Home > Scandal > Coming Apart to Come Back Together: Loyalty, Devotion, and Revelation

Coming Apart to Come Back Together: Loyalty, Devotion, and Revelation

In life, there are people who we’d take a bullet for, figurative or otherwise. People we risk for – people who we want, and need, to protect. More than, perhaps, we want to protect ourselves. We’ll go to great lengths just to do that. We take risks. We go over a cliff. Not just because we’re loyal. No, there’s something grander than that. It’s called devotion. You cannot be devoted to someone without being loyal to them, as well – but you can be loyal to someone without being devoted to them. It’s a distinction worth noting.

In the Scandal finale (White Hat’s Back On – SOMEONE please buy me that hat, btw. It’s perfect. Although, I’d adore it in grey, because I’m not fooling anyone with white.), loyalties were tested. Motivations were revealed. And we saw, exactly, who was devoted to whom. So much happened that I’m not sure where to begin, but let’s start with the Cabal Meeting in what I presume is the White House kitchen.

It’s revealed that the Cytron card is the issue, that Billy is the motherfrakkin’ mole, and Mellie nearly flees the table – until Fitz shows up. Fitz is involved. Fitz is present. Fitz isn’t pristine. We, as the audience, know that – because Verna. But his presence at the meeting signifies two things. The first is that he’s done letting people choose his fate for him, and he’s done being distanced from the dirty work. There’s something admirable about his Let’s FIX This attitude – and his swagger didn’t hurt either. In this scene, the conspiratorial, pleased glances that Liv and Fitz shared? Those were hints at the kind of power couple they’d be, if they’re ever given the chance. They’re perfectly in sync. They’re got each other’s back. They’re on the same page. (Never understand the power in that.) Plus, we got that whole Super Power scene, and good freakin’ grief. I needed a MOMENT to recover from that.

Next, let’s talk about Cyrus Beene. He’s not a bad guy. He does bad, questionable, murder-y things. But he’s not inhuman. He cares about Liv. He doesn’t want her hurt. He is utterly devoted to Fitz – which is basically why he always does what he does. Now, we saw him talking to head of B613, the covert ops group that frakked up Huck and that Jake is a part of. He was, basically, ordered to show Fitz the tape of Liv and Jake. Which…ew. There’s a whole level of creepy, there, that we’ll get to later. And yet, when Liv’s name is mentioned, he’s scared for Liv. He has feelings.

And then, Cyrus has a heart attack – just after Liv reveals that Governor Reston (from whom the election was stolen) is in contact with Billy, who supposedly has the Cytron card. Now, Cyrus’s entire scene in the ambulance was the most perfect thing ever. Cyrus is a like a perfect attack dog. His LEG could be hanging by a ligament, and he’d still being intent on what matter: Fitz. He is fiercely devoted to Fitz, and yet the moment he reveals that Liv slept with Jake, he’s not motivated out of friendship. His motivation is two-fold. First, the head of B613 told him to do it. We have to question what their relationship is, because we don’t know. Second, he is (in his twisted messed up way) trying his best to get Fitz reelected. It’s easier to win the election with Mellie, and while Liv came up with a brilliant plan to circumvent that problem, the audience still gets the feeling that Cy is not sold.

There is, of course, Fitz’s declaration to Mellie of how, exactly, she will be moved out of the White House. And Fitz, dammmmn, is not messing around. He’s clear. He’s forceful. He’s got a backbone. Mellie, visiting Cyrus in the hospital, is really blindsided by this monologue. You could tell, as her face falls, that she was still full of hope. She thought that they’d come back together, probably because of what Cyrus had told her – and the fake reports leaked to the media. It was, of course, a political angle that she was working. It wasn’t an emotional plea on her part. It was about approval ratings. To me, that harkened back to Fitz’s whole “you’re ornamental, not functional!” tirade way back.

I did LOVE the interaction between Cyrus and James, after the heart attack. Two people, in love, can be so mad at each other – but when the chips are down, man, that shows you a lot. It’s okay to fight. It’s okay to still be mad. But that doesn’t mean they love each other any less. It’s one thing to be pissed. It’s another to want the person you love dead. I absolutely adore them as a couple, and I want more Cyrus and James. Because they are such a REAL couple. They fight. They bicker. But dammmmn, if they aren’t totally devoted to each other, flaws and all.

