This morning I watched the latest episode of Scandal. There will be spoilers ahead. If you don’t want spoilers do not read on.
So Shonda Rhimes is everything. First of all I was so thrilled when it became apparent that Mellie was about to filibuster a spending bill that would have categorized Planned Parenthood funding as discretionary spending. My one and only problem with this episode is that I immediately went into politics-space where I was forced to remember that these days the best we can expect from Republican women on protecting women’s rights to healthcare is to say that some of them shied away from a bill that prohibited funding for abortion even in the case of incest or rape. Yippee?
Whatever. Shondaland is a magical place where a Republican woman will filibuster a spending bill that risks a government shutdown to save Planned Parenthood funding from imminent doom. That, friends, is a world I want to live in. I want to live in Shondaland. I don’t care if it means I might be murdered by Matt McGorry because I would totally have ratted on his creepy judge-dad.
Sidenote: If you aren’t watching Shondaland shows or don’t know what Shondaland is, I’m sorry, this post may be incoherent to you at points.
Okay sorry, back on track. So Scandal showed Olivia Pope getting an abortion. It was amazing and it was amazing because we had no idea it was going to happen. We didn’t know she was pregnant. She didn’t spend the episode freaking out about how to make This Difficult Decision. She spent the episode being undercover miserable about doing all the painfully stupid First Lady shit that she never wanted to do before helping Mellie complete her fillibuster with the help of Republican woman number two who’s willing to stand up for Planned Parenthood (whaaat?!) and then she gets an abortion. We see her in the room getting an abortion. Period.
The Hollywood Reporter did an interview with Tony Goldwyn about the probably soon-to-be infamous abortion episode because clearly we all need a man’s opinion on it. So, in fairness, most of the interview is pretty good until this happens…
Tony…you do realize that Fitz forcing her to move into the White House was what caused her stress, right? So like…if she’s stressed then it’s really mostly Fitz’s self-absorbed dumbass fault. But sure, “look what he’s forgiving!” How ungrateful Olivia Pope is for not blindly accepting the hostage situation into which he’s forced her. What I hope at this point Olivia has really and truly figured out is that Fitz is an overgrown puppy. He just wants to love her and snuggle her and have her walk him and clean up when he makes a pee pee on the rug. The culmination of this episode – which was a game-changing level-up from the previous holy-shit-this-is-amazing-Batman episode – seems to be that Olivia realizes more than just that she doesn’t want to do the First Lady shit. She already knew that. She realizes who Fitz is to the First Lady…or rather who the First Lady is to Fitz, basically his sexy mommy. No joke. The depths of Fitz’s inability to care for himself are apparently bottomless. The Mariana Trench has nothing on Fitzgerald Grant.
So what was…what’s the word I’m looking for…”disturbing” about Tony Goldwyn’s response to this last question which was, in and of itself, kind of lopsided and begging to be answered stupidly, is that he found it disturbing that the abortion was so “mundane.” In fact he found her lack of emotion during the procedure to be “disturbing.” First of all, I actually disagree that she lacked emotion. I’m fairly certain that there was the barest hint of a smile on her face at one point and that’s definitely an emotion. More importantly, this is what an abortion is for a lot of women. It’s just a thing that needs to be done. It isn’t a Very Special Episode in their lives. It’s a medical procedure. She was pregnant and didn’t want to be and then she wasn’t. Yes, for some women abortion is an unthinkable choice. There’s no denying that. For many other women, however, the choice isn’t hard. It is just is. And thank you, Shonda Rhimes for showing that.