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Olivia Pope

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Olivia Pope
Portrayed by Kerry Washington
Olivia-S3square
OPA Character
Biographical Information
Full name: Olivia Carolyn Pope
Born: September 16, 1979
Age: 34
Status: Alive
Residence: Washington DC (Former)
Alias:
  • Liv (by everyone)
  • "The Fixer"
  • Livvie (by Fitz and Maya)
Current Occupation/s:
  • Crisis Management (Former)
  • Consultant
  • Founder of OPA
Past Occupations:
  • WH Communications Director (resigned)
Physical Description
Gender: Female
Hair color: Black
Eye color: Brown
Relationships
Current Relationship:
Past Relationships:
Relatives:
Friends:
Colleagues:
Allies:
Enemies:
Character Information
Also portrayed by: Yara Shahidi (12-years-old)
First appearance: Sweet Baby
Latest appearance: The Price of Free and Fair Election
Appearance Count: 44

You wear your hat, I'll wear mine.

— Olivia to David, White Hat's Off

Olivia Pope is a crisis manager running the consulting firm Olivia Pope & Associates, dedicated to fixing problems and crises; protecting and guarding public images and reputations; and solving certain crimes in her clients' interest.

Biography

When Olivia was twelve years old, her mother "Maya" was on board Flight 522, en route to London when it went down. Believed to be an engine failure, Olivia believed that her mother died in the plane crash.

Olivia seems to have been mentored both by Cyrus Beene and Verna Thornton, molding her into who she is today.

She worked as a media relations consultant on Fitz's campaign. Her professional relationship with President Fitzgerald Grant III led to an extramarital affair, which she had intended to end after Fitz' inauguration into office. After he won the election, she became his Assistant for Communications, also known as the The White House Director of Communications. They continue their relationship, but just as they reveal their feelings for each other, Olivia realizes that Mellie, Fitz's wife, is aware of the affair. Olivia then resigns from the White House and forms Olivia Pope & Associates. (Happy Birthday, Mr. President)

Along with Cyrus, Mellie, Verna, and Hollis Doyle, Olivia was part of the election-rigging conspiracy Defiance, which stole the election and put Fitz into the White House. (Beltway Unbuckled)

Olivia and Verna, with Huck's help, saved Lindsay Dwyer after Hollis Doyle used Becky Flynn to frame Lindsay for the bombing of Cytron, which killed Lindsay's boyfriend, Jesse Tyler and six of his fellow co-workers at Cytron. (White Hat's Off, Happy Birthday, Mr. President & Truth or Consequences)

Over two years later Olivia sent Harrison Wright to hire Lindsay Dwyer now Quinn Perkins to be the newest associate at Olivia Pope & Associates. Olivia and Huck were the only two of the associates that knew who Quinn really was. (Sweet Baby)

Personal Life

Olivia Carolyn Pope was raised by her parents Maya Lewis & Eli Pope (aka Rowan Pope). Her mother died when she was twelve years old in a plane crash. After her mother's death she never returned to reside in her family's home. Olivia has a preference for older, powerful, prominent men. After graduating college she got a reputation as a party girl spending time with older men on the DC circuit: Ambassadors, Lobbyist, Cabinet Secretaries. As Jeannine said, "A nice lineup of silverfox's." (It's Handled)

In 2006 Olivia had weekly Sunday dinners with her father, Eli Pope, she agreed to do dinners with him so he'd pay for her law school tuition. They briefly stopped having dinners when Olivia learned what her father really did for a living. But she returned for a few more dinners and introduced Eli to Edison Davis, her fiancé, she brought Edison only to get Huck released. After Edison was in a car accident that Eli arranged Olivia stopped having dinners with him.

Flash forward to present day - she wanted the same thing from her father again, to get Jake Ballard released from the hole. This time Olivia had to have Jeannine Locke admit that she had an affair with the President, but before she could President Fitzgerald Grant held a press conference and admitted to the affair. Part of this deal was to start the Sunday dinner's again. Will that happen? (Guess Who's Coming to Dinner)

The dinners continue... for now. (More Cattle, Less Bull)

Education

Olivia attended all of the best boarding schools: Saint Anne's & Surval Montreux. She then attended Princeton where she received her undergraduate degree in Political Science. She moved on to Georgetown Law where she met Cyrus for the first time. (It's Handled)

Relationships

Romantic Relationships

Fitz Grant

Olivia first met Fitz Grant when Cyrus called her in to help with the campaign. Their meeting is shown in the flashbacks of the season one episode The Trail. Fitz was hesitant to bring Olivia on to his campaign, but ultimately asked her to stay.
Beltway unbuckled 16
Not long after she joins the campaign, they begin to develop feelings for each other. As much as Olivia wants to be with Fitz, she knows an affair could mean political suicide for him; yet Fitz is persistent. After he's elected —as shown in Happy Birthday, Mr. President –  Fitz tells Olivia that he loves her. The sexual tension between them continues, even after she leaves the Category:The White House once Mellie discovers the affair. In Hunting Season, Olivia begs Fitz to let her go, which is echoed in the episode Beltway Unbuckled when Fitz tells Olivia, "I'm letting you go." She moves on, more or less, but is unable to fully let go of their relationship. 

