On Scandal, Kerry Washington's Olivia Pope has a lot of decisions to make: What's the best strategy to keep the Grant family in the White House? How can she keep Pope & Associates afloat when D.C. is becoming increasingly full of backstabbing crazies? Merlot or Pinot Noir?!
While these are all crucial to keeping Washington, and The Republic, running smoothly, nothing weighs on the viewers more than Olivia's love life. For three seasons and a handful of flashbacks, Olivia's heart has been monopolized by an on-again, off-again affair with President Fitzgerald Thomas Grant III (Tony Goldwyn) --save for a short-lived romance with Edison who proved to be much too pure for this world. The main threat against Fitz and his forbidden love being together (while he remains married) is Captain Jake Ballard (Scott Foley). But don't let the uniform fool you -- he comes with his fair share of baggage, too.
Whether or not she's truly considered "the help" by the powerful people who pay her to fix their problems, Olivia is smart, beautiful and a cheap date. Red wine and popcorn is all she subsists on! So why is she continually stuck between these two schmucks? Oh, right. See below.
[caption id="attachment_416918" align="aligncenter" width="615"] [Photo Credit: Charisma, InStyle][/caption]Because there are only three episodes left this season, and creator Shonda Rhimes is known to throw in heart-stopping twists where we least expect them, we must take a stand on the Fitz v. Jake debate for the good of the Republic. Who do you want to play your real boyfriend and who needs to get sent down a hole? Let us know in the comments below.
As always, Scandal spoilers to follow!
Fitz is the former governor of California who comes from a successful political family. He went to all the right schools, and hired all the right people who... eventually needed to rig an election in order to get him into the White House. If he had it his way he'd be in Vermont making jam with his One True Love, so forgive him for not showing passion for the job. Or don't, because he acts like a petulant child every time he's forced to do one thing on the Commander In Chief's to-do list he feels goes against his (invisible) moral code. Jake is a decorated soldier who once had a fake job at the Joint Chief's of Staffs office and a real job in the super scary yet super powerful B-613, a top secret subdivision of the CIA. Despite a few disagreements with its former boss, Jake has assumed the position of Command and is now literally above the pay grade of his old Navy buddy.
Both are former soldiers and both like to play basketball, but only one has the charisma to match those perfect pecs.
DEVASTATING MONOLOGUE DELIVERY
Having worked underneath Eli Pope, Jake is learning how to deliver chill-inducing speeches that will remind anyone in your path how meaningless their lives really are. But he's not there yet; there's still a trace of Puppy Dog/Noel Crane in those eyes. Fitz, on the other hand, grew up with Big Jerry as a father, an elected official and party favorite who ripped into his children on a nightly basis. When it comes to cutting deep to the core, he doesn't hold back. We'll try to ignore the fact that he's a man who's complained about his wife sexually rejecting him when he has been stepping out on her for their entire marriage. (We said we'll try; it's difficult.)
Does anyone on this show have one, save for baby Ella?
ABILITY TO FOLLOW ORDERS
Jake spent years ruthlessly murdering people for the alleged good of his country. And when he started asking questions and venturing from his assignment, he found himself in a hole (literally). Fitz has followed the path set for him by his father, then Mellie, then Cyrus and Olivia, until it got him a seat in the Oval Office. He may put up a bit of a fight today, but he's still following his not-so-trusted team blindly -- as seen when he threw his debate against Sally Langston.
Jake has proven that kitchens aren't just for cooking, but Fitz and Olivia have gotten it on in hotel rooms, kitchens, closets and the New England home he secretly purchased for his mistress. Despite his CIA detail, he's not above flying a helicopter to Vermont for a little last-minute nookie. That doesn't change the fact that he's married, but we can't ignore a grand romantic gesture when we see one.
Winner: Fitz, but please get away from the damn windows!
Fitz will talk all he wants about starting a life with Olivia, but he's not willing to defy convention enough to see it through. Jake will suffer a fierce beating, B-613 style, for something he thinks he believes in. And then get depressed and realize he has no other choice but to become the man he hates most.
TREATMENT OF OLIVIA
According to Fitz, Olivia is the love of his life and the only person that makes him happy. We've seen the way he looks at her and know he definitely can't keep his hands off of her when they're alone in confined spaces. He'll arrange for powerful military types to keep watch, escort her to and from the White House with his Secret Service detail and buy her real estate in the country. But will he leave his wife for her? Will he risk his career for her? No! He'll talk about it -- forever -- but he's failed to prove he'll actually do anything. Jake may have fallen into Olivia's orbit under false pretenses, but he's since proven he's willing to go through physical and emotional torture AND pretend to be her beau to keep her Fitz affair secret. He's the fake and real boyfriend you can eat burgers with, and he doesn't look bad with his shirt off. We repeat: Jake DOES NOT look bad with his shirt off. Olivia, are you listening?
Verdict: For some reason Olivia is drawn to the fire and passion of a dysfunctional brat. Daddy issues, much? Her attraction to Fitz is more palpable, but would she be so hot for him if he wasn't in position of power? It's clear that Jake is the better choice between the two doomed suitors -- mostly because he's unmarried -- and if given the opportunity to really be with her, who's to say he couldn't create his own version of Vermont for them to grow old in? Last week's episode featured Fitz verbally decimating his wife's self-confidence with a hypocritical tirade that blamed her for their garbage marriage. The chances are way too high that a sudden fall from presidential grace to be with his beloved Olivia would end up being blamed on his beloved Olivia. Go with Jake, girl! He's just a puppy who wants to be loved! So long as you forget the fact that he murdered your pal James in the middle of the street. Maybe Tinder isn't so bad after all.
Only 13 more hours to go until a new episode! Grab your red wine and get your popcorn ready, Gladiators.
[Photo Credit: Splash News]