Tonight’s episode of Scandal could be one of the most revealing of the seven-episode first season. It’s also a cast favorite.
In the episode, airing tonight at 10 p.m. ET, viewers go back to the days of Fitz’s (Tony Goldwyn) presidential campaign, when Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) was a young campaign worker pulled deeper into the campaign because of her knack for candidness. “I loved that reveal at that point in the season. I thought it was beautiful storytelling” previews Jeff Perry, who plays Cyrus. “It’s great fodder for [the actors].”
But, as we learn, it’s Olivia’s gusto that immediately catches Fitz’s eye. “You see the moment of connection between Olivia and Fitz,” says Goldwyn. “But there’s so much [other] story, too. That’s what [creator Shonda Rhimes] does in every episode of Scandal. She packs in so much, you can’t believe you’ve just watched an hour of television — and particularly in the flashback episode. There’s so much happening,” he says.
For Rhimes, who also executive produces Private Practice and Grey’s Anatomy, the episode (also, coincidentally, her favorite) is the prime example of how much ground the series has covered in six episodes. “We were very excited about it,” she says. “And I think it’s interesting, I was saying to somebody that we only made seven episodes and on Grey’s, I don’t think we really hit our stride and knew the show we were writing until episode 8. So I think it’s funny that we only made seven and by the time we got to six we really knew what we were doing. It’s been really fun.”
Fun that she hopes continues. Scandal has yet to receive a second season order, though that may change at next week’s ABC upfronts. Rhimes is hopeful, though if there is a second season, she’s not sure she pictures a full 22-episode order. “I feel like seven worked very well. I’m not sure I want 22 episodes. I’m not sure I can imagine that,” she says. “I would love it because it would mean success, and it would be great. But I think it might mean we split our season down the middle and tell 12 and 12 or 11 and 11 — however that works. But I haven’t wrapped my head around 22 yet. I really enjoyed making seven. Seven was a delightful number to make and it allowed us to move at a pace storytelling wise that was sort of a break-neck speed. That was wonderful. It turned out to be such a freeing concept.” Plus, she admits with a laugh, “having three shows, having one smaller order was very helpful.”