Who Are You, and What Do You Want: Things We Do for Love
Who are you, what do you want?
Those are two very basic questions. And yet, often times, people can’t answer them. Think about a person who makes you feel small. Think about being afraid to show who you really are. Think about holding back and holding in for the sake of an image or idea.
Then answer me this: if you aren’t true to yourself, how can you know – or go after – what you want? You can’t. Not really. You’re too busy living a lie, filling a role, playing a part, wearing a mask. You’re too busy hiding yourself from, perhaps, yourself. In last night’s Scandal (A Criminal, a Whore, an Idiot, and a Liar), there were questions and secrets, revelations and facades, and revealed motives.
In a flashback, we met Fitz’s domineering, demanding bastard of a father (called in to help, during his campaign for President). As soon as he entered the scene, Fitz literally shrank in stature, stopped making eye contact, and put a wall so spectacular that you could probably see it from space. He, interestingly, fell into his cups – which appears to be a habit whenever he is abjectly miserable. Everyone seems to be kissing Jerry Grant’s ass, except Olivia, who also seems to be the only person who sees Fitz basically internally flailing. Of course, when his anger turned inward finally spurts out, it’s misdirected at campaign workers and Liv calls him out on his bullshit. I know you, because you let me know you. Then, later, Show them who you are.
Such a simple statement. But it is the best advice. You cannot win a heart, or the heart of a nation, if you don’t show yourself. If you aren’t honest and even vulnerable. If you are false, eventually people catch on. Some quicker than others. Which brings us to a question: who is Liv? In this flashback, we see her FINALLY – after a wonderful, wrenching scene with Cyrus, in which Jeff Perry is fucking brilliant, invading her personal space and generally being mad persuasive – consent to rig the election for Fitz. And we finally discover why she did it. The others, their gains were readily ascertained. But Liv? Liv did it for Fitz. Liv did it for love. Liv got her hands dirty, compromising herself, so that Fitz benefited. It was selfless. This, interestingly, is in contrast to present day Mellie, who forged Fitz’s signature, which forced him to leave the hospital and put his health in danger in order to keep her out of jail.
Show them who you are.
We are, I think, what we do for love. The parts we surrender, the parts we offer up. Love isn’t fact-based. For instance, Liv’s boyfriend Edison Davis can explain what her moods mean, if she’s angry, she’s hiding something. She, perfectly, refuses to answer her questions. She has walls. She has secrets. He knows her, but he doesn’t know her. That is a major, inexplicable difference. He can’t get under her skin enough to make her reveal herself, not really. In fact, Edison only manages to provoke Liv – which really made their last scene together kind of…suspect. He PROPOSED. They broke, and he proposed. It seemed a little odd to me, and then I remembered: they were engaged once before. Is this a pattern? When she’s about to walk, does he just randomly pop the question? And Edison, really – if she won’t the name of her last serious ex-boyfriend, she doesn’t trust you. And if she doesn’t trust you, that isn’t exactly something to build a marriage on. That’s quicksand.
Speaking of trust – or a blatant lack thereof – throughout the course of the episode, Mellie is simply pleased as hell that everything is going according to plan. Everything is coming up roses. Sally eventually resigns as acting president. Cyrus moves back into his office. And the status quo is returned to normal. Except it isn’t. Because Fitz is different. Fitz isn’t normal. Fitz, as Liv pointed out, nearly died. This tends to change a person, because it puts into perspective what really matters – and who really matters. Life is short. Too short to be spent in the pursuit of things that do not matter, standing beside people who don’t completely, totally, and madly love. In the last episode, we saw that Fitz immediately wanted to talk to Liv when he woke up, not Mellie. Liv. At the close of this episode, poor injured Fitz is in bed. He looks terrible. Exhausted. Emotionally wrung out. He’s put his health of the line to save Mellie. And she’s sitting there, chattering like a magpie of ridiculously superficial importance. She is talking, but she doesn’t see him at all. It’s like he could be anyone. There is no kindness or tenderness there. He’s a prop. A well-placed political prop. He nearly died, and Liv showed him more sweetness and concern in a single kiss than Mellie did throughout the whole episode. She doesn’t ask him how he’s doing, how he’s falling. She’s talking at him, not to him. She doesn’t see him at all.
And, almost foolishly, she asks him: if you could have anything, what would it be? And Fitz, without missing a beat and with all head injury-induced word drama, says a divorce. BAM.
Who are you, and what do you want? Answer those questions honestly, and it reveals exactly where your heart lies. Because who you are, and what you do for love, is what matters the most. And Fitz, have been through a traumatic event, finally can stop being the image of what people want and expect. He can stop playing a role, face deep in Scotch, and be true to himself. Because, President or no, life is too short for it to spent in a cage, even one as pretty as the oval office.