Scandal Fall Finale Preview

Scandal's Tony Goldwyn: Fall Finale Brings Consequences, 'Good or Bad,' for Fitz and Olivia's Bold Move

Oh, how far Scandal‘s President Fitzgerald Grant and Olivia Pope have come.

When the ABC series premiered three-and-a-half years ago, the most the illicit lovers could hope for was a stolen kiss pressed up against the Oval Office curtains. Now, heading into the fall finale (airing tonight at 9/8c), Olivia and her epic wardrobe have been moved into the White House.

For better, or for worse.

In the wake of this monumental step, TVLine invited Tony Goldwyn to survey the state of Fitz and Olivia’s union and the obstacles in their immediate path — including but not limited to one “ticking bomb.”

TVLINE | If I had told you, back when we first spoke in Season 1, that one day Fitz would actually divorce Mellie, and Oliva would actually move in the White House, what would you have said?
I would’ve thought it would’ve happened a lot sooner than it has!

TVLINE | Really?
Yeah. I’m amazed at how long Shonda [Rhimes] has been able to kind of tease this out. It’s very skillfully done.

TVLINE | Because one could also argue that it’s almost the stuff of a series finale, you know?
Well, that’s true, that’s true. That’s maybe the other way that I thought about it — “If Fitz and Olivia ever get together, the show’s over,” but certainly there’s plenty of obstacles, as we can see, once Fitz and Olivia try and actually make this work.

TVLINE | I was going to say, the way Scandal Fall Finale Previewit’s played out in recent weeks, it’s almost for Fitz a case of “Be careful what you wish for.”
Exactly. That’s the thing that I’m really enjoying about this season, because I really wasn’t sure how long could you keep us apart and not start kind of repeating the same patterns. But I think it’s such an interesting situation, dramatically, where the President of the United States and the woman he loves kind of just come clean, which is what Fitz has wanted to do for years now. He’s tried many times and been thwarted by Olivia and Mellie, and now it’s actually happening, and I think he’s very happy about it, potentially, but it causes a lot of problems for Olivia. And obviously Mellie’s sort of a ticking bomb, we’re never quite sure what she’s going to do.

TVLINE | Speaking of Olivia’s reaction: How are we to read that final scene last week, where Fitz makes it very clear, “Yes, you and your clothes are moving into the White House”? He was pretty intense.
[Laughs] All I can speak to is Fitz’s perspective on it, which is not objective. I mean, he’s to some degree acting from a place of extreme stress. The way Fitz would explain it, and how he feels, is that he believes deeply that if he and Olivia just can get a chance to be normal, and to be together, then everything will be fine. He still believes that, even after this colossal betrayal of Olivia releasing her father [from prison]. The man who murdered Fitz’s son has now been saved by the woman he loves, and I wasn’t sure, when Fitz finds that out, if he could get over it, but the way Fitz has chosen to do it is see Olivia — and this is paternalistic of him — as a victim of her father, which I think to a degree is true. He sees Rowan as this grand manipulator, and he once again manipulated Oliva into doing his bidding, so Fitz decides, “I can do one of two things. I can renounce her, and reject her, and cut her off, or I can embrace her, and take care of her, and protect her, and enforce my will versus Rowan’s will, which is I’m going to create an environment where we can incubate this relationship, and we can be together. I’m done with this equivocating of back and forth, and I’m going to fix it. I’m going to handle it. I’m going to make it right.” It’s extreme and I think ill-advised of Fitz, because putting Olivia in a box is not generally the wisest course. [Laughs]

TVLINE | It’s like trying to get a cat into a travel carrier, you know?
It is, a bit, but he’s desperate. He’s desperate after that, and hopefully he can bring her around, hoping that she will understand where he’s coming from and he can protect her. That’s really what he’s trying to do.

