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
More:ABC Renews 'Scandal,' 'Nashville,' and MoreKerry Washington Dishes On Her 'Scandal' Costar's Kissing SkillsKerry Washington On How to Avoid a 'Scandal' Like a Pro
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The Haunted Mansion and Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat dominated the Thanksgiving box office with Eddie Murphy's Disneyland attraction flick placing first for the five day holiday period and Mike Myers' wacky feline topping the three day chart.
The Haunted Mansion enjoyed the biggest five day (Wed.-Sun.) slice of box office pie with $35 million* versus The Cat in the Hat's $34 million take. For three days (Fri.- Sun.), The Cat in the Hat led with $25.5 million versus The Haunted Mansion $25.3 million.
Of the four new wide releases vying for the North American box office, The Haunted Mansion was the only one to crack the Top Five, with last week's topper The Cat in the Hat giving it a run for its money, despite taking a critical beating.
"[Family films] are sometimes put up against a much more critical standard than they should be," Disney head of distribution, Chuck Viane, told The Associated Press Sunday. "You have people who want everything to be so artistic. That's not what family movies are about. They're about enjoyment and laughter and having fun."
Family entertainment was certainly the thing to beat this weekend. The holiday comedy Elf remained in third place in its third week of release, taking in a not-so-elfish $31.8 million. Elf's weekend take was enough to push it by the $100 million mark, making it the 24th release of the year to do so. This ties 2002's record of 24 films.
Gothika, meanwhile, came in fourth with $18.2 million, and Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World rounded out the Top Five with $17.5 million.
Thanksgiving's three other wide theatrical openings were turkeys compared to Mansion--Bad Santa brought in only $16.8 million, The Missing made $16.5 million and Timeline took $12.6 million. The films came in sixth, seventh and eighth respectively.
Key films grossed $209.5 million for five days, up about 8.6 percent from last Thanksgiving (Nov. 27 to Dec. 1, 2002) when key films did $192.9 million. The year 2000 still holds the overall Thanksgiving record with $232.16 million for the Top 12's five-day period, but if this week's estimates hold, this year's five-day posts will be the second all-time best.
THE TOP TEN
(NOTE: Today's films are ranked according to their estimates for the FIVE-DAY Thanksgiving holiday period from Wednesday through Sunday. Percentage variations do not apply because the previous weekend was a normal three-day weekend. Estimates for the three-day period from Friday through Sunday are indicated parenthetically.)
Buena Vista's PG rated horror comedy The Haunted Mansion led the five-day box office in its opening week with an ESTIMATED $35 million at 3,122 theaters, with a strong $8,104 per theater average. (Its ESTIMATED gross for three days is $25.3 million.)
In the film, a real estate agent moves his family into a mansion located on a remote bayou with the hopes of refurbishing it and making the deal of a lifetime--until he unearths the house's history and finds that his wife has unexpected connections to its haunted past.
Directed by David Berenbaum, it stars Eddie Murphy, Terence Stamp, Nathaniel Parker, Marsha Thomason and Jennifer Tilly.
Universal Pictures' PG rated Dr. Seuss' Cat in the Hat, last week's box office champ, followed in close second in its second week with an ESTIMATED $34 million at 3,467 theaters (+3 theaters, $7,130 per theater). Its cume is approximately $77 million. (Its ESTIMATED gross for three days is $25.5 million.)
Directed by Bo Welch, it stars Mike Myers, Dakota Fanning, Spencer Breslin, Kelly Preston, Alec Baldwin and Sean Hayes.
New Line Cinema's PG rated holiday comedy Elf remained in third place in its fourth week with an ESTIMATED $31.8 million at 3,202 theaters (-179 theaters; $6,925 per theater). Its cume is approximately $130.1 million. (Its ESTIMATED gross for three days is $22.1 million.)
Directed by Jon Favreau, it stars Will Ferrell, James Caan, Bob Newhart, Ed Asner, Zooey Deschanel and Mary Steenburgen.
Warner Bros.' R rated horror thriller Gothika fell two notches to fourth place in its second week with an ESTIMATED $18.2 million at 2,382 theaters (unchanged; $5,336 per theater). Its cume is approximately 41.1 million. (Its ESTIMATED gross for three days is $12.7 million.)
Directed by Mathieu Kassovitz, it stars Halle Berry, Robert Downey Jr., Penelope Cruz and Bernard Hill.
