In the much-anticipated 100th episode of Scandal, we head down the road of “what ifs.” What if Olivia said no to rigging the election? What if Fitz never became president? In this parallel universe episode, “The Decision,” Jake, Olivia and Fitz argue over what to do about this group literally killing people to get Mellie in the office. When Jake suggests that they let it happen since they’ve rigged an election before, Fitz is appalled. But Jake tells Olivia that both of their lives would be much worse if they hadn’t rigged the election in 2010, which gets Olivia thinking.
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Just Say No
After Jake suggests their lives would be much worse, Olivia thinks back over the past seven years to that night they held the Defiance meeting. This time around, though, she votes “no” to rigging Fitz’s election. And sure enough, Fitz loses and Samuel Reston wins. Olivia and Fitz go their separate ways, him staying in California and Olivia heading back to D.C. to work with Marcus Walker on a criminal justice reform bill.
Two months go by and Olivia is working out of a storefront with Marcus, Abby, Huck and David Rosen on the bill, which David thinks won’t get passed without some political support. Abby jokes around with Olivia, who is dating Leo Bergen. However, as Olivia gets ready to go on a date, Fitz comes to her door, says he’s left Mellie and wants to marry Olivia. At first, Olivia isn’t entertained, but then she runs into his arms to be with him.
Six months after that, it’s wedding bells as Olivia heads down the aisle to marry Fitz. Eli manages to make it to the ceremony, but slips out before anyone sees him. After they get married, Olivia gets right back to work on getting the bill passed, and Fitz gets to work on his very own TV show, The Grant Report, where he is a political analyst. Sound familiar?
They are living in Olivia’s apartment, but Fitz wants to buy a place of their own. Olivia shuts him down, which frustrates Fitz. They grow apart, and one night after waiting over four hours to meet with President Reston about her bill and the meeting getting canceled, Olivia comes home and picks a fight with Fitz. Eventually, she reveals that she could have given him the White House but she decided not to rig the election. She goes as far as to call him un-electable, but admits if he won, it would have destroyed them. He says at least he would have been president and walks out.
An Arranged Marriage
On Olivia and Fitz’s wedding day, Cyrus argues with James (yes James) outside the church. James wants Cyrus to come out of the closet already, but Cyrus doesn’t want to ruin his career. Instead, he comforts Mellie as her ex gets married. And then he eventually marries her! Of course, this marriage is a way for Cyrus to eventually get back into the White House.
One day, Cyrus suggests that it’s not too late for Mellie to run. So he starts getting her campaign ready. When they are ready to announce, she hires reporter James to do the piece on her. James asks a bunch of questions to annoy Cyrus, and when Mellie leaves the room, he argues with Cyrus about his sham of a marriage and the life he’s living. Cyrus says it’s his only chance to get into the White House. Mellie overhears everything.
Five months later, Eli, who is going by the name Mr. Bainbridge, is working on Mellie’s presidential campaign. He finds images of Sally Langston’s husband with another man. Mellie doesn’t want to leak them, but Cyrus thinks it’s a good idea. She eventually implies that she knows that Cyrus is gay, too. Later, Mellie finds out they leaked the images anyway. When she confronts Cyrus, he implies that there’s no turning back now. She can’t leave him as it will be political suicide. He also says their “marriage” is perfect because no woman will ever come between them. Mellie realizes she’s trapped.
Fitz continues his downward spiral after his fight with Olivia. While Olivia, who does eventually get her bill passed, is contemplating divorce. One day, Fitz has America’s Sweetheart, the next contestant on The Princess, a Bachelorette-type show, Lindsey D. Yes, Quinn is on a dating show and has become America’s Sweetheart, even winning the heart of Huck when she’s on the show. Anyway, after she makes an appearance on The Grant Report, she heads backstage to hook up with Fitz, who realizes mid-makeout that he’s making a mistake.
Meanwhile, Mellie heads to Olivia’s office to apologize to her. She says Olivia made the right choice by voting “no” to Defiance in 2010. She adds that Fitz is free and she’s still trapped. Fitz has a chance at happiness. Before Olivia can say anything, Mellie walks out.
And in keeping with apologies, as Fitz discusses Sally Langston’s husband’s affair on his show, he realizes midway through that he needs to apologize to Olivia. He heads home where he gives her a speech that by saying “no,” she allowed him to be the man that he should be. The man that she deserves. He apologizes and asks for a second chance to be that man. She hands him an envelope, and inside is a real estate listing for a home in Georgetown that they can call their own.
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Back to Reality
Why all the fictional flashbacks? Well, there is a purpose. Olivia has a choice in present day. She can side with Jake (who just wants to sit back and let the bad people rig the election so Mellie can be president) or she can side with Fitz (who wants to fight the bad people, clear Cyrus’s name and get him into the Oval Office). In the end, after her flashback and “what if” scenario, Olivia runs to Fitz and tells him she’s in.
Scandal has been a wild ride in season 6. It’s also been confusing. “The Decision” is a nice change of pace. It is fun to see the parallels that would have happened if Olivia never voted “yes” to rig the election for Fitz. It was funny to see Quinn as America’s Sweetheart. And it was great to see Olivia and Fitz have an “easy and normal” marriage. No B613, no murders. Just them living a normal life. It is a shame to see that Mellie is still trapped in the crazy political world, in a sham of a marriage after Fitz. Looks like her life would have ended up the same in a weird way.
And in present day, we now have to choose between who we want as president, Mellie or Cyrus? Whereas if Fitz was never elected, we could have had both. Perhaps we still get both? I am curious what will happen now that Fitz and Olivia want to fight the bad people who are much scarier than Papa Pope.
Did you like the fun 100th episode of Scandal? Do you think Olivia should have voted “no” seven years ago? Do you think they would have been happy? Did it surprise you that Mellie would have ended up with Cyrus? Let us know in the comments below.
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(Image courtesy of ABC)
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV