Scandal signed off for its winter break with a doozy of an episode. When we last saw Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington), she was having one epic blowout with Fitz (Tony Goldwyn) in the White House and it looks like their relationship is kaput. First Lady Olivia Pope is no more. Oh yeah, all of this happened after she missed a State Dinner because she was getting an abortion. So, yeah, things are certainly going to be different when Scandal returns on Thursday, Feb. 11.
Washington told reporters she's still in the dark about a lot of what's ahead for Scandal and her hero, but she said, "coming back, that winter finale was intense and it reflected a very difficult decision for Olivia and it's a decision that is not an easy one and it changes her, and a lot about her."
"That moment is a moment of real realization about who she is and about the life she wants, so we'll start to see how some of that manifests," Washington told reporters at the 2016 Winter TCA Press Tour where she was promoting her HBO movie Confirmation. However, there's one Scandal change that really excites Washington and it may surprise you.
"Having a new couch is really a big deal! I get to sit on a brand new couch and I appreciate it! That other couch had a lot of bad juju," she said with a laugh. Yes, after her big White House relationship implosion, Olivia returned to her apartment and got a brand-new couch, ditching the wine-stained one she spent many a night eating popcorn on. After all, it represented her abduction and all sorts of bad feelings that went along with that situation.
When it comes to other changes she wants for Olivia, Washington said she leaves that up to the powers that be.
"I really trust our writers. Our writers are so gifted and so courageous and I want what they want, to be honest with you. I'm on this ride. It's different being a producer on Confirmation and being in the room to help break story and figure out what we're doing is very different from what I do at Scandal, and I'm glad that on Scandal I have such respect and trust for the immense artists who tell our story, because I get to just kind of lean in to them," she said.
In Confirmation, Washington plays Anita Hill. The movie depicts a "a pivotal moment in American culture that became a turning point in workplace equality and gender politics," after Hill accused Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas (played by The Wire's Wendell Pierce) of sexual harassment during his nomination hearings. Greg Kinnear, Jeffrey Wright, Dylan Baker, Grace Gummer, Bill Irwin, Treat Williams, Eric Stonestreet and Jennifer Hudson also star. Washington said stepping outside the world of Olivia Pope was "exciting" for her.
"I haven't done a feature since Django because in the hiatus before this one I had a baby, and the one before that I got married, so I'd been busy producing other things," she said. "But it was really wonderful to be able to step into another pair of shoes literally and figuratively and Anita is so different from Olivia in a lot of ways, so that was fun for me, too, to be another woman in Washington but in a very different way and with a very different relationship to that town and how it works."
Scandal returns on Thursday, Feb. 11, on ABC. Get a sneak peek below! Confirmation will premiere on HBO in 2016.