April 5, 2012 was the night that Shonda Rhimes premiered her newest creation. It was a show that took place in the nation’s Capitol about a DC fixer who fixed everyone but herself. It gave us the terms “gladiator” and “it’s handled.” It brought the phrase OMG tv to the masses and it embraced a romance between a married President and his campaign manager . Kerry Washington became a television star and it revived a long dead career of an actor who was most known for his role as the killer in “Ghost.” “Scandal” made Jeff Perry and many others household names, as well as making Tony Goldwyn a sex symbol in his fifties. Fitz and Olivia made Ross and Rachel seem like horny teenagers. Their chemistry burned up the screen with their torrid love scenes.
In honor of the fifth anniversary and the 100 th episode, we will be spotlighting this show and its actors. First up, is Jen and my picks for our fifteen characters. Hey gladiators! who are your picks?
Olivia Pope- Kerry Washington Olivia is a person who lives to fix people and candidates. Unfortunately, she can fix everyone but herself. Her father sent her away to boarding school and told her she needed to be twice as good. He never taught her to love, unfortunately that is one of her problems. She never thought she was worthy enough to have a great man or that love had to hurt. She has a man waiting for her now, let’s hope she can get fixed.
. President Fitzgerald Thomas Grant III – Tony Goldwyn – Fitz was born for the White House according to his father. He was rich, entitled, and sent to the best schools. He lost his mother, and his father was a politician who never quite made it to 1600 Penn. As a result, he pushed his son to get him there at all costs. He found a girl whom he thought was the perfect, trophy wife. He also hired a political animal to help him along. But Fitz, just wanted to help people and serve his country. He enlisted in the Navy, where he became a Seal and flew fighter missions. Some of those were black ops and dangerous. Courtesy of his father, he flew a mission that killed 329 people and would haunt him. Fitz is an idealist and romantic , that is why he never could say he loved his “political” wife. He finally found love when he found his soul mate, Olivia. The two of them just keep missing each other or letting things or people get in the way. Let’s hope the two of them finally come to their senses and head to Vermont.
Cyrus Beene -Jeff Perry- Cyrus has spent most of his life in the closet. His dream is the White House as President. There has never been a gay President, so he has spent his life as a law school professor and political advisor. In one of those classes, he found his best student and trained her to be an animal like him. He also found his dream candidate in Fitz and with his team took him to the Oval. He just never counted on Fitz to fall for Liv or for him to find love as well. Cyrus found the love of his life in the person of one James Novak, a reporter that came along to cover the Grant campaign. They were married , adopted a baby girl, and then James tried to dig too much. Unfortunately, curiosity killed the cat and James was murdered. He was fired as Fitz’s advisor and then went on to find his new dream boy in one Frankie Vargas. He was forced into a political marriage by one Lizzie Bear . She blackmailed him with a male prostitute . Vargas has been killed, and as his Vice Presidential candidate is slated to get his dream, the first gay President.
Senator Mellie Grant- Bellamy Young – For the first time in her life, Mellie is her own woman. She has spent most of it in the shadow of her husband as the two took it all the way to the White House. But while she was watching her hubby climb, she was losing herself . Mellie graduated from Harvard with honors , but she gave up her brilliant career to be a smiling political wife. She also never wanted children, but had three. Her own father abandoned her and her mother for another family. He also sold her to Big Jerry to insure her future. He wanted her to have the best , so he married her off to Fitz. But she was ruined when her father in law saw that his son hadn’t knocked her up yet and took it upon himself to do it. But he raped her and she never wanted to be touched by her husband again. She was never really sure if her late son, Jerry was her husband’s son or brother. Mellie has been unlucky in love, her lover Andrew became a traitor and power hungry and she was relieved when her hubby found his own lover. It relieved her of her duties because frankly she couldn’t stand the man. Everything with Mellie was optics, for the good of the country. Now she is posed to be the Vice President after running for President. Will she realise her dream and resume her true love affair with Marcus. She deserves to be happy as well.
