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Scandal review: Olivia Pope transforms TV heroines with one word

Scandal will never be the same now that Olivia and Fitz are out of the presidential closet

After spending the entire second episode of Scandal on the run, Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) takes back her control with just one word.

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The president has just been outed by his leading fixer lady, and by the looks of the preview for next week's episode, even Olivia didn't anticipate the consequences of becoming Fitz's mistress.

After telling her client this episode to stop running, Olivia took her own advice. But, maybe this time, she should have asked for an outside opinion first.

Because when a journalist asked her if she was the president's mistress after picture-fueled rumors ran rampant, Olivia simply and unflinchingly responded, "Yes."

Now, Olivia might not be cheering, but women all over the country should be.

Why?

Because it's real, ladies.

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You can be in a messy mistress situation and still be a decent human being who is trying to do the right thing. Is it ideal? No. But welcome to the world.

Thank you, Shonda Rhimes, for teaching us that the ideal woman isn't some Stepford wife. She's complex and messy. (See also, Grey's Anatomy and How to Get Away With Murder's leading ladies.)

Olivia Pope is still the kickass heroine we all aspire to be in our professional and private lives. It's just that, maybe for the first time on television, we're seeing a woman evolve as a real woman would. She's fueled by her emotions, for better or worse, and she is far from perfect, but we can all relate to her flaws. Because when love is at the center of what drives us, how can that be bad?

And she and Fitz going public has been a long time in the making.

Obviously, Mellie isn't going down without a fight. But when does Mellie ever not have a fight up her sleeve?

More important, Olivia will now fight to win the country's approval in her relationship with Fitz, which is probably the second-biggest challenge she's conquered in her career yet.

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The biggest?

Finding her own self-acceptance within her new status as the president's mistress. She will have to rediscover her confidence and learn how to stand with him while also maintaining her independence as a fixer.

The journey that lies ahead of us in Season 5 just got a lot more exciting.

It also got a lot more human.

Do you think Olivia Pope will be able to find acceptance in the world as Fitz's love?

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