The fact that Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) ultimately went along with a conspiracy to rig the election to allow Fitz (Tony Goldwyn) to win the popular vote, thereby becoming the President of the United States is something Scandal fans have known for awhile. Yet in “A Criminal, a Whore, an Idiot, and a Liar” audiences were finally treated to the backstory of that decision to see that it was not only not Olivia spearheading the idea, but it was also a decision that could have crossed the line for her but one that she made when she felt she had no other choice. Kudos to Shonda Rhimes and company for managing to deliver such tension in an episode where ultimately we knew just as much going in about what would happen as we did going out.
Yet, we couldn’t help but wonder how Washington felt getting to finally explore such a torturous decision on-screen. Olivia told Fitz just to be himself and really let the American people in the way he has with her, and he did, and it seemed he was rewarded with warmth and good will (even if not from his father) because of it. Yet, in the end, Olivia knew it wouldn’t be enough. With it seeming like the votes were going to be so close, Fitz would need an edge.
Or was it that Olivia just didn’t have as much faith in the American people and/or the system the way she did with Fitz? We caught up with her on set during the TCA tour in Los Angeles to get her take.
“I think it was more anxiety that it wouldn’t work out, but I don’t think you can make such a clear distinction between [her faith in the people versus her faith in the system]. Sometimes you can, but I didn’t here,” Washington said.
“I think those two are too interwoven.”
What do you think, Scandal fans? After seeing Olivia deliberate with the decision and then break down in the hallway, does her motive matter much to you at all, or are you just focused with what such actions did for her—and ultimately, Fitz—long-term? Let us know in the comments below!
Scandal airs on ABC on Thursday nights at 10 p.m.
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