As we discovered last week, The Gladiators in Suits aren’t very good when it comes to their personal safety. With Huck and Olivia with head injuries and their hand in a witness death, next week will involve a lot of assessment. Before all the wound licking, join me, Jordan St. John, and my sister Loree Lamour for a deeper assessment of the episode.
Jordan: Best title ever! Also, interesting, since Tony Goldwyn was the villain in this and that movie, too…and I’m sorry, by the end of this episode, he just feels creepy.
Joe: Clever wink by Shonda. Especially since Ms. Rhimes knew way in advance the girl she would kill in this episode would die because of a drama involving the president.
Loree: Yeah, I’m conflicted with Fitz, too, Jordan. I mean it looked like he was on the path of destroying Olivia until her life was threatened then he gets all worried. Also, Jake…man…I’m starting to get really intrigued by him. I mean I thought he planned to attempt to kill Olivia (obviously, she wouldn’t be, since she’s the show), but when she came over for dinner I wondered would he poison her food? Would he use a pillow to try to suffocate her as she slept? Then, when she went into the living room and discovered he is basically a stalker I was thinking, “Olivia he’s coming, Jake is coming!” Then she hits her head and he brings her to hospital. So…I’m confused by him. I really love this Jake character; he definitely has me guessing.
Jordan: I have to side with Cyrus here when James is trying to kick him out, and I am glad they got to the truth of the matter by the end of the episode. James getting upset that Cyrus is a liar is like someone getting upset at Olivia because she doesn’t go through the proper channels with problems. Lying is literally what Cyrus gets paid to do, and James knew that going in. He can’t sit there in the house his husband paid for, attending the events his status gets them, and then complain.
Joe: I agree with you. It annoyed me a little, too, that he threw him out of the house when he didn’t cheat on him. It’s clear they have, like, 6 bedrooms in that house. I know he wanted distance–and I know they’re wealthy–but that whole thing just annoyed me.
Jordan: I have missed the moments between Fitz and Cyrus, but Fitz needs to cut back on all this surveillance of everyone around him. He’s freaking people out. Also, between all this spying, when does he find time to, you know, run the country?
Loree: That’s funny you say that, Jordan, because I’m wondering how Mellie got that background information on Jake. I mean I guess she’s seen them together often enough, and she has been eavesdropping, since no one lets her in on things anymore. Poor Mellie–seriously, I feel really sorry for her. I’m hoping maybe Shonda will introduce a best friend or close confidant for Mellie because I feel she really does need it, like we all do.
Joe: Yeah! Why doesn’t the First Lady have any friends? I guess we don’t really see Michelle with anyone but her family, but there aren’t cameras inside The White House. Maybe Mellie is just so into being a political wife she stopped talking to her friends.
Loree: I mean when Mellie was talking to Fitz about the definition of marriage and how passion and undying love isn’t part of it and Fitz, hearing this, apologized because he feels he did this to her, changing her outlook on love, which I feel he has. I mean, who wants to be married if all it is is a contract.
Jordan: Love that when Liv and Cyrus talk they both have their huge glasses of red wine. That stuff seems to be the official Fixer fuel.
Joe: Reminds me of Cougar Town.
Jordan: Watching Mellie and Fitz play at their marriage is creepy. We see them how others must see them and how they look lovely in their fairy-tale projection.
Loree: Definitely agree with you there, Jordan. Honestly I feel like, in order to be a politician, the prerequisite is to be an exquisite actor. I mean looking at our own political system and the limitless scandals that we have had and have yet to have–there are so many stone-faced politicians who deny their heinous accusations, and they eventually come out, anyway.
Jordan: I enjoyed this conversation between James and Cyrus about knowing the person you are. It dovetails in an interesting way with the conversation that Cyrus and Fitz have. Cyrus got back in Fitz’s good graces after he showed Fitz last week that he would accept him and back him, even if there were things he didn’t know about the president. Fitz then accepted that he was OK with Cyrus’s methods and needed to have someone like Cyrus. James doesn’t seem to have made that peace with himself just yet, but he hasn’t gone anywhere. I know Cyrus is ridiculous, but I hope this works out for him. Note to him, though: he should probably never tell his husband he almost decided to have him killed. That might be one he just keeps to himself.
Loree: Yeah, I’m not sure how calm I’d be if my best friend told me, “By the way I killed someone, should I tell the love of my life? Would they understand?” Umm, someone who is capable of murder and now has a taste of it…I’d be really terrified of best friend. The fact that Fitz doesn’t know Cyrus killed Amanda Tanner but is confident that basically Cyrus would live and die for him–and not judge or do anything to endanger his position as president–speaks of what Cyrus is willing to do for the man (and, unbeknownst to Fitz, kill for him). Granted, Fitz seems to feel really guilty about killing Verna so I’ll give him that, but Cyrus had no shame killing Amanda Tanner when he thought she would expose her supposed affair with Fitz. Then Cyrus was 1 inch away from having his husband killed? That man has no shame!
Jordan: So, Fitz had a sort of arranged marriage. I know Mellie didn’t answer, but I don’t think there is any way a woman like her allowed her cart to be hitched to just any old guy of her father’s choosing. I can’t imagine she was ignorant of what was happening, and I wouldn’t put it past her to have made sure she had part in the selection.
Jordan: OK, hear me out: isn’t Mellie totally right when it comes to these types of marriages? If Mellie and Fitz had married for love, is there any way the two of them would have survived? We’ve seen the way Fitz treats people he is supposed to love. If Mellie wasn’t in a partnership with her head more involved than her heart, she would have left him years ago. I am sorry, without Mellie (and Cyrus), Fitz would not be in the White House.
And sorry to be the one to break it, but there is no way Olivia is getting it on with Jake, going to bed without a scarf to her name, and waking up with her hair looking like she just took the flat iron to it. It would have been a hot mess.
Loree: OK, I just laughed out loud in my office. Oh my gosh, Jordan, I love you for that comment. No way her hair would look that fabulous, shiny, and curly. Love it! It’s gotta be wrapped up tight and on a nightly basis.
Joe: LOL. TV magic!
Jordan: The handshake between Jake and Fitz was chilling. It seemed so transactional. It was the first time that I felt the true extent of this ownership that Fitz feels over Olivia. He really feels like she is his, and he has other people watching her, guarding his prized possession. Especially to have two white men sharing this power over her, you get the feeling Olivia is horrified. Or maybe that is just me reading that on to her. Also, as I was saying before, Fitz looks down his nose at Mellie and her thoughts on love and marriage but he feels this is love and that his actions–saying really cruel things to everyone, pushing Liv away, and then obliterating her privacy–are OK. He’s screwed up.