Olivia loves Fitz
No she doesn’t.
She doesn’t know how to love
Whatever she feels for him, it isn’t strong enough to make her stay and fight for them and their future. It isn’t strong enough to overpower her need to flee every single time they are tested or an uncomfortable situation presents itself.
She may not know how to show her feelings, but a large part of that is because she has never truly committed herself to feeling those feelings, being honest about those feelings, accepting those feelings, verbally acknowledging those feelings, and attempting to express those feelings with honest actions.
But what is she fighting for? A man who told her that he’s staying to mend his wife’s brokenness and his family? For how long must she wait? For how long must she sit watching him mourn the loss of his child with his wife? A month? Three months? Six months? When will he get round to divorcing his wife?
Also, Olivia is bearing the guilt of one of her parents murdering the son of the man she loves. She thinks that the problem is her, and she thinks that everybody would be better off if she removed herself from their lives. Damn, I was exhausted watching the toll that working for Fitz and his family took on her. Olivia’s entire life is a wreck, and some of that is Fitz’s fault. Regardless of how much she loves him, the idea that she should stay when she feels as broken as she does, just to be there for him is BS. Olivia has to put herself first, she has to fix herself otherwise she’s no good to anybody in her orbit, she’s certainly no good for Fitz carrying all that guilt. The only reason people are angry is because she let Jake go with her, had she gone alone, nobody would have been talking about how selfish she was leaving him to grieve alone for his son.
It shouldn’t be up to Olivia to fight, Fitz is the one who’s married. Fitz is the one who has to extricate himself out of his marriage, but he’s staying to fix his family, and no matter how much he says he loves Olivia, talk is cheap. Action is what matters. Fitz is doing the right thing by staying with Mellie for now, but that doesn’t stop the fact that it must hurt Olivia. Her leaving on a plane with Jake doesn’t mean that she doesn’t love Fitz as much as he loves her, it just means that she’s recognized that she needs to fix her life. Jake being with her is a terrible idea, but she’ll probably realize that soon enough.
I think it’s ridiculous that people are blaming the single woman in the adulterous relationship for not being there for the man who says he wants to marry her and have babies with her, even though he’s still married.I usually don’t do this, but what the hell. If both parties in a relationship aren’t willing to actively fight for the survival of that relationship, it will never work. Period. And I’m going to keep noting, because somehow this constantly gets overlooked, Olivia was very well aware that Fitz was married when she rolled her suitcase right past her own door and down the hall to his room. She didn’t wake up one day and suddenly discover that Fitz already had a wife. I (used to wholeheartedly) believe in the bond between Fitz and Olivia, but when one person is (even extremely, miserably, and unhappily) married, there will be hurdles to jump and mountains to climb when pursing a future with that person. If you’re going to pursue it, you have to face the consequences. If you don’t want the consequences, move on and don’t keep going back. Talk is cheap because when you say you’re in it together, when you say you want to live in the here and now, when you say you love someone but your actions are you always walking away, the sight of your back (or a detached and cowardly resignation letter) speak much louder. Actions are what matter right? How long must she wait? That depends on how long she’s willing to play this game of yo-yo. That depends on how many times she wants to throw up roadblocks. If she doesn’t want to deal with him while he’s still married then she should actually stop dealing with him while he’s still married. I think it’s ridiculous that people refuse to rightfully assign any responsibility to the unmarried woman, the same unmarried woman who consciously and freely chose to get involved in an adulterous relationship with the President, who demanded to be earned then proclaimed she couldn’t be won. My question for those who believe Fitz is at fault for the state of their relationship, that Olivia shouldn’t be blamed for anything, that everyone else is the problem - why would she need any fixing? She’s just the victim that everyone uses, right? She’s just the help, right? She’s never in the wrong, right?
So because Olivia knew that Fitz was married 5 years ago when she slept with him, her feelings about being with a married man shouldn’t change because she knew what she was getting into? That thought process doesn’t allow for the time, the pressure, and strains that happen in a normal relationship, let alone a relationship where the guy is married. It doesn’t take into consideration that the things that you thought you wanted five years ago, and how you felt about certain situations, might not be the same today.
I think the question to ask is, if Fitz got a divorce and he was a free to be with her, do you think that Olivia would keep walking away from him? If the answer is yes, then the relationship is doomed whatever, but if the answer is no, then that suggests to me that his marital status is what needs to change, and there’s only person in their relationship who can change the status quo, and it isn’t Olivia.
The state of their relationship isn’t about who’s most at fault, it’s about the actions that are needed to get them from point A to point B. Fitz isn’t at fault per se, but he’s the one with the greatest power to change the trajectory of their relationship. If Olivia stays around being Fitz’s mistress without Fitz actually getting a divorce, how does that move them forward? Fitz loves Olivia and Olivia loves Fitz, yet they can’t tell anybody, they can’t publicize it, because he’s married, how does that benefit them? I personally never called Olivia a victim, but the secrets, the lies, the working for Fitz and his family, being privy to his family drama had worn her out, yet she was still there, she didn’t leave. She didn’t leave because she felt she was a victim and she didn’t love Fitz enough, she left because she felt that her presence in his life made him a target. She wasn’t running away from him, she was running away for him.
I’m going to take my time and reread. I seem to keep missing the part that says Olivia owns a large portion of the choices and events that have led to her current circumstances.
Not calling someone a victim while placing the onus of correcting the problems on the shoulders of another is allowing that someone to escape responsibility for their participation - making them a victim without the label. Fitz isn’t totally at fault “per se” but he has to do all the heavy lifting? That “per se” is a cute way of spreading the blame around without really moving it anywhere.
