Despite the fact that last week Olivia Pope was still being held captive by criminals and sold on the open market, this week found her standing between angry cops and angrier protesters, as though that was remotely good for her mental health. And even though we all know that different people have different reactions to trauma, at some point the show is going to have to deal with the fact that Olivia is going to have some major issues that can't be resolved in the course of a few days. So will they?
Olivia Pope is generally a tough person, able to deal with a lot. The first time we see her in the series, after all, she's playing hard ball with kidnappers, and staring down the barrel of a gun without blinking. But she is also not a robot. She went through something terrible, and it is going to take her a long time to deal with that. And while watching Olivia Pope totally fall apart probably wouldn't be very satisfying television, it would be realistic. But seeing Olivia process doesn't have to involve a total breakdown (though it could). It could involve any number of more complex reactions to trauma, which the show really would explore.
Olivia Pope is a great character, one who's always enjoyable to watch, and not writing in a true reaction to this terrible thing that happened to her does a great disservice to that character. Maybe Olivia really is trying to push down her feelings. Maybe she's using work as means of coping. But if so, we should get a sense of that, and so far we haven't.
Still, given the promo for next week's episode, it looks like we might finally get a look at Olivia dealing with her trauma. So how will she react to what happened to her? Will she break down? Or will it take some other form, like flashbacks?
Image: Tony Rivetti