Time flies… it seems like it was just yesterday that the season ended; but Scandal fans get ready – one of the most, if not THE most talked about TV series on S&A this year was Shonda Rhimes' new series starring Kerry Washington.
I didn't realize just how passionate audiences were about it until Tanya Steele's Trouble With Scandal piece (HERE), which set comment records at the time. So of course we'll continue to cover one of the few network primetime hour-long drama series with a black character in the lead.
But, as I said, get ready, because season 2 (which will have 13 episodes, and maybe more according to Rhimes below), gets underway in less than 2 months – September 27th.
And in anticipation of the series' return, Rhimes and some of the show's cast, talked to The Hollywood Reporter about what audiences can expect in season 2, giving away pieces of specific storylines, and hinting at others. So don't read this if you want to be completely surprised!
As a quick recap… at the end of season 1, a number of questions were answered (the most crucial being who really had Amanda Tanner killed); and of course, as you'd expect with any season finale, a cliffhanger – who is Quinn Perkins?
So who IS Quinn Perkins? And looking back on the previous 6 episodes, where any hints given at any time that might help answer that question? I can't immediately think of any.
In the THR piece, it's revealed that the answer to that question will be revealed "right off the bat and opening the door into a bigger mystery." Rhimes herself obviously wouldn't give much away, except to say:
"You learn who Quinn Perkins is in the first episode of the season and the question that emerges from the first episode is not, 'Who is Quinn Perkins' but 'Why is Quinn Perkins who she is and what happened to make her that way."
Obviously Olivia knows; she knows everything, and she did hire Quinn, so it's no surprise. Given the resistance to finger-printing her, and Olivia's knack for picking employees with *questionable* pasts, I think we can safely say Quinn falls right in-line with the others. So what you've got here is a kind of rag-tag team of smart people with problems, and Olivia is like their mother, which you could say makes sense, given her own shady past – having an affair with the Prez. One big happy family.
"You get to see Quinn in a really, really, really terrible situation that is definitely crazy.
And that the episode that reveals who Quinn is, will again use flashbacks to explore her history, which she warns is:
"…both violent and blue-collar — and likely involves a guy — while working to regain the trust of everyone at Pope, where she's also now a client."
Also noteworthy, as we all wondered after the end of season 1, with Olivia handing in her White House badge/pass as she walked out of the compounds, does that imply she's done with the President? And if so, does this open the door for a new romance for Olivia?
Joshua Malina, who has been promoted to series regular, answered that question, saying that his character David (the U.S. attorney) will be right in the middle of things with Quinn, adding that:
"… the friction that exists between David and Olivia leaves the door open for romantic potential."
Rhimes' contribution to that discussion:
There is [the possibility of a new romance]… There's a prospect of one. I don't know that we're going to get to it early in the second season, but there's definitely a prospect of one. I think that we call her a political nun and she has no personal life and we all know why she has no personal life. But I think that she reached a crossroads at the end of the finale. She handed in her White House badge. She was walking away. I think we might come upon her trying to get her own little bit of normal at this moment.
But I won't be surprised if Rhimes hooks her up with the David. They *dance* well together I think, and it won't be shocking to learn that they had a little something going on at one point, back in the day.
And what about Billy Chambers? Given what we saw towards the end of the episode, as he got on the elevator with Charlie, and later we see Charlie at Cyrus' house asking for the rest of his payment for taking out Amanda Tanner, because he needed to leave town ASAP, are we to assume that Charlie finished the job Huck assigned to him – to kill Billy Chambers?
Guillermo Diaz, who plays Huck, told THR that:
The ex-CIA killer's past will also be further explored in flashbacks… to reveal Huck's past that will "just blow people's minds."
Also worth noting was the First Lady finally showing us who she really is in season 1's finale. But I think we all (certainly I) suspected she had an agenda all her own early on. Specifically, in a previous talkback session, I said that their marriage is reminiscent of what people said about Bill and Hillary Clinton's marriage – that it's essentially like a business partnership. Both have/had their political ambitions, and are/were simply working together like business partners to see those objectives through – even in light of Bill's 3 or 4 affairs, including the Monica Lewinsky scandal, which likely inspired the Amanda Tanner fiasco in Scandal.
So what can we expect for the character in season 2? Bellamy Young who plays First Lady Mellie told THR this:
"Mellie wants to be president down the road, she wants eight years with Fitz, four years off then she wants to run, no joke… She's smart enough, she knows what it all entails, she definitely has a point of view and she wants to be in charge. She's not good at interpersonal relations, but she's great at the game… It's fine if he loves Olivia but Mellie just wants to be president, that's the bottom line."
Young also says that the season premiere will contain a "huge reveal" for her character. Hmmm…
And now that we know Cyrus is the mastermind behind Amanda Tanner's death, looking ahead to next season, will others eventually learn the truth, and will whomever does, play a significant role in season 2?
Rhimes had this to say in response:
The answer to both of those questions is yes. There's a level of power that Cyrus is playing with at this moment that allows him to distance himself from the actual acts of doing certain things, and possibly gives him a little bit of leeway in his mind. He really does think that he is doing what's best for the country. I absolutely believe Cyrus has a line that he won't cross. Cyrus is a patriot who really loves his country and really believes in the presidency. In a weird way, that's his flaw. His patriotism has taken him to some dark places.
Well, yeah. Like murder.
And finally, Rhimes says that season 2 will start out with a season-long arc, and potentially two, if ABC expands the series expand from its initial order for 13 episodes.
So, lots of big reveals expected in the very first episode of season 2 – we find out who Quinn is, revealing her dark past; the same with Huck (our minds will be blown, as he said); and a "huge reveal" for the First Lady.
And sometime along the way, Olivia gets a new lover… and it just might be David.
But episode 1 should be explosive then, with all these reveals, setting the stage for what we all hope is a stronger, bolder season 2.
See ya in September, when the popular S&A Scandal talkback sessions return!