Tonight’s episode of Scandal is about Marcus and Fitz’s unlikely bromance. The episode begins on the day after Fitz’s presidency has ended. We see him pondering, “What now?” What will life be like for him in Vermont? For starters, he fires his entire staff. There are no hard feelings. He’s just tired of being catered to and he wants a taste of civilian life–as close as he can get, that is. It’s quite comical watching him trying badly to cook, insisting that he drive himself (as secret service sits in the back seat), etc. Regular people things that aren’t cut out for Fitz.
Later on, Fitz meets up with Marcus, who will help him build his library in Vermont. They also chat about the respective women they’ve lost–Mellie and Olivia. It’s awkward for Marcus to discuss Mellie, but he sums it up by saying that he’d only be a distraction to her career. Fitz is in the same boat. He asked Olivia to come to Vermont, but she’s still in DC making career moves. Fitz would only be a distraction.
Marcus is struggling Vermont. In addition to missing Mellie, he finds it frustrating being pretty much the only black man around. He’s also triggered by watching a student protester, the other black man in Vermont (he knows because he counted), make his case about wanting the mayor to remove the monument of a Revolutionary War soldier who owned slaves. The man is sitting in front of the statue in the cold until the mayor agrees to meet with him. This reminds Marcus of his old life, but also makes him feel like a sell out. But let’s face it, Marcus very much wants to be on the path to power, everyone in this universe does.
Later on, it becomes clear that Marcus feels like he’s just Fitz’s glorified valet. Marcus confronts Fitz (after an incident where Fitz asked Marcus to get him a bottle of scotch while at a meeting), and their very loaded argument about tons of things (ranging from Marcus being a stereotypical angry black man on one hand, but also having the desire to do the work he’s currently doing, which contradicts his past activist life, to Fitz being who he is because of Olivia, but taking all the credit) actually ends in a fist fight. Secret services grabs Marcus. Fitz orders them to let him go, and just like that Marcus quits. But at least Fitz gets a dose of civilian life, right?
Anyway, Marcus breaks his silence and calls Mellie to unload his troubles. He says that he’s tired of working for Fitz because he acts like a petulant child. Mellie knows exactly where Marcus is coming from and talks him off the ledge.
Meanwhile, Fitz gets a visit from Rowan Pope.
Relax, Rowan isn’t there to kill Fitz. He’s there to whine to Fitz about how Olivia being command is trouble for everyone. He describes her as “the dictator of a country that no longer knows it exists.” He also drops dime about how Olivia orchestrated Luna Vargas’ murder and implores Fitz needs to do something about her. Fitz is unmoved and says that he left DC, and that Rowan needs to take care of it. But Rowan says he no longer has any power and that Fitz is the guy to do it because “the woman they love is disappearing into the darkness.”
Marcus and Fitz make peace, and Fitz says he must return to Washington when the 100 Days is up, but doesn’t reveal why even though we know Marcus will follow. However, before Fitz leaves Vermont, he makes it a point to visit the student activist who is on the verge of giving up his protest since the mayor hasn’t responded yet. Fitz gives him a pair of warmer gloves and encourages him to keep going. This is all the student needs to keep pushing and to subsequently achieve his goal, which is to get the statue removed. That is meaningful enough for Fitz to feel good about his short-lived time in Vermont.
And now we’re back to that moment where Fitz is standing outside of Olivia’s apartment only to be caught off guard by Olivia making out with her new boy toy as they prepare for some loving.
That is how the episode ends, but this is definitely a new beginning. We don’t know what retired life looks like for Fitz if he can’t be in Vermont, but his new mission is to save Olivia Pope from all that power she has.