Valentine's Day can trigger a range of emotions depending on your relationship status. It can make you painfully aware that you're single or happy that you've found your sweetheart. (But we all get candy. So that rules.) Either way, there's one fictional couple that'll have you feeling grateful for where you're at.
Enter: Olivia Pope and President Fitzgerald Grant from Scandal, a.k.a. the most dysfunctional couple on TV.
Whether they're starting foreign wars to win each other back, crying over jam that will never come to fruition, or covering up terrorist acts to protect the other's feelings, there's always something totally ridiculous going on between these two Shonda Rhimes creations. Hence their on-again, off-again, on, off — off, off, and then on relationship. It's perfectly infuriating, and yet we cannot stop watching.
If you're single, you'll be glad you don't have to deal with such nonsense. If you're in a couple, whatever squabbles you may have will never be as stupid as theirs. And hey: If they somehow are, get outta there. Just in time before V-Day, the mid-season première lands Thursday, February 11, on ABC, picking up where we left off with them breaking up... Y'know, again. To truly get the gist of this mess, let's need start at the beginning. (Spoilers ahead, duh.)
Liv and Fitz (a.k.a. #Olitz) met during his first Presidential campaign, where she worked to land the then-California Governor in office. She also managed to land him in storage rooms and elevators. In spite of their better judgement — a phrase that pretty much sums up the whole thing — they began an affair. It wasn't long before Fitz's wife, Mellie Grant, stumbled on the two and things got weird. As it turns out, the Grants weren't so perfect, mostly acting as America's sweethearts in order to further their own careers. Mellie knew good and well that she'd fall into obscurity if she were to leave him, so they came up with an agreement. Olitz would continue their indiscretions and Mellie would enjoy a career that highly encourages shoulder pads. Easy enough, right?
Wrong. Even sanctioned, the whole "we-can't-be-seen-in-public-but-y'know-we-should-be-together-forever-wait-why-isn't-this-working" thing gets old really fast, at least for Olivia. Fitz is perfectly happy having his cake and eating it too and the typically no-nonsense, Washington fixer Olivia struggles to take a stand. If you gave her a dollar for all the gaping stares she's given to him during fights over the years, it'd probably pay for all the therapy she'll need. He insists he can't give up his life, only to later show up at her apartment with his motorcade a few hours later. You tired yet? Us too.
Their relationship is not only toxic for themselves, but seems to seep into the lives of everyone around them, which in the case of Fitz sometimes means the whole damn country. Here are the greatest hits season by season of catastrophes that are a direct or indirect result of these two bozos being in love.
Season 1: Mistress 2.0
Let's start with the mysterious death of Amanda Tanner, the President's other mistress (ugh). This happens after the reveal of their affair, a sex tape, and a pregnancy (go big or go home). This also caused the demise of Pope and Associates member Quinn Perkins' journalist boyfriend Gideon, after he dug too deep into Amanda's story.
Glimmer of Hope: The "Gladiators" of Pope and Associates are still a big part of the show, but their professional sleuthing has taken a major back seat to the Olitz drama. The week-by-week arcs of various Washington scandals truly showed what a major player Olivia is and what she's capable of when she's not blinded by Fitz.
Season 2: An Act of Defiance (Ohio)
Here we have the revelation that Team Grant, including Olivia, had rigged the Presidential election in Ohio for him to win. This resulted in Cyrus' journalist husband James to stumble on that info, making him the target of a hit in season three. Fitz was shot in an assassination attempt due to the guilt of someone involved, which probably would have happened anyway because he's the worst. Oh, and then he killed that person.
Glimmer of Hope: Two words: Jake Ballard. Amidst one of Olitz's many hiatuses, super spy Jake and his abs came waltzing into Liv's life as another option. This created a somewhat exhausting love triangle, which is all but resolved, but he broods in the distance while playing out his own arc.
Season 3: Daddy Issues
Olivia's already strained relationship with her father Roman gets worse because of her affair. Fitz is one smug son-of-a-gun and made sure Roman was perfectly clear on his daughter's loyalties. The thing is, her Dad is also the head of a super-spy group called B613. When she cut him off, he had his lackeys kill Fitz's son in an effort to "take away his child" like he had done with Olivia.
Glimmer of hope: When Fitz took Olivia up to the home he built for them when his term is over. He wanted her to see "the dream," which for him meant lots of room for kids, for her: making jam. It may have been tongue-in-cheek, but "making jam" has become the battle cry for the Olitz movement.
Season 4: Pope-napped
Olivia is drugged, kidnapped, and told she's being held in another country. She was then prepared to be sold to Iran to use her as leverage to bribe the US. It turns out that the entire thing was orchestrated by the Vice President who also wanted to use Fitz's loyalty to his advantage. The VP's agenda? Blame it on West Angola so Fitz would start a war for her, which he did. After her rescue, Olivia finds out about aforementioned war and is too disgusted to be with him. Whoops!
Glimmer of Hope: The start of the season after Olivia and Jake had run off to an island and were sipping wine and, well, y'know. Aside from it being part of running from her truth with Fitz, it was a peaceful reminder of how she could "stand in the sun" with another man and be okay.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Season 5: First Lady in Training
The country's worst kept secret is finally out, and Fitz is finally willing to man up and make an honest woman out of Liv. They start to play (white) house, until Mellie and others lead the charge to oust the President for his lies. The solution? Get married so Liv won't have to testify, of course. Y'know, normal relationship milestones. The stress of the scenario alongside her *too big of a spoiler* is the final straw, and when we last left them, she was out.
Glimmer of Hope: If this affair hadn't happened, we probably wouldn't have seen what a spectacular basket case First Lady Mellie Grant can be. What could have been a one-note woman-scorned has been anywhere from comic relief to powerhouse professional in her own right. At this point, she'd be a way better choice.