"Scandal:" Team Jake Or Team Fitz?

"Scandal:" Team Jake Or Team Fitz?

WARNING: Spoilers ahead.
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I recently started watching the award-winning TV show "Scandal" starring Kerry Washington and Portia de Rossi, among other stars. I was hesitant to watch it, as I didn’t know much about the plot before pressing play. I’m a big fan of crime shows — "Criminal Minds", "Law and Order", "Blue Bloods" — and thought "Scandal" was more of a soap-opera than my usual series.

I was right to think that it’s more dramatic and there’s quite a bit of backstory, but I had no idea how much I’d come to love the show. To put it in perspective, I’m in the middle of season four and I started just a few weeks ago. Maybe this is indicative of how skilled I am at procrastinating and watching too much Netflix or maybe it’s indicative of how addictive and spectacular this show really is.

To summarize the plot, it centers around Kerry Washington’s character, Olivia Pope, and her crisis management firm of Olivia Pope and Associates. The associates, a group of very different people all connected through their illegal or secretive activities, have all been “saved” by Pope at some point and have worked for the firm. Some of the players include an ex-CIA killer, a former money-laundering man connected to terrorism, and a former friend abused by her husband.

This eclectic group forms a tight family that relies on each other as a group of “gladiators in suits," as the money-launderer likes to say. They put everything on the line for their fearless leader, Olivia Pope, and they help clients get justice and keep the world spinning. The scandalous nature of the show is ever-present, however, as Olivia continues her years-long affair with the President of the United States. There’s also her father, the commander of a secret CIA sector that murders enemies of the Republic, and her mother who is a known terrorist. Basically, the complexities are deep and intense in this show, and there are constant revelations and connections being made across episodes, across characters, and across different seasons.

I think this show is incredibly entertaining and addictive, as any good TV series should aspire to be. The creator, world-renown Shonda Rhimes, creator of other hit series including "Grey’s Anatomy", actively tries to confuse and force viewers to think. This show isn’t your run-of-the-mill entertainment, but rather an intense and fast-paced detective novel played out onscreen in which the audience is directly involved. We are forced to form opinions, have biases, root for one guy over the other, and ultimately still love Olivia Pope even after all that goes on in the show.

One of the main questions in this show is if you are Team Jake or Team Fitz. Jake Ballard is the Navy man who becomes intertwined with the secret, murderous CIA organization that is responsible for the deaths of some of Olivia’s friends. Fitzgerald Grant III, on the other hand, is the President of the United States with whom Olivia is having an affair and who has his own secrets and slightly murderous activity in the past.

If you don’t watch the show, these two guys sound like pretty terrible options and you might say Olivia should look elsewhere altogether. This struggle between the two is central to the show, however, and fans are completely split on who Olivia should choose. I am not caught up on the most recent episodes, but I’ve watched enough to form my own opinions.

I’m Team Fitz all the way. As much as he is morally crucified in the show for a good reason, I think he cares about Olivia more than Jake does and I think he’s far less shady than Jake. Sure, Jake wants to protect Olivia and ultimately he’s a good guy, but he’s responsible for killing Olivia’s nicest friends such as James Novak, the amiable husband of White House Chief of Staff Cyrus Beene.

I think that’s the point of the show really, that as much as Fitz and Liv shouldn’t be together, they ultimately will end up in their giant house in Vermont a few years down the road. At least I hope that’s how the show ends, anyway. There’s too much history and too much at stake for them to remain apart forever.

This series often gets judged for just being a show about the scandalous activities between Olivia and the President, but there’s a lot more to it. There’s an incredible amount of learning done on the audience’s part about the United States government and how much goes on in that big white house in Washington. There’s also a lot of themes that hit home for viewers, such as the death of loved ones and children, different relationships between children and parents, sacrifice, war, women’s rights, and foreign policy. If I haven’t sold you on this show yet, then at least watch an episode for the thrill factor that it gives. If you watch it, you’ll have some great one-liners to employ in your everyday conversations, and you’ll feel pretty empowered when Harrison, the money-launderer, asks, “are we gladiators or… are we b*tches?”. Be a gladiator.

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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To the guy that shot my brother...

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To the guy that shot my brother,

On January 9, 2019 my families entire life changed with one phone call. The phone call that my little brother had been shot in the face, no other details. We didn't need any other details. The woman on the phone who called us in full panic told us where he was so we went, as soon as possible. I don't think it helped that not even 10 min prior I talked to Zach on the phone.. kind of irritated with him, and the ONE TIME I didn't say 'I love you' as we hung up. Could've been the last time we ever spoke.. I remember pulling up to the hospital thinking 'this can't be real' 'it's not our Zach' 'this is just a dream Sarah, WAKE UP' I'd close my eyes really tight just to open them, I was still in the hospital emergency parking lot. I could still hear the ambulance sirens coming. It was all real.