In the beginning of the second season, Olivia and Fitz are "off", but still on good terms; particularly because Mellie is pregnant. Fitz still loves Olivia, and continues to call her nightly. When Fitz is shot, Olivia regrets not following her heart and being with Fitz. She realizes that she may never have the chance to say goodbye to the man she loved and who loved her back with all his heart. When Fitz awakes from his coma, he and Olivia seem to be on again, and he asks Mellie for a divorce. However, when he finds out that Olivia was a part of Defiance, he leaves her, even though he still loves her. Ten months later, Olivia is hospitalized, and Fitz refuses to leave her side, stating that he still loves her and made a mistake by leaving her because he was angry. Olivia tells him that while she still loves him, she can't continue the affair anymore. However, Fitz is able to earn Olivia back by "running out the clock" on his marriage. By the end of the season, their relationship is on pause.

The two are still "together" at the beginning of the third season, even though their relationship is on pause. Mellie even gets Olivia to agree to come back to the White House to be his campaign manager for the second election, she said Fitz needed her, and therefore she needed her. Olivia abandons this when she finds out that Fitz may have shot down the plane that her mother died on. The two patch things up when Olivia finds out that Fitz had a house built in Vermont for the two of them when he believed there was still a chance for them. They make up. Olivia realizes that while Fitz did shoot the plane down, her father was the one to give the order, and Fitz was just following an order. As of now, the two are "on", though they are never really "off" as their love for one another runs deep.

For more on their relationship go to Olivia Pope & Fitz Grant Relationship.

Edison Davis

She was Senator Edison Davis' girlfriend and ex-fiancée; they lived together in Georgetown from 2002 to 2006. They began seeing each other again in the episode Spies Like Us. Their relationship grows rocky in One For the Dog as she refuses to open up to Edison about her past relationships. Olivia wants to keep her past romantic and sexual relationship with Pres. Fitzgerald Grant III from him, but Edison is persistent, growing increasingly frustrated with the emotional stonewalling. Edison proposed to Olivia for the second time in A Criminal, A Whore, An Idiot, and A Liar, but Olivia finally turned down the proposal in Nobody Like Babies, realizing she wants a difficult, rather than a normal, love. 

Jake Ballard

Olivia met Jake ten months after the death of Verna Thornton. Their relationship sparks up fast. Jake is different than any of the other men she's been with... but is he who she thinks he is? Jake and Olivia take their relationship to the next level, they sleep together, happy and calm Olivia goes to get water and turns on the TV, but what she sees shocks her, resulting with her ending up in the hospital. (Molly, You in Danger, Girl)

Colleagues

Huck

Huck is dear to Olivia because they're two of a kind, she says they live on the dark side of the moon. (Seven Fifty-Two)

Huck is a skilled ex-assassin whose tech skills and other specialized government training comes in handy when Olivia needs to get down to the bottom of something.

Huck first met Olivia in 2005 (estimated) at a subway station on her way to one of her fathers dinners. After he saved her from some guys trying to mug her, using his B613 training he mysteriously disappeared, but later returned after Olivia forced her father (aka: Command) to return him and their relationship continued when she took the subway. (Guess Who's Coming to Dinner & Seven Fifty-Two)

While he still remained homeless she considered him an ally and used him for his computer skills from time to time, as well as his stealthiness to tail people and gain useful intel. (The Trail, A Criminal, A Whore, An Idiot, and A Liar & Happy Birthday, Mr. President)

After a few years of seeing him homeless she finally helped Huck - or rather she "fixed" him - by giving him a place to live and a clean shower... which he really needed! (Happy Birthday, Mr. President) And their relationship continued. She called upon him to rescue Lindsay Dwyer from being wrongfully prosecuted for an crime she didn't commit; he took Lindsay from San Jose, CA to Washington D.C. Olivia also asked him to set her up with a new identity... Quinn Perkins. (White Hat's Off & Truth or Consequences)

After founding Olivia Pope & Associates Olivia hires Huck, he is the associates she trusts the most.

Harrison Wright

Olivia helped Harrison out when he got arrested; she then takes him under her wing and asks him to join Olivia Pope & Associates once she forms the crisis management firm.

Abby Whelan

Olivia and Abby have been friends since college. When Abby was stuck in an abusive marriage Olivia rescued her with the help of a tire iron. Olivia brings her onto her crisis management firm after she leaves the Category:The White House. Abby questions all of Olivia's choices and why she has so many secrets, but none the less she always has her back.

