What is Portia De Rossi (AKA "Lizzie Bear") Doing On 'Scandal'? It May Have Something To Do With Mellie
This past summer, when Ellen DeGeneres sent out the Scandal tweet heard 'round the world, and we learned that her wife Portia de Rossi would be joining Season 4. In true Ellen (see, no-spoiler-zone) fashion, that's all we learned about the casting. And that's all we had to go on for two whole months before Scandal finally premiered last week, and we learned just what de Rossi had been up to all summer: On Scandal, Portia de Rossi plays "Lizzie Bear," the head of the RNC who has come to the White House looking to pick a fight.
Scandal's not a show that's going to introduce a random character just for the hell of it. Now that Lizzie Bear's here, just what kind of trouble is she going to stir up at the White House? That's the operative question. (Well, that and wondering whether or not we should take bets on how many casualties will there be when Lizzie and Olivia finally go head-to-head — but we can do that some other time.)
First off, did anyone have de Rossi, of all people, pegged as the RNC head in their Scandal office pool? No? Me neither. Last season would have seemed like a more appropriate time to have so much involvement from the RNC, you know considering Fitz was in the middle of his re-election bid. Yet, they were mum while Fitz campaigned as the republican nominee. As much as I love the lengths of insanity Scandal is willing to go to, the writers sometimes kinda forget how politics work. (Then again, not everything can be as wonderful as the Bartlett administration, I suppose.)
Lizzie — Ms. Bear? — only interacts with one character during the entire episode: Cyrus. She storms in and out of his office, barking about how Fitz isn't doing a good job fundraising, how Mellie is MIA, and how there might be a — gasp! — democrat elected to the District Attorney's office, which is not something the RNC wants to deal with right now. Lizzie was hoping that the party would be able to pull in "grief dollars" (Uh huh. Yeah. She went there.) from the death of Jerry Jr., but Fitz has gone Rogue Republican, and isn't doing any of this for his party.
Clearly, Lizzie is mad at Fitz. Lizzie isn't here for Fitz, though. I think Lizzie has shown up to try and fix Mellie. It could happen! My prediction is that she is going to try to mend what was broken following the death of Jerry Jr. and the departure of Olivia. She wants more donation dollars, too, duh. I can see her trying to makeover Mellie, much to Mellie's objection, and try to force her back into the public's eye (for, you guessed it, the dollars). Lizzie comments that the RNC doesn't have the mothers and wives or whatever vote, so could she possibly try meddling in the affairs of the Grant Girls (Karen, too)? Could she play the voice of reason for Mellie as she struggles with day to day life?
Or, could Lizzie be the final wedge in pushing Mellie and Fitz apart for good? Lizzie is clearly a strong woman, which is an element of her personality that Mellie has lost lately. If Lizzie does makeover Mellie, and put her back in front of the public, she could come to terms with the idea that she really doesn't need Fitz. Lizzie could be the crutch for Mellie to lean on, since it's not like she can lean on Olivia. And let's not forget: Mellie doesn't have anyone else.
How great would it be for this strong, articulate, fightin' woman to swoop in and suddenly help Mellie see the light again? She would have the opportunity to get back up on her feet as Fitz runs back to Olivia, and maybe even find the strength to leaves the two of them behind for good. I would personally love to see Mellie and Fitz go head to head as something other than husband and wife. If Mellie joins up with the RNC that would be awesome, and it would give her a chance to start building up those political aspirations she's always had simmering.
Scandal is known for being super tight lipped when it comes to spoilers. De Rossi has only signed on for an arc on the show, so we probably won't see her all season, let alone in every upcoming episode. According to Josh Malina, during the full cast interview on Ellen, de Rossi didn't even know who she was playing, let alone her character's name, until the very first table read for the season.
I guess I still just can't help but struggle with the fact that the RNC has shown up now. They've got the Republican president, they'll get their donation dollars eventually, so what else could they possibly want? Well, to me it's obvious: they're here for Mellie.
Image: Eric McCandless/ABC (2)