The flashbacks brought out alot of things. For example, we saw how good Fitz and Olivia are when they are together, sexually and intellectually. Fundamentally, we were also able to see that deep down Olivia is also conscious/conflicted about the fact that she is the ‘other’ woman. Olivia, unlike your average mistress finds herself in that awkward position where she has to interact with her paramour’s wife on a regular basis. I think to a small extent she would be able to live with herself and/or enjoy the affair more if she didn’t have to interact with Mellie on a regular basis or have to live with knowledge that the affair -if uncovered- is one of the things that has the potential to ruin his career. I really don’t think Olivia was teasing him -when she danced away from him and went around the sofa, or even when she slid out of his embrace and moved towards the centre of the room.
It is in this scene that we begin to see that whilst on the one hand she is enthralled with the man, on the other hand, she isvery conflicted with the notion of the affair.
In those early moments in this scene., Fitz is the hunter and Olivia the unwitting prey lulled into his lair. I really don’t think she was playing at being torn, she was genuinely torn. In her own small way she was genuinely saying no and she meant it. If you recall, that morning -when she was giving him the pin- she voiced her concerns about the direction of their relationship. In that moment, when he tried to draw her in to him, she stepped back and chided him, saying something to the effect that they’d agreed to stop the affair once he was in office.
However, by the end of the day we see her capitulate to his advances.This scene takes place towards the end of a looong day, she has been watching and waiting and yearning for him. Deep down she yearns for this man in a way she never imagined she would ever yearn for another human being. I don’t think she saw him coming. I believe Olivia couldn’t even bring herself to attend any of the inaugaural balls because she couldn’t bear to see him holding Mellie. Olivia went as far as brushing off Cy’s invitation to ride with him, under the pretext that she hates dancing- yet we have seen the lady twirl and she twirls like a pro! She truly looked so sad when looked at the screen in James’s office and caught a glimpse of Fitz and Mellie dancing at one of the balls .
I like her even more for showing some trepidation.I like her for saying no and trying to inject a bit of sense into the relationship. I like her for saying no because, i tillustrates the fact that deep down she knows that even if things between Fitz and Mellie are wrong, it doesn’t make what she has with Fitz right. The fact that she tried to put some brakes on Fitz, makes her a sympatheric figure. I would like her a lot less if she was gung-ho about the affair.
Going back to the scene, I presume by now they had not exchanged the L word but my God you can tell by the way that man touches her…you can tell that for him it is more than just physical. Olivia is everything to him. And for her too. He is everything.
As an aside, I would dearly love to see her reaction when Fitz told her about the cameras -not in that scene where she slapped him. Honestly, I think Fitz must have told her about SSA Tom having to erase their encounter…I don’t know how she looks him in the eye.(grin!)
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