Twentieth Century Fox's PG-13 rated naval epic Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World dropped one place to round out the Top Five in its third week with an ESTIMATED $17.5 million at 2,703 theaters (-398 theaters; $4,698 per theater). Its cume is approximately $67.4 million. (Its ESTIMATED gross for three days is $12.7 million.)
Directed by Peter Weir, it stars Russell Crowe and Paul Bettany.
*Box office estimates provided by Exhibitor Relations, Inc.
Miramax Films' R rated holiday comedy Bad Santa kicked off rather politely in sixth place with an ESTIMATED $16.8 million at 2,005 theaters ($6,227 per theater). (Its ESTIMATED gross for three days is $12.4 million.)
In the film, two conmen disguised as Santa and his elf go on a road trip to rob malls during the holiday season.
Directed by Terry Zwigoff, it stars Billy Bob Thornton, Bernie Mac, Tony Cox and John Ritter.
Sony Pictures' R rates Western The Missing debuted in seventh place with an ESTIMATED $16.5 million at 2,765 theaters ($4,245 per theater). (Its ESTIMATED gross for three days is $11.7 million.)
In the film, a young medicine woman raising her two daughters in an isolated area of New Mexico in the 1880s must reunite with her estranged father when one of her children is abducted.
Directed by Ron Howard, it stars Cate Blanchett, Tommy Lee Jones, Jenna Boyd and Eric Schweig.
Paramount Pictures' PG-13 rated thriller Timeline opened in eighth place with an ESTIMATED $12.6 million at 2,787 theaters ($3,041 per theater). (Its ESTIMATED gross for three days is $8.4 million.)
In the film, based on Michael Crichton's 1999 bestseller, a group of archeologists travel to and get trapped in 14th-century France.
Directed by Richard Donner, it stars Paul Walker, Gerard Butler, Billy Connolly and Frances O'Connor.
Universal Pictures' R rated romantic comedy Love Actually dropped four positions to ninth in its fourth week with an ESTIMATED $11.2 million in 1,714 theaters (+24 theaters; $4,597 per theater). Its cume is approximately $43.2 million. (Its ESTIMATED gross for three days is $7.8 million.)
Directed and written by Richard Curtis, it stars Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Liam Neeson, Laura Linney, Colin Firth, Keira Knightley and Bill Nighy.
Buena Vista's G rated animated film Brother Bear slipped three spots to No. 10 in its sixth week with an ESTIMATED $6.4 million in 2,034 theaters (-851; $2,409 per theater). Its cume is approximately $77.7 million. (Its ESTIMATED gross for three days is $4.9 million.)
Directed by Aaron Blaise and Bob Walker, it features the voices of Joaquin Phoenix, Jeremy Suarez, D.B. Sweeney and Michael Clarke Duncan.
As the major studios begin generating their pre-Academy Award buzz, several Oscar-bait films debuted this weekend in limited release.
Fox Searchlight's PG-13 rated drama In America debuted in 11 theaters with an ESTIMATED $257,853 ($18,430 per theater average. (Its ESTIMATED gross for three days is $202,729.)
Directed by Jim Sheridan, it stars Samantha Morton, Paddy Considine, Djimon Hounsou, Sarah Bolger and Emma Bolger.
Lions Gate's R rated black comedy The Cooler opened in 11 theaters with an ESTIMATED $173,000 ($11,909 per theater). (Its ESTIMATED gross for three days is $131,000.)
Dirceted by Wayne Kramer, it stars William H. Macy, Alec Baldwin and Maria Elana Bello.
Sony Picture Classics' PG-13 rated animated feature Triplets of Belleville (Les Triplette de Belleville) opened in six theaters with $150,371 ($19,106 per theater). Its ESTIMATED gross for three days is $114,636.)
Directed by Sylvain Chomet, it features the voices of Jean-Claude Donda, Michel Robin, Monica Viegas and Michèle Caucheteux.
Key films--those grossing more than $500,000--took in an ESTIMATED $209.5 million for the five day Thanksgiving holiday period, up about 8.6 percent from last year's five day Thanksgiving weekend when they totaled $195.9 million. Comparisons to last weekend of this year are not valid because last weekend was a normal three-day weekend.
A series about a fictitious comedy team whose antics, reminiscent of Abbott and Costello and Laurel and Hardy, are captured in black-and-white two reelers. Rob Reiner hosts the series and introduces each "film" short.