At the end of Scandal‘s juicy seven-episode first season, President Fitzgerald Grant (Tony Goldwyn) was shocked when crisis manager (and love of his life!) Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) devised a plan with his wife Mellie (Bellamy Young) to help him out of a sex scandal. Their solution? Go on 20/20 and proclaim the audio recording of his extramarital affair was of the First Couple, effectively putting a kibosh on Fitz’s plans to escape with Olivia. Blindsided? You bet — and also crushed, as we learn in the show’s season 2 opener.
“Fitz is totally heartbroken and, I think, betrayed,” Goldwyn says of the Prez at the start of the second season. “He’d obviously made a decision; he was ready to resign the presidency and be with the woman he loved. Olivia and his wife stole that from him. They pulled the rug out from under him and [now] he hates her.” But also loves her. Yes, even after the deceit, Goldwyn assures that “when you’re in love with somebody in the way he’s in love with Olivia, you can never get rid of that…. That magnetic pull will certainly bring them together in some way — and I don’t know how yet.”
The 13-episode second season, which picks up a few months after the finale, also quickly addresses part 2 the women’s on-air damage control, says Goldwyn: Mellie’s fake pregnancy, which needed to become a reality — quickly. “I can tell you that the pregnancy and the impending child is an issue,” he says, not confirming whether there will or will not be a First Baby on board. “I literally can’t say anything, but it’s a factor on the show. It’s a point of contention.”
But even with drama in his personal life, Fitz is feeling more secure than ever in his role as leader of the free world. After nearly stepping down last season, Fitz has become “a soldier for the job,” he says. “He has acknowledged to himself that he’s here for a higher purpose and his personal happiness and his personal relationships are irrelevant. He hardens himself and puts all of his focus on serving the people and being the best president he can be.”
That will likely prove to be easier said than done, though. The cast is only one episode into filming the second season, and with at least 12 more to go, Goldwyn says there are many twists in store, including one “jaw-dropping” moment that closes out the Sept. 27 premiere. “One of the great things that [creator] Shonda [Rhimes] did in the first season is that she made such bold moves and choices from the get-go. She’s on that same path in the second season,” he says.
More with Goldwyn in tomorrow’s Spoiler Room.