TVLINE | Sometimes I feel like he almost wants to shout, “I’m all in — now push your own chips into the middle of the table.” She keeps saying, “I chose you,” but Fitz took a hit on this. This wasn’t easy for him, either.
That’s exactly right. And that’s what he can’t comprehend with Olivia. He doesn’t get it. And maybe he’s sick, but I think he’s just in love and obsessed with her. He doesn’t understand how he can be so “all in,” and she can say she’s “all in” but then she pulls back. Like Abby said to him earlier this season, “How many times does she have to tell you she doesn’t want this before you’re going to start listening?” And he just can’t hear it.

TVLINE | Do you feel thatScandal Fall Finale Preview in the Fitz-Mellie breakup, enough moments of pathos were played?
In what sense do you mean?

TVLINE | Well, the sadness of the final dissolution of their marriage. I know it was touched on in some scenes — they would talk the way that people whose marriage was ending would talk — but then it would get offset by someone’s outburst or something.
Well, right now, no. Right now, it’s very toxic. I think that we had a couple of moments of that, like you said — like where Fitz reached out to Mellie on the balcony when they were discussing whether they’re going to do the Noah Baker interview or not, and he said, “Look, you are going to be the President of the United States, and I believed in you,” and he’s trying to speak to the partnership they’ve had that is enduring and all that, but then Cyrus gets in her ear and she balks at that. And then later on, when Teddy was playing behind the curtains and she says, “I don’t want to do that,” and he says, “Well, OK,” and they seem to be coming to terms…. But as often happens in broken relationships, particularly with a scorned partner, those wounds just don’t stop bleeding, and Mellie… she’s not having it. There’s that’s a huge scene when we were trying to sign the divorce papers that devolved into this ugly fight, and Mellie voting for the impeachment…. There’s just too much right now, there’s so much poison between them.

TVLINE | Well, that’s how it is in real life for people who live in houses that aren’t white. I’ve been there myself.
Yeah, I think it is. I think it’s pretty realistic, honestly, as outrageous and operatic as it is. And that’s what Shonda does so well, finding the emotional reality even in these super-extreme, heightened circumstances.

TVLINE | They’ve given you someScandal Fall Finale Preview new people to bounce off of the past season-and-a-half — Darby [Stanchfield] and Portia [de Rossi], and even Artemis [Pebdani]. What do you enjoy about those distinct relationships?
It’s wonderful. Bringing Abby into the White House just gave a whole new texture to that world. It was always frustrating for me as an actor that I never got to work with the people in Olivia’s orbit, except when I was directing, and it’s fun to see how Abby’s character has evolved and changed. She and Fitz have a really interesting relationship. Similarly, with Portia. And then bringing in Artemis…. These wonderful actors come in and their characters bring new blood into this White House, which could be very insular. I mean, Artemis is just hilarious and yet Susan Ross also brings a kind of moral clarity to this weird dysfunctional world. In fact, she and Abby, I would say, are the only two characters in the entire show who have moral clarity. They’re the only ones in the whole series whose hands aren’t dirty. Everyone else, all the rest of us, are dirty in different ways. It’s amazing Abby’s never gone off the rails ethically.

TVLINE | What sort of drama can you tease for this week’s fall finale?
I really can’t tease anything, because I don’t want to spoil it for anybody, but you will have a deeper understanding of what the consequences of Fitz’s choice are, good or bad. Things really escalate. And a lot of the threads that have been followed these past nine episodes are all going to come to a screaming head.

TVLINE | Is there any cliffhanger to speak of taking us into the winter?
Well, it is Shonda Rhimes, so there’s a good chance of that!

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 are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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28 Comments
  1. herman1959 says:

    Last week, it was clear that Fitz’s head exploded when he found out that Liv had her father released, and that is why he lost it and moved Olivia in to the WH. But, I don’t believe that he knows that Mellie actually signed the release papers – that’s the ticking bomb – LIV CONSPIRED WITH MELLIE! This should be good.

    • Kristen says:

      See, that’s why I was disappointed about not getting to hear what Olivia told Fitz when she was being held. I wanted to know if she told Fitz the whole truth, or if she left Mellie out of her confession. Olivia was the one who approached Mellie with the idea, but Mellie is the one who executed the plan and made it a reality. I’m interested to see how Fitz reacts when he finds out Mellie was the one who released Rowan.

