May 17, 2012 5:30am PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Scandal's' Kerry Washington on the Finale: Pope & Associates Go 'Over a Cliff'
ABC's political fixer drama Scandal marches into its freshman season finale Thursday with an intense episode that will answer whether or not Billy's brutal scissor stabbing of Gideon was fatal or not.
The results of the bloody attack, star Kerry Washington says, will be revealed within the first five minutes in a scene that puts a spotlight on each member of Olivia's team.
"The episode opens with a 10-page scene that showcases the commitment that each associate at Pope & Associates is willing to make to each other," the actress tells The Hollywood Reporter. "They definitely go 'over a cliff' this week."
While Gideon came thisclose to exposing Billy's (Matt Letscher) relationship with Amanda's -- and as the father of her unborn baby -- could Olivia pick up where the young reporter left off and attempt to decipher his notes linking the former aide to a romantic relationship with someone besides Fitz? Washington wouldn't reveal much, but instead teased that the multilayered crisis will spread like wildfire this week.
"In this fast-paced information age, often the shape of a crisis will transform several times in just one day," she says. "In order to manage that, you have to stay on your toes and ahead of the game, always thinking five steps ahead of everybody else."
So does that mean she could take on Billy? How will Olivia rise to the occasion? Who can Fitz trust if the vice president's chief of staff happens to be a murderer? And how will the mysterious Quinn Perkins (Katie Lowes) -- who didn't exist until a few years ago -- play a role?
"This week's episode will answer some major questions that have been lingering all season long," Washington previewed. "It may even answer some questions that you didn't even know you had! Then there will be a few new questions that will be introduced and some remaining questions that go unanswered. Thank God we'll have a Season 2 because I need those questions answered ASAP and right now!"
Scandal's Season 1 finale airs Thursday at 10 p.m. on ABC.