Ranking the Least Destructive Couples on 'Scandal'

Everyone on this show is the worst, yes, but we're focusing on the most manipulative, abusive, and overall most destructive couples on the show. Love is dead.

This article is from the archive of our partner .

Everyone on this show is the worst. Between all the monologues and OMG moments of Scandal, we're meant to find ourselves rooting for a lot of destructive relationships between some fundamentally awful people (i.e. President Fitzgerald Grant). I spend at least 10 minutes an episode rolling my eyes at some Olitz moment that will eventually become a Tumblr gif set and wait for something a little less vomit-inducing. But last night, on "We Don't Touch the First Lady," there were a few romantic pairings that were less than awful -- even borderline pleasant. Three weeks from now, half these characters may be dead or reveal shocking ulterior motives, but for now, here's where everyone stands, from worst to least worst. (Warning: Lots of spoilers ahead.)

8. Fitz/Mellie

Let me just say, Fitz is manipulative, self-centered, cold and abusive. How many times do we have to watch Olivia say "No," only for Fitz to do whatever he was going to do anyway? Mellie walked in on Fitz molesting Olivia in the elevator, and both women still think he's decent.

And then there was the scene last night when Mellie asked what it was like to be as obsessed with someone as Fitz is with Olivia, revealing a vulnerable side that she has rarely allowed herself to show to anyone. Fitz's response to this obvious cry for compassion from his legal wife?  "Mellie... I don't have time." How do you not have time to be a decent human being?

7. Fitz/Olivia

Olivia yells at Fitz for thinking her life revolves around him. He apologizes. He continues to be a dick. Lather, rinse, repeat.

The only thing they're united in is putting Mellie down. Minus points for Olivia: if there's a good way to tell your boyfriend's wife that she can't be in another relationship, then it's not with, "I know how you feel."

6. Cyrus/James

James is worried that Cyrus is going to kill him, making this the second time Cyrus has seriously considered having him killed. That is literally the definition of an abusive, destructive relationship. If I had less contempt for Fitz, and the entertainment industry's tendency to mistake sociopaths for "passionate" lovers, then this pairing would be lower on the list.

5. Jake and Olivia's Fauxmance

Jake is the leader of a shadowy government organization, and he's still boring, but he has a lot going for him. One, Olivia doesn't know if she has feelings for him, which he knows, so there's some hope there. Two, anyone who would fake-date the woman he's in love with to help her and the man she's in love with is at least kind of a good person, right? Even if he was stalking her. And three, he's not Fitz.

But, if you'll remember back to when Olivia first slept with Jake and found his wall of creepery, there's some debate over whether he assaulted her or was defending himself. So the debate is: did he attack her on accident or attack her on purpose? The altercation ended when Olivia passed out from blood loss as Jake held her down on broken glass. Just remember that.

4. Harrison/Adnan Salif

Harrison is in the vicinity of an interesting storyline. Even if Salif is a criminal, is blackmailing him, is working with Olivia's terrorist mom and might get him killed, this pairing still isn't as bad as Fitz + anyone or Cyrus and James. Consider that.

3. Quinn/B-613 Guy

This relationship is so boring, Charlie doesn't even deserve to be addressed by name. And yet, if you ignore the specifics, this is one of the healthier pairings on the show. Yes, Charlie framed Quinn for murder and is a hit man trained by a shadowy government organization, and their dates consist of going to hardware stores to buy supplies for torturing and murdering people, but he seems somewhat devoted to her well being, and vice versa.

2. Abby/David

The fact that David forgave Abby (and Pope & Associates) for ruining his life, and Abby forgave David for almost exposing Olivia for rigging the election is a testament to their enduring love. Also, David was 99 percent sure he was going to die last night, and he called Abby to tell her her loves her. (That it was Abby who was the one kidnapping him is kind of messed up. But she was doing so to save his life! Better!) Their relationship is light on manipulation and completely free of physical or sexual assault, too, so yay!

1. Mellie/Andrew

Judging you. Via Tumblr.

As much as I hate the idea of Mellie needing the love of a man to make her whole again, I really like her with Andrew. I have a lot of sympathy for her, well before her raped by her father in law and tried to commit suicide plot line because she's smart and driven and forceful, and Washington isn't kind to women like that. She's kind of awful, sure, but seeing someone be kind to her is a lot more satisfying that any Olitz moment. Also, the highlight of the episode was definitely watching the first lady portraits throw so much shade at Andrew and Mellie. 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.