For seven years, we have seen President Fitzgerald T Grant 3 in the White House, fighting with his ex wife, discussing policy with Cyrus Beene and making love to Olivia Pope. But just as Miss America has to give back her crown, each President has to leave the White House. Martin Sheen just disappeared on “The West Wing” when his term ended. He also had staffers stay and work for the next POTUS as well as return to their old lives. Well you might as well say that this is Grant 2.0. The former First Lady is now POTUS , the former Chief of Staff is VEEP, and Fitz’s former girlfriend is Chief of Staff. Tonight , we got to see a look into the world of a President after the glitter fades. Bravo to cast , especially Joe, Cornelius, and of course Tony himself. Bravo should also go to Scott Foley for undertaking such an original idea as the last time he directs the show.
Fitz made a promise to everyone that he would stay off the radar for 100 days. It was the least he could do for Mellie. All Fitz had done for eight years is talk about how he wanted to leave and even called it “America’s royal prison.” He , of course , is referring to the Presidency. It is obvious that he didn’t envision the way things would turn out. In his mind, Liv and him would be living in the Vermont house with her making “big fat, squishy babies.” After all, the man is in his fifties. Reality check is that he is standing in this big mansion and he is alone. He wakes up the following morning to find out that he has a staff and do you know what Ms. Independence does? He fires them! For years, he has been waited on and now he wants to do things for himself. He takes things that we take for granted like making a sandwich or cooking and tells his aide that he doesn’t need them. There are endearing scenes like Fitz driving down the road and boppin to “Shake That Groove Thing and hilarious ones like the President at the grocery store not knowing how to use a debt card. Enter Marcus, who unlike Fitz has not been in mourning for Mellie. He has been in Cuba and having fun.
Fitz starts going through the many boxes in storage that he will use in his library. (Hey Shonda and Lyn Paolo where is that Naval uniform?) He gets more depressed and then he finds the gun that his dad gave him when he became governor. This was also referenced in Season One when Cyrus talks about how he will one day blow out his brains with that gun after he is no longer President. Fitz hates the house that he built for the woman he loved and has Marcus begin as his aide. In this episode, Foley does his best to present a picture of a man who just wants to be normal. He does this when Fitz is chewing on a Gettysburger and drinking a beer with Marcus. They begin to talk about the women they left behind and it is not a good topic for either. Remnants of the romance that once fueled the show are still mentioned and true gladiators will smile when Marcus says that a house has Christmas lights that spell out OLITZ.The world has witnessed the former POTUS playing tonsil hockey with Ms Pope and speculate how the romance will play out. There are even tabloids showing the kiss “seen round the world” at the grocery store. Marcus asks Fitz blatantly where is Olivia in his story. He saves her the pain by coldly saying that she was my communications director and ran both my campaigns.
It is very obvious that both Fitz and Marcus are troubled men. Marcus thinks of Fitz as privileged and lazy and not knowing how to do anything but order people around. This is interesting because Marcus made the same kind of accusations to Olivia in “The Lawn Chair.” He called her entitled, called her on her Prada bag and then said that she should not call herself black. Fitz entertains and asks Marcus to bring some scotch for the donors. Marcus sees red and calls Fitz on wanting to have him as a valet instead of his aide and partner. The two of them fight and Fitz gets a shiner. Marcus calls Mellie and she schools him on Fitz and why people can’t deal with him. He decides to come back. But Fitz also has another visitor, it is Rowan. Rowan is scared for his daughter and tells Fitz that she is command. She is out of control and he doesn’t know where it will stop. Fitz can deny it all he wants but now Rowan admits it. He knows that Fitz and Liv are the real deal. Olivia needs to be rescued by her white knight. So after he helps out a young African American man with his cause, he returns to DC. He goes to her apartment and the elevator opens with her making out with cable boy. He can only say , “Hi.” And that is where we left off.
Obviously the MVG for this episode is Tony himself. This is a brilliant work to culminate his time on the series. He shows a man who is trying to hide the pain by acting the way he was taught to act. He is a fish out of water and a man without a country. It also gave the gladiators and Cyrus a well deserved rest. They were the brunt of the Sixth Season with the election and Kerry shadowed both Tony and Scott to prepare for her directing debut. Before this series, he was only known for “Ghost” and never mind his other great roles on stage and in the movies. This is a role that he should be proud to say he owned. I may be accused of being a fan girl, but I want to have half the talent this man has.
But can Fitz save her? And will Mellie and Marcus reunite? Tune in gladiators next week ..same Scandalous time…same Scandalous channel.