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'Scandal' Case Study: Tony Goldwyn Plays the Spying Game

The actor behind President Fitzgerald Grant talks with THR about this week's episode, which included the reveal about who Scott Foley's Jake is working for.

Scandal Tony Goldwyn 2/21 Episodic - H 2013
ABC/DANNY FELD
"Scandal's" Tony Goldwyn

[Warning: This story contains spoilers from Thursday's "Boom Goes the Dynamite" episode of Scandal.]

President Fitzgerald Grant and Capt. Jake Ballard have more than the Navy in common.

During Thursday's episode of ABC's Scandal, Tony Goldwyn's Fitz was revealed to have hired his old Navy buddy (played by Scott Foley) to keep tabs on Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington). Jake, meanwhile, took his "meet cute" with Olivia to the next level, taking her out on what he considered a date (while she considered it business) as his interest in the president's ex started to grow into more than just a work assignment. Will Fitz discover Jake's true feelings?

The Hollywood Reporter caught up with Goldwyn for a lightning-round version of our weekly Scandal Case Studies to answer some burning questions from the episode, including ones about the president's motivation in hiring Jake to monitor Olivia.

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The Hollywood Reporter: What makes Fitz so certain he can trust Jake?
Tony Goldwyn: Fitz isn't at all certain. But his circle of trust has shrunken to one: himself, and even that is pretty tenuous. He and Jake share some deep bond from their past in the military and we don't yet know what that is. But Jake is the closest he'll get to a confidante.

THR: Fitz hired Jake to spy on Olivia. Why?
Goldwyn: It's unclear at the moment. I do know that Fitz cannot function without Olivia in his life. So, in my mind, he has created a justification to watch her as a potential adversary. There may be some value in that, but it really is a personal obsession.

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THR: Fitz tells Jake that Olivia is a threat to the country. Does he really mean that, or is he purely trying to keep tabs on whether she's moving on from their relationship?
Goldwyn: That is what he's telling himself. But the notion that she might move on torments him.

THR: How would Fitz respond to learning that Jake has romantic feelings for Olivia?
Goldwyn: (Laughs) Keep him away from any rooftops! It would make him insane. I don't know how Fitz will tolerate another betrayal.

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THR: How could Fitz confront Jake about it, considering that he could never tell him about their affair?
Goldwyn: On a professional level, Jake would be in total breach of his duty to Fitz, so I could beat him down on that (Laughs).

THR: Jake sees Cyrus talking with Olivia and begins to wonder who she is in relation to the White House. How might we see Jake investigate their connection?
Goldwyn: I have no idea. He would surely know that she used to work in the White House, but how he'd go about that investigation only [showrunner] Shonda Rhimes knows.

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THR: Fitz is continuing to shut out Mellie and Cyrus. How might that come back to hurt him later?
Goldwyn: Fitz can only isolate himself for so long. Mellie is his wife, the mother of his children. Cyrus is his chief of staff and formerly the closest person to him. At some point, he might just run aground with no support system whatsoever.

THR: The head of the CIA is the guy who killed Wendy and attempted to set David Rosen up. Is it safe to assume he's the mole selling government secrets for his own personal gain?
Goldwyn: You'll have to wait and see on that one. Let's just say Shonda never writes in a straight line, so expect some big surprises.

Hit the comments below with your thoughts on the Fitz-Jake-Olivia triangle. Scandal airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. on ABC.

Email: Lesley.Goldberg@thr.com; Twitter: @Snoodit