I watched the finale. Then I had an angry fit at Shonda (and Liv). Then I watched it again. It only exaceperated my anger. Then a month went by, and I was still angry. And then I finally got over it today. Well at least my anger at Liv (Shonda is still blacklisted).
I’ve been reading a lot of feminist literature lately – it started out as essay reading, but then my interest took over. And well my obsession with Scandal naturally lead to convergence of the two. I’ve been trying to figure out why I was so pissed off with Liv (and yes, I know it’s a fictional character). Initially, after watching the finale, I felt like Shonda made her fit into the cliché of a woman having to choose between her career and love, because she can’t have it all; while the same problem doesn’t seem to apply to men. And the reason I liked Scandal to begin with was that it seemed to defy the stereotype – Liv could be powerful and brilliant, but she could still have the vulnerable side, she was a complex female character, a mix of wonderful contradictions. And Fitz had to choose between love and career, which was a gender reversal in a way, and his struggle with that was a part of the reason I fell in love with his character. But then I felt like the finale completely undid that.
But, today, finally I was reading something and I felt like I had a moment of epiphany. Yes, Fitz did earn her by choosing her over Mellie and potentially the presidency. It was amazing and romantic and I LOVED every minute of it. But he didn’t actually lose anything. He decided to run again, which Liv encouraged – he could get to have the presidency, but this time he could be with Liv as well. And when he told her he wanted to marry her in that kitchen; being in full Unicorn-mode, with that light hitting his face in all the right places and that pull by the collar – I was sold, all in, rooting for the big, white wedding. But what would that mean for Liv? It means she would have to choose between him and her career, because, no, realistically she couldn’t have both. She couldn’t be FLOTUS and the gladiator; it was either, or. And Fitz never asked her, he just said it; matter-of-factly – and it was charming and amazing, but it overlooked her agency, he overlooked the fact that being with him meant sacrificing a part of who she is. And he didn’t recognize that. He recognized the difficulties with publicity, difficulties inherent in them getting married from a presidency point of view, difficulties in relation to his career; but not hers.
So, I finally understand why she felt like she had to choose. Don’t get me wrong, I still think that them waking up together would have been a better ending, because there’s no need for them to be completely over (aside from the entire “cleansing” f&f); she could have stayed a gladiator and a “mistress” and seeing her struggle with that full-on would have given possibility for some excellent character growth. So yes, still not a fan of finale, but I finally got over my frustration with Liv and I can now channel all of it into Olake.
This was so articulate and snarky in my head, but my thoughts turned out far more scattered once typed out. It’s just my opinion and I’m completely open to debate (since I’m clearly still obsessing over this episode). But yeah, just don’t get super hostile about it.