Shonda Rhimes' fast-paced political drama Scandal finishes out its stellar seven-episode first season tonight and if you thought the first six episodes were shocking, prepare to be blown away by the cliffhanger-filled finale. Seriously, we're talking best-finale-of-the-season-level here, people!
We chatted with the show's lovely star Kerry Washington about the "high-stakes" finale, which might just see the end of Fitz's (Tony Goldwyn) presidency and a death. No big deal! Plus, which episode "scared' Kerry? And which cliffhanger in the finale got the show renewed for a second season?
But first, let's talk about Olivia's scandalous relationship with the president of the United States, shall we?
Kerry is well aware that Olivia and Fitz's relationship is a polarizing one...especially because the people who work on the show have their own (very strong) opinions as well! When her hairstylist heard that Fitz would tell Olivia to take off her clothes in episode five, Kerry says, "my hairstylist threw her brush across the trailer and was like, 'And she does it?!' She was so mad! I think it's great that people are having such a wide range of reactions to this relationship and in such a compassioned way."
So which faction of fans will be pleased by the turns their relationship takes in the finale?
"I can say that there will be some things that you get clarity about at the end of the episode and it will be great for people," Kerry teases. "There are some major question marks that get answered at the end of the episode in a very exciting way. But you also end the episode with some new question marks and some lingering question marks, so it's really exciting and the way a season finale should be."
The married Fitz won over some haters in the flashback episode, which showed us the beginning of his relationship with Olivia. Oh, and the two shared a ridiculously hot sex scene, one that scared Kerry.
"When I read it, the episode scared me. I mean, the episode just scared the s--t out of me because it's such an intense episode and because I hate doing those kinds of scenes, those intimate scenes," she admits. "I was also scared for the characters because even though it's in the past I thought, 'Oh my God Shonda what did you do? What is happening here?!'"
As for the finale, Kerry wouldn't tell us if reporter Gideon (Brendan Hines) is dead after being stabbed in the neck with scissors (ouch!), but says we will get the answer to that question in the beginning of the episode and "the life and death stakes of the show are definitely still present throughout the season finale."
So where was Kerry when she found out the good news that Scandal was picked up for a second season? "I was actually at work on the set for Django Unchained and Quentin Tarantino doesn't allow phones on set and so literally everyone knew, it was all over the press and the cast and crew and everybody knew, and the producers were like, 'You might want to go back to your trailer!' So it was really great," she says.
Kerry also reveals that there's one cliffhanger in the season finale that may have convinced ABC president Paul Lee to bring the show back, just so he could find out what happens next! "Without giving it away, there was one question mark that the head of the network called Shonda Rhimes and was like, 'I need an answer about this!' and then Shonda was like, 'Well then I need a season two!'"
Scandal airs tonight at 10 p.m. on ABC.