Tonight’s Scandal brought together almost all of the main characters in one room — and not surprisingly, fireworks erupted.
Secrets were spilled, Fitz (Tony Goldwyn) and Rowan (Joe Morton) almost came to blows, and David (Joshua Malina) even got romantic advice from the president. And Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) formulated a plan to stop the machinations of Peus, Marjorie, and the Mystery Power People.
After Peus demanded Mellie dump Jake as VP and select himself, Olivia decided to put her foot down. She gathered everyone together to figure out a way to cut Peus’s strings, even bringing in her father. Rowan demanded Fitz personally ask for his help — and then ended up refusing! Olivia ended up coming up with her own plan to push back against Peus by selecting Luna Vargas, Frankie’s widow, as the new VP.
Morton chatted with Yahoo TV about the Conclave of Power, Rowan’s showdown with Cyrus (Jeff Perry), and what will happen next now that they’ve defied Peus.
What was it like shooting the meeting scene? Almost all of the main cast was there, which has happened very rarely, if at all.
It’s fun for everybody to be together in the same place. In between takes, there’s lots of laughter, lots of jokes, lots of fooling around, especially with Josh [Malina] and Scott [Foley].
What was most interesting about the meeting for you?
All of my confrontation with Tony. One, to put the president in a position where he has to ask me for help, and then admit, in this case, [that I’m] smarter than he is. And two, to talk about what the name of the episode is, which is “Mercy” — which he doesn’t think about in the terms of the way Shakespeare thought about it. He thinks of mercy as something you extract from someone, not something you provide for someone.
Yeah, that was another of Rowan’s amazing monologues. But his harsh words also put down his own daughter, basically implying she’s like a stripper. He really must hate Fitz.
He despises Fitz because he thinks Fitz is weak and spoiled and someone who doesn’t understand power and someone who never really wanted it. The only reason that Fitz is in the White House to begin with was because of Defiance. So, he didn’t win an election; he stole an election.
For all those reasons, Rowan thinks Fitz is unworthy of Olivia and Olivia should be looking for something that’s a lot stronger. As he said to her a couple episodes back, love is only for the victors, and she hasn’t won anything quite yet. What she wants to win is the White House, and right now, she’s not there. So, to turn to Fitz, is from his own point of view, is turning to the weakest tool in the box.
That scene between Rowan and Cyrus in the wine cellar — it feels like both men have kind of given up. Would you agree?
Cyrus finds himself at a point where he’s been beat up, both physically and politically and spiritually. So, I think in that moment Cyrus believes he can avenge Frankie — he just found out that I was the one who shot Frankie. So, in that moment, he believes he can avenge Frankie’s death. And Rowan is just letting him know, once again, you’re way out of your league here. It wasn’t something you could have prevented nor is it something you can fix by trying to kill me.
For me, when I watched that scene, it really is like two old dogs in a pit somewhere, just growling at one another. Not that their teeth aren’t sharp anymore. It’s two old dogs trying to maintain whatever territory that they had.
Rowan refuses to help the others in taking down Peus. So, has he truly given up? Does he just want to play with dinosaurs and be left in peace?
I don’t know that that kind of life would ever satisfy him. I think there will always be an itch to get involved with something somewhere down the line. He doesn’t particularly like most of the people in that room, and he thinks what they’ve done is what brought Peus into this world and he’s not responsible for that. And he’s interested in his own freedom. So, what he’s doing is basically looking around and seeing what’s happening, to negotiate his own freedom and protection of his daughter.
So, now that they’re fighting back, what’s next?
We’ll have to wait and see. Logically what would come next, since Mystery Woman has been arrested, is that Peus will retaliate in some way.
What can you say about the rest of the season, which is just a few more episodes?
The thrust of the episodes so far was to finally come up with who is going to be president. Mellie is president-elect. She makes her choice for VP. The next logical thing would be to move toward Inauguration Day.
Scandal airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on ABC.
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