The President is not going to be impeached and he makes a speech apologizing to the nation for his indiscretions. Then, he celebrates, but his celebration is cut short when he is informed that Olivia’s father has been released from prison. Whoever released him helped him with the perfect escape. As we know from last week, Olivia and Mellie conspired together to let him out so that he would stop the impeachment hearings. Fitz does not connect the fact that Rowan was released with his own trial ending, and Olivia pretends to know nothing about it, acting shocked and dismayed to hear that her father is on the loose.
Fitz’s next move is to win back the American people, so first up in this plan is to give a medal to a well-loved man who has made life better for women around the world by doing everything from helping girls learn to read to inspiring women to leave their abusive husbands. However, as Olivia soon finds out, the man is actually a serial rapist. Not only that, but his wife knows all about it and supports him in order to preserve his legacy. Also, the university where he is a professor protects him over the women who try to accuse him. Olivia wins by finding all the women that the man has raped and having them march into a reading he is doing. The win happens after her client is called out for lying – she was originally at the professor’s place due to a plagiarism accusation but she didn’t reveal that to Olivia. Olivia’s number one rule is that her clients should not lie to her.
Meanwhile, Fitz and Olivia spend much of the episode in the Oval Office, either working separately but together, or working together. Every time Cyrus comes in to talk to Fitz, Olivia responds or contributes. Cyrus is noticeably annoyed by her presence and the fact that she obviously should be the Chief of Staff and not him. Fitz loves Olivia so much because they are intellectually and politically equal. They work together amazingly well. However, all of this was frustrating for me because of the fact that Olivia is breaking her “no lying” rule and lying to Fitz. She continues to do so every time they are together and she doesn’t tell him that she was involved with her father’s escape.
Cyrus accuses Olivia of taking over the Oval Office; of staging a bloodless coup. He tells her that Fitz is no longer the President – she is. And the imagery of the last scene seems to confirm that the writers want us to believe that Olivia is taking over. She stands on the Seal on the floor of the Oval, drinking scotch, giving Fitz advice while he sits on the couch taking notes. Obviously Fitz trusts and values Olivia’s opinions and together they are a huge power couple. Fitz has been taking her advice from the beginning. But people all over the internet are talking about Fitz being weak and Olivia only wanting the power of being in the White House with him, as opposed to being in love with him. As a fan of Fitz, that bothers me. Maybe, the person Olivia is actually taking over for is Cyrus!
The episode title was “Even the Devil Deserves a Second Chance.” I am unsure who the devil is meant to be here – Olivia and we as viewers are giving her a second chance? Fitz and the American people are giving him a second chance? Or Elizabeth, who leaked the footage of Fitz and Olivia in the White House in the first place and was recently fired, but has now gone on Sally’s show to support the President and is offered another job? In any case, I don’t think it matters because the only thing I am really thinking about is whether or not Fitz will find out that Olivia has betrayed him by freeing his son’s killer and how he will react if he does. Will he give Olivia another chance? I’m not so sure.
If you watched this episode, what did you think?