What Would Judy Do?: Snake in the Garden

By Judy A. Smith Mar 29, 2013

Hollis Doyle and Olivia PopeTonight’s episode is filled with intrigue, deception, and betrayal. What I find interesting is how almost everyone seems desperate for love. It doesn’t matter if they have all the trappings of success, attractiveness or power. They seem to be longing for love whether it is for or from a mate or most noticeably in this episode familial. The families we see, the President’s, Hollis’, are strikingly dysfunctional leaving a crater of emptiness among the individuals. Individually, we see a longing to belong to a perception of family that may in fact these days be a mythology. We see that symbolically as Huck and Quinn strive to “adopt” a family from afar in order to have a connection to that mythology. In the process Huck and Quinn are bonding, offering to each other a substitute for the love and support of a family. We all want to feel that we are a part of something larger; we need not to feel alone and consequently we become a part of something different than the traditional family. We become a part of and build our own family units. Olivia’s firm is a family unit. They are a handful of misfits or emotionally troubled individuals who have found a bond with each other and their relationships with each other operate much like a traditional family.

The desire for love and support is universal no matter where you are on the food chain. In my work I sometimes forge a bond with my clients that can be much like a family member.  A crisis by nature suggests vulnerability. Despair and depression can overwhelm a person and in seeking help they will begin to trust and depend on their crisis person, especially if the stakes are high and they feel alone to begin with.  It is a big part of what I do.  I’m not sure many people know how great an emotional investment it is helping people in trouble. My job is more than just speaking to the press. It involves a lot of assurance and there are times when I have to be very demanding and stern.  My clients look towards me to protect them and they trust me with their secrets. That is not a nine to five commitment; it is a full time commitment that can be very draining. Fortunately, I have a good base of family and associates that prop me up when I need it and who help to revitalize me.  We all need family and family comes in many forms.


Judy A. Smith is the founder and President of Smith and Company, a leading strategic and crisis communications firm with offices in Washington D.C. and Los Angeles as well as a Co-Executive Producer of ABC's Scandal. You can follow her on Twitter (@JudySmith_) or "Like" her on Facebook, and you can get more information about managing personal and professional crisis situations by visiting her site, judysmith.com.