I Woke up This Morning Scared for Olivia Pope
How did the new modern Washington Woman just get enslaved?
Spoiler Alert: I will be briefly discussing the latest episode of Scandal, particularly the ending of Season 5, Episode 8 “Rasputin”.
Shonda Rhimes just terrified the hell out me. Let me make you this plate first. Olivia Pope is:
Independent Business Owner
And in an interracial relationship with a white man in Washington, DC.
And hard as hell. It is difficult to be all of those things in this federal city. She has liberal ideas. Ideas of freedom. Ideas against captivity and persecution. She sleeps with a Republican (who happens to be the married President of the United States), as well as a covert agent with many kills under his nails.
Which means what? She’s eh, open-minded? Understanding? Tolerant?
Well, she’s willing to reach across the aisle which is more than I can say for a lot of folks in Congress!
She wears fly coats and beautiful business attire that includes pants, skirts (but mostly pants), and plenty of peplum hem jackets and blouses in neutral tones with an occasional pop of pastel. She knows how to work an evening gown. She is the woman you have seen in the corridors of the Rayburn building and want to see on a Hill tour — minus some of her personal decisions.
But hey, if you are going to mess up your personal life, do it big, huh? Go all out. Am I right?
No. That’s stupid as hell. In fact, this season has been a lot of bad back-to-back disappointing decisions by Ms. Pope. She’s tripping and slipping. It’s been difficult to watch this character make the same mistakes that one of her clients would.
Last night was no exception. The Washington Woman basically just got herself into a slave cabin situation and I cannot deal. I’m having an anxiety attack from PTSS, Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome.
There are not too many relationships where people do their ABSOLUTE WORST, and they are welcomed back within 24 hours without argument or apology. That’s a quick turnaround. Those relationships usually end up being categorized as abusive. This gives me more cause to fear for Olivia’s life.
So, when Fitz, the fictional POTUS, moves all of Olivia's personal items directly into the White House after she confesses she was responsible for the prison release of her father — the man responsible for the murder of the President’s son — I cocked my head to the side the same way my dog Scruffy use to do (R.I.P.) The new modern Washington Woman just got enslaved for freeing a powerful (but admittedly evil) black man who happens to be her father. Her punishment for securing the life of her kin was becoming a willing captive of Fitz.
The Washington Woman, the single, black, independent, crusader, has all of her belongings removed from her home without discourse or consent. Her white hat was literally hanging up in the closet on a shelf so high she would need a step stool. My eye is twitching.
This is where the PTSS flashback came in.
I was a young woman at Howard University when I first read Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Written by Herself, often referred to as the slave narrative of Harriet Jacobs. Narratives from enslaved people will always be very chilling and painful to me, but Jacobs’ account really resonated with me as a Black woman. It’s an account that I can’t even dwell on without being suddenly teary, or without sitting here wondering about my women ancestors. How did they survive southern Virginia and Kentucky? What were they forced to do? How could they have endured? Could they escape? Would they escape? Did they escape? Will Olivia escape?
That brief moment in this one episode was a PTSS flashback waiting to happen. Maybe I’m the only one who feels this way, but I need Olivia Pope to make a break for it and bust out of that cabin — you can’t trade a white hat for a white house. Freedom is everything.
I’m scared now. Thanks, Shonda.
I’m just sitting here until next Thursday night wondering how the hell are WE gonna get out of this. Is Fitz turning into Dr. Flint and was Jake suppose to be Mr. Sands? I mean, I guess I could be just simple minded and say the whole episode solidifies that dating in Washington. D.C. is the worst.
Are you not terrified? Are you outraged? How do you feel?