James Novak – Dan Bucatinsky – For a character who has been presumed dead for almost two years, James still has made an impression in the lives of the people he loved. This includes the fans. (James is one of Jen’s faves and she refuses to believe he is dead. Well anything is possible in Shondaland) Cyrus was impacted by this man the most. He still refers to him as the love of his life. James kept Cyrus on the straight and narrow. He got him to bring Ella into his life. James also convinced Cyrus to come out . He and Cyrus met while on the Trail , along with that other couple. Cyrus sees Michael as a political marriage, not a real one. Michael may have Cyrus as a hubby, but James will forever have his heart. He would have made one hell of a First Lady too.
Stephen Finch – Henry Ian Cusick- Stephen was one of the OG gang, (Original Gladiators) . He was a lawyer who had a nervous breakdown and then Olivia saved him like she had saved so many people. He had one problem, he liked to get laid and went to Washington’s madam for his needs as well. He also felt the need to be a normal , so he started a relationship with a sweet school teacher named Georgia. He advised Olivia to end it with Fitz and she took his advice. Abby even had a thing for him and then she settled on just being a friend. But Stephen earned his gladiator stripes, when he came to Olivia’s rescue when she was kidnapped. Abby called him to help and he enlisted his friends , a bunch of Russian terrorists to make the winning bid of the deadly auction. It was the nicest surprise when all of us either thought her rescuer would either be Jake or Fitz. Instead it was one of her oldest friends and as Abby said, Once a gladiator, always a gladiator. Here’s hoping we see him again.
Guillermo Diaz as Diego Munoz or Huck- He is Olivia’s watchdog. He is the one who is her own Secret Service. He makes sure that she is safe, and if someone hurts her watch out! (Yes that means you , Mr President) Huck is also a trained killer and a member of B613. He also has a problem with women, he picks psychos who want to kill him or frame him. But there is a woman who does have feelings for him and that is Quinn. Quinn is his Robin and he makes peace of the life he left behind . But will Huck make it through this time?
Kate Burton as Vice President Sally Langston- Kate has a few things that she will be known for, being the daughter of Richard Burton, playing the absentee mother of Meredith Grey, and this role. (Gladiators also can thank her for stripping her future POTUS cast mate on stage ) Kate started out as a right wing Jesus freak who rode Fitz’s coat tails all the way to the White House. She could taste the power and took advantage of the fact that as VP she could run the country and try to keep the fallen President out of the Oval following his shooting. She also had a terrible secret, her loyal hubby was in the closet and came out just long enough with one James Novak. Shamed by the immortal behavior of the President, she broke away from him and then decided to run as an independent . But Daniel pushed and pushed, so she murdered him. Cyrus kept her secret and his husband died trying to find it. Now she gets her kicks and brings the laughs as she hosts her morality fest , “The Liberty Report.” It’s mission? To bring down tyranny and immorality , especially in the Grant administration
Joshua Malina as Attorney David Rosen- David wears the white hat and is all for justice. That is something that is pretty hard in the corrupt world of politics. But David, fights on . He was edged on to his current position by his then girlfriend Abby who pulled herself into a sweet gig as Press Secretary. David has always been the one who wanted to bring the evil to justice. He has also been a friend and an enemy to Olivia and the gladiators. With a father who is also a judge , he may go all the way to the Supreme Court. And then wouldn’t dad be proud?
Scott Foley as Pete Harris or Jacob Hamilton Ballard- One of the hardest roles is the third wheel in a love triangle, and Jake has definitely had it rough. Abused as a child and witness to the suicide of his sister, he joined the Navy where he got his lifelong pal, Fitz. Seeing his talent, Rowan recruited him for B613 and gave him the most important jobs that he could have. He had been given the job of keeping Olivia and Fitz apart. She was a threat to the republic. At the time, he was brought into Olivia’s life with the guise of spying on her for Fitz. (They were on the outs) Liv found out who he was and then Capt Ballard turned on the charm. Olivia had a choice, Jake or Fitz. Jake went away with her after the murder of Fitz’s son. But then he came back to the accusation that he was command and gave Tom Larsen the order to kill. He also got beat up by the President. Jake has certainly made his way in the world going to the head of the NSA to Vice Presidential candidate for Mellie Grant. But can Jake exist in this world when all he wants is a normal life. But in Scandal world, what is normal?
