ABC's "Scandal" and "How to Get Away With Murder": Annalise Keating VS Olivia Pope

DISCLOSURE: *For those of you not up to date on ABC’s Scandal, or How to Get Away With Murder, this article may contain spoilers.*

After what feels like a decade, the winter break is finally over. Not only are we dying to know who killed Wes, now we are aching to know who killed Frankie Vargas. The two well known, intelligent female protagonists are changing and breaking down from season to season and this is no different. While Annalise rots in prison, Olivia is breaking trying to get Mellie into the oval and discover the truth about Frankie’s death.

Now, in comparison of knowledge, power and skill debating Annalise to Olivia can be a hard case to crack. Annalise may be in prison, but it wasn’t long ago that Olivia had been held hostage as well. Not only is Annalise being falsely accused, but we are watching Olivia subconsciously take over her father’s role as command, and both are scary thoughts. Olivia may not be a lawyer like Annalise, but her connections to the White House as a “fixer” make her comparable to the skills of Annalise Keating. Both women are strong representations of black and women’s rights, and their abilities to hold positions, typically thought of in the United States for a white man, make them equally enticing and intimidating. 

However, this is not meant to introduce the goals of each television series, but to compare the two characters as strong independent individuals. Olivia started out as the fixer for justice, the one who always wore the white hat, but over time has tasted blood and power, which has skewed her original view. While Annalise has always been excellent at her job, both a lawyer and a professor, her experiences have made it hard for her to execute what she would have originally liked to accomplish as well. 

Annalise has wisdom, she has just been hurt by those around her, and has had to clean up their messes. Thanks to her expertise, she knows exactly how to get away with murder; even if she wasn’t the one to commit the actual crime. Not only does she always seem 10 steps ahead, outside of the chaos, she always seems to care about her students and all of the individuals in her life. On the other hand, Olivia did wear the white hat for the majority of the time we knew her, later to find out she helped fix the election for Fitz in the first place. Not only has she cheated, but she was his mistress, was seeing Jake on the side, and has done all sorts of unspeakable things to have power align in her favor. It may not be for her directly, but just like command, Olivia has an agenda— and just how long will it take before she cracks and has completely lost sight of any bigger picture?

As a wrap, both women are excellent at their jobs, and simply under a lot of outside pressure. However, how far will they go, and how many of their original morals will they sacrifice, to get them out of a pickle? Who do you think will come out on top, and who do you think will lose it all? For updates, keep up on ABC on Thursday nights after Grey’s Anatomy. Scandal is on at 7pm MST and How to Get Away With Murder follows it directly after, from 8-9pm MST. 

-M