'Scandal' Case Study: Katie Lowes, Joshua Malina on the Quinn Perkins 'Conspiracy'

Scandal Katie Lowes - P 2012

Scandal Katie Lowes - P 2012

[Warning: This story contains spoilers from "The Other Woman" episode of Scandal.]

It's not the who of Quinn Perkins but the why that has become the biggest mystery for ABC's political drama Scandal, with Thursday's episode offering a major piece of the puzzle.

In the closing moments of the hour, Everwood vet Debra Mooney's Supreme Court Justice Verna revealed that the why of Quinn Perkins: it's a matter of national security that could potentially topple the U.S. government.

STORY: 'Scandal' Case Study: The Cast on Quinn's Reveal and What's Ahead

"It's pretty effing big! The Quinn Perkins case is as a big as you could possibly imagine it to be," Katie Lowes (Quinn) told The Hollywood Reporter during visit to the Hollywood set this week. "It goes all the way up the ranks and the conspiracy is huge."

After returning home to Oakland to visit her father, she learns first-hand that it's going to be nearly impossible for her to escape her past as Lindsay Dwyer, aka the Molotov Mistress when even her dad has a hard time believing her innocence. To that end, Huck (Guillermo Diaz) flies across the country to retrieve her -- tipping his hand that it wasn't the first time he visited the site where seven people died, including Quinn's ex-boyfriend. It's in that moment that he tells her that her former identity died that day, too.

"That's Quinn's journey thus far: Who can she trust, who knows what," Lowes explains. "That's why she's back in the [Olivia Pope & Associates] office in Episode 203 -- she's got a mission of finding out what the hell happened to her life."

While the cast is currently in the middle of shooting the seventh episode of the season, Joshua Molina (David) notes that Thursday's reveal is just the beginning.

STORY: 'Scandal' Cast Teases Impossible Love, New Roles and the Mystery of Quinn Perkins

"There's real resonance to Verna the Supreme Court Justice saying that this issue/story/person resonates to a point where it could bring the government down," Malina says. "You get to know a little bit each time. Every time you learn something, it also raises another question."??

David, meanwhile, is dealt a second defeat in a row when the autopsy he ordered on the beloved civil rights leader is "handled" at the hands of Olivia Pope -- after she previously came to him for assistance in helping to protect the pastor's legacy. His forced leave of absence from the D.A.'s Office will see him spiral into a Beautiful Mind-esque level of commitment when it comes to cracking the Quinn Perkins case, a defeat from which he's still reeling.

"He's a do-gooder by nature and wants to get to the bottom as a truth-seeker who's just short of being Dudley Do-Right but now it's personal; it's happening to him," Malina says. "One of the most dangerous things is a smart do-gooder who's been personally wronged and that's what David is. He wants to get to the bottom of the autopsy thing as much as the Quinn thing."

STORY: 'Scandal' Cast (and Shonda Rhimes) Talk Crazy Quinn Theories and Challenges Ahead in Season 2

For his part, Huck is seeking treatment for his dark addiction by attending AA meetings while still juggling the demands of working for Olivia, which include body disposal (and in the pastor's case, non-disposal). Whether or not Quinn is able to make the connection that he knows more than he's letting on, however, remains to be seen.

"Quinn in the first season was the new girl but she's learned a lot from everybody: how to be an investigator, how to be good at her job and that's what you're going to see this season; she grounds her feet and she's going to really try her damndest to get to the bottom of this situation," Lowes says.

"How long could you last if someone like Olivia Pope said, 'Yeah, I saved your life and that's all you can know'?" she says. "There's no escape: Quinn has no home, no job, no life without Olivia Pope. It's awful. Something's got to snap."

What did you think of Scandal's reveal? Hit the comments with your theories. Scandal airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. on ABC.

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