Cyrus, completing his batshit craziness, check himself out of the hospital – tells Liv about Fitz killing Verna. Why? Because he’s had it with Liv and Fitz. They won’t get in line. They won’t do as he commands. And Cy likes his power. Cy likes people to take his advice. Fitz needs things to work out with Fitz, so that he can stay in the White House. You have to wonder, then, if Cyrus’ motivations are entirely…pure. Because if Fitz stays, he stays. Regardless, Liv nearly has an emotional cow, because this revelation isn’t tiny one. This is a big deal. And Cyrus knows that some things are impossible to forgive. But that isn’t exactly true. More on that later.

Jake protects Liv from an B613 assassin, which – um, not COOL on a certain person trying to kill Liv. We can, potentially, assume that Jake’s loyalty was being tested. Perhaps choosing Liv over B613 was a test. And he failed it. There are so many parallels to Huck and his family, there. Because any kind of deviation is seen as a weakness. As such, Jake is tossed in the Huck Hole, and that is going to leave all kinds of emotional scars. We can only hope that, next season, Olivia saves him. It’s only fair, since he saved her. He is, honestly, one of the good guys.

There is the matter of Huckleberry Quinn. Huck repeatedly admits to being worried about Quinn. She’s taking a little too well to the covert assassin lifestyle. It’s easy for her. She is, as Huck has previously said, a natural. And then when Huck’s hands are shaking while he’s about to torture Billy for information, she steps in – without so much as a hand tremor – and goes a bit all work and no play on Billy Chambers. It was flawlessly portrayed by Katie Lowes. There was a mad abandon in it, an enjoyment. And you have to wonder if a person can come back from that kind of wild joy, given its source (torture). Huck has a hard time grappling with it. And she’s acting like a kid on her first trip to Disneyland. I…*backs away slowly* would not want to push her.

We come to find that David Rosen is a brilliant manipulator – but he is not without loyalty. All this time, he’s been working with Billy Chambers who, oh my god, was perfectly insane. Wonderfully played. David stole the Cytron card, but gave a fake card to Billy. David taped Billy confessing to alllllll the murders pretty much ever. And yet, while he could’ve wrecked Olivia and OPA, he didn’t. He has loyalty for the Gladiators. Because you know what? He HANDLED that shit. David eventually hands over the Cytron card to Cyrus, gets a great job, and his name is cleared on national television by the mothereffin’ president. If that isn’t perfectly executed redemption, I don’t know what is.

Now, the Liv and Fitz of it all. Fitz is prepared to forgive Liv for Jake. Which, honestly, is kind of ridiculous. I mean, what did he expect? Liv to be some kind of nun? Um, dude. You’re married. You don’t get to be all Judge-y McJudgerson. Or, to quote Meredith Grey, “I make no apologies for how I chose to repair what you broke.” Liv keeps her physical distance in this scene, and you’ll notice that Fitz deliberately walks behind his desk, creating a barrier between himself and Liv. He can see what’s coming – the breakup – but not why.

The dialogue in this scene is well done. Liv doesn’t say that she can’t forgive him about Verna. She doesn’t say that it affected her love for him at all. She doesn’t say that. She says that she cannot leave her Gladiators. She cannot abandon them, because that’s what would happen if she was really with Fitz. She would have to be First Lady. She would become that role. And then what happens to the off-kilter, ragtag Scooby gang?

I think that Liv comes to this realization because of everything OPA does to get that Cytron card back. They all go over a cliff for Liv, without blinking. That’s devotion. It’s not just loyalty. Those are the people who would take a bullet for you. In that scene with Fitz, she took a bullet for them. Sure, Liv gave him the excuse that he needs to run with Mellie. Because, from a political standpoint, she is right. Cyrus is right. But Liv is very careful not to address her feeling for Fitz. It isn’t about loving him any less. That’s not a question.

Fitz goes back to Mellie. She’s sitting on a couch. And he lays his head in her lap. His heart is broken, again. Because he was willing to give up everything to be with Liv, and she walked away. Except, he wasn’t really willing to do that, was he? He was ready to obliterate his marriage, yes. But he expected Liv to fit into his life. Not a mutual melding of lives. He expected her to become, perhaps, more ornamental than functional. And that would’ve been a disservice to them both. Two people can only truly be together as partners with an even power dynamic. If Liv became First Lady, the balance would’ve been a bit skewed.

