Have you caught your breath yet? The Scandal season finale was one crazy ride, with so many twists and turns packed into one hour-long episode that even the stars were left shocked when they first learned what was going down. "By the end of the table read, we were all shaking and breathless. I was shaken up by that experience," Tony Goldwyn, who plays President Fitzgerald Grant, tells Hollywood.com. "The biggest surprise to me was the ending."
That shocking moment Goldwyn is referring to is the big reveal that Rowan (Joe Morton), the head of B6-13, is actually Olivia Pope’s (Kerry Washington) father! "I think you’ll need these two months hiatus to catch your breath and recover from that reveal," Goldwyn says. Yeah, we couldn’t agree more!
But was the reveal too out of the blue? Washington doesn't think so. "I really trust these writers. Every time I have an idea, they come up with something so much better," Washington says.
The big reveal occurred after Olivia was ambushed by the press, since it looks like her name was leaked as being the mysterious mistress of President Grant (but leaked by whom?). Olivia was pulled into a limo with Rowan, and upon seeing his face, merely called out, "Dad?" Now that raises so many more questions about why Rowan wanted Jake (Scott Foley) to kill Olivia. "Hold on to your seats," Morton says. "It’s nice being the guy in the shadow for once. I knew who he was going into the role. That’s the fun part, knowing where you’re going but you can’t play it."
While we’ll have to wait all summer before Scandal returns to find out more about Olivia’s dad, Morton did shed some light on his character. "He’s more or less a bad character," Morton says. "I haven’t had the opportunity to play many villains so this is the closest I’ve gotten to it so far."
Speaking of the return of Scandal, thank the white hats there is a Season 3 or else that cliffhanger would be one difficult pill to swallow. "It’s wonderful that we have another season," Scandal creator Shonda Rhimes says. "I’ve actually known for a while, but to have it official was so exciting." Her advice for waiting out the summer? "Hug a friend," Rhimes says. "I think that people will enjoy it. I hope that they enjoy it!"
Something the fans won’t enjoy? The unknown fate of B6-13 assassin Jake. After saving Olivia’s life – again – Rowan threw him in the hole for disobeying orders to kill her. Is Rowan trying to make Jake forget Olivia like Huck forgot his wife and child? "If I could tell you, I would. If I knew, I would," Foley tells Hollywood.com. "His feelings for Olivia, whether or not they continue past this episode is something I can’t tell you."
While Foley couldn’t dish on how the hole will affect Jake, he did have a lot to say about the shocking return of Billy Chambers (Matt Letscher). "No one saw that coming. Billy Chambers was supposed to have been killed in the last episode of the first season," Foley says. But as we found out in the finale, Billy talked his way out of his assassination only to come back with a vengeance: to take down the President. "When Matt walked into the room at that table read, everyone went, ‘Oh my god!’ We were all just blown away."
Letscher was also shocked that his character was returning… since he also thought he was dead! "Knowing Shonda and how she works, I kept thinking that he could be brought back because we never saw him die. You see everybody else die but not him. And lo and behold, it ended up being the truth,"Letscher says.
The return of Billy Chambers, while shocking, also caused some issues for the Gladiators as he was trying to use the Defiance secret to bring down the President. But he was foiled by David Rosen (Joshua Malina), and the truth came out that Billy was the mole, and responsible for many unsolved murders. "To play a prominent role in the way that things unfolded in the finale, it was really fun," Letscher says.
After last week’s reveal that David Rosen was the one working with Billy, many fans thought David was betraying the Gladiators. It turns out, he was actually manipulating Billy into confessing all his crimes while David wore a wire. He exposed Billy as the mole and earned himself a new job: the US Attorney for DC. "I was so delighted. I found out a day before we started shooting it," Malina tells Hollywood.com. "I had a feeling for a long time, but as much as it looked like he was going one way, Shonda likes to get you off balance. So it felt like something was coming but I could never get ahead of her and guess what it was."
David had been planning his move for a long time, ever since he started sleeping on the couch at Olivia Pope and Associates. Every night, he would try hundreds and hundreds of combinations on Olivia’s safe to try and get the Cytron card to fake out Billy. Now that’s some serious dedication! "You were questioning his motivation for a while, like, ‘What a loser.’ He’s literally hanging out on the couch and eating the cereal of the people who have ruined him," Malina says. "I like that he’s got a little more fire to him than people were giving him credit for."
