David Rosen (Joshua Malina) went “Homeland” on last week’s episode of “Scandal” after being forced out of his job as a result of losing the Quinn Perkins (Katie Lowe) case to Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) — a case that was dismissed by the judge but should have gone to trial.
So in his apartment, taking a page from driven CIA agent Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes), David gets fanatical and builds a “Beautiful Mind” wall, plastered with clues that he hopes will help him figure out not just how Olivia got the case dismissed, but why she was driven to do it.
“The character becomes obsessed with trying to figure out how he got screwed out of what looked like a slam dunk,” Malina says. “I can say that I’ll get help from unexpected places, and there will be sort of shifting allegiances — a variety of different characters are interested in finding out the same information and so different characters kind of use each other to try to get information.”
But even as he is trying to take down Olivia, David understands that when she goes to extraordinary lengths — and even breaks the law herself — she is still on the side of the good guys.
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“They both have that white hat thing, they’re both looking to do the right thing,” Malina says. “I think Olivia is a little bit more fast and loose with what she’s willing to do, sort the means justifying the ends… I think David isn’t just about the end; he wants to get there in a straight-up way.”
David’s co-worker Alissa (Brenda Song) is just one of the people he will enlist in his crusade, but now that David and Abby (Darby Stanchfield) made the bold move of sleeping together, Abby may join forces with him. Abby has made it clear all season that she doesn’t believe that Quinn, who she insists on calling by her birth name Lindsay, is innocent.
“It is going to be so fun for the audience to see if it was a one nightstand, if it was too many martinis, which one might be using the other one,” says Stanchfield. “Do they see each other after that night? Can Abby keep a secret, or does she go right away and confess to everybody?”
And if it should turn out that David is the one with the ulterior motive in seducing Abby, she may not be able to help him even if she wants to, since Olivia keeps things very compartmentalized, so that the majority of her team doesn’t know the truth about Quinn.
“There is a question of who knows what,” Malina agrees. “I think it’s definitely hard to get a step ahead of Olivia. I think that’s what David would like to do. That may be tilting against windmills but I think that is his plan, is at least to catch up with her if not get ahead of her.”
“Scandal” airs Thursday nights at 10/9c on ABC.