(Season 3, Episode 7)
Written by Michael Arceneaux (@youngsinick)
Given Kerry Washington’s reveal that former President Bill Clinton is a “gladiator,” I imagine last night’s episode of Scandal was a wee bit uncomfortable for him to watch. In my mind, Hillary Clinton sat beside Bill in bed and downed whiskey, taking small breaks to emphatically slam her hand down on the nightstand and shout at Slick Willie, who was probably cowering in a glass of cabernet: “The things you presidents put us First Ladies through!” I’m sure he whispered sweet nothings about 2016 in return.
“Everything Coming Up Mellie” was a lot even by this show’s standards. In a single episode we saw rape, murder, betrayal, a person rising from the dead and a potential discrepancy in paternity. Still, what I care most about from last night was its focus: Mellie (Mel).
Bellamy Young, who plays First Lady Mellie Fitz, has been making the media rounds all week. Inan interview with Wendy Williams, Young revealed that Mellie was initially planned to be a bit character who wouldn’t last more than a few episodes. Thankfully, Shonda Rhimes had a change of heart and offered Young—who has been nothing but sweet and southern in every interview I’ve watched—the chance to show off her acting chops and not so subtly take shots at the harsh ways we often treat political spouses.
Last night Mellie agreed to a media profile that primarily centered on her playing the role of “polite” and particularly docile wife in the wake of declining approval ratings. As a rather hostile interviewer explains to her, the public is upset with her over an affair that didn’t involve her. They questioned her judgment, her emotional stability, and her sanity. If that wasn’t offensive enough, as she once again went against her core for the sake of helping keep her man in power, Fitz couldn’t be bothered to help her help him.
Complaining to Cyrus, Mellie laments, “I am doing this whole Vanna White routine for him so that he has a shot at recollection. He needs to at least meet me half way.”
Ultimately going to the source, Mellie explains to Fitz, “You don’t have to love me. But we are in this hell together and the flames are burning both of us with equal intensity baby so the least you could is be my friend. The least you could is show up. Show up for me. Show up for me, Fitz.”
Read the rest at Complex.