So what does this mean for David and Abby (Darby Stanchfield), if David didn’t actually betray the Gladiators? "I love this relationship that Shonda has created. It continues to be unpredictable, it’s not really conventional, and it’s a little strange in how they connect," Stanchfield tells Hollywood.com. "Abby hasn’t really known a good guy in her life so maybe doesn’t know what a healthy relationship looks like, so when she tries to sort it out she slaps him in the face, sticks her fingers in his mouth and calls that love."
We don’t have just Abby and David questions. We also have Olivia and Rowan questions, Olivia and Jake questions, Olivia and Fitz questions, Fitz and Mellie questions, Huck and Quinn questions, Cyrus and James questions, Rowan and Jake questions, Fitz and Jake questions: questions, questions everywhere and not a Scandal to drink. At least not until Season 3!
Follow Sydney on Twitter: @SydneyBucksbaum
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The first and most important thing you should know about Paramount Pictures’ Thor is that it’s not a laughably corny comic book adaptation. Though you might find it hokey to hear a bunch of muscled heroes talk like British royalty while walking around the American Southwest in LARP garb director Kenneth Branagh has condensed vast Marvel mythology to make an accessible straightforward fantasy epic. Like most films of its ilk I’ve got some issues with its internal logic aesthetic and dialogue but the flaws didn’t keep me from having fun with this extra dimensional adventure.
Taking notes from fellow Avenger Iron Man the story begins with an enthralling event that takes place in a remote desert but quickly jumps back in time to tell the prologue which introduces the audience to the shining kingdom of Asgard and its various champions. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) son of Odin is heir to the throne but is an arrogant overeager and ill-tempered rogue whose aggressive antics threaten a shaky truce between his people and the frost giants of Jotunheim one of the universe’s many realms. Odin (played with aristocratic boldness by Anthony Hopkins) enraged by his son’s blatant disregard of his orders to forgo an assault on their enemies after they attempt to reclaim a powerful artifact banishes the boy to a life among the mortals of Earth leaving Asgard defenseless against the treachery of Loki his mischievous “other son” who’s always felt inferior to Thor. Powerless and confused the disgraced Prince finds unlikely allies in a trio of scientists (Natalie Portman Stellan Skarsgard and Kat Dennings) who help him reclaim his former glory and defend our world from total destruction.
Individually the make-up visual effects CGI production design and art direction are all wondrous to behold but when fused together to create larger-than-life set pieces and action sequences the collaborative result is often unharmonious. I’m not knocking the 3D presentation; unlike 2010’s genre counterpart Clash of the Titans the filmmakers had plenty of time to perfect the third dimension and there are only a few moments that make the decision to convert look like it was a bad one. It’s the unavoidable overload of visual trickery that’s to blame for the frost giants’ icy weaponized constructs and other hybrids of the production looking noticeably artificial. Though there’s some imagery to nitpick the same can’t be said of Thor’s thunderous sound design which is amped with enough wattage to power The Avengers’ headquarters for a century.
Chock full of nods to the comics the screenplay is both a strength and weakness for the film. The story is well sequenced giving the audience enough time between action scenes to grasp the characters motivations and the plot but there are tangential narrative threads that disrupt the focus of the film. Chief amongst them is the frost giants’ fore mentioned relic which is given lots of attention in the first act but has little effect on the outcome. In addition I felt that S.H.I.E.L.D. was nearly irrelevant this time around; other than introducing Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye the secret security faction just gets in the way of the movie’s momentum.
While most of the comedy crashes and burns there are a few laughs to be found in the film. Most come from star Hemsworth’s charismatic portrayal of the God of Thunder. He plays up the stranger-in-a-strange-land aspect of the story with his cavalier but charming attitude and by breaking all rules of diner etiquette in a particularly funny scene with the scientists whose respective roles as love interest (Portman) friendly father figure (Skarsgaard) and POV character (Dennings) are ripped right out of a screenwriters handbook.
Though he handles the humorous moments without a problem Hemsworth struggles with some of the more dramatic scenes in the movie; the result of over-acting and too much time spent on the Australian soap opera Home and Away. Luckily he’s surrounded by a stellar supporting cast that fills the void. Most impressive is Tom Hiddleston who gives a truly humanistic performance as the jealous Loki. His arc steeped in Shakespearean tragedy (like Thor’s) drums up genuine sympathy that one rarely has for a comic book movie villain.
My grievances with the technical aspects of the production aside Branagh has succeeded in further exploring the Marvel Universe with a film that works both as a standalone superhero flick and as the next chapter in the story of The Avengers. Thor is very much a comic book film and doesn’t hide from the reputation that its predecessors have given the sub-genre or the tropes that define it. Balanced pretty evenly between “serious” and “silly ” its scope is large enough to please fans well versed in the source material but its tone is light enough to make it a mainstream hit.