Season three gets started right where season two ended. As we plunge back into the world of Olivia Pope and the scandal that is arising around her, we hope to uncover answers to questions from last season. Like, who leaked Olivia’s name to the press? Mostly, what is going to happen to Olivia now that she’s been outed as the President’s mistress? And, whose going to fix this?
Rowan, who is Olivia’s father, plans to handle the situation by sending Olivia on a private plan to a secure island. Rowan fires off about as much power with his words as Olivia does. Enough to make Olivia stand down and even cry a little. But, after Olivia makes a phone call to Cyrus to tell him that she is leaving town, she gets her Pope mojo back.
Cyrus is trying desperately to get Sally, the Vice President, to step in for the President on a number of public appearances to buy the White House some time to come up with an action plan. Sally will not do it. Fitz asks for the room to have a private conversation with Sally. In that conversation, he admits to her that he did something wrong. “I lived the lie,” he says. He is able to convince Sally to step up and help him by telling her that he plans to confess what he did.
The gladiators are anxious to help Olivia handle this situation. Olivia, however, when she gets back to the office tells them that it’s handled and it is back to business as usual. The team can’t handle that. Harrison takes on leadership giving the team a pep-talk telling them to do what they do best.
Olivia calls Fitz and Mellie together into a secure location within the White House using a code and password that Fitz gave her. Olivia calls them together to come up with a plan. At first, Olivia says what she always does, “We have to change the narrative.” Fitz counters by saying, “We have to reclaim the narrative.” In essence, what he means is that they should tell the truth.
Mellie is not okay with that. Why? Because listening to Fitz talk about the truth it is clear that Fitz is in love with another woman. It is no longer about an affair. Mellie is not willing to play this game.
Things get muddier when a video is released of Fitz leaving Olivia’s building late at night. Mellie goes into action, planning to stop Olivia and Fitz from telling the truth. Through Pope and Associates another video is released of a 26-year-old communications aid at the White House. The implication is that she is the “other woman.”
Olivia is beyond upset about this and knows her team had something to do with it. So, to fix it, she takes the 26-year-old as a client. The only client they have in the midst of the scandal.
It turns out that a secret service agent slipped Olivia’s name to a fashion blogger who ran with it. While one secret service agent told about the affair, another agent gives out Olivia’s name based on a request made by the President. Fitz had leaked Olivia’s name, which Mellie figures out and is what she is not going to play his game.
Meanwhile, Olivia is the one being played. Fitz, who tells Sally he’s been “living a lie” and tells Olivia and Mellie they need to “reclaim the narrative” by telling the truth, has not been completely honest with Olivia. Speaking truth is the glue that holds a community together, which may be why “Do not lie,” is one of the ten commandments. The ten commandments, as other parts of the Torah, are concerned with how to live together in community. Speaking truth is one of those ways. It is the surest way to have open and authentic communication. The philosopher Immanuel Kant argued that truth telling was the test of a moral principle. Without truth telling, the very core of communication would be in harm’s way, and the community would be in danger of falling apart.
It raises more questions as the third season gets started. What is Fitz’ end game? And is it authentic?