PaleyFest 2017: 100th Episode of ‘Scandal’ Dive Into Olivia’s Alt-Reality

Scandal - Cast
Paley Center for Media
The cast of ABC's Scandal on the red carpet at PaleyFest 2017 in Hollywood.

Gladiators united Sunday at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood to celebrate the hit ABC series Scandal as a part of the final day of PaleyFest, the annual TV festival held by the Paley Center for Media. While much of the talk during the Q&A panel was filled with memories of the entire run of the series, some information about the upcoming 100th episode of the series, which airs April 13, was revealed.

“The 100th episode is insane,” said Tony Goldwyn, who plays Fitz in the series. “We’re allowed to say that this is a ‘what if’ episode to see what happened in an alternate reality if things had not gone the way they had in terms of the storyline, and what would’ve happened to all these people and the relationships to each other.”

Joe Morton (Rowan) told TV Insider on the red carpet that the alt-reality concept follows Olivia’s journey if she had not rigged the election that helped get Fitz into office in the first place. “It’s also not a standalone,” Goldwyn added during the panel. “It actually informs your understanding of all of us when we get back to our normal [episode].”

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Bellamy Young (Mellie) also said that where the episode falls in the current season is a very good thing, since it’s not as heavy as the sixth season has been thus far. In fact, the cast said it was one of the most fun times they’ve had working on the drama. “Where it’s placed, to us as a group, it’s kind of [like] oxygen,” Young said. “You laugh because you need to. At the table read, we, as human beings, needed to laugh and I think the audience will feel that, too.”

Scandal - Bellamy Young, Kerry Washington, Tony Goldwyn

(l-r) Bellamy Young, Kerry Washington and Tony Goldwyn.

In looking back at the entire run of the series (the episode screened before the panel was the show’s pilot), Kerry Washington (Olivia) took time to thank the fans for the success of the series. “We would not be sitting here if it were not for you guys,” she said. “If it weren’t for you turning on your televisions, setting your DVRs, getting on Twitter, calling your friends, having your watch parties. We were not a show that was given a full season in the beginning. We had six episodes and at the end of that first season we were on the bubble of whether we were going to live or die, and you breathed life into us.”

Goldwyn, in turn, paid his own compliment to someone on the panel who he said has helped build the family made up of the Scandal cast and crew. “One of the reasons that we’ve been able to maintain this sense of family not just with us but with our entire crew…is the woman sitting on my right,” Goldwyn said, looking over to Washington, who wiped tears away from her eyes at her costar’s words. “Kerry Washington, as I’ve embarrassed her before by saying this, is the greatest team captain that you could ever want.”

When the cast was asked about favorite moments in the past six seasons, Washington chose two moments: one from her personal life and one from the show.

“I will never forget the first time that these Scandal ladies came to visit me after the birth of my first child,” she said. “I have a very vivid memory of it in my home of all of us sitting on my bed talking about it and meeting her, so that was special.”

Washington also said that the episode that featured the funeral of Harrison (original cast member Columbus Short, who left the series after the third season) was one of her favorites. “We were all so moved…that episode, for us to do that together, to say goodbye to him in such a dignified, gracious, beautiful, elegant way, was special.”

Besides Washington, Goldwyn, Morton and Young, the panel also included Darby Stanchfield (Abby), Guillermo Diaz (Huck), Jeff Perry (Cyrus), Joshua Malina (David), Katie Lowes (Quinn), Scott Foley (Jake), George Newbern (Charlie) and Cornelius Smith, Jr. (Marcus).

Scandal, Thursdays, 9/8c, ABC.