[Warning: This story contains major spoilers from Thursday's Scandal finale. Read at your own risk!]
Fitz finally got what he wanted — it just cost him the one thing he cares about most.
Thursday's Scandal season finale, aptly titled "The Price of Free and Fair Election," found Fitz (Tony Goldwyn) getting elected to president for his second term on his own — and with a little (OK, a lot of) help from the death of his son Jerry (Dylan Minnette), who was killed with a strain of bacterial meningitis. Naturally, Fitz assumed Maya Pope (Khandi Alexander) was behind the dastardly deed after her attempt to blow him up at the church failed.
But it was Rowan (Joe Morton) who orchestrated everything for two very selfish reasons: He wanted command of B613 back and he wanted to take away the one thing the president had stolen from him: a child. With Fitz remaining in office and repairing his relationship with Mellie (Bellamy Young), whom he finally learned was raped by his father, Olivia (Kerry Washington) decided to quit OPA and fly off into the sunset with Jake (Scott Foley). Does this really spell the end for Fitz and Olivia? And what does this all mean for his relationship with Mellie? TVGuide.com caught up with Goldwyn to get his take.
Do you think Fitz and Olivia are done for good?
Tony Goldwyn: No, because for all of his faults, Fitz is a pretty determined guy. The only thing in Fitz's life that he's certain of is that Olivia is his soul mate. He's never going to give up on that. The man has a lot to deal with: the loss of his son, his relationship with his wife now being so complex and changed because he found out about that his father raped Mellie and he's going to have to take care of her, and they have to grieve together as a family and survive this, and he has to take on a second term as president. But none of that changes what he knows to be true about him and Olivia, so I think he'll fight forever. He's not going to take this sitting down.
What will Fitz think of Olivia leaving?
Goldwyn: Who knows what Fitz is going to assume about Olivia's absence. My first guess is that he thinks something nefarious happened. If he finds out that she ran off with Jake, that's going to be both devastating to him, but also I don't think he'd buy it. He knows she doesn't love Jake, she loves him, and he'll feel that she's misguided. If anything, it will pit him against Jake in some much more extreme way. I would think that Fitz will see Jake as an opportunist and a thief. There's no world in which Fitz goes, "Oh, the better man won. She loves him, she doesn't love me. I've got to lick my wounds and move forward."
Fitz was finally elected president in an untampered election, but partially because of his son's death. Was him breaking down in the final scene the realization that the price was way too high to get everything he wanted?
Goldwyn: Yeah. How much can one man bear? That scene is about so much. He did not allow himself grieve at all or give in to this tremendous weight that's been on his shoulders. He goes in to have this private moment and finds himself having achieved this goal and yet the cost is so high — most important is the loss of his son. But what was so great that wasn't in the original script was they wove in these quick flashbacks of all of the things that contributed to this moment. [Executive producer] Shonda Rhimes said something to me in the episode where James dies, "After James' death, Fitz realizes that he's the devil." And I said, "What does that mean? Do you mean willfully the devil?" And she said, "No, but he's the devil." By holding the ring of power, Fitz is this magnet of darkness and it's all on his shoulders from Operation Remington all the way through his father's rape of his wife and through all the destruction of his marriage, Defiance, the murder of Verna and James, and now the death of his son. In some sense, Fitz bears the weight of all of it. It threatens to crush him in that moment.
Fitz needed Olivia in that moment, but she didn't answer the phone. What do you think would've happened if she had answered the phone?
Goldwyn: We wanted that moment not to be about Fitz rejecting Mellie as his woman and wanting Olivia to be there for him. It's not really about that. Of course, that's an element of it, but it's really more about Olivia's whole place in their world. Mellie says to Fitz in that moment that he has to get up and give an acceptance speech, and Fitz says, "Where's Olivia?" And they both acknowledge that Olivia is the person they need to galvanize them. She's the one who knows how to do this. What would Fitz have said? I think he would've said, "Where are you?! You need to be here." If Olivia were to say to Fitz, "I'm out, I'm leaving," and on top of it to say she was leaving with Jake, Fitz would not accept it. I don't know how capable in that moment he would be to process that because he's literally on the floor, but I don't think he would accept that defeat. I don't think he's going to, if and when he finds out what has gone down. He knows it's not Olivia's truth. Fitz knows that he is Olivia's truth. She's critical to him. He can't survive without Olivia. He can't function in any real way without her. And Mellie knows that and she, too, needs Olivia.
Now knowing why Mellie pulled away from him, how does this change their dynamic? Is there even a chance that they could rekindle their marriage?
Goldwyn: No. That's too simplistic. But they are family and they need to grieve together for Jerry and pull together as a family to recover from the loss of their son. The fact that his father did what he did to Mellie, and that was the root cause of the destruction of their marriage, he's got to be there for Mellie as her family and protect her in that way. Olivia is Fitz's soul mate. There's no way in my mind that Fitz is going to say, "Olivia, we're done and now I'm going to rekindle my marriage." It's much more complicated than that. I don't know what Shonda is thinking or if she knows what she's thinking in terms of the future, but I think Fitz's intention will be to bring all of them back into the fold, to heel Mellie and find a way to function as a family, then, to bring Olivia into that family.
And yet, Andrew (Jon Tenney) is with them in the White House for the next four years. How will Fitz feel about that?
Goldwyn: One thing that Fitz has to do is rethink his assumptions because his assumption was that Mellie was using him strictly for power. He felt that Andrew was doing exactly the same thing. She never loved him and blew him off once she had what she wanted and took up with Andrew with some point. They're both opportunists. That was what his assumption was after he found out about the affair. Now, it's all different. He has to question all those assumptions he made. I don't know what it'll mean for his relationship with Andrew. It depends a lot on what Andrew's agenda is and who Andrew really turns out to be. One thing we do know is that Andrew is genuinely in love with Mellie. If Fitz were to understand that, then Fitz would be able to process that and be thankful to Andrew for taking care of Mellie at a time when Fitz couldn't. But that's all optimistic. I'm sure that Shonda won't allow that to happen. It's no longer as simple as Fitz just being jealous and Andrew taking advantage of him and his wife.
How would Fitz feel if he ever learned that Rowan killed his son?
Goldwyn: He would make it his life's mission to destroy Rowan and would put everything at stake to do that.
Setting aside the fact that Rowan killed Jerry, why would Fitz reinstate Rowan after everything they've been through?
Goldwyn: It was Fitz's desire for vengeance against Maya Pope, the person he thinks murdered his son. No one can touch her, and Rowan gets it done in less than 48 hours. He serves up her head on a platter. On a man-to-man basis, that carries greater weight with Fitz than anything in the world at that moment. In Fitz's mind, Rowan has earned his place back. As far as Fitz's concerned, Jake completely dropped the ball on B613. As dark and Machiavellian as Rowan is, it's a dark and dirty business and Rowan knows how to get the job done. Whatever Fitz's personal issues are with Rowan, Rowan has served her up, as far as Fitz knows.
How will the loss of Jerry change Fitz as a leader?
Goldwyn: Sadly, I have very close friends who have lost children. Once they manage to recover from the devastating grief of that loss, they have a perspective on life and what's important in life that makes them stronger and wiser as people in the way they deal with the world. The loss of his son will make Fitz a more mature, more compassionate, stronger leader. The only thing is, if he finds out about Rowan, he could become reckless. My guess is he would put everything at risk in order to kill Rowan. That might cloud his judgment as a leader.
Do you think Olivia and Fitz are meant to be? Hit the comments!