Fitz (and Marcus) struggle through the first 100 days of his post-presidential life, but a series of events bring him back to DC. Full recap of ‘Scandal’, “Day 101” (first aired Thursday, October 19 at 9pm ET|PT on ABC).
“Day 101” brings us back to the “Pressing the Flesh” OMG-ending with Fitz arriving in DC and waiting for Liv at her apartment. In the episode, we flash back to what Fitz has been up to since leaving the White House (post Olitz epic kiss on the White House lawn) and setting up shop in Vermont.
Fitz arrives at his house in Vermont to quite a bit of fanfare (we saw those Olitz signs), but then steps inside and he’s alone. That night, Fitz lays in bed and watches as newscasters speculate on his post-presidency legacy. The next morning he wakes at 7am and is greeted by his new staff, hired by Marcus before he leaves for his vacation. His possessions from Washington and California have also been shipped. Marcus wants Fitz to get a head start on sorting through materials for his presidential library. Well, Fitz has everyone except his main Secret Service security guard (Luther) fired. Fitz doesn’t want a chef or housekeeper; he wants to try living life on his own.
First up, Fitz drives himself to the grocery store to do some shopping (Luther is not pleased, LOL). Things get off to a slow start. He doesn’t have a store discount card. He hasn’t even activated his debit card yet, either! Fitz makes he way home and puts together a nice chicken and vegetables dish… which promptly burns. But over time, Fitz finds his groove. In the mornings he reads his paper and goes running; at night he makes a great dinner (that doesn’t burn!). But Fitz is so bored…
One evening, Fitz is watching the local news and he notices a story about a young man, Steven, camping out in front of a Confederate statue. Why should Black people pay homage to a man who would want to see them in chains? In protest, Steven plans to camp out until the government agrees to take the statue down.
Fitz turns off the news and starts sorting through the boxes of his things. He comes across a brown case that catches his attention…an antique pistol and bullets. For some reason this agitates Fitz, and he decides to call to check in with Marcus.
Marcus is having the time of his life on vacation in Cuba. He’s drinking, partying, and ends up hooking up with a beautiful Afro-Cuban woman at her place. The next day, he invites her to stay with him at his hotel, but she knows for a fact that if she shows up at his hotel, people will think she’s a prostitute. But Marcus is confused. He’s Black and he’s staying at the hotel. She let’s Marcus know real quick that in Cuba, as an American, he enjoys “gringo” privilege too. This exchange shockis Marcus a bit, but he pays closer attention to the other guests at his hotel later that day. Nah, it’s time for him to go home.
Marcus joins Fitz in Vermont, and on their morning run, they stop in front of a plot of land overlooking a gorgeous mountain range. This will be the location of Fitz’s presidential library (coming in 2023!); and this is their opporunity to bring attention to Civil Rights and make a real change for people.
On Day 41, when Fitz learns that Mellie’s first piece of legislation is to expand universal access to college, he thinks he should be in DC to help navigate the debate. Marcus disagrees. Fitz has to give Mellie 100 days to step out of the shadow of the previous president. That means no interference! Plus, Fitz needs to be focussed on courting donors for his presidential library. The conversation shifts when Marcus starts sorting through Fitz’s materials. He asks about that antique gun, but Fitz will only say it’s a gift. Then Marcus asks *the* question. How much is Olivia Pope going to be featured in the library. She defined Fitz’s presidency in a major way and it now Chief of Staff to Fitz’s successor: “Olivia is Hillary Clinton, Beyonce, Oprah, and Sister Souljah all in one.” Liv matters to people! Marcus even talks about when he arrived in Vermont and saw OLITZ written in Christmas lights on someone’s house. (BWAHAHAHAH! My people!) This causes Fitz to go into a little fit of pique. His presidency was more than Olivia Pope, and now he’s reduced to just a man who loved a woman? Marcus (doing the Lord’s work) points out that this is the story of every successful woman in mankind.
Fitz is done, so he asks Marcus to arrange an outing to a bar. At the bar, they have some beers and watch updates about Steve’s protest campaign on the news. Marcus gets kind of emotional because he used to be that kid, out in the streets, bringing attention to important issues of injustice. Fitz reassures Marcus that, together, they’re going to do good things, as a team. The conversation shifts when Fitz asks about whether Marcus has talked to Mellie. But they can’t have this conversation about Marcus’ relationship with Fitz’s ex-wife! Marcus says that he respects Mellie’s desire to focus on her presidency and that she’ll do a great job. Fitz reflects a little on his relationship with Liv, and after all their tries, it’s time to let go. She isn’t there. So that’s how she’ll be represented in his presidential library, just like Cyrus, as someone who helped run his campaigns.
