Warning: for those who have not seen the March 23 episode, “A Traitor Among Us,” spoilers abound.
The most recent “Scandal” had such huge plot twists and reveals, even Olivia Pope had to gasp — and it’s stayed with us like a red wine stain on linen.
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We end on Huck (Guillermo Díaz), bleeding out on a hotel room floor, after girlfriend Meg (Phoebe Neidhardt) shot him three times — after shooting Jennifer Fields (Chelsea Kurtz), who just recently came back to life…
And Abby (Darby Stanchfield) was the mastermind, working in cahoots with this new Shadow Group. Pause for breath!
And if we can’t stop thinking about it, imagine how the actual actors feel. We caught up with the cast on the red carpet at this year’s PaleyFest in Los Angeles to chat about the episode, all the twists coming in the rest of the season, and where the show can go from here…
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“Part of preparing for the season is keeping your mind open to new possibilities,” said Cornelius Smith Jr., aka Marcus Walker, about the process of filming a season. “We never know what’s going to happen until we start work on that episode. Every table read is the first time we learn what’s going on.”
So does he think Abby is truly the mole? “I think she could be… But the wonderful thing about ‘Scandal’ is you never put your eggs in one basket. You start out with your assumptions, but 9 times of 10 it ends up being something totally different.”
When Joshua Molina (Attorney General David Rosen) found out about the episode his first reaction was a bit more practical. “My first thought was I’m glad it’s not me! My second thought was Oh no! Guillermo! he teased. “Going through the script, it was one of those moments — which we’ve had before — where you start to wonder if we’re about to lose one of our own.” Molina was tight-lipped about what to expect next, but admitted there’s reason for concern. As for Rosen, he’s still just trying to notch his first win as AG: “You know, I think he’s about 0-6 right now, so he just wants that win.”
Katie Lowes, (Quinn Perkins), had other issues on her mind with the episode — like how Huck initially accused Quinn of being the mole. “How could he even! Quinn is the most loyal, ride-or-die OPA person you could hire! Clearly he has stuff going on in his head, he’s not seeing clearly.”
According to Lowes, Huck is one of the loves of Quinn’s life — so she hopes he gets his issues figured out, so they can get back to their very special relationship. (She also was sure to point out that Quinn originally told Huck she didn’t trust Abby, way back when.)
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Guillermo Diaz, Huck himself, seemed surprisingly calm about the whole situation. “I think Huck’s going to be really upset when he learns Abby is behind this hit on him.” Diaz said. “She was an original Gladiator, so I don’t think that’ll sit well with him.” But, surprisingly, he wasn’t that wistful about who actually shot him (his new girlfriend Meg). “Huck is more interesting when he’s broken and struggling. So I hope he doesn’t bounce back from this, and ends up learning to trust people.”
When he first learned of Huck’s fate, he was game from the start — knowing how the characters ebb and flow throughout the series, laying low in the background for a while and then emerging with really interesting plots. “And Shonda loves the character of Huck, and she’s such a master of television, so I’m hopeful she doesn’t want to get rid of him.”
Darby Stanchfield, aka THE MOLE Abby Whelan herself, gave us one of the cast’s bigger reactions to the news: She claims she had no idea this twist was coming, and shared in a collective “WTF?” moment with us.
“I know! I was quite shocked when I found out,” she admitted. “I was speechless. I looked at Shonda and the writers to say something, but I had to wait a whole nine days to find out how, why, etc.”
We’ll just have to wait 4 more days for the next episode — which Stanchfield assures us be very satisfying in terms of getting answers: “A Stomach For Blood” will focus, like each episode this season, on the before & after of Election Night with Abby, going deeper into her motivations and circumstances: “It’s going to be a huge reveal.”
It better be. It doesn’t seem like that long since we liked Abby at all, and while this season has seen her in a much more precarious moral and mental state than she’s been in a while — and of all the Gladiators, she couldn’t have picked a more offensive victim — we still want to have faith…
“Scandal” airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.