As usual, Shonda Rhimes has ended 2015’s Scandal episodes with a dreadful cliff-hanger. Olivia Pope, played by Kerry Washington, made a huge decision of breaking up with President Fitzgerald, played by Tony Goldwyn, after finally living together.
Olivia Pope also made another shocking decision to have an abortion before the breakup happened. Scandal Season 5 started with a fairy tale. Olivia Pope was living in the White House and President Fitz was the happiest man on earth. Together, they ruled the world of politics. But for Olivia Pope, that was not enough.
She started attending balls and parties for the nation’s elite, but she slowly realized that these activities do not give her meaning. During one of the episodes, a party guest even asked her a favor. Olivia Pope thought it would be something controversial, something she could have “handled,” but it turns out it was just to ask for a cookie recipe.
The dismal and meaningless conversations drew her almost mad. Olivia Pope went autopilot, following a fixed schedule for her and the president. At this point, she was ready to burst out when she learned she was pregnant.
The Audacity of Olivia Pope’s Abortion
Olivia Pope’s abortion on Scandal Season 5 was brief. It just got about 1 minute of airtime. However, Shonda Rhimes’ decision to play it this way has been lauded by the masses.
The Atlantic noted that this presentation of abortion showed people that this kind of matter is normal and should be acceptable. The scene relayed a message about how an abortion should be the woman’s choice and no one else’s.
During that episode, there was a voice-over from Olivia Pope’s infamous father, Rowan Pope, saying the following.
“Family is a burden … a pressure point, soft tissue, an illness, an antidote to greatness. You think you’re better off with people who rely on you, depend on you, but you’re wrong, because you will inevitably end up needing them, which makes you weak, pliable. Family doesn’t complete you. It destroys you.”
The message just heightened the focus on real-life reflection of Scandal. Rowan Pope’s message about family being “destructive” could be a way to explain Olivia Pope’s many reasons for not going through with her pregnancy.
Where Does That Leave Fitz?
After they had the fight, President Fitzgerald has been in mourning. He just made a radical decision to divorce his wife, Mellie Grant, even though it would mean political suicide. He has done his part so Olivia Pope could stay freely at the White House. But he also restricted her being a gladiator.
During Tony Goldwyn’s interview with The Hollywood Reporter, he said that they were all shocked to find out about the story when they were doing the table ready. He admitted that the storyline was not what he expected to happen at all. With the abortion and the two separating, Tony Goldwyn has praised Scandal‘s writers for their boldness. As for Shonda Rhimes, he said they never had to question her direction for the show.
“I thought that final scene with me and Kerry, as awful as it was, was very well-written. It was clear and quite balanced. Sometimes it’s more difficult since the show is often from Olivia’s point of view so I do have to ask Shonda questions in terms of what she has in mind for Fitz. But that scene has both points of view pretty firmly in place, which is part of what made it so sad. And of course she’s withholding this terrible secret that Fitz has no clue about.”
As for the next part of Scandal Season 5, President Fitzgerald is expected to be at loss. Tony Goldwyn added that it must have been gutting for the character to experience a child’s death and Olivia Pope leaving.
However, Tony Goldwyn said that he believes President Fitzgerald and Olivia Pope can come back after this.
“I think there’s hope. I think Fitz and Olivia really love each other. I may be alone at this point in thinking that, I don’t know (Laughs.) But I do, and I think when people love each other as primally as these two people do, I think they can come back from anything.”
The second part of Scandal Season 5 will be out this coming February.
[Image Credited to Jerod Harris/Getty Images]