I’m all for growth, progress, movement, but for three seasons I’ve watched her do the same thing over and over. That’s not growth, that’s a pattern. If this was the first time she bailed, especially considering the circumstances, it would be different. But it’s not.
In episode 316, Fitz says to Olivia “I didn’t happen to you” and she says “I know. That was her acknowledging that she went into this relationship with her eyes open. The choice to be with him has always been hers. Nowhere in my comments did I suggest otherwise. She has had opportunities to be with him and she’s walked away, and that’s on her. But she’s now in a field of guilt, where all she can see for miles are dead bodies and broken people. And she’s standing at the center of that field watching as more dead bodies and broken people are added to the ones around her already. She thought she was helping people, but realizes that as long as she’s around, nothing will change, and people will keep getting hurt, and she desperately wants that to change. I don’t agree with her that these things are entirely her fault, but there is no denying that she’s inextricably linked to bad shit happening to good people.
In Olivia’s mind, this isn’t about not loving Fitz enough, it’s about loving him enough to not want to cause him any more pain.
As for Fitz having to do most of the heavy lifting to change their relationship, I will always stand by this, because this isn’t a 50/50 relationship, this isn’t a relationship where she goes home and he’s there with a glass of wine ready to massage her feet. This is a relationship where she goes home to an empty apartment. This is a relationship where he’s married and she isn’t. For me, the most she should be doing is demanding that he divorce his wife, she should be giving him ultimatums because they’ve done this dance for long enough now. Unfortunately, that’s something that we’ve never seen her do. She’s never asked him to leave his wife, but circling back to my point, he’s the one who built them a home that they can’t live in until he gets a divorce. She shouldn’t really have to demand that he divorce his wife, that’s something that he should do regardless of Olivia, because his marriage is toxic as hell.
But Mellie and Fitz had to lance a huge ass boil full of secrets and lies before they can move forward to a divorce. Olivia is doing the right thing by not giving an ultimatum. We as an audience are tired as hell, and I get why we are impatient. But things as they stand now between Fitz and Olivia? I see why she was telling him to hold his horses on the phone. She was the one who said, you can’t leave her now and I wouldn’t want you if you did. She does not want that infection to creep into their relationship. That boil needs to crust over and heal. Liv knows that Fitz doesn’t love Mellie any more or love her any less, she just knows that Fitz needs to be a decent human being to the woman he shared over 20 years with. She was willing to wait again. Then Jerry died, and that is what made her snap and say, damn, I can’t do this. Everything is a mess and I need to re-assess.
cindersinrags you note that Olivia has never asked Fitz to leave his marriage. This is an interesting part of your argument because it’s true. She has never asked him to leave his marriage. But on multiple occasions she has told, insisted, or advised him to remain in his marriage. That shouldn’t be dismissed. It’s not coincidental that she never asks him to leave and often asks him to stay.
Who stands to benefit the most if Fitz stays in that marriage? Fitz.
Fitz may have had a difficult relationship with his father but he never shied away from the Grant for President project.
Olivia recognises that Fitz wanted to be president, in his weakest moments he says otherwise but, in his strongest moments, you can tell that he enjoys being President. Ascending to presidency is a huge achievement and no one should have relinquish that postiton unless it’s a matter of life and death. Some cite Edward VIII as the man who gave up the throne in order to be with Wallis Simpson. Truth of the matter is this, Prince Edward was pushed aside by the Establishment because of he was a well known Nazi sympathiser. The Duke and Duchess of Windsor wasted away in exile leading an affluent but empty life.
Olivia insisted Fitz stay in that marriage because she knew the public would eviscerate him if he divorced his wife. They both know this but sometimes Fitz likes to delude himself into thinking otherwise. What woudl become of them if he were to leave office in disgrace, because that is the only way the scenario would play out what with the scheming opposition and poisonous media.
The best time to ask for a divorce would have been after surviving the assassination attempt unfortunately, Fitz fluffed that opportunity. In a huff he went back to Mellie.
Later, Fitz then purported to choose Liv but, turns out he’d unilaterally decided not to run for a second term. Had he pursued a divorce, he would never have been able to run for the second term and win. Granted this win is equally mired in filth but this time through no direct fault of their own.
Much as folk would like to point a finger at Liv and argue that she’s the one who has time and again put a kibosh on their plans to be together. One must remember she has done this for his good and the good of his party and the Republic.
Fitz and Olivia’s situation is extremely complicated. Fitz is an encumbered man; caught between ambition, the dream of a once in a life time opportunity, familial responsibility, tradition, public expectations and his heart. Out of all the relevant parties Olivia has the biggest heart and at her best she demonstrates clarity of thought. It is folly to argue that Liv is somehow weak for putting Fitz first, for encouraging him to pursue his dreams and ambitions, for giving him space to resolve things with his family. It is right that she has stopped Fitz from losing himself in her. For Fitz to lose himself in Liv would be very much in keeping with the way Mellie lost herself in him…with disastrous consequences.
As for her father…I don’t even know where to start. No one gets out of B613 alive. Fitz should have finished the job- cut down the tree, pulled up the roots and burnt them… together with the shoots. Fitz allowed the snake to linger in his garden, unbeknonwst to him, he granted the devil life, gave him the opportunity to live and fight another day, only to have the devil turn on him and devour his first born child, his only son. And look at where they are now.
Let’s admit it, Fitz is not an ordinary man and their situation is bigger than them.This situation is complex. We are well past the point of blaming Liv or Fitz or Mellie. It is them and yet it is not, it is the public with their onerous expectations, it is the media with its devious agenda, it is the Party with its duplicitous requirements, it is the Republic. It is us.
And since we have all sides of the story, let’s hope that they can find a way to be together without inflicting disrespect on Mellie or harm to the Republic or themselves.