We love to watch Olivia Pope in action. She’s such a complex character. Her leadership, self-confidence, and acrimonious ability to quickly strategize to accomplish any goal are all traits that make her magnetic. This strong, independent, woman of color is a source of pride, not just for women of color, but for all women that love seeing her take charge. She is powerful, demanding, intelligent, articulate, beautiful, and compassionate. She is also a criminal, schemer, conspirator, and adulterer. She’s so #scandalous. She has so many secrets. How many secrets does she actually have? Does anyone actually know how many secrets Olivia Pope has? They continue to be uncovered. Most importantly, does anyone ever wonder what happens inside of her mind? Those moments when she seems to be staring in a daze trying to calculate her next move…
Why does he hate me so much? As I walk out of this church, I’m doing everything I can to keep it together. I feel my body tremble as I stomp off. The anxiety, the fear, and the anger are all rising. Not now Fitz. Fitz will make me weak. He’ll make me think of how I’m feeling. I have to stay in my mind. That’s right. I need to think. I can’t feel. No. Feelings are for losers. I’m a winner. That’s right. I’m still a winner. Even though I don’t feel like a winner now. I feel incredibly helpless and defeated in this moment. I can’t allow myself to connect with how I’m actually feeling. That would be too much. That would knock me off of my game. That’s how I got into this asinine, hopeless situation. Feelings. Feelings for Jake. Hopes for a normal future with a man that I love. Give me a break.
I’m thinking about that moment when Jake and I sat at the breakfast table after my father leaves. He’s so alluring. I stare at him as he professes his love for me. I feel vulnerable. I start to feel like a human. Like a woman. Like a human woman with needs from another person. From a man. I feel afraid… afraid of the emotion that I feel for this man. I want to protect him. I want to shout to him, ‘Yes, Jake! I want to pretend like last night never ended! I also wish we were back on our beach!’ My mind jumps to when I was in my childhood bedroom and I’m reminiscing about all I’d hoped to have in my childhood. My father has always been so self-centered and vain. He uses people for his own purposes, but he’s still so charismatic. I hate him because he seems to hate me. But damn him. He’s so charming and brilliant, just like me. So self-righteous… but dangerous. He can be so callous. B6-13 is all he’s ever cared about. But really it’s not that. It’s the power and control. B6-13 is dissolved, but he’s still powerful. He’s only ever cared about power and control. People he can overpower and control. Even in this moment of being in this room, I think about my time as a little girl. I feel like a little girl right now as I storm through this walkway. He still has that power over me. I remember his poor boundaries. I’ve always felt like I had to share the success of my accomplishments with him, otherwise, I meant nothing to him. I so desperately yearned for his admiration. I still do.
Later, Jake walks into my bedroom and tells me what I so desperately needed to hear, that he doesn’t want to marry her. My lips are still unable to even verbalize my response for him, but my passionate kiss and embrace tells him how much I want and need him. I think of the moment I’m sitting in the church. In this moment, I feel confident. I feel like the fixer, the doer, the Olivia Pope everyone expects me to be. I want this. I need this. I know that I’m smarter than my father. I’m ready to be happy and I know what I’m doing. Sitting in the church, I wait. I feel so much anticipation. Unexpectedly, my father joins me. Initially, I’m still cool and calm. But oh no, he seems to know my plan. He threatens Jake’s life. I can’t take it. I can’t hold it together. He tells me that Jake has ‘the talent in the family’ and I’m convincing Jake to live a life of ‘mediocrity;’ I’m the ‘lost daughter.’ How could he think that? Does he really believe that? I don’t know how much longer I can keep it together. I have to leave. I do what I do best when I see Jake. I have to save his life. But I’m also scarred. I’m scarred from my childhood with my selfish and callous mother, and my exploitive, entitled, and self-serving father. They could’ve at least given me a sibling, but they couldn’t even be thoughtful enough for that. Too busy trying to take over the world. But moreover, I’m shattered. I’m broken. The few bits of me that were left after my parents, after Ellis, after Fitz, after Jake, after the oval, my father just named Jake the one in the family with talent. Oh no. I need to use this anger and resentment that I’m feeling, but I also need to save Jake’s life. But how does my father always seem to win??