'Scandal's' Kerry Washington: Olivia Is Facing What Scares Her Most

Scandal S04E09 Kerry Washington Still - H 2014
ABC/Nicole Rivelli

Scandal S04E09 Kerry Washington Still - H 2014

[Warning: This story contains spoilers from the midseason finale of Scandal, "Where the Sun Don't Shine."]

Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) has her hands full.

In addition to having to make the (tough!) romantic decision between moving to Vermont and making jam with President Fitzgerald Grant (Tony Goldwyn) or standing in the sun with hero Jake Ballard (Scott Foley), the Gladiator has spent the better part of season four hunting down the head of black-ops group B613, who also happens to be her father. 

During the season four winter finale, Rowan (Joe Morton) again evaded his daughter — and cohorts in justice Fitz and Jake — and skipped town after Jake came this close to nabbing Command.

Read more Who Makes the Worst Decisions on 'Scandal'?

Of course that ultimately may have led to Olivia's kidnapping, which came after Jake professed his love for her — and after she revealed she wanted futures with both men.

"It's pretty intense," Washington tells The Hollywood Reporter about Olivia's insane life. "What's really interesting is last season, we were able to see Olivia unravel and have to deal with facing the truth of her past. This season, she's having to deal with her past and really having to face the things that scare her the most. Olivia is having to say, 'OK, if I'm going to be an adult, I have to let go of these generational, pathological ideas and relationships and frameworks.' "

Dealing with her past — including mother-terrorist Maya Pope (Khandi Alexander) — also includes facing the repercussions of holding her father at gunpoint and telling her mother she should be sent to Guantanamo Bay.

"You get the sense that the messages that come from her mother and her father are so destructive," Washington says. "So her ability to disconnect herself from that, we hope, allows her tremendous freedom. Except that it also may lead to her kidnapping."

Email: Lesley.Goldberg@THR.com
Twitter: @Snoodit