‘Scandal’ Wants More Wine

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I will confess that I’m a TV relationship purist. All shows have a pairing that is an end game. For Gossip Girl it was Chuck and Blair, for Gilmore Girls it was Lorelai and Luke, for Scrubs it was Elliott and JD, for Friends it was Ross and Rachel. It doesn’t matter what Dan Humphrey/Christopher Haden/Sean Kelly/Joey Tribbiani tries to get in their way, that couple is going to make it in the end.

Which is why when Jake walked onto the Scandal scene (played by Scott Foley, the same guy who tried to get in the way of Elliott and JD on Scrubs), I was really having none of it. Olivia and Fitz have some of the most undeniable chemistry between two characters that I’ve ever seen, so obviously you want them to be the end game.

Except…do you?

Fitz and Olivia were interaction free this episode right until the very last moment. Fitz stood up for Mellie as Cyrus was tearing her a new one and then absently grabbed her hand while he read a briefing. Olivia let Jake force her to cuddle and then started making out with him. Professionally, both characters were really at the top of their game this week. Fitz showed he had a heart when he orchestrated a funeral for the pilot Huck killed last week and Olivia worked her magic with her Anthony Weiner-esque client and his wife.

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Doesn’t it seem like these two are better apart? At least for the time being?

To me, that’s how the last scene read. It’s hard for me to actively route against Olivia and Fitz when they’re in the same room, shuddering and making sad faces about just how ridiculous their sexual tension is. Kiss, damnit! I will my TV screen. But logically, their relationship is so dysfunctional and unhealthy at this point that it’s best for them to stay away.

So when Fitz manages to rain all over Liv’s sexual tension with Jake in just one phone call, I find myself pulling for Jake more than I ever expected. Here is a person who knows her and her flaws and her priorities, unlike Edison, and still wants to sign up. Fitz continues to damage her, abandon her, betray her, keep secrets from her. Jake says, “I’m not going anywhere,” and she looks at him like she’s never heard anything like that before.

I’m not saying that I’m jumping ship from the obvious pairing of this show. Eventually, I’m sure the Scandal writers will pull a couple punches that make Olivia and Fitz seem like the main course again. I’m just enjoying this side dish for a moment.

LISA KUDROW

In other news, Lisa Kudrow is on this show as Josephine Marcus, a congresswomen giving Fitz a hard time about his sexual history. Mellie gets caught on tape with this fantastic zinger: “Give any piece of trailer trash a push-up bra and a microphone, and the stupid flyovers will eat it up like fried Twinkies.” Yikes.

More than just a little excited about this new character and what it will mean for Mellie and Olivia both. This show already has its share of powerful women, but throwing another one in there to see how the dynamic changes can only make things more interesting. Especially after seeing the promo for next week.

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