Rowan Tells Fitz He’s Just a Boy
This is the most remarkable and profound monologue a character has ever given in “Scandal,” and not to be taken lightly given the many great speeches by Mellie, Cyrus, and even VP Sally Langston. Joe Morton deserves an Emmy, Oscar, and any and every prestigious award for this piece. And he was right on the money.
“You’re funny. You’re a funny, funny man. Or should I say, boy. You’re a boy! You’ve been coddled, and cared for, pampered and hugged. For you it’s always summertime and the living is easy. Daddy’s rich, your momma’s good looking, you’re a Grant. You got money in your blood. You…are…a…boy. I’m a man.
I have worked for every single thing I have ever received. I have fought and scraped and bled for every inch of ground I walk on. I was the first in my family to go to college. My daughter went to boarding school with the children of kings! I made that happen. You cried yourself to sleep because daddy hurt your feelings. Because papa banged his secretary. Because it hurt to have so much money. You spoiled entitled, ungrateful little brat! You have everything handed to you on a silver platter and you squander it. You’re given the world and you can’t appreciate it because you haven’t had to work for anything!
So now you’ve decided that the one thing you want is my daughter. My child. Mine. What I made. What I created. You can talk about what a great lay she is to try to get a response from me all you want, but guess what? I am actually, quite literally above your pay grade. Which means that I know that you believe that you are in love with her, as wrong as you may be. You love that she is a door marked ‘exit.’ You love that she is your way out. Because if you are with Olivia Pope you don’t have to fulfill your father’s dream of being president. If you are with Olivia you no longer have to be your father’s son!
An apple never falls too far from the tree. You are always going to be Senator Grants disappointing boy Fitz. She is always going to be the formidable Olivia Pope. Don’t use the person that I made to make YOU into a man. You’re a boy…You disappoint me as a suitor for my daughter’s hand.”
This scene was the Almighty TRUTH.
Alison Willmore from Indie Wire said it best:
Rowan was pointing out one of the series’ most interesting truths, which is that Fitz, the President, the man with theoretically the most weight to throw around, is actually its least formidable character, a stand-in for a certain breed of politician in the show’s alternate, Obama-less universe. Everyone around him — Olivia, Cyrus, Mellie (Bellamy Young) — has demonstrated a capacity to be tougher and capable of more devastating manipulations, but they’ve all chosen supporting roles with the tacit understanding that Fitz, the son of a senator, a moneyed, handsome white guy, is the type of person who gets elected. They’ve looked at themselves — black, gay, female — and of them, only Mellie thinks of herself as having a shot at being a political success herself, and that’s after having instinctively selected a life at the side of power rather than in a place of it. As Rowan suggests, things just happen for Fitz in ways he’s never though twice about, from the privilege into which he was born to the sacrifices that others, including Olivia and Mellie, have made on his behalf and tried, unsuccessfully in the case of the election fraud, to keep secret.
According to Jerry L. Barrow from Urban Daily Papa Pope Calls Fitz Out On His White Privilege:
Rowan’s repetitious used of the word ‘boy’ is a double-edged sword, cutting to both his feelings about Fitz, but also a reversal of a historic insult hurled at Black men by white men of all ages. No matter how senior you were, you were somebody’s ‘boy.’ Rowan relished putting Fitz in his place and every man-boy like him playing in his father’s closet.
And some bloggers just thought it was just damn time somebody gave Fitz the memo. Maria Elena Fernandez of Today.com so adequately put it:
You. Are. A. Boy!”
Yes! Finally someone on “Scandal” said it. And it was great that it was Papa Pope.
Eli/Rowan/Papa Pope (Joe Morton) has done plenty to anger us in the past, but when he yelled at POTUS that he’s not a man, we could have kissed him. He yelled some more, speaking more truths about President Fitz’s (Tony Goldwyn) spoiled self-entitled existence, and ended with a bang. “Sadly, boy, I know everything about you. You disappoint me as a suitor for my daughter’s hand.”
Dare we say that Fitz is just ornamental, not functional, like he cold-heartedly told his wife Mellie Grant?
What is your opinion of this scene?
What was your favorite Scandal scene of 2013?