Khandi Alexander on Scandal Mom's 'Murderous' Mindset, Why It's Easy to Love Kerry Washington

Get More: Previews

Scandal Olivia's Mother AliveAs we posited during the latest installment of TVLine’s Spoiler Alert! web series, Olivia Pope’s mother cannot be pleased with her decades-long imprisonment by B613, after having her death faked in the Flight 522 tragedy.

“Would you be happy?” Scandal newcomer Khandi Alexander confirms with a laugh.

RELATED | TVLine Performer of the Week: Scandal‘s Bellamy Young

Though Alexander has been schooled extremely well in maintaining B613-slash-Shonda Rhimes levels of secrecy about what’s on tap for her “resurrected” character on the ABC drama (airing Thursdays at 10/9c), she does allow that Maya — jibing with the side-eye she shot her husband at the close of last week’s episode — is in a “murderous” mindset. Meaning, all that time spent in a confined space did not heal any wounds. “No, she’s very, very angry with Eli.”

Beyond that, Alexander will only offer the most cryptic of teases. For one, “We will learn more about Maya’s past,” possibly via more flashbacks. (As the actress observes, “Joe Morton with that mustache and bit of Afro going on? That’s pretty sexy!”) In that same vein, she promises “more pieces to the Remington puzzle — though I can’t say which specific ones.” (Long story short: Maya was for some reason pulled off Flight 522 just before it took embarked on its doomed journey, shot down from the sky as it was by Navy officer Fitzgerald Grant.)

But perhaps the most burning question is if — or being the fast-paced, storyline-churning Scandalhow soon Maya might be reunited with daughter.

“We’re going to learn more about Olivia’s relationship with her mother, and what’s happened in the past,” Alexander sorta-answers. And though she won’t elaborate on how things used to be (beyond the fleeting glimpse we saw weeks ago in flashback), she states, “Very few mothers don’t love their daughters.”

Especially when said offspring is destined to be a rock star Gladiator, played by the likes of Kerry Washington.

“Kerry and I met years ago at Sundance, at an actors’ lab,” Alexander recalls, “so we have this mutual respect for each other that made it very easy to fall into a relationship.” She also had opportunity to meet Washington’s folks, thus observing how the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. “Her parents, I adore them. You can see how they raised such a wonderful young lady.” All told, “It’s easy to love Kerry Washington,” Alexander says. “Very easy.”

Regarding her TV daughter’s noteworthy Emmy nomination, Alexander recalls how “special” it was to see her on stage at this year’s ceremony, especially presenting alongside Diahann Carroll, who in 1968 earned the first-ever Emmy nod for an African-American. “Oh my goodness, it made you tear up — [that pairing] was so brilliant.”

Offering one final, vague salvo about what her Scandal-ous visit has in store, Alexander — who starting Dec. 1 can also be seen in the final five-episode season of HBO’s Treme — suggests that Maya being alive won’t be the biggest shocker to come out of the Remington mystery.

“There are even more surprises to come, without a doubt,” she teases. “Come on, it’s Scandal! The plot will thicken.”

Want more scoop on Scandal, or for any other show? Email insideline@tvline.com and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.



Comments (20)

  • I wonder if Maya is a double agent who planted the bomb on the plane; why else would they hold her prisoner? I do look forward to her story being fleshed out more, because Khandi Alexander is an A+ actress.

    Comment by Tori – November 20, 2013 11:15 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Her husband’s such a shady character. Do you think she knows that he had something to do with the planted bomb and that’s why he’s keeping her locked up? How did he know that the plane, carrying his wife, was going to be shot down and what kind of connections did he have to be able to get her off that plane using someone else’s identity? The plot to continues to thicken and Thursday’s can’t get here fast enough. And what’s up with Harrison? Is he really her brother? Didn’t she find him in prison?

      Comment by Debbie Council – November 20, 2013 12:15 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I hope to God he’s NOT her brother. This is getting ridiculous. This show is Scandal, not All In The Family!

        Comment by Cheyenne – November 20, 2013 01:13 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • “This show is Scandal, not All In The Family”
          OMG Best comment of the week! Cheers Cheyenne!

          Comment by David – November 20, 2013 03:14 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • I have to agree that was the best comment of the week! Some plotlines are just beyond ridiculous. At least Liv hasn’t slept with Harrison (or Eli…..). So far at least……

            Comment by echinachea – November 21, 2013 01:01 PM PDT  
    • I have no clue why they’re holding Irina prisoner, but I’m sure Jack will eventually reveal all to Sydney while we debate on who’s side Irina is truly on. I’m just wondering when Sloane will come into play.

      Comment by Josh – November 20, 2013 01:28 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Josh. Good one.

        Comment by Ci – November 20, 2013 01:52 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Josh, aren’t we talking about “Scandal” not “Alias”?

        Comment by Debbie Council – November 20, 2013 01:59 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Just think about it and you’ll get there eventually :)

          Comment by Josh – November 20, 2013 03:33 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • OMG Josh! Spot on! lol

        Comment by David – November 20, 2013 03:17 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I like what you did there.

        Comment by Morgan – November 20, 2013 07:14 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • I confess–I am lost on this thread and subthread:)

          Comment by echinachea – November 21, 2013 01:06 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Glad to see the return of Khandi Alexander on a network series. I loved her character on CSI:Miami and when she left, I was so disappointed. It took them a while to fill her shoes on that series and when they finally found a likable character as her replacement (Walter) the series was cancelled. CBS has cancelled so many good series/characters (CSI:Miami & CSI: NY/ Ziva on NCIS & Carter on Person of Interest). Don’t they think they need the rating?

    Comment by Debbie Council – November 20, 2013 11:26 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • If Maya ends up as Scandal’s version of Irina Derevko, not sure if I will be intrigued or if it will just be way too much.

    Comment by Emily – November 20, 2013 11:38 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • OMG!!!!! I WAS TELLING A FRIEND THE SAME EXACT THING!!!!!!

      Comment by TRENTON – November 20, 2013 11:53 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Let’s just hope the plot does not thicken to a solid.

    Comment by CC – November 20, 2013 11:39 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I hope it’s continue to shock us
    A lot of shows easy to precinct what’s next
    With this show has. Me be on edge of my couch

    Comment by Ellenz – November 20, 2013 12:20 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Is English your second language? Just curious.

      Comment by Cheyenne – November 20, 2013 01:15 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Come on–be nice:)

      Comment by echinachea – November 21, 2013 01:04 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I dont care about all of this. I only want to see olivia and fitz loving each other!!!!!

    Comment by dawn jack – November 21, 2013 03:24 AM PDT  Reply To This Post

Leave a Reply

Comments on TVLine.com are monitored. So don't go off topic, don't frakkin' curse, and be gone with your offers of discount leather goods. Talk smart about TV!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s