Mellie Grant: Emotionally Crippled Loving Evil Genius?

By Badforthefish

Nov 04, 2013

On Scandal, I always assumed Olivia Pope would remain my favorite female character. I mean there wasn't much in terms of competition right? Until Mellie came along. She wasn't much of a contender to begin with but Shonda Rhimes must have recognized her worth because over the course of three seasons Mellie has been given more and more screen time and increasingly killer lines. And Bellamy Young damn well deserves it! The way she took that ball and is running away with it is pure joy to witness.

From the get go Mellie showed potential - the calculating look she gives Fitz and Liv when she appears through the door right on the heels of their "One Minute", told us she really didn't need a road map to know exactly where her husband and his campaign manager were heading.

Mellie quickly proved that she would stop at nothing to win: fake miscarriage, election rigging, various attempts at blackmail, having her own labor induced, driving her husband to drink and keeping him away from his One True Love among other things. These are all very good reasons to hate her cold, calculating First Lady's backside and many fans do.

I don't. I adore the whole Mellie package. She is the razor edged, flawed diamond I wish other shows would learn to mine (looking right at ya Agents of SHIELD).

As Fitz once told her: "you're honest, you're the only one who has always been honest about who you were."

In a show where so many characters lie about themselves (Fitz, Olivia, Abby) or are terminally confused about themselves (Huck, Quinn) Cyrus and Mellie are two of the few characters who stand out as people who know exactly who they are. Their amoral compass as clearly defined as David Rosen's moral one is (who is, let's agree on this, the *only* good guy on the show).

I also believe Mellie truly loves Fitz in her own way but that she is an emotional cripple, painfully aware she can't give her husband the warm, passionate and cuddly love Olivia provides him with. Mellie is not a cuddler, she probably pushes Fitz off the bed whenever he tries to spoon her at night, but she'll take a shovel and go dig a shallow grave for his many skeletons in an instant if he needs her to.

If that's not True Love, I don't know what is. Mellie's passion runs deep, but the only way she can express it is by fighting tooth and nail for her husband and his position.

And to the people who will argue that she is selfish, and only motivated by the prospect of her own political career, I 'll say this: she could have ditched Fitz' sorry cheating ass a long time ago but she didn't. I think she went along with the affair at first because she thought Olivia was just a fling. I think she got scared when she realised it was much more than this and that's when she started bearing her teeth, when she realised she was about to lose Fitz. I think she quickly realised she didn't have the necessary tools to compete with Olivia and that's why she played dirty. I don't think Mellie relishes evil deeds, but she won't balk away from them when they're the only arrows she has left for her bow. The end justify the means and all that.

So yeah, I am rooting for FLOTUS and teetering off the edge of the Olitz train, and not just because I increasingly believe Fitz and Liv are toxic for one another.

Mellie is a complex and at times deeply moving character. The "Come back to us." speech she gave Olivia in "More Cattle less Bull" was simply heartbreaking.

Go ahead and prove me wrong, I dare ya. ;-)

If you need your memory refreshing here is Mellie in all her glory.

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  • xubxerox Nov 09, 2013

    Seriously, I don't understand what everyones issue is with "Marvel's agents of SHIELD". That show has 6 episodes under its belt. Scandal is in its third season. So they had over 30 episodes to flesh out those characters. Give SHIELD some time, will ya? :D

    You really can't expect a show to start up on episode 1 like it was on episode 100. Establishing characters, building storyarcs and setting up plots - all that needs on-screen-time. Nobody can do that in just a couple of episodes - that is just unrealistic. And if they would try, it would result in totally crappy show that everybody would criticize for trying to do everything at once.
    You can't have it both ways. I'd rather give a show time to establish itsself and be fairly well entertained along the way. And if it is sure of its survival and its place, then it can go places ;)

  • Badforthefish Nov 11, 2013

    I think the main issues with SHIELD is that the cast and characters are just no very good to begin with. Of course you are right that it is not fair to compare SHIELD with Scandal, because one is much older than the other and characters had ample time to be fleshed out on Scandal. But let me tell you this: I was hooked on Scandal after two episodes, I wanted to know who the characters were and why they were behaving the way they were. They were flawed, they had edges. SHIELD's characterization just feels so...superficial? And I really think it's mostly due to an unfortunate casting for some of the leads. Ward and Skye are bland. You can do something about underdeveloped characters (which is why I have hopes for May for example) but not when the base is so mediocre to begin with. I'm all for letting a show time to breathe and find its feet, but I also believe that after six episodes you have a fairly good idea of the level of quality of the stuff you're watching. SHIELD is not dreadful, it's not even bad. It's just way below par other Whedon shows. And that's disapointing.

  • TVGirlCCC Nov 05, 2013

    Is this discussion pointing in the direction of resuming their review of scandal?

  • TVGirlCCC Nov 20, 2013

    There are two reviewers for Sleepy Hollow. can sure spare one for the best show on television right now... I would think

  • Badforthefish Nov 05, 2013

    Sorry, I'm not part of their staff, just a fan giving her two cents. I miss the reviews too.

  • patsully Nov 05, 2013

    We'll be checking in on Scandal as the season progresses, but we'd love to see weekly reviews in the Community. Any volunteers?

  • Badforthefish Nov 05, 2013

    I guess I could do a couple.

  • xubxerox Nov 09, 2013

    Oh, and not to forget, otherwise I totally agree with you on Mellie. She IS great. A bit like Cersei on GoT.

    I would love to see some more fan-reviews. And I am still amazed that TVcom will not review that show.

  • TVGirlCCC Nov 05, 2013

    That would be fantastic! Thanking you in advance.
    It's amazing that is not reviewing one of the best shows on television.

  • patsully Nov 05, 2013

    Awesome, we'll be sure to promote them to the homepage.

  • Muderboy Nov 05, 2013

    Sorry, Fitz is an idiot. He married the perfect chick and can't seem to stand prosperity. I guess the heart wants what it wants, but Fitz's heart is just wrong. I would always want Mellie on my side because she makes for a lousy enemy, but a great ally--and...she's really hot.

    I guess it's because it's in the script, but they shouldn't have made Mellie so appealing. MELLIE ROCKS!!!

  • 8lizzy8 Nov 04, 2013

    Agreed! i love Mellie; she's horrible. And, while I'm not rooting for her and Fitz, I do think there is something admirable about a woman who wants to protect the last two things that matter to her since she's now resigned to the fact that her husband will never love her again. (1) She loves being first lady, and (2) she wants a viable political career after Fitz is done.

    At this point, she'll make any deal with any devil (even one in a white pantsuit) she must to keep those balls in the air and they only stay in the air if Fitz is the president.