Scandal 4×11 – Sell Me On The Open Market

(Olivia sits alone in her , Ian enters with a newspaper)

Ian: I thought you should see the damage you’ve wrought.

The headline reads: “U.S. Suffers Casualties in First Day of Combat”

Ian: (sarcastically) Thank God for those policies, right? Really keeping us honest.

(Olivia kicks the newspaper away)

Olivia: What do you want?

Ian: What do I want?

Olivia: (slight laugh) It’s he first question I ask my clients…typically I know what the answer is gonna be, but I just need them to arrive at it themselves.

Ian: And if I were one of your clients, what do you think I’d say?

Olivia: You’d say you want power…but I think that’s a lie.

Ian: No? Now why would that be?

Olivia: Because you’re sitting on one of the most valuable assets in the world…and not using it.

(Olivia has moved from sitting below Ian on her cot to standing on a far wall in a negotiative power position and continues speaking in a conspiratorial tone)

Imagine the price I’d fetch on the open market. “You own Olivia Pope, you own the President.” nations, dictators, drug cartels…they’ll coming running. (Ian perks up) You’d be rich beyond your wildest dreams. But, no, you’d rather honor your contract, spend the next three years bringing me food and water. Yes, you’d be the highest paid babysitter on the planet, but that’s all you’d be. A babysitter.

Ian: (confused) You’re saying I should sell you?

Olivia: (going in for the hard sell) I’m saying WE should sell me. I know the market, who the players are…how to pull their strings. This is MY wheelhouse. If anyone can make this work for you, it’s me!

Ian: So I get rich and you get what?

Olivia: (breaking out the vulnerable prisoner face again and back to hard sell) I get to not spend the next three years counting down the day the President leaves office and you put a bullet in my head. We both know I’m resourceful. You get rich and I get to take my chances on the open market, plus you’d have to make me look presentable to get top dollar and right now I could really use a shower and a change of clothes. Think about it Ian. It’s WIN/WIN! But again, the question is not what I want, but what you want. Do you want to be a babysitter or do you wanna be a boss? It’s up to you.

(Nothing about this scene speaks to slavery, but to Olivia taking her power back. What you also might note here is that Ian will likely have been sloppy due to his greed and taken Olivia to a hairdresser…perhaps killed her…and to a clothing shop…and killed them too. Even crazier, in his quest for power he may have used an ATM or credit card without really thinking about it. From the apartment to the cell (she left her sweater on purpose) and beyond Olivia is dropping breadcrumbs.)

Also Olivia is selling her knowledge, not her body. She is an active participant in this bidding war. She represents power over the President of the United States and by extension…the United States. She is selling herself as an advisor…not a slave or a concubine.