When it comes to Shonda Rhimes’ mile-a-minute series Scandal, there’s not many places the talented showrunner won’t go in the name of compelling storytelling peppered by a couple jaw-on-the-floor moments each episode. But we highly suggest holding onto one’s butt in preparation for tonight’s midseason finale (titled "A Door Marked Exit"), because if what the actors have said are true, we’re in for one walloper of a time. And probably a head-spinning misadventure in crazytown.
Just look at last week’s episode, “YOLO,” where in the first few seconds of the cold open we’re exposed to some seriously fucked-up stuff: mainly Huck going balls-to-the-wall crazy on his fellow Olivia Pope & Associates instability tentpole, Quinn. Hairs were pulled from scalps as fans teetered on the edge of queasiness while Quinn saw the removal of her teeth (and maybe a bit of her dignity) at the maniacally fueled hands of Huck.
And that was just the beginning. The end showed the audience another sort of horrorshow: namely, the realization that Vice President Sally Langston had murdered her closet case of a husband following his dalliance with Cyrus’ husband, reporter James Novak. Woopsie poopsie!
“Cyrus, I have committed a sin,” came the epic last lines as the episode closed. But it seems as though she won’t be the only one forced to pay for her crimes — or at least have them handled. So what’s in store for tonight’s sure-to-be-epic midseason finale? Heaps. I mean, just look at the few snippets we get in the trailer alone. Grab your anti-anxiety medication, folks, because things are about to get downright stress-inducing up in here.
Huck and Quinn’s Uh, Interrogation Comes to Light
In a recent interview, actress Kerry Washington explained that things are about to change between the perma-bonded Olivia and Huck — and it might not be for the better. “The bond between Huck and Olivia, which has always been a sacred one. She always set the boundary between them -- "You and I live on the dark side" -- and that's unlike all of the others,” Washington explained. “The reaction Olivia has to what he does is a very big one and it's a game changer.”
Liv’s Lovelife Gets Murkier
Bellamy Young who plays the underappreciated Mellie, First Lady of Fitzgerald Grant had some interesting insights into the relationship between Olivia, Fitz, and Jake Ballard (Scott Foley). Turns out things might get hectic in that clusterfuck of a love triangle.
“Two men who love Olivia very much are going to go head-to-head and say some crazy things to each other,” explained Young. “They try to gain the upper hand on each other … Memorable words will be exchanged.”
“Keep your eye on Jake,” she added.
We’ve Not Seen the End of Momma Pope
And thank goodness for that: the shock of learning that Olivia’s mother actually was a terrorist was loop-throwing to say the least. But we can expect a lot more questions even with the influx of additional information. Oh, Scandal.
“It's handled in a Scandal way, meaning you'll get a lot more information than you have now but you'll also have more questions, which is what these writers do to us,” explained Washington.
Score One for Team Rowan?
No one would ever claim that Olivia’s relationship with her father is all that great, but it seems the whole I-had-to-lock-your-mother-away-to-protect-the-United-States thing might’ve at least paved the way for some reconciliation between the two.
“One of the interesting things you learn in the midseason finale about Olivia in relationship to that information [about her mother] is that, in a way that is somewhat surprising, it brings her even closer to her father. That is a twist that I certainly did not expect.
What Sally’s Murder Means
Of course, the biggest question is: what the heck are we going to do with a murderous Vice President who was just about to run for President? Shock of all shocks, explains Washington: it’s going to be complicated.
“It's much more complicated than you would imagine … everybody on our show has skeletons in their closet,” explained Washington. To which we say: yeah, no effing shit. But still, Sally’s strengths will not be forgotten, even in a time as perilous as this. And we can chalk it all up to one very important phone call:
“You get to see a bit of her strategic mastermind in who she calls — it's the person who she thinks can help her the most in relation to what she wants for the future.” Would she dare to consider calling Liv?
Mellie Gets In on The Action
Fancying her own strategic abilities may just do our First Lady some good, as, according to Young, “Mellie likes to imagine herself a fixer in her own right so she’s rolling up her sleeves and getting down to business … She’s tiny but loud.”
One Thing’s For Certain…
Everyone’s going to be talking about it on Friday at the office if the two most controversial characters in the cast are saying it’s downright nutters.
“[It] will leave fans on the floor, wanting more,” explained Huck’s real-life half, Guillermo Diaz.
“I mean it's hard, there's not one word to describe it. It will leave fans speechless,” added Quinn a.k.a. Katie Lowes.
And it better be: considering the recent announcement that the series’ third season order has been cut from 22 to 18 episodes, every second of the action has to count for something. There will be nary a slouch in Rhimes’ writing room, of that much we are certain.
Scandal’s midseason finale premieres Thursday, December 12 at 10PM on ABC.