So, he goes to Mellie. There’s absolutely nothing romantic about that scene. It’s more like a child who is hurt, running to his mother. He wants comfort. It’s not about Mellie herself. It’s about Fitz and his pain, his rejection. He goes to Mellie because he has nowhere else to go, no other choice. Mellie accepts this. She sees it for what it is. A reunion of political allies, not two people in love. She is, you can tell by Bellamy Young’s brilliantly subtle facial expressions, relieved. And she treats him just as a mother would a wounded child, stroking his hair. That, guys, isn’t a marriage.

Of course, after that moment, Olivia’s world explodes. She is ready to go out for a run, steps outside of her apartment building all dressed in white – to a crowd of reporters asking her about her relationship with Fitz – asking if she is the president’s mistress. Holy HUCKING SHIT, people. WHAT? My jaw dropped on the floor. Because very few people knew about the relationship. Those who did? Are loyal to either Fitz or Liv, so they wouldn’t have leaked it to the press. So, the question becomes: who did?

Of course, my first thought is that it’s Liv’s dad. Oh, yeah. Liv’s dad is the head of B613. Liv’s dad possibly tried to have her murdered. Liv’s dad is kind of an asshole. But he does have her pulled out of the crowd and hidden away in his car. This raises a lot of questions. SO MANY. And, as you probably already know, the answers won’t be straightforward. And we have to WAIT for them.

But here’s what I think. I think that Sally Langston leaked the information about Fitz and Liv, because unlike Hank (the president’s dog) she isn’t loyal to Fitz at all. And if Fitz is disgraced, she can swoop in and run for president. She can, at least, vie for the Republican party’s bid. I think Sally has the clearest motivation here.

I’m curious, though, about what Liv really knows about her dad. Does she know what his job is? Does she know who he is, that he broke Huck? Talk about a potentially awkward family dinner. I can’t imagine Huck’s face if he sees Liv’s dad. Or his reaction.

Yes, things were completely blown up in the finale. But I’m looking forward to exactly how things will be reassembled. In a way, each character got a blank slate. All the chips are on the table. Fitz knows about Jake and Liv. Liv knows about Verna. They have no more secrets from each other. And that, honestly, is important. Because that kind of thing would’ve come back to bite them in the ass, later. It would’ve bred resentment. It would’ve bred mistrust. Now, yes, they’re apart. But as anyone knows, for two people in love? No matter what, that doesn’t last for long.

And the white hat’s back on, folks.

Categories: Scandal
  1. CrayolaGirl
    May 20, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    Love this recap!!!

  2. Lucy
    May 20, 2013 at 10:01 pm

    Not a lot of time was spent on Jake, but he was one of the things that impacted me most about that episode. I was so touched by his self sacrifice. A self sacrifice I have not seen from Fitz’s character. Where Fitz is mostly talk, Jake is mostly action.

    I know Jake is an un-choosable option for Liv because of his position in B613 and his soon to be screwed up head after being in the hole. I don’t know if he really loves Liv or if he is just such a decent human being that he was sickened by what he was sent to do to someone he was developing feelings for. After being presented as both attractive and creepy (those pretty yet starey eyes!) I found he really grew on me, especially as his behavior was contrasted with Fitz’s. I hope they explore his character some more next season. And yes, I hope Liv saves him too. Besides Liv and David Rosen he seems to be one of the few with a modicum of decency.

    Speaking of, David Rosen was spectacular. At first I thought they were going to a dark place with him, but I was impressed with how his character was fully redeemed – even if he had to step into the muck to do it.

    Quinn on the other hand – what a great acting job by Katie Lowes, but Quinn is definitely a monster. Poor Huck!

    I can hardly wait for next season. I wonder what kind of crazy things they are going to do with the story then. And I really wonder how Fitz and Olivia’s relationship can be salvaged, transformed or redeemed. I have a lot of trouble rooting for those two, and not just because Fitz is a married cheater. Their relationship doesn’t seem to do much but damage everything it touches.

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