    • Frisiandane says:

      I agree Herman….it was never clear if Mellie’s involvement was revealed, though I thought the silent movie scene to be terrifically performed. I won’t get to see the episode in Rotterdam until it is available tomorrow, but I can’t wait.

  2. Whatevah says:

    I just love Tony Goldwyn. I always have. Even when he was the bad guy in Ghost.

    • herman1959 says:

      Me too; it’s been a long time since we’ve had an interview from him.

    • D says:

      He’s a bad guy on Scandal, everyone on the show is a bad guy

      • Cena Gomez says:

        Hmmm, Fitz is a good guy on Scandal. He gets a bad rep from some fans, but Fitz tries to do the right thing and it usually blows up in his face. Fitz isn’t considered a bad guy. Rowan and Huck are the bad guys. All of the characters have done bad things.

        • D says:

          Liv committed a coup
          Fitz committed mass murder and treason when he invaded that country when Liv was a hostage
          not sure that puts them in the good guy column

          • Cena Gomez says:

            If you are going to discuss the show, please stick to the facts. Fitz didn’t committ “mass Murder”. Do you know the meaning of mass murder? As stated, all of the characters have done bad things on the show. Why single Fitz out? Huck and Jake are trained killers. Quinn has killed. Everybody has killed but Abby. Mellie has indirectly killed others. Scandal is definitely not for the pure at heart.

        • Larc says:

          Sure, good guys murder Supreme Court justices all the time. They also cheat on their wives regularly.

          • Whatevah says:

            To be fair the Supreme Court Justice was sketchy and literally dying anyway. And his wife cheated on him too, with a really, really bad guy. So…

          • Cena Gomez says:

            Characters with flaws. Learn the difference. Please kill the noise about Verna’s death? Verna paid someone to put 3 bullets into Fitz and yes, the old hag was dying and was about to rat out Olivia, Mellie, Cyrus, and Hollis. Verna is one death that was justified on this show and cheating? Name one prime time drama that doesn’t involve cheating? This is Scandal, not Mr. Rodgers Neighborhood.

      • Fitzy says:

        Tony is an awesome guy. Stop hating

      • Frisiandane says:

        Fitz is not written as a bad guy. You might need to go back to S1. Like with most dramas, good characters on Scandal are often put in situations where they find themselves engaging in behaviour that they never thought they would…hence the title, SCANDAL.

        • Frisiandane says:

          As for SC justice Verna… don’t forget to mention he off’d her AFTER the old bat revealed she was the person that contracted out to assassinate him….where he almost died after being shot in the head! Kind of takes on a different meaning without mentioning that!

        • Cena Gomez says:

          Exactly! Rowan, Hollis, and Billy Chambers were the bad guys of Scandal. Guys like Fitz and even Jake and Huck aren’t considered bad guys. Just men with flaws.

  3. Cena Gomez says:

    Great interview. I like Fitz a lot. He’s one of the most caring, loving, and complex character on the show. Great to see Fitz gets some love in an interview. Tony Goldwyn does the best interviews in all the cast. He thinks like a fan. Yes, Olivia and Fitz should have been together years ago. But Shonda dragged out four seasons.

  4. deenabraun says:

    Interviews like this with Tony Goldwyn is why fans LOVE him. He’s so dedicated to his character no matter what other directions writers try to take him in. I would say vast majority of fans watch Scandal only for him. Fantastic actor, fantastic kind, caring, humble, handsome man.

  5. Brian says:

    Tony Goldwyn slays at interviews. He gets what it is fans want to see. And after reading his interviews I always come away understanding Fitz’s reasons and motivations for some of his actions. I just wish the writers would do more right by his character. It really does seem like out of all the cast members, it’s his character that gets thrown under the bus the most.

    • deenabraun says:

      In Fitz (TG) you have without doubt a beloved, talented actor fans adore, why would writers undermine themselves not making use of that diamond of a find for a leading man? It’s unbelievably short-sighted and incomprehensible. So much for genius writing SR.

  6. carmen says:

    Love Tony…He plays Fitz brilliantly