The conspiracy grows bigger on Thursday night’s episode of “Scandal” as we discover in flashbacks a lot more about what happened with the rigging of the presidential election — and it turns out that Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) may not be quite the White Hat we were convinced she was in Season 1.
“She has always been a character with a certain amount of darkness to her and for me it was always about a lot more,” series Creator/Executive Producer Shonda Rhimes tells XfinityTV.com. “To me, her connection to the president always was about something more complex than that she was in love with him. Having made the kinds of decisions she has made color that, I think, so for me, I feel that makes sense for her character. I am not worried if someone seems good or seems bad.”
In the opening of Thursday night’s episode, Olivia is confronted by someone close to her who accuses her of being a criminal, a whore, an idiot and a liar– charges she does not take well and she does take a stand.
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But for Washington, reading the script and seeing that and what else was to follow in the episode was much more emotional. She recalls, “When I read it, I actually burst into tears on my way to work. The guy I was in the van with from transport was, ‘Are you okay?’ I was, ‘I don’t understand.’ I was so traumatized.”
That said, the “Django Unchained” star says she totally supports the decision made by Rhimes and the writers who have shown the courage to let the characters live in the grey areas.
“There are no good guys or bad guys,” Washington says. “Everybody is flawed and human and trying to do the best that they can in the circumstances.”
Viewers now know who hired the assassin and we think we may know why the attempt was made on the life of President Fitzgerald Grant (Tony Goldwyn), but Rhimes promises more to come, saying, “There is a whole storyline to be played out about the hiring of the assassin, what that means, why and how that went down.”
The one definite White Hat still left in the cast of “Scandal” characters is David Rosen (Joshua Malina), who, despite his differences with Olivia, does come to her aid in rescuing Huck (Guillermo Díaz). Part of it may be their previous friendship, but the other part is he is appalled at the treatment a U.S. citizen was receiving at the hands of those in authority.
“There are times when we can help each other and still go back to whatever the battle is we have going,” Malina tells XfinityTV.com. “This was a time when someone she cared about was being done wrong. It wasn’t like they were friends again and were going to drink whiskey like they used to do. It was, ‘I know where he is and I know what is happening to him. Do what you need to do.'”
The “A Criminal, a Whore, an Idiot and a Liar” episode of “Scandal” airs Thursday, Jan. 17 at 10/9c on ABC.