Thursday’s Scandal offered a knock-down, drag-out look at the life of Fitzgerald Grant III, chronicling his first 100 days as an average Joe in Vermont.
Of course, even Fitz’s “average” behavior was entertaining to watch. From his awkward phone call with his credit card company to his fiery misadventures in the kitchen, there was rarely a dull moment — you know, aside from that cold, Olivia-less bed he was slumping onto every night.
The action in Vermont really picked up when Marcus — fresh off a sexy, rum-soaked vacation — showed up at Fitz’s love shack ready to get to work. But it wasn’t long before the two were literally at each other’s throats, throwing around accusations… and fists. And the hits just kept on coming, as a paranoid Rowan then showed up (gun in hand) to update Fitz on Liv’s promotion to Command.
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Our visit to Fitz-land ended with the former POTUS making an unexpected trip to Washington, where he waited outside Liv’s apartment, inadvertently intercepting her foreplay with Curtis. (Gee, something about that last scene felt awfully familiar.)
Below, actor Tony Goldwyn breaks down the episode’s four biggest moments,
TVLINE | I have to start with my favorite moment of the episode: Fitz and Marcus’ fistfight. I’m sure that must have been carefully choreographed, but did anyone end up getting hurt?
[Laughs] Well, I didn’t hit him, but Cornelius did get injured. He pulled a muscle. When we choreographed it, it was good. It was messy, and [director Scott Foley] was great with that, making it feel sloppy. But the one thing in stage fighting or movie fighting is that when you swing a punch, you have no resistance. I’ve thrown out my shoulder doing it. And Poor Cornelius, this strapping young dude, pulled a muscle. I was teasing him about that, it was pretty funny. But it was a great part of the scene, it felt very organic — good for both characters.
TVLINE | Fitz seemed really rattled by Marcus calling him an “insane narcissist.” Was that because he recognized some truth in what Marcus was saying?
Well, it is true, but I don’t think that’s what rattled Fitz as much. I think what was so upsetting to Fitz was that he let it get to that degree. He let it escalate to such an ugly place. Fitz likes to view himself very much as a woke person, you know? Marcus calling bulls–t on that really affected Fitz a lot. In that sense, Fitz is a spoiled child who’s used to having everyone do everything for him. He’s not the socially woke person that he likes to think of himself as. There’s a lot to that charge of being a narcissist. It gets into all kinds of white privilege and things Fitz thought he’d conquered. But I also think that a lot of what he says to Marcus is true. He calls out Marcus in an equally honest way. They’re both straight with each other, and they’re both right.
TVLINE | Did you ever think you’d see Rowan so powerless, practically begging Fitz for help?
No, I didn’t. And I never trust that he really is. Rowan is such a great actor and such a manipulator. It’s both a testament to the degree of Olivia’s power now and his genuine disenfranchisement. He’s had everything taken away from him, though I can’t help but think — and this is just my opinion — that Rowan has got something up his sleeve. I don’t buy that he’s now just an objective weakling. And I don’t think Fitz does, either. He’s disturbed by it more in the sense of what it means for Olivia. I don’t think he trusts that Rowan is this broken man, I just don’t. I also think that power to Rowan is his lifeblood. Until he breathes his last breath, that will be the No. 1 priority for him. Not his daughter.
TVLINE | I also loved Fitz’s little rant about “Olitz.”
I thought that was awesome. It was both a nod to the crazy Scandal fans — and I thought was really nice to bring them into thee story in that way — as well as the idea of celebrity as president. People take this show so seriously; I’ve been accosted many times by people wanting to talk about my relationship with Olivia. I’m like, “Folks, it’s a television show.” And for Fitz, to have that reduced down to a slogan and to have his whole presidency defined by that is bizarre.
Your thoughts on this week’s Fitz-centric hour? Drop ’em in a comment below.