Post Mortems
Scandal Recap

Scandal's Joe Morton Reacts to Mellie's VP Pick, Rowan's Face-Off With Fitz

Regardless of how you choose to address him — Eli, Rowan, Papa Pope — one thing is becoming abundantly clear about Joe Morton‘s character on Scandal: He has completely run out of F’s to give.

While Olivia & Co. were busy scrambling to thwart the Shadowy Organization™ on Thursday’s episode, Rowan went in on Washington’s (alleged) elite, letting them each now just how useless they are in times of crisis — including his own daughter, whom he equated to a “stripper,” before calling Fitz out about how he “should know all about that from [his] daddy.” (Yikes! Can we not mention Big Jerry ever again please?)

#TeamWhiteHat eventually proved itself to be more resourceful than Rowan anticipated, using a fake drone strike to quarantine Ruland long enough for Mellie to name a new vice president: Frankie’s wife, Luna Vargas! But even though Ruland is in federal custody, Peus remains very much at large, as you can see from this uncomfortable stand-off at OPA headquarters:

Other highlights from the episode included: Olivia being named Mellie’s chief of staff, Cyrus trying (and failing) to kill Rowan in the White House wine cellar, Marcus giving Mellie a heartfelt pep talk, and Quinn reassuring Charlie that he doesn’t need to view Huck as a threat to their engagement. (Yeah, right.)

Below, Morton talks to TVLine about some of the episode’s biggest moments:

On Rowan’s latest near-death experience: “It’s all about his resourcefulness and his ability to be ahead of the curve in many cases. In the wine cellar with Cyrus, he went into it with a certain amount of suspicion. He just told this man he shot Frankie Vargas, so he literally had to watch his back. It didn’t surprise me that Cyrus would try to kill Rowan at this point.”

On Rowan’s feud with Fitz (and that kiss): “These are two men who don’t like each other, so clearly Fitz wanted to do something that was going to irritate Rowan — which he did by kissing his daughter in front of him. Fitz always tries to put him in a position where Rowan is ‘handcuffed’ or ‘caged’ in order to make Rowan feel smaller, but it never seems to work out that way.”

On Rowan calling Olivia a “stripper”: She will always be the treasure of his life, the thing he will spend every ounce of his strength protecting. But that doesn’t mean he has to abide by or agree with her behavior, especially where it has to do with Fitz. He thinks Fitz is weak and cheap and spoiled, and he thinks that being with Fitz isn’t a smart thing to do on any number of levels. That doesn’t mean he loves her any less.

On Rowan’s epic dressing down of… everyone: “He’s willing to put his life on the line, because that’s what his life has always been. So to dress these people down — these politicians who, other than Jake, have never put their lives on the line on purpose — is his way of calling them all a–holes and letting them know that they talk a great talk, but aren’t actually doing anything.”

On Rowan’s future in the White House: “I can’t imagine that Rowan would want to spend any time at the White House, so Olivia being Chief of Staff to Mellie doesn’t change that.”

On Mellie’s pick for VP: “There are a lot of great things about it. For one thing, we’re saying it is possible to have two women run the country. Also, Luna seems to be someone who upholds all of Frankie’s positions and desires, so from the outside, it looks like a great choice.”

On the future of the Shadowy Organization™: “For all intents and purposes, they’re that one thing we wish never happens in our government, which is that someone actually gets into the White House who does not have our best interest at heart. The Theodore Peus character is, I imagine, what Steve Bannon is like in real life. It’s somebody inside the White House whose point of view is not necessarily one that’s out to make it a better country so much as fulfilling an ideal.”

Your thoughts on this week’s Scandal? Hopes for the rest of Season 6? Drop ’em in a comment below.