The day our life's changed was definitely a test of faith. A test of how strong we were, as a family. I sat in that waiting room ready to see the damage that has been done to my sweet baby brother. Because at that point we had no idea how lucky he got. That glimpse of seeing Zach will haunt me forever. How helpless I felt in that exact moment frequently wakes me up from these horrific dreams I've been having ever since that day. That is a moment burned into my me and families brain forever.

You always hear about these things in the movies or on the news, a house being shot up, someone shooting another innocent person, not to care if they died on your watch. But we found ourselves on the news.. We have been confined to the hospital since that day. Running on barely any sleep, taking shifts of sleep so we don't make ourselves sick taking care of Zach. Watching him suffer. Undergoing surgeries, to repair the damage you did.

Before I proceed let me tell you a little something about the man you shot.

Zachary Keith Wright. A blonde hair blue eyed boy. Who could potentially be the most annoying human on the planet (possibly coming from his sister). A man who loves his God first, loves his family second. Perfect by no means, but almost perfect to me. A 19 year old who was to graduate high school this month. After graduation he was prepping to leave for Marine boot camp in the summer.. being in the military has been Zach's dream since he could talk. Literally. Running around, playing war with underwear on our heads, and finger guns. Some would say we looked like natural born assassins.. growing up he has been a country boy. Let me tell ya country to the core. He loves this country like he loves his family. He believes in helping people, taking charge in what's right, and never leaving a brother behind. He's lived by that his whole life. Until now....

The day you shot him. The day not only did you change my brothers life, you changed his families life too. The day you almost ripped my brother out of this world... for what? A misunderstanding? Because you've let something take ahold of your life that you can't let go you're willing to kill someone innocent over? Luckily for him, his guardian angels were protecting him in your time of cowardice. There were 3 times that day he should've died, the time you shot him, the time you tried to shoot him again as he stared you directly in the face, (even tho he couldn't talk I know you could read his eyes, and he still intimidated you. That's why you tried to pull the trigger again) and the time he was running out of the house. But he lived. A man who was shot in the face, didn't lay there helpless, didn't scream in agony. That MAN walked to the neighbors to get help. Why? Because he's a MAN, and because he's on this earth for a reason.

It's gonna sound a little strange not only to you, but the audience who is reading this. I must say thank you. Even in this situation, this was the best outcome we could get. He gets to live. He will make a full recovery. He will graduate. And he will go off into the Marines. You united my family together. Closer than ever. Thank you. You tested our faith and brought us closer to our God. Thank you. Because of your moment of weakness, you showed us what prayer could do. Heal anything. Thank you. This was a bump in the road, and a helluva way to kick off our year of 2019. But here we are.. all laying in the hospital. I'm looking around as mom is sleeping in her recliner chair exhasted but still here, Zach his awake playing his xbox all hooked up to machines, fighting to heal and get better. And of course I'm writing this letter to you.

See you in trial,

From the girl whose brother you shot.

'Fight the good fight' - 1 Tim 6:12 🤟🏼💙

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5 Ways You Can Stop Producing so Much Trash

We produce a lot more trash than you think, until you start paying attention to your actions.

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One of my major goals this year is to do more to save the planet as well as animals. I have already been vegetarian for three years. and I'm plan to stay vegetarian, but I want to have a more plant based diet. As well, I want to start reducing the amount of trash I produce. Not only because I realize just how drastically our trash is affecting wildlife, but also because I think having to take out your trash twice a week is way too much trash!

1. Bring recyclables to a recycling center or reuse them around the home!

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This is something I want to start doing! I always get take out food and throw away the containers, when I could be using those containers to carry my lunch everyday! Also, I want to start collecting my plastic water bottles and taking them to the recycling center on campus instead of just throwing them away

2. Invest in a reuseable water bottle

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This would actually fix my water bottle problem. I need to invest in a nice, reuseable water bottle that I can refill, rather than throwing away 3-4 water bottles a day. Amazon has a lot of varieties of these bottles ranging from inexpensive to expensive, cool designs, and even one that holds snacks.

3. Reuseable Straws

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This is a great addition to your new reuseable water bottle! Like trash, you don't realize how much you use (and throw away) straw, until you actually start to keep count. I thought i didn't use straws at all because I never bought them in my life, but then you go out to eat (straw), you go to Starbucks (straw). Having a glass straw is actually really useful to reduce your trash, in cases when you wish you had a straw but don't, and sanitary purposes. Those straw sitting out at Starbucks, are they really that clean?

4. Donate old/unwanted clothes

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This is something I already do. I go through my drawers and closet once a year, and just put all the clothes I haven't worn all year, or just don't want into a garbage bag. I'm usually able to fill at least one (gallon) garbage bag with clothes to take to Goodwill!

5. Use actual plates instead of paper plates

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This is another huge mistake of mine! I hate doing dishes, so I try to buy paper plates to make less dishes, but in the end I'm producing more and more trash! I'm convinced the reason I have to take out my trash so often is because I eat so much! It's time to be a big girl now and start washing my dishes...or start using my dish washer

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