After noticing the themes of feminism Shonda Rhimes brings into the series Scandal, I decided to write about the main women of the show. They each represent a triumph and a pigeonhole of feminism. We’re going to explore how.
“The face that launched a thousand ships.” – Tom Larkin
Olivia Pope represents two concepts: beauty and power. She stands in the middle of a war orchestrated by her father. Two men fight for her love. She is the prize, the motive behind every move. And though Jake is more balanced than Fitz. He’s prepared to let Liv go yet stays in the fight. When Tom sees her full beauty and divinity, he pronounces what makes the world fall at her feet. She is Helen of Troy -half goddess, half human. And Eli, Fitz and Jake – would do anything to keep her in their possession.
“So now you decided that the one thing you want is my daughter, my child. Mine. What I made. What I created.” – Eli Pope
Tom also reminds Liv that Eli is not her father, but Command. He has always been Comand. He pulls her strings and places her away for “protection”. He started the war between Fitz and Jake. Displeased with Fitz, he served Jake his “greatest treasure on a silver platter.” He monitored her relationships with both men, seemingly taking away her autonomy. Because she is his daughter, he believes the decision of whose best for up is up to him.
Eli believes that Liv owes him her loyalty and respect because he’s spent a lifetime protecting and serving her. But to Liv, he spent a lifetime ignoring her as a person, neglecting to build a genuine relationship.
“You spent a lifetime doing the wrong things” – Olivia Pope
While Jake, Fitz and Eli try to pigeonhole Liv as their possession, Shonda Rhimes equips her with power. The power of being her own person and knowing what she deserves. Despite three men wanting to make that choice for her. The power she has in her career allows her to be the best at what she does. She saves the White House countless times. She’s shut down B613. She is the only one who can tell the most powerful and wealthiest people about themselves, and never in a polite manner. She holds the crown as THE fixer. David Rosen and Abby try to match her influence without thinking what it means to truly have it.
She even has power in her relationship with Eli. She is one of few who can stand up to her dad and still breathe. She has always challenged him within a safe box, though – up until now. Now she enters the mind of Command and deals with Tom the way Eli would. Stepping into another dimension shows that she’s gearing up for the fight of her life. Getting rid of her father for good. And though Liv has tried this path before, now she teams up with the two men who adore her. With a team like that, plus the help of her gladiators, how can she fail?
“You may be Command, Dad. But I have weapons at my disposal, weapons you can’t possibly possess.” – Olivia Pope