'Scandal' Case Study: Darby Stanchfield Vows Abby and David Will Keep Digging

Scandal Darby Stanchfield All Roads Lead to Fitz - P 2012

Scandal Darby Stanchfield All Roads Lead to Fitz - P 2012

[Warning: This story contains spoilers from Thursday's "All Roads Lead to Fitz" episode of ABC's Scandal.]

All roads, it turns out, do lead to President Fitzgerald Grant.

During Thursday's Scandal, Abby (Darby Stanchfield) and David, deterred by a plant put in place by the "secret circle" to throw the assistant U.S. attorney off of his personal investigation into Quinn Perkins and Olivia Pope.

It turns out that Cytron, the company owned by Texas oil tycoon Hollis Doyle (Gregg Henry), was more than an Internet security company and developed software that Quinn's late boyfriend was working on that was unofficially used for voting machines.

While Supreme Court Justice Verna Thornton (Debra Mooney) pulls strings to get David (Joshua Malina) back to work and off the circle's trail -- he's told he can come back only on the condition that he give it up -- Cyrus is tasked with keeping his husband James (Dan Bucatinsky) -- now back at work as a reporter covering the White House -- away from the thickening plot.

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In the meantime, Abby stumbles onto the fact that Huck (Guillermo Diaz) was responsible for David's "source" being a plant designed to disprove his emerging theories about Cytron and its ties to Quinn (Katie Lowes), Olivia (Kerry Washington) and company and tells David to continue on with the investigation.

And it gets worse from there. Olivia takes on the case of a cunning Maryland governor -- who it turns out lost the presidential race to Fitz by a few thousand votes -- who ultimately confesses to murdering his wife's lover after she was having an affair. After learning the news, she gets another landmine: not only is she aware of David and Abby's relationship but thanks to a bug in David's apartment, learns that they're not buying the plant.

The Hollywood Reporter caught up with Darby Stanchfield to discuss how Abby and David will continue to work together to uncover the truth about Quinn's case and why Olivia has taken such a vested interest in it.

The Hollywood Reporter: How will Abby and David continue to work together now that she knows David's source was a plant?
Darby Stanchfield: Abby has definitely shifted from skepticism to really buying David's conspiracy theory as having some truth to it, so she's all in. Also, David and Abby are really digging each other, so there are a couple levels they continue "working together" well. At least for now. (Laughs.)

Keeping in mind that she learned Huck got to David's source, how will that alter her relationship with him?
As you know from the end of 205, that discovery rocked Abby's world. It adds another level to Abby's questioning Olivia and suspecting foul play. It only adds immense pressure to a bomb primed to explode in an epic way.

With David back at work on the condition that he drop his investigation into Quinn and Olivia, might Abby take a more leading role? How will she adjust to knowing she's working against her own colleagues?
Abby gets more involved for sure. It's delicious because there are serious stakes for both Abby and David not to get caught investigating this case and also not to get caught carrying on a relationship together. It's complex for Abby -- she feels great sorrow because Olivia, her closest friend, and her work family appear to be something other than Gladiators in suits. Yet it's mixed with a deep bliss in finding a "good guy" for once in her life. It's literally bittersweet.

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Olivia knows that Abby and David are not only an item but are investigating the "secret circle," vowing to handle the fact that they're aware David's source was a plant. What will Olivia and Abby's confrontation look like?
(Laughs) I wondered the same thing, but I'll remind you one of the brilliant qualities of Shonda Rhimes and the Scandal writers' styles with this show is they often veer off from telling the story in a linear fashion. So the answer is -- not at all in a way your linear mind suspects. (Laughs.) It gets crazy nuts and my heart races just thinking about it!

How secure is Abby's job with Olivia Pope & Associates? Is she worried that her investigation could threaten her job there or is it a case of keep your friends close and your enemies closer?
It's all of the above. Abby is, by nature, a truth seeker. It's been said that Abby is the moral compass of Olivia Pope. This quest for the truth goes beyond loyalty to Olivia. Abby's a dog with a bone. She's in big trouble and possible danger because it's not clear who is friend or foe at this point.

What did you think of the "secret circle's" big reveal? Hit the comments with how you think things will play out. Scandal airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. on ABC.

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