Right smack in the middle of its third season, ABC’s political drama SCANDAL took a deeper look into the murky spy world that Olivia Pope’s father runs. B13 is not just creating, trapping, blackmailing and coercing people into doing its dirty work, it also keeps them locked up for decades if it suits their purposes. Watching Olivia’s mother Maya working with OPA to find the perfect escape out of the country was trepidatious and stomach-churching. But for long-time fans, the real story was what was going on with Huck (Guillermo Diaz) and Quinn (Katie Lowes).
With Huck discovering that Quinn was working with B13, he was not about to go easy on her to find out what she knew and what she was doing that could hurt those he loves. Not for one second did we ever believe that Huck could truly hurt Quinn, but within just a few minutes of the episode opening, we knew that presumption was wrong. Two teeth later, blood on the floor and Quinn a sobbing, terrified mess, our worlds were shattered. In the SCANDAL-world, this simply should not be happening. Even Charlie (George Newbern) was flabbergasted to find Quinn tied up, naked, and bleeding all from Huck’s hands. That episode was a turning point. We would never look at Huckleberry Quinn the same again. They were no longer mentor-mentee, BFF’s or even co-workers. A line had been crossed and trust and hearts everywhere was shattered.
In an exclusive interview, co-stars Katie Lowes and Guillermo Diaz recounted filming that arduous torture scene and what lies ahead for Huck and Quinn in the aftermath.
Revisiting last week’s really incredibly emotional episode “Yolo,” maybe you could talk about what it was like to actually film those intense scenes together.
GUILLERMO: It was crazy. It was incredibly exciting, but very strange at the same time. We both feel very close to each other as people, so I think it made shooting those scenes a lot easier. I was really up close and I was straddling Katie at one point during those scenes.
KATIE: Oh my god, that’s right. I forgot about that.
GUILLERMO: And we both just really went for it and felt really comfortable with each other. We just jumped in and did our best and I think it showed.
KATIE: It was like one day where we shot all the scenes on Halloween. I think Guillermo and I felt like a mix of being nervous and scared that we had to go to these really dark places, and at the same time, excited and honored and exhilarated that we had the opportunity because of Shonda [Rhimes] and the writers that we get to go to these dark places. It’s always like a mixed bag. But we trust each other so much and I knew that Guillermo doesn’t act without bringing his A-game. That’s just who he is. So I thought I’d better bring my sh*t. I’d better bring my stuff. I think we going at 150% from the first take on, and in between each take, Guillermo’s like, “Are you okay? Are you okay?” And I’m like, “I’m fine. I’m fine. Let’s go again.” It was just so magical. We had just the utmost respect from the director Oliver Bokelberg and the whole crew — the camera department especially. These guys were so up close and personal with the cameras and I’m lying there naked and sweating, and Guillermo’s licking my face and there’s tears everywhere. So we were just in a mixture of tears and blood and it’s all these guys going through this journey with us. I think we ended that day closer than when we started.
It was powerful to watch, but we were perhaps more shocked that the show was willing to go there with two beloved characters.
KATIE: And how great is that?! When we first read the episode, I was like, “Oh my god. They are going there. They are not afraid. They are going there.” I think that in itself is such a testament to the success that is SCANDAL. They are just not afraid. They will go wherever they want to go. It’s so remarkable to be a part of.
At this point are Quinn and Huck friends, frenemies, or are they at the all out war stage?
GUILLERMO: They are definitely not friends right now. I think it is going to be interesting to see how Shonda plays this relationship out. We can tease that in the next episode, the winter finale, there’s a scene between Huck and Quinn and you’re kind of going to see where both their heads are at and get a feel for how they feel for each other. But there’s certainly a disconnect between them now for sure.
It seems like they may be tentatively working together to bring down Papa Pope (Joe Morton). Is that more than we should be reading into it, or is that possibly a big plan that they have in the works?