On Day 74, Fitz and Marcus host a dinner for potential donors to the presidential library. In passing, they note that Steve’s protest is losing attention. Marcus suggests a meeting with the mayor to rejuvenate things, but Fitz doesn’t want to interfere in local politics. At the dinner, the group is wining and dining and Fitz is wooing the group with golf stories. They’re eating it all up.
One donor (Jim) in particular, with deep pockets, stays behind for a private conversation. Fitz, Jim, and Marcus smoke Cuban cigars and have drinks. Things get tense when Jim refers to Marcus as “chico” or boy. And then when Fitz asks Marcus to go grab more whisky, Marcus refuses. Fitz should get it himself. Later on, Fitz and Marcus get into an EPIC fight. Marcus quits and is packing up to leave. Fitz doesn’t understand the problem: he only asked for a bottle of scotch. Why is Marcus always such an angry Black man?! Marcus rejects that because he’s not Fitz’s servant. They’re supposed to be a team. Fitz is the worst type of narcisist because he doesn’t even realize that he’s entitled. When Fitz responds that he’s given everything to his country, Marcus pushes back again. It’s Liv who built Fitz’s legacy and what did she get for it? “People like you have been doing that to Black Women for centuries!” Fitz calls Marcus out for making the choice to let go of his activist roots and take up institutional power, in the game, playing with the big boys. Then the fight gets physical… it’s INSANE! Luther quickly breaks them up and Marcus leaves.
Marcus sits in his car and decides to call Mellie to tell her he’s leaving Fitz. Mellie laughs a little because she’s been in this position herself: “You are in stage 2 of a relationship with Fitzgerald Grant…” Yes, Fitz is challenging, but he also has that special something that draws people to him and want to change the world. Marcus can’t leave Fitz because they need each other. And then Mellie and Marcus sit in silence together. She thanks him for calling and they say goodbye.
Meanwhile, Fitz walks into his study and sees Papa Pope sitting on the floor with a gun (Fitz’s antique gun). Papa Pope has escaped his security detail and come to Vermont to warn Fitz. He tells Fitz that Liv is Command, and in that position, she has nothing to check her power. At first, Fitz believes Liv can run Command in a right way. Rowan vehemently disagrees. She killed Luna Vargas on inauguration day! “Who runs the world? One girl.” If Fitz doesn’t reach out to Liv, she will be corrupted, disappearing into the darkness. Time is running out before she’s gone. (You and I both know that Papa Pope is playing Fitz and will use Liv’s love for Fitz to slide her out of the way. Then Papa Pope will be Command again.)
Marcus returns to the house and finds Fitz sitting on the porch with the antique gun. Apparently it was a gift from Big Jerry, one that (according to Cyrus) Fitz planned to use to kill hmself once his presidency ended. (WHATTTTTT???!!!!) Fitz assures Marcus that he won’t kill himself. They sort of apologoze to each other for what they said and that they should get to know each other better. Fitz shifts the conversation: “Is Olivia Pope everyone’s world? Or just mine?” His conversation with Papa Pope really gets to him. When the 100 days is up, Fitz is going back to DC.
On Day 101, Fitz meets with Steve at the Confederate statue. Fitz brings the press, warmer gloves, and some encouraging words. The attention rejuvenates Steve’s protest and the Mayor agrees to meet with Steve and the statue comes down.
— Scandal (@ScandalABC) October 20, 2017
As for Fitz, he’s on his way to DC. His first stop is Liv’s apartment. He arrives, knocks on the foor, but she isn’t there. Fitz waits… and soon after, Liv stumbles off the elevator with Curtis.
*FLAILS* Things are about to get so messy–I’m talking Liv/Fitz/Curtis, Mellie/Marcus/Rashad, plus the power plays. And Papa Pope will climb that chaos like a ladder to the top (yes, Game of Thrones and Littlefinger).
Next week’s episode is “Lost Girls” (written by Ameni Rozsa and Austin Guzman and directed by Nicole Rubio):
While Liv is busy running the free world, the team at QPA works with an unexpected client to solve an important case. At the White House, Mellie prepares for the upcoming Nuclear Summit with President Rashad and Prime Minister Nazari (via ABC).
Scandal airs Thursdays at 9p/8c on ABC.