Is life-changing, extraordinary love that is also devastating and painful actually worth it?
In this episode, we see Olivia dealing with the fallout of going public about her relationship with Fitz. She is on the cover of every newspaper and being discussed on every TV channel. Meanwhile, Fitz is facing the prospect of his impeachment because of the relationship – but is an affair an impeachable offense? The answer is most likely no, but there are a lot of things that Fitz has done, some of them related to Olivia, that would be impeachable offenses. So the White House sends boxes of all kinds of paperwork to the committee, hoping that they won’t find a thing.
Leo Bergen, the male and much funnier version of Olivia the Fixer, works with OPA to come up with a plan to sell Olivia to the public. They first go with the regular woman narrative. Olivia is just like everyone else, wearing clothes from Target and shopping at the grocery store. Also, her ex-fiancé, Edison Davis, agrees to go on TV and sell Olivia as a wonderful person. He does this only after making her admit that she lied to him when she told him she wasn’t involved with the President way back in Season 2. And Fitz and Olivia watch him on TV from the White House residence. This plan works, until it is revealed that Fitz gave Olivia a ring. The world assumes that the ring he gave her for her to wear in order to show him that she is okay is assumed by the American public to be an engagement ring, and the news channels go wild once again.
Olivia finally agrees to go on TV and tell her story. She is doubtful about selling a googly-eyed love story, because that is not her, but as she talks, she opens up and tells the world just how difficult it has been to love Fitz. But does she regret it?
“I wish I never laid eyes upon him. I wish we never met. If I never laid eyes on him, then I wouldn’t have fallen in love and he wouldn’t have fallen in love. That may have made for two more lonely people in this world but also a lot less pain and heartache for many, many others. Senator Grant and the Grant Children. For the people I love, for this country that I love. A country that expects us in Washington to solve problems, not make them. Is the love of two people worth… all this destruction, all this attention? I mean if it were a choice, who would choose this kind of love? So I wish we never met. But we did. And I tried and failed, tried and failed.”
Mellie, watching her on TV with Cyrus, declares that she agrees with Olivia on this – she wishes that Olivia never met Fitz. Cyrus then apologizes to Mellie for bringing Olivia on to Fitz Presidential campaign. What goes unsaid is that without Olivia, Fitz likely wouldn’t have won the election at all. In any case, Mellie and Cyrus bond over their regrets.
Marcus comes through for Olivia once again this week, as even though he was threatened and blackmailed by the Senators pursuing Fitz’s impeachment, he made himself into a double agent and reported back to Olivia that the Senators knew about her kidnapping and that Fitz went to war in order to save her. Now that is an impeachable offense. In a perfectly well done romantic scene, Olivia turns up the music and tells Fitz that they know about the tape. He tells her that he will deny ever having seen the tape and that the war had nothing to do with her at all, but then they realize that Cyrus knows about it and could very likely report this to the committee. So, Fitz calls in Cyrus.
It was generally established last week and reinforced this week that Cyrus is in love with Fitz. He remembers every little detail about Fitz and things he did 17 years ago, but he feels that Fitz doesn’t remember anything about him. Therefore, he initially turns down Fitz’s offer to return to his job – after he realizes why Fitz needs him to come back. Fitz surprises him though, by speaking about the books that Cyrus’s mom would send him when they were on the campaign trail, and even quotes from one of the notes that his mom wrote to him – bringing himself to actual tears in the process. Cyrus relents and demands that Fitz immediately fire Elizabeth North and re-carpet his office.
In this episode, we see many kinds of love. Storge – the love of family members or people who are bonded by chance – is seen in the scenes with Cyrus and Mellie. Philia – the friend bond – is demonstrated when Quinn, Huck, and Marcus work to support Olivia. Eros – the sense of being in love with someone – seems to be evident in Cyrus’s speech to Fitz. And Agape – unconditional love – is the kind between Fitz and Olivia. I have always thought that real, true love encompasses all of these types of love and I actually think that Fitz and Olivia have it all. That real love may be painful and devastating, but it’s also life-changing and extraordinary. For the two of them to get to experience their love freely and without hating themselves for it, it would be everything.
If you watched this episode, what did you think?