Quinn Perkins/Lindsay Dwyer

With Verna Thornton and Huck's assistance Olivia rescues Lindsay Dwyer from being falsely framed for the murder of her boyfriend and his six co-workers. Two years after Huck sets Lindsay up with a new identity, Quinn Perkins, and moves her to D.C. Olivia hires Quinn to mentor her and keep her close. In the season two premiere, White Hat's Off, Olivia helps Quinn get off of the murder charges with Verna's persuasion to the presiding judge. In One For the Dog Quinn asks Olivia to tell her the truth about why she helped her, Olivia agrees to talk to her, until her phone rings... "saved by the bell!"

Mentors

Cyrus Beene

Olivia and Cyrus get along well sometimes. Cyrus mentored Olivia and is also her best friend. He taught her a lot of what she knows. Olivia is the godmother of his and his husband's daughter, Ella. In Beltway Unbuckled Olivia uses what Cyrus taught her against him to help her client.

Verna Thornton

Verna Thornton is another one of Olivia's mentor. So far what we know Verna has told her is to never ever turn off your cell phone. Olivia is there for Verna to help not only professionally but personally as well. Verna is one of Olivia's clients. Olivia is helping her keep her illness - cancer - from the public and Olivia comes to sit with Verna during her chemotherapy treatments. Their relationship ended badly; whilst Verna was on her death bed Olivia realized that she ordered the assassination of President Fitz Grant.

Friends

David Rosen

Olivia considers herself a friend of David's; although he did consider them friends, but in a complicated way, he told her they are no longer friends after a friendly threat. (The Other Woman) Their friendship remained while David investigated the Cytron bombing both in and out of work. David learned more and more that he shouldn't have known which ultimately ended his career as an Assistant U.S. Attorney. (Nobody Likes Babies)

Ten months after Olivia and her gladiators get David fired he finds himself in need of help... from a fixer. So he calls up his old friend Olivia to help him after he wakes up in bed with a dead woman next to him. (Whiskey Tango Foxtrot) Since then he has been an on-and-off again client of Olivia Pope & Associates, setting himself up to the newest "Gladiator in a Suit". (Molly, You in Danger, Girl) Even after everything Olivia's done to David he in a way betrays her by stealing the Cyrton card from her office safe after spending several nights on the OPA couch and trying over a thousand combinations. But did he really betray her??? No, instead he took what he needed to get himself back in the U.S. Attorney's office and enough to help Olivia take down Billy Chambers as the mole inside The White House. (White Hat's Back On)

Family

Eli Pope

Eli Pope (aka Rowan / formerly known as The Mysterious Man) was revealed to be Olivia's father when his men from B613 rescued her from a media circus - where it was revealed that she was Fitz's mistress - and escorted her to Rowan's limousine. (White Hat's Back On)

After being distant from her father for so long she begins to have Sunday dinners with him, but only because he paid for her law school tuition. Dinners didn't last too long; after Olivia learned the truth about her father - what he really does for a living - she stopped the dinners. Sunday dinner's start back up again; but only because he was tying her hands. (Guess Who's Coming to Dinner)

One of the best things about Olivia's relationship with her father is how, for as much as she hates him, he knows her; he at one point he accuses her of being like all the silly young women who came to Washington with so much promise, but then they just spread their legs for a powerful man. As bad as he is, you feel his disappointment in her for not not learning the lesson that "we have to be twice as good as they are," which doesn't mean you have to sleep your way up the ladder. (More Cattle, Less Bull)

Appearances

Season Three:
It's Handled:
Appeared
Also Archive Footage
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner:
(Flashback Episode)
Appeared
(in present) & Flashbacks
Mrs. Smith Goes to Washington:
Appeared
Also Archive Footage
Say Hello to My Little Friend:
Appeared
More Cattle, Less Bull:
Appeared
Icarus:
(Flashback Episode)
Appeared
(in present) & Flashbacks
as Young Olivia
Everything's Coming Up Mellie:
(Flashback Episode)
Appeared
Present Day Only
Vermont is for Lovers, Too:
Appeared
YOLO:
(Flashback Episode)
Appeared
(in present) & Flashbacks
as Young Olivia
A Door Marked Exit:
Appeared
Ride, Sally, Ride:
Appeared
We Do Not Touch the First Ladies:
(Flashback Episode)
Appeared
Present Day Only
No Sun on the Horizon:
Appeared
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang:
(Flashback Episode)
Appeared
Present Day Only
Mama Said Knock You Out:
Appeared
The Fluffer:
Will Appear
Flesh and Blood:
Will Appear
The Price of Free and Fair Election:
Will Appear
  • Young Olivia is portrayed by Yara Shahidi; she appeared in Icarus and YOLO in the flashback scenes; but Adult Olivia (Kerry Washington) did not appear in the flashbacks. Kerry was the "present" Yari was the "flashback".

Trivia

  • Olivia paces in circles when she is troubled by something she considers a serious problem. She does it in perfect circles when she's really worried
  • The address for Olivia Pope and Associates is 1970 K. Street, Washington, D.C., 20006. 
  • Olivia was on the swim team in high school.
  • Olivia has one rule when it comes to her clients. "Do not lie. They lie, all bets are off!" She doesn't always follow this rule.
  • The character of Olivia Pope was originally named Olivia Price.

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