The seemingly never-ending two-and-a-half-month Scandal hiatus is finally just hours away from being over and BuzzFeed sat down with stars Kerry Washington (Olivia Pope), Katie Lowes (Quinn Perkins), Guillermo Diaz (Huck), Columbus Short (Harrison Wright), and Darby Stanchfield (Abby Whelan) to find out exactly what’s in store for these eight consecutive new episodes — and why the future of Olivia Pope & Associates hangs in the balance.
1. Olivia’s mama drama is only beginning.
The final, pre-hiatus shot creator Shonda Rhimes left fans with was Olivia’s mother, Maya Lewis (Khandi Alexander), outside the White House, promising to see her daughter real soon — a commitment made infinitely more ominous given what we learned about Maya (surprise, she’s a terrorist!) from Olivia’s equally evil father, Rowan (Joe Morton).
“I used to wonder why Olivia couldn’t get her personal life together,” Washington told BuzzFeed. “But this last season has totally changed my opinion of her. It’s a testament to Olivia’s strength that she’s not strung out and homeless and living on the street given what her parents put her through.”
In short, “the girl has issues,” Washington said with a laugh.
As for Olitz, the ‘shipper name fans have given to Olivia and President Fitzgerald Grant (Tony Goldywn), Washington was typically tight-lipped. But, with an arched eyebrow, she simply said, “It’s devastating.”
2. Harrison is finally getting a backstory.
One of the biggest fan complaints is that Harrison is still such an enigma, and Washington understands those criticisms…for the most part. “Our show is about people’s secrets unfolding, so we couldn’t have let everything about everyone out in Season 1! You’d have no reason to tune in,” she explained.
But that time has come and Short can’t wait for fans to get a glimpse of what his character’s been up to. “Shonda is pulling a Bush and going Operation Shock and Awe in the back half of this season. She’s dropping bombs over Baghdad,” he said, to which Washington added, “His backstory is crazy and seriously worth the wait because, as usual, one person’s secrets affect everyone around them, and that’s very much the case with Harrison.”
3. You’ll see Quinn and Huck as you never have before.
“The choices Quinn has made over the past two seasons have always been driven by her desire to find a home and find a family and find an identity because she lost her dad and was stripped of her identity,” Lowes said. “Now, she had found that identity for a while at OPA, and through being Huck’s protégé, but she doesn’t have that anymore. So the question becomes: Who is she now? Who does she work for? Who does she trust? What kind of person is she?”
Lowes was mum on the answers to any of the questions she posed, but she did tease, “I’ve never before played what Shonda asked of me in these upcoming episodes and I’m excited for everyone to see — although it’s going to be a little controversial.”
Whether Quinn’s upcoming actions have a positive or negative effect on her very — very — strained relationship with Huck remain to be seen, but Diaz has an incredibly unexpected theory about Huckleberry Quinn (as they’ve been dubbed by fans).
“I feel, in a weird way, that the torture has brought them closer,” he told BuzzFeed. “I feel like they’re going to eventually be able to be in one another’s lives again, and I feel like they can be friends again – but she’ll never forget that he tortured her.”
Olivia also has yet to learn about Quinn’s impromptu dentist appointment at Huck’s hands — and that is of utmost importance in the next stretch of episodes. “Huck doesn’t back down from what he did to Quinn,” Diaz revealed. “This season, you’ll see a side to Huck you haven’t seen before, one that makes you really understand just how fucked-up he really is. There’s no remorse for what he did to Quinn. There’s no apology — but he is afraid of Olivia’s reaction.”
4. What goes up…must come down in a fiery rain of horror for Abby and David.
Somehow Abby has found herself in a healthy and loving relationship with David Rosen (Josh Malina), a development that terrifies Stanchfield to her core. “Things are getting happier and happier for Abby, which is bad news,” the actress said with a laugh. “I’m telling you right now, there’s a scene coming up that’s so happy, it makes my stomach hurt because that just feels ominous. You can only go up so high on Scandal before it comes crumbling down.”
And while she knows the other shoe will eventually drop, Stanchfield has enjoyed the opportunity to flesh out her character. “It’s nice to have these little temporary pops of sunshine,” she said. “Even though I know it’s not forever, it’s been fun to discover and explore what ‘Happy Abby’ looks like because it’s very different than ‘Abused Abby.’”
5. Mellie gets some?!?
Mellie Grant (Bellamy Young) has had a rough go of it: She is stuck in a loveless marriage, she is forced to constantly work with her husband’s mistress, she was raped a decade ago by her father-in-law, and she may have bore his child. But it sounds like the title of the seventh episode of Season 3 (which aired on Nov. 14, 2013) might actually be coming to life: “Everything’s Coming Up Mellie!”
It was a quick mention, but Stanchfield said, “Just wait until you watch some of these upcoming Mellie scenes — you’ll be tugging at your collar, it gets so hot!”
Which begs the question: Who is Mellie getting hot and heavy with?!?