Darby Stanchfield as Abby Whelan – No one character has gone through so many changes as Abby. She has acted as Liv’s best friend and the gals have each other’s backs, sometimes. She was an abused trophy wife who was rescued by Liv. But then Abby wanted to be an equal to her friend. She had a taste for power and that taste led her all the way to the White House. This worked out because if Liv was having problems, she could be the voice to Fitz and let him know how she was coping. She developed a boys club feeling with Fitz and Cyrus took her under his wing. Her relationship with David was now in the toilet and she was involved with Leo Bergen. Abby redeemed herself when she called Stephen to rescue Liv. But now , Abby has sold her soul to the devil and the gladiators want her to pay. Can Abby forgive herself?
Katie Lowes as Lindsay Dwyer/ Quinn Perkins- Defiance changed a lot of people’s lives. But this girl’s changed the most. Lindsay loved Jesse (he was actually played by Katie’s real life hubby, Adam Shapiro) and then she was forced to take the fall so that Hollis Doyle could hide the evidence by blowing up Cytron. Lindsay was then spirited away to DC , courtesy of Olivia and given the identity of Quinn. Quinn now had a new job , new friends and learned a new skill , killing and torture. Her mentor was Huck and soon the twosome became Quinn and Huck, defacing furniture with their bodies. Now Quinn is back to psuedo normal with Charlie as they prepare for their wedding. But Charlie was a witness to seeing Quinn showing her affection for Huck when he woke up. Will Charlie get his bride or will Robin return to Huckleberry Quinn?
Joe Morton as Eli/Rowan Pope- What kind of a man sends away his daughter to fancy boarding schools after her mother supposedly dies in a plane crash? Eli Pope that’s who. Actually he knew his wife knew too much and he was trying to stop her from telling about his real job. Eli wanted power and he saw one way to get it and that was through his daughter. She has spent an entire lifetime seeking his approval and having serious daddy issues. This has allowed her to try to find father figures in her own life. But her father had his own issues , he had been the command of a super secret organization that was a front for the CIA. He had soldiers to do his killing. The one person that he hates just happens to be the man Olivia loves. He also values Jake as the son he should have had. Now he is edging him on as he watches him just steps from the Oval. But evil has a time limit and we all wonder, when does Rowan’s clock run out.
Brian Lechter as Tom Larson- Tom had a great cover as a B613 agent, Secret Service for the newly elected President. He would run behind him and run interference so he could go visit his girlfriend. But he also had to report back to command at the same time. The real game changer for this agent was when he was recruited by command to inject the President’s son with a deadly strain of meningitis. He was jailed and then told to tell POTUS that he was given the order by Jake. But then we find out that all those times that he was watching the WH tapes, he wasn’t looking at Liv, but Fitz. He then became embroiled in a torrid affair with Cyrus. But when Cyrus made his bid for the Oval, out went Tom and he was out for blood.
Jon Tenney as Vice President Andrew Nichols – Andrew was Fitz’s brother in government. He trusted him implicitly enough to make him his Lt. Governor when he was in California. But Andrew kept a secret , he saw Mellie take pills and he took the blame to save her reputation. But the secret lead to a passionate love affair years before Fitz bedded Liv. When she left, it broke his heart. When Fitz needed a running mate, Andrew was vetted and he and Mellie heated up once again. But Fitz found out , and he went ballistic. Apparently the POTUS can fool around , but FLOTUS can’t and so the VEEP got a sock in the eye from his boss. But then sweet Andrew turned evil with the help of Lizzie Bear who wanted to show Grant that he needed to get back in the good graces of the GOP . The two cooked up a plot to kidnap Liv and then real terrorists got a hold of her. Fitz made him resign and then Lizzie Bear recruited Huck to murder him because she couldn’t afford to have her name on a foiled kidnapping plot. Huck gave him a drug that made it seem like he suffered a stroke. But Andrew returned and threatened everyone. He had it out for Olivia and called her every dirty name in the book. You don’t mess with a woman with PTSD. Liv took care of him with a chair. RIP Andrew.