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Matt's Inside Line: Scoop on Arrow, The Mentalist, Scandal, New Girl, Hannibal, Once, SVU and More!

Arrow Felicity Backstory SpoilersWill Arrow rock Felicity’s world? How explosive is the Scandal finale? How does The Mentalist see Jisbon’s future? Will the New Girl split stick? Read on for answers to those questions plus teases from other shows.

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Any hints on Scandal‘s explosive finale? –Joanna
Funny your choice of words, Joanna…. “The finale explodes into a million different pieces,” Darby Stanchfield told me of the April 17 episode. “This set of characters, especially over at Olivia Pope & Associates, are more splintered off from each other than ever before. I mean, when we were shooting the episode, I actually thought to myself, ‘I wonder if they’re actually going to tear down the set and build a new one?’ It’s that extreme.”

Shall I dare ask for a Mentalist scoop? –Sal
You shall! In this Sunday’s episode, Jane and the FBI scramble to prove a death row inmate’s innocence, thus pitting Jane against no less than Star Trek: TNG‘s god-like Q . “[Guest star] John De Lancie plays a man whose wife’s killer is about to be executed, and he and Jane square off over that,” exec producer Tom Szentgyorgyi previews. “John gives a spectacular performance, and was a great sparring partner for [Simon] Baker.”

Please! Do you have anything for Mentalist fans on Jane’s reaction to Lisbon’s new boyfriend? –Yara
While I had Szentgyorgyi on the phone to preview May sweeps/the season finale, I was sure to inquire what Jane was thinking as he sat alone on the sofa, after seeing Teresa run off for late-night pancakes with her new paramour, Pike. “I think Jane was feeling curiously like a third wheel – something he doesn’t feel very often – and wondering why he felt that way,” the EP answered. “Pike is with us through the end of the season, and he will become a increasingly important figure in Lisbon’s life, so Jane is wondering what he’s feeling, because he’s been the most important man in Lisbon’s life — and suddenly he might not be.”

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I still can’t believe Miriam Lass resurfaced on Hannibal. How badly damaged will she be? Badly enough that she won’t be able to implicate Dr. Lecter in her disappearance? –Anastacia
Those are exactly the questions that will be explored in this Friday’s episode, “Yakimono,” which “is very much about what happens when you go away for two years — and you are putty in a villain’s hands, essentially,” teases showrunner Bryan Fuller. “What part of you survives? What part of you is buried? And how much can you actually recover?” Fuller says Miriam’s release from captivity will be paralleled with Will Graham’s exit from the psych hospital — an “intertwining of destinies” that was only possible due to Anna Chlumsky sacrificing a bit of her Christmas-New Year holiday from shooting HBO’s Veep. “The fact that she worked so hard to find two days [for Hannibal],” says Fuller, “was a testament to her dedication as an actress, and to her enthusiasm to come back and have fun with us.”

Please tell me that New Girl‘s heartbreaking Nick/Jess breakup wasn’t final. –KSP82
All I am at liberty to tell you is that this season’s final three episodes – airing April 15, April 29 and May 6 — will chronicle with the fallout of the break-up. Next Tuesday, for example, Jess and Nick go to tell the others about their split the morning after, but get derailed when Winston passes his police academy exam and they don’t want to ruin his special day.

Do you have anything on Blue Bloods‘ Jamie? — Sabrina
In this Friday’s episode, things will get… interesting… between Jamie and his partner Eddie during a wild night out.

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Is Arrow going to reveal the identity of Felicity’s father this season? –DreamToAspire
Though much is being saved for Season 3, by season’s end, “We actually will get a little bit more of Felicity’s backstory…,” executive producer Andrew Kreisberg allows. “You get a couple of hints, and when you hear what some of the hints are, you’re going to look back and realize that we actually knew [what we were planning] back in Season 1.”

So, finally Laurel knows Oliver’s secret on Arrow. How will they handle this bombshell that they have dropped on her? –Spoiler Junkie
“I think that people have been primed to expect Laurel’s reaction to be one thing,” Kreisberg told me, “and they’re going to be very surprised by her actual reaction.”

On Once Upon a Time, will we find out who Zelena’s father is this season? –Lisa
You absolutely will learn who sired the sorceress – in, I can only assume, the episode that brings back Rose McGowan as Young Cora and also guest-stars Eva Bourne and Lost alum Eric Lange as Young Eva and Prince Leopold. “We’re flashing back to Leopold’s younger days to fill in more Regina backstory,” Ginnifer Goodwin told me. COLIN O'DONOGHUE, CHARLES MESURE“[Revisiting] Snow White’s childhood and her parents can take us there very easily, to show how the Evil Queen’s family, how those royals intertwine with my family’s royal lineage.”

Can you offer any scoop on Once Upon a Time‘s Blackbeard (played by Charles Mesure)? –Stefanie
Previewing this Sunday’s episode, Colin O’Donoghue noted, “Blackbeard obviously is very much a dreaded pirate, and you get to see Hook interact a little bit with him — I can’t tell you how or why, because that will give away too much – but and it harks back a little bit to all the old Errol Flynn films and stuff like that. It’s good old-fashioned, swashbuckling fun.”

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When I first heard about NCIS‘ McGee dating Delilah, I didn’t think it would last as long as it has, but is seems as if she’ll be around a while. My question is: Will Margo Harshman be back next season? –Bobby
That likely depends on how things play out in this week’s episode, as McGee grapples with the issue of cohabitation. “They’ve got a decision to make,” says show boss Gary Glasberg. “And then we’ll have to see where that takes us moving into Season 12.” Of course, Tony will have his two cents to throw in as Tim mulls the matter. “Tony’s got an opinion on everything,” Glasberg reminds, “so he definitely chimes in as a ‘big brother and offers his advice — whether it’s wanted or not.”

Law & Order: SVU‘s Benson has been through so much this season. Is there any happiness coming her way before the season ends? –LuckyDee
There’s definitely light at the end of the tunnel for Olivia — but as they say, it’s always darkest before the dawn. William Lewis (played by Pablo Schreiber) returns this Wednesday to seek revenge, and not only does he force Olivia into another terrifying physical encounter, but he also drives her to take accountability for her own wrongdoings in their twisted history. Regardless of the outcome, Olivia’s nightmare isn’t over yet. (Bonus scoop: William’s isn’t the only familiar face returning this week.)

Any Big Bang Theory scoop? –Rachel
You know how Penny has been invited to reprise her scream queen role in Serial Ape-ist 2: Monkey See, Monkey Kill? Well, we may actually get to witness the filming. For Episode 23, the CBS hitcom is casting a director who views himself as an “artist” but has been reduced to directing, well, Serial Ape-ist 2: Monkey See, Monkey Kill.

I’m a huge fan of the History Channel’s Vikings. Got any scoop? –Tina
For a huge fan, I can promise a big episode, this Thursday. (Also, I’ll have a fun sneak peek coming at you on Wednesday afternoon).

Real questions, real answers. If you need the Inside Line, email InsideLine@tvline.com!