When I read the title for Scandal Season 4 Episode 4, "Like Father, Like Daughter," several weeks ago, I thought the episode would somehow revolve around Olivia and Rowan Pope's relationship.
Yep. I was wrong about that one.
In the wake of Jerry's death, the Grant family continues to unravel, only this time, Olivia is there to pick up the pieces. But will Fitz want her to pick up the pieces after this week? Will she want to help him when she learns what's about to happen?
Okay, it needs to be said. Olivia Pope is a complete and total badass. Full stop. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200. (Maybe collect $2.5 million.)
Watching her handle those parents? AMAZING! I was all tingly and fist-bumping and excited. The looks on their faces were priceless!
She. Handled. It.
And now I'm going to try really, really, extra super hard not to spend the rest of this review ranting about Fitz, but you guys have to give me at least some leeway here. (Nearly the entire episode was about the two of them being in the same room again and his reaction to where she'd been for two months.)
For starters, Shonda, what was up with the quasi-Fitz/Olivia reunion music playing while she's talking to him about his teenage daughter who just made a sex tape? Not the time. Not the place. Which has always sort of been a problem for Fitz.
He can't separate work from play where Olivia's concerned. She's there, saving his ass - AGAIN - and all he can seem to think about is getting into her pants. Your daughter is hurting. Your family is falling apart. Stop thinking with your manparts and get your ish together!
I just really can't stand this guy when it comes to Olivia Pope. He's a jealous, arrogant, hot-headed ass who doesn't think about how what he wants affects anyone else.
His jealousy and the way he just...pushes his way into her bubble (not a euphemism) because that's what he wants--even if she does eventually reciprocate--is just...ugh. It makes me angry not because she's showing desire for the man and the situation but because he makes it impossible to be denied, and not in that good "take me now" sort of way.
(I'm braced for all who would yell at me about this statement, FYI.)
Fitz acts like a wounded dog when she pushes him away and says no, even if it's for a completely legitimate reason (like the million I could list), even though she could've very easily pushed him away just because HELLO THEY WERE STANDING ON THE SEAL SAVE IT FOR ANOTHER TIME.
And that's where her relationship with Jake comes into contrast with her relationship with Fitz.
Jake puts the ball squarely in her court. If she wants sex, he's there. She just needs to come and get it. She needs to straight up say "this is what I want." THAT is power. Fitz gives her guilt.
There is absolutely zero doubt in my mind that Fitz believes Jake Ballard killed his son in some sort of sick and twisted game about Olivia. You can bet that the reason he refused to listen to Tom when Tom was begging for an audience with the President was because he wanted to hear Tom say that Jake had been behind his son's murder.
All because he learned that Olivia took Jake with her when she went away for two months. That IS the reason. And that's why Fitz is despicable. He can't see beyond Olivia Pope.
NEWSFLASH FITZ! You're a married man! And also the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES! She can't "stand in the sun" with you right now!
There can be no Vermont as long as you are married, whether that marriage is to Mellie or the White House!
I know that Fitz and Olivia are endgame, and really, truly, despite my rantings about how much I really can't stand the man, I'm okay with that. I believe in character growth and development and I can hold out hope that one day he won't be such an entitled brat.
But for right now I'm just going to hope Jake doesn't die since Fitz delivered him straight into the hands of the Devil because he hates Jake for having what he can't with Olivia.
In totally other news about this episode, Bellamy Young continues to kill it as Mellie Grant. (Did you know #SmellyMellie trended on Twitter within minutes of Fitz uttering that line?)
This woman is heartbroken and grieving and falling completely apart. When she tries to take control of herself she falls flat on her face.
Not tonight. Tonight she shined in her conversation with Karen. It was a moment that felt real. Mellie didn't hold the sex tape over Karen's head. She didn't berate her daughter for making it.
She understood. She listened without Karen having to say a single word. She just...got it. It was beautiful.
What isn't beautiful week to week is listening to Abby whine. I love the woman. I do. The character is fiery and smart and seriously great and I know I'm one of a handful of people who champion her, but for real. She has to let the Olivia Pope comparisons go if she's going to survive on her own. And I want to see her survive.
Olivia Pope might be the best at what she does but that doesn't mean she didn't teach Abby well.
Clearly, I had feelings about Scandal Season 4 Episode 4. I blame the delicious Cabernet.
What did YOU feel about the episode? Sound off below and remember, if you ever miss a night, you can always watch Scandal online right here to get caught up.
Here's your sneak peek at Scandal Season 4 Episode 5. Let's try and decipher that, shall we?
Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.