KATIE: I think that’s intentional, that you can be thinking that is a possibility. But, of course, in Shonda-land nothing is like what it seems. But in the winter finale you will be seeing where Quinn’s loyalty lies, who she is working for, and also Huck too. You’ll see who he is going after as well. And that will all play out and be a big part of that episode.
Quinn and Huck seems so fragmented and damaged right now. Is there hope for both their sanity, or will they spiral out more?
GUILLERMO: (Laughs) I have a feeling you’re going to see them spiral out more.
KATIE: Me too! Especially now that we’re going to do eight episodes [for the rest of the season]. You just know that they are going to be jam-packed and like balls-to-the-wall.
Are we going to see either of them pursue therapy of any kind?
GUILLERMO: We have no idea. We don’t get any advance notice as to what’s happening in the upcoming episodes. We honestly don’t even know. I would hope they would get some kind of therapy, but I doubt that’s going to happen.
Could you see either one of them in a therapist’s chair or would they find a more aggressive way to get through their problems?
GUILLERMO: I don’t think I could see Huck in a therapist’s chair.
KATIE: Not Quinn either. The closest we’ve got to therapy is AA [Alcoholics Anonymous].
GUILLERMO: Exactly! And watching random families.
KATIE: (Laughs) Stalking families.
So who is going to be their emotional touch-stones at this point. They kind of had each other, but now they don’t seem to. Who are they going to turn to for that kind of emotional support?
GUILLERMO: For Huck, I think Huck always turns to Olivia (Kerry Washington). So I think he’s going to return to Olivia with his head kind of bowed down. Like when a dog does something really bad that he shouldn’t of done, he kind of gives you those puppy-dog eyes and keeps his head really low like, “I’m really sorry I did that.” I think that’s how he’s going to be with Olivia.
KATIE: And I think Quinn will look to Charlie (George Newbern).
Is Quinn actually going to trust Charlie?
KATIE: Who knows. I mean, “Who is trustworthy?” Everyone in this world that Shonda created is both evil and good. But I do definitely think there was a turning point in the episode last week when Quinn says, “Huck is the only person I had and he hurt me” and Charlie says, “No, you have me.” I don’t know, but I don’t think Quinn has any other options at the moment.
So where does Jake (Scott Foley) fit in all this? He’s kind of tied to both Quinn and Huck because they are in the B13 world. Does he want to side with either one or is he going to look at the both of them and go, “What did you both do?!”
KATIE: It’s a really good question!
GUILLERMO: It is. I think Jake wants Huck and Quinn to get along. I don’t think at this point he knows to the extent that Huck went with Quinn. So I don’t know. I think that might change his mind a little bit. He might frown on Huck torturing Quinn. I would hope. But who knows. He’s got so much stuff going on himself. He’s pretty into Olivia and he knows Olivia is in love with the President. So he’s got his own things going on.
KATIE: He’s got his own baggage.
So no one’s going to notice that there’s a big problem going on between Quinn and Huck? They are just going to go about their work as usual?
KATIE: No. Nothing like that. But, again, you’ll see in the episode this week how the torture scene ripples through Olivia Pope & Associates. Who feels the effects and how doesn’t and what they do with it.
With Mama Pope (Khandi Alexander) on the loose, it looks like we’re going to go on the hunt for Mama Pope. Are Quinn and Huck going to be temporarily aligned to go in search of her?
GUILLERMO: We have no idea.
KATIE: We’ve only shot one episode ahead and we don’t find out anything. So we don’t know yet.
What would you like to tease about this week’s episode?
KATIE: We can definitely tell you that Quinn and Huck have a scene together again post-torture and you will see how they interact with each other and it’s insanely intense. We can tell you that the Mama Pope storyline will be further delved into.
GUILLERMO: And you’re going to find out what that little blue blinking light is on Huck’s computer means and all that is going to be revealed. That’s quite a shocker.
To see if Huck and Finn are ready to forgive and forget or if their twisted dance of distrust continues, as well as what that blinking blue light really means, be sure to tune in for this week’s all new episode of SCANDAL on Thursday, December 12th at 10:00 p.m. on ABC.