10.17.2015

Black Girls' Night Out: Olivia Pope


All right, Shondaland; you still have my attention...for now.

The Season 2, Episode 4: "Dog-Whistle Politics" shows Olivia Pope dealing with the fallout of telling the truth about her affair with Fitz.  It's brutal.  All the gloves come off, and the airwaves are filled with talk about her race, her gender, her father's incarceration, her sassiness, her urban-ness, and so on.
When we turned on our TVs and first met Olivia less than four years ago, she was introduced as a powerful woman. She held her own with men and women. Olivia Pope has made mistakes; she's hurt people — but she has also been a role model when it comes to being a success, taking command of a room, negotiating, and being a compassionate boss. (Yes, we know she's fictional, no need to mention it.) Yet, it was no surprise to hear all the different ways the media tried to strip her of that power. They said things like, "Is she that good or simply lucky?" They went so far to try and erase that work, asking if she had just taken the power instead of earning it in the first place.

The internet commenters were worse, mirroring an unfortunate reality. Three different porn films had already been made about Fitz (Tony Goldwyn) and Olivia, and the commenters on sites were discussing murdering and raping her. This gave her the opportunity to make an important point, and have the best quote of the night: "How come whenever a woman does something that people don't like, the only way these men on the internet know how to express themselves is threatening rape?"
(Source)
This is the main reason I'm blogging about this show.

Misogynoir was a main theme this week, as was sexism in general.  When the leaders of the Republican party met with Fitz to discuss what they want in exchange for helping him whether the storm, no female politicians were consulted.  Hell, Liz North was dismissed from the President's side as soon as possible  The women - Democratic and Republican - were in another room, talking to Mellie, narrating what was going in the Oval: men were drinking brandy, smoking cigars, and chatting with the President about major political decisions without consulting the women.  "There are too many peckers," said one character, before they asked Mellie how she felt about having her husband impeached.

Meanwhile, one particular Republican leader reminded Fitz that they've all had dalliances.  Fitz's problem was that he got caught, but if he chose to step outside his marriage again, to at least choose a woman more "palatable" to the base.

So Fitz...being Fitz....



Another great aspect to the show is the addition of Cornelius Smith, Jr. as Marcus Walker, a series regular.

In a direct nod to Harrison, Quinn attempts to recruit Marcus Walker who's appeared in previous episodes as a prominent black activist by using the exact speech Harrison (Columbus Short, and yes, I noticed the actors even the same initials) used to recruit her.  When finally asked if he wants to be a gladiator in a suit, Marcus, being a more ethically inclined human being than your typical OP Associate, replies, "Hell, no."

But seeing as Liv did bail his ass out once before, Marcus changes him mind and joins OPA, and promptly comes out swinging.


On a side note that no one cares about, we learn that Jake heads to Paris where he reunites with a fellow ex-spy he once pretended to be married to, Elise. We learn that "Jake" isn't even his really name, and he's on a mission to see who's helping Eli Pope on the outside.

And the only reason I'm bringing this up is to show how desperate they are to keep this obviously non-essential character on the show.  No offense to Scott Foley, but no one gives a shit about Jake Ballard anymore.  Liv chose Fitz, and the whole world knows it now.  B613 is in shambles, and we don't need yet another white woman added to a show where white fandom is already clamoring for a Mellie Grant spin-off, and where Liz North has overstayed her welcome.  Seriously...they finally add a much-needed POC to the show, and then automatically tack on another white person as well to compensate.

The fuck?

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