerful white folks would actually trip all over themselves for this Black woman.
Seriously y'all, I don't see this show lasting past Season 1. I'd like it to...but I dunno. Already, commenters on Hulu have started with the whole "Olivia's face is annoying" meme we all knew was coming. In the meantime, some other folks thoughts:
Willa Paskin’s written about how that relationship fits into Rhimes’ larger pattern of telling stories from the perspective of mistresses. And while Scandal may fit Rhimes’ ouvre, it’s also haunted by a pair of historical ghosts: President Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings, a slave who came into Jefferson’s possession through his wife. Now, I’m not saying they’re the same thing. Olivia is obviously a free woman. She didn’t start her relationship with the president as a young teenager. And she isn’t continuing her relationship with him in part as a way to guarantee that her children will be freed later.What are your thoughts, Ladies of the Club?
But there is still a power imbalance between them: Olivia seems unable to resist him or break away from him entirely, he views his relationship with her as kind of a reward for his goodness in other areas (an awfully Clintonian justification for sexual misconduct), and as it turns out, his wife condones the relationship at least to a limited extent. When the president gets insomnia, she makes sure Olivia will show up at a state dinner so he can get his fix, and go back to the work of running the country. I tend to appreciate Shonda Rhimes’ race-neutral casting and mixed-race relationships, but there’s something weird about not acknowledging that this is a case where a white president in love with a black woman would have particular repercussions. The country’s behaved insanely enough in response to the election of a black president. Something like this—or, god forbid, the revelation that Obama had an affair with a white woman—would expose a whole other level of ugly, and I think that’s worth acknowledging in some way.
~ Alyssa Rosenberg, "‘Scandal’: Olivia Pope, Sally Hemings,
and the Dangers of Race Neutrality"
The Hollywood Reporter: How does Fitz feel about Olivia taking Amanda on as a client?
Tony Goldwyn: He feels very conflicted about it because in one sense he has a tremendous amount of self-recrimination about ever allowing a situation like this to develop, and it's much more complicated than audiences know yet. Part of it is that he feels like he's been a fool. On the other hand, he feels heartbroken because Olivia won't speak to him, and he feels betrayed by Olivia. Something Fitz will say over and over again to Olivia as the season goes on is, "You know me." He feels that she knows him better than anybody and she has lost faith in him. He feels as if that's not fair because she doesn't have all the facts and her anger, pride and heart has gotten in the way of her judgment. His feelings are very complicated about it.
How worried is he?
Olivia is a formidable foe; she's not someone you want on the other side. Olivia's a pit bull; she doesn't quit. Cyrus criticizes Fitz for being an idealist -- of leading with his heart -- which he ultimately does. It's a great quality but also gets him into a lot of trouble. At the bottom of his heart, he has some faith that Olivia will ultimately see the truth of him eventually, but the house may have to burn down in the process, so it's terrifying.
Where does this trust that he has with Olivia come from and was it always so easy?
It came through conflict. Olivia is an utterly uncompromising individual who is honest and leads from her gut. That's what Fitz fell in love with. From his first interaction with her -- which was a hostile one that you'll see in a later episode -- she blew his mind. He was very impressed with her and came to rely on her as a strategist more than anybody, even more than Cyrus.
~ Lesley Goldberg "'Scandal's' Tony Goldwyn:
The President Is Worth Rooting For"