queen's domain

8

“To begin with,” said the Cat, “a dog’s not mad. You grant that?" 
I suppose so, said Alice. 
"Well then,” the Cat went on, “you see a dog growls when it’s angry, and wags it’s tail when it’s pleased. Now I growl when I’m pleased, and wag my tail when I’m angry. Therefore     I  ’  m     m  a  d  .

2

Modern Worshippers: Persephone

They wear flower crowns to the graveyards and lay them on empty gravestones. Pomegranate juice flows down their mouths and in baked goods they consume like water. They fear neither the dark nor Winter; all is their Queen’s domain. When the Spring flowers bloom they adorn their alters with cherry blossoms and in the Winter they dance in the snow laughing. People say She was a victim but in reality She made a choice. Just like Her, they choose to straddle the line between the Living and the Dead.

Together they scream “All hail the Infernal Queen!”

Notice how the writers had Liv ultimately take Mellie's last phone call (and thus conclude this blackmail nonsense) in the closet?

That closet has been featured before. Except this time Liv was alone in the queen’s domain, slowly walking through her kingdom, relaxed and at home in a robe with her hair wet after a shower. And Mellie was far far away, barely present in the episode except when she needed to hold Olivia to a bargain she never agreed to. Just like with Fitz, she makes deals and agreements involving other parties without ever consulting that party, then sends the bill to their address. What did she say? She’s “not insane” for making the decisions that she does but she “[doesn’t] care what you agreed to; that was the deal.” You better pay up, bucko. And thus having (in her mind) roped someone else into being answerable for her decisions, the whole debacle turns from what “we [they]” did to what “you [Olivia] did”.

It’s no coincidence that the Mellie-let-Rowan-out plot—which was a big effing deal two episodes ago—culminated anti-climatically for Mellie, right in that damn closet. Here we all were fretting over the leash she’d supposedly tied to Olivia in 506, only for it to end over the phone, without her even using her leverage, in an episode she barely even features in, LMAO. Boy, she sure trumped Olivia.

Despite her being the instigator of this storyline, it ultimately turned into the impetus for dramatic and emotional scenes between Liv and Fitz; on Mellie’s end, there was no equivalent, just a dead phone line as all her machinations ended in a womp womp wooomp.
From my perspective, the writers used her to trigger events they wanted to happen; bringing Rowan back into the fray as an active (non-incarcerated) agent, and having Olitz overcome yet another hurdle in their grand tale (albeit not perfectly, I’m looking at you Fitzy). But notice how the events that Mellie spurred did not lead to any furtherance of herself or her storyline? If anything, she now has to find another way to become president. Not that her previous plan would have worked, because from the start of this episode, Olivia was like nope nope, not gonna happen.
She was busy the whole episode strutting around Washington getting shit done, but when it came to her scenes (by that I mean phone calls) with Mellie, she didn’t bother wasting her energy or time (she was walking while talking), spoke in short curt sentences, sighed, and hung up on the woman mid-conversation.

But back to my point: this plot, and thus Olivia’s slighting of Mellie in this episode, all culminated in the queen’s closet—which Liv now occupies. That same closet where people were all up in arms earlier [503] because Olivia didn’t shut down Mellie’s drunken tirade to their satisfaction ie. she didn’t expend the time and energy to Pope™ that woman.

From observation, Olivia’s (or anyone’s) biggest insult to Mellie is when someone/nobody takes her seriously, reacts (and thus gives precedence to) her outbursts, or even entertains her when she’s talking. It’s a way of undermining her relevance and importance—she doesn’t matter enough to draw emotion from Olivia, let alone even be considered. Kinda like how you would treat a child who’s being annoying when all the adults are trying to work.

Remember in 215, when Cyrus spent the whole episode (and those preceding) freaking out about Mellie successfully usurping his place at Fitz’s side? He came to Olivia with his woes, and she didn’t even look worried about his plight when she said, “Let Mellie be. That’s how you fight her. Don’t over think it. Just let her be. Let Mellie do what Mellie’s going to do. When it comes to Fitz, Mellie’s her own worst enemy.” The supposed ‘threat’ and power of this woman doesn’t rank high enough to put her on Liv’s radar, or even make her worried . And she isn’t even the only one to see Mellie in this light. 

This is my roundabout way of saying that this episode was a fantastic example of the lack of regard Olivia has for Mellie. She’s always polite with the woman, and does advocate for her side of the story when Fitz becomes petty or upset, but all that is just a statement of her character and integrity. If she needs to work with Mellie or get something from her, she is likewise civil. Otherwise, she doesn’t give that woman the light of day. Exhibit A:

In 506, when she looked guilty as hell before a ranting Mellie in that corridor, that’s not Olivia being brought low before this woman; it’s a testament to her character that she is able to recognise and feel ashamed for her problematic behaviour, then admit to the entirety of her wrongness even if the other party is far from good themselves. Like after Mellie called her out for trying to free a mass murderer, she was so ashamed of herself that she revealed Rowan had also killed Jerry, and thus implied she had planned to rely on Mellie’s ignorance of the matter to get her to let her son’s murderer out of prison, all because she wasn’t ready to marry the love of her life.
Unlike Mellie’s unapologetic self-centeredness, consistent elitism and disrespect when interacting with other women, Olivia has integrity, and the only person allowed to infringe upon it is herself. And when she does, she has the decency to feel the guilt, own up to it, and work to make amends like the badass bitch she is.

People wanted Olivia to deliver an ear-ringing smackdown in that closet a few episodes ago, and when she didn’t, out came the cries of weakness, hatred for the writers, and predictions of the impending death of Olivia, death of Olitz, and rise of Emperor Mellie Grant. I’m (slightly) exaggerating here, but damn can this fandom catastrophise :P.

Yet here we are a few episodes later, at the (maybe?) end of the closet saga, and the true victor is made apparent. Livvie didn’t even have to try; Mellie did her usual thing, failed miserably, and boom goes the dynamite… right in her face.