This undated publicity photo released by ABC shows Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope in a scene from the season finale, “White Hat’s Back On,” from ABC Television Network’s show, “Scandal,” aired Thursday, May 16. (AP Photo/ABC, Richard Cartwright)
by Michael Cidoni Lennox
AP Entertainment Writer
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Forget the DVR.
Not this time. Not after this long of a wait.
Millions of fans actually watched the season-two finale of the ABC drama “Scandal” the old-fashioned way: on a TV screen, as it was fed from the network to their local affiliates.
But a crowd of approximately 700 at the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in North Hollywood experienced this “Scandal” episode differently Thursday night.
The audience, comprised primarily of Emmy voters and their guests, got a live performance by the majority of the show’s cast members. Star Kerry Washington and company sat in chairs on the Academy stage facing the audience, and recreated the episode’s so-called “table read.” They delivered dialogue and stage directions directly from the finale’s script.
“Scandal” spins around crisis manager Olivia Pope (played by Washington), a political fixer who could use some fixing herself.
On the arrivals line, Washington said that this reading wasn’t all that different from those the “Scandal” cast and crew does for each episode.
“It’s such a great opportunity, because we all enjoy working together so much, we’re like a theater company,” added the actress, who, like many of the “Scandal” principals, has logged considerable time on the stage.
If you have not seen the “Scandal” season-two finale, read on at your own risk. The following details what Washington called the “jaw-dropping” last scene of the episode.
Done, apparently once and for all, with her long on-again off-again affair with U.S. President Fitzgerald “Fitz” Thomas Grant III (Tony Goldwyn), Olivia is ready to start life anew. As she opens the door to begin her morning jog, Olivia is greeted by a swarm of reporters, asking variations of, “Are you the president’s mistress?” A dazed Olivia is briskly escorted into a limousine, where she’s greeted by the mysterious Rowan (Joe Morton).
“Hello, Olivia,” he says.
“Dad?” she responds.
End scene and episode.
Recalled Washington, “When I saw it (the word “Dad”), I didn’t even know how to make it come out of my mouth. It was such brand-new information for me,” she continued. “We haven’t had any knowledge of Olivia’s personal life outside of the White House.”
“Scandal,” last week’s highest-rated TV drama in TV marketers’ coveted 18-49 demographic, was recently renewed for a third season, and is expected to return with new episodes in September.
In a post-performance conversation with the audience, show creator Shonda Rhimes gave up few answers about the fates of her “Scandal” characters.
“I think there are a lot of questions,” Washington said. “What’s happening with Jake (Scott Foley)? What’s going on with Olivia and her family? What’s going on with the first couple in the White House? I mean, there’s just tons and tons of questions this year.”
It seems only one thing’s for sure. For “Scandal” fans, it’s going to be a long summer.
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