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30
1 years

'Scandal's' Shonda Rhimes: 'The Walls Are Closing in on Olivia'

The showrunner talks with THR about what the arrival of America's Baby will mean for Fitz and Mellie and previews a problem that Olivia can't fix.

Scandal Season 2 Cast - H 2012
ABC/CRAIG SJODIN
"Scandal"

It's been a long two weeks, Gladiators. But the wait after Fitz dropped the divorce bomb is going to be a good one for ABC's Scandal

After President Fitzgerald Grant (Tony Goldwyn) went above and beyond to save his place in the White House after his wife Mellie (Bellamy Young) and company essentially committed treason to protect the office, he gave her what can only be described as an emotional punch to the gut: "I want a divorce."

The Hollywood Reporter caught up with showrunner Shonda Rhimes to get the latest scoop on the Kerry Washington starrer.

STORY: 'Scandal' Case Study: Shonda Rhimes, Tony Goldwyn and Bellamy Young on What Fitz Really Wants

America's Baby may strengthen Fitz's desire to divorce Mellie.
"I don't know that the baby is the thing that's going to change his desire to have a divorce," Rhimes says. "It changes Fitz's priorities in terms of what he thinks is important and may in fact cement his resolve a little bit more."

Is Mellie's baby really Fitz's?
Gladiators on Twitter theorizing that the unborn little one may not be from the commander in chief are barking up the wrong tree. "That's a fascinating thing that I've been reading on Twitter: People keep saying maybe the baby isn't Fitz's or maybe it was a turkey baster baby. I won't say that never occurred to me, but it's a very interesting theory that people have going on!" Rhimes says, further clarifying that "there's no truth to that that I know of."

Olivia's massive misdeeds may be close to coming out.
Quinn (Katie Lowes) is getting closer to uncovering the why behind her new identity, James (Dan Bucatinsky) and David (Josh Molina) are fresh on the scent and worse -- Olivia may be forced to reveal just what lengths she went to in order to get Fitz elected. "The walls are closing in on Olivia," Rhimes says. "She's crossed a line that can't be uncrossed. Is she going to be forced to tell anybody? That unfolds in a way that's fairly unexpected and not how you think it will unfold."

PHOTOS: Midseason 2013: TV's Newest Series

The how of how Quinn finds out about Olivia's involvement in her past will be key.
After Olivia came thisclose to telling Quinn all about her past before she received the key call from Fitz that he was alert and wanted to see her. "How she finds out about everything is most surprising," Rhimes says. "It's not that she hears it from Olivia Pope, so how she finds out affects how she feels about everything. Then, for her, it really becomes a choice of allegiances to really decide what she's going to do about that." 

Olivia may have a problem she can't fix.
While we've been calling Olivia, Hollis, Verna, Mellie and Cyrus the "secret circle," Rhimes says the writers have a different term for the group. "We call them the illuminati," she says, noting the group's David Rosen is about to "spiral out of control for all of them." "There's some splintering of factions and people start to take sides. For once, we have a problem that Olivia Pope's not sure she can fix."

STORY: 'Scandal' Case Study: Tony Goldwyn on Mellie's Mess and Fitz's Shifting Love for Olivia

Huck's (Guillermo Diaz) waterboarding is, naturally, going to have a "long-term affect" on him.
"The idea that he let his loyalties stray to somebody else and that turned out to be wrong, that's not going to change his allegiances to Olivia," Rhimes says. "But it is going to change the way he copes with the world. We're going to see him struggling. The best thing about Huck is that he never reacts in a way you think he's going to. It's never that Huck is struggling in the way you would expect a character to struggle. Huck is very complex, interesting and very damaged and strange, so his journey is always slightly to the left. I'm very excited as to where we're taking him."

Hit the comments with what your theories and check back to THR's The Live Feed for our weekly Scandal Case Study on Thursday after the episode. Scandal airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. on ABC.

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