OpinionTelevision

Why ‘Scandal’ Fans Need Olivia Pope More Than Ever

In what may be the final season of ABC’s Scandal, fans of the show may want to tune in. Since the shocking finale last spring, the US has gone through a change.  When Scandal’s sixth season debuts on January 19th, the country will be just days from swearing in Donald Trump as our 45th president.  

Trump won in an election drama that even the writers of Scandal didn’t write; amid very little political platform, with a decade-old sexual insults story revealed, campaign threats instead of promises, rumors of various conflicts of interest — not to mention that the electoral college and alleged Russian interference is still being sorted.

However, in Olivia Pope’s (Kerry Washington) world, there’s still a chance that a woman will be president. When we last visited, Olivia and Mellie (Bellamy Young) were looking like formidable foes to the Ross, Doyle, Edison and Ballard campaigns. So fans, let’s grab the popcorn and live in a world of wishful thinking. These are the reasons why we need Olivia Pope more than ever.

She can be objective…

Olivia can be objective. She’s able to push aside a lot of her personal feelings for the greater cause. Notice this in the first three seasons in which she drove Fitzgerald Grant back to his wife, despite almost swooning away each time he pleaded with her for that life together in Vermont. And she’s always been able to make a deal with her villainous father (Joe Morton) despite however much she may think she despises him and what he stands for. Whether she feels she’s winning or losing, she is able to strongly reassure her clients that they have a chance.  She’s working with Mellie, not out of guilt but out of an ability to see the big picture of what Mellie is fighting for despite their previous history.

She’s not running for President, but she knows the law..

Ok, so maybe she has bent it a little, after all this is a TV show. However, most of the time Olivia follows the law to the limit – the limit of what she can do without breaking it. Allowing her to fix most scandals with the help of her Gladiators at Pope and Associates. Since the character is very loosely based on real life former White House presidential press associate, Judy Smith, Olivia has to have a strong knowledge of what can and cannot be done in Washington.

She cares about social issues…

Like the man who sat in the street with his dead son’s body under his chair in an episode called The Lawn Chair in Season Four. The father vehemently believes his son is a victim of police brutality and will not leave the area or allow the ambulance to take the body until he has some answers. The police chief calls Olivia, who gets taunted by a local activist as being too up-town to be concerned but she is undeterred. With some help from her staff, Pope finds out what really happened, eventually giving the father some closure.

She has a strong and loyal staff

They don’t call them Gladiators for nothing. Huck (Guillermo Diaz) and Quinn (Kate Lowes) will actually go so far as to torture and kill to get the job done.  Whether it’s her best friend and former co-worker-turned White House Press Secretary Abby (Darby Stanchfield) or Marcus Walker (Cornelius Smith Jr.), they will drop anything to help their fearless leader.  

Although she’s fictional, we could use a little Olivia Pope right about now.

Scandal returns to ABC Jan. 19 9/8ct

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