[Warning: This story contains spoilers from Thursday’s “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” episode of ABC’s Scandal.]
ABC’s Scandal continued its effective use of flashbacks Thursday to explore Olivia (Kerry Washington) and her father Rowan’s (Joe Morton) tumultuous relationship.
The episode further explained the history between Olivia and Huck, and how Olivia first discovered the truth about her father heading B613, the black ops division that cost Huck everything.
The fireworks, however, come in the present day after Huck (Guillermo Diaz), Olivia’s most dedicated and loyal Gladiator, learns the hard truth: the woman who plucked him from obscurity and helped to give him a fresh start is the daughter of the B613 baddie.
The Hollywood Reporter caught up with Diaz to break down the episode.
The Hollywood Reporter: After Huck attacks Olivia, how is this going to change their relationship?
Guillermo Diaz: It’s a moment that we’ve never seen on the show before, and the last two people you expect to be in this type of situation are Huck and Olivia. He’s her protector, her guard dog; he looks out for her physically and makes sure she’s protected. The moment when he attacks her and throws her up against the car, I don’t think he knew what he was doing until a couple of seconds after it happened. I think there is some embarrassment now, and he’s thinking, “What the hell have I done?!” But at the same time, part of him feels like she deserves it a bit because that was a pretty big secret to keep from Huck — that her father was the one that put him in this hole that kept him from seeing his wife and child again. As shocking as it is to see him become physical with Olivia, it’s a bit justifiable.
Do you think that Olivia can ever regain Huck’s trust again?
I hope she can. She knows that she messed up keeping that secret. At the same time, can you blame Olivia for keeping that secret? That’s a hard thing to tell your friend — that your father is the one that is responsible for all these terrible things. I think they’re both going to be able to come back from this, heal, and have each other’s trust again.
We can’t imagine that Huck attacking Olivia, even though it may have been justified, will go over well with the rest of the Gladiators. How will they respond when and if they find out?
I don’t know if they are going to find out. I don’t think either Huck or Olivia are going to say anything about it. It’s that type of thing with family members or friends when you have an altercation and it’s just so heated and serious that you keep it between you. I think that’s the way it’s going to be with the Gladiators. It’s information that they don’t really need to know. I think they’re going to keep that part of it private.
What was it like for you getting to flush out Huck and Olivia’s history?
It’s always nice to do the flashbacks. That’s what’s so great about Scandal is that we get to do flashbacks and then keep figuring out and discovering more things about our characters that make them fuller. That moment when Huck attacks Olivia was the toughest acting I’ve had to do on Scandal because I’m attacking Olivia and I’m attacking Kerry. It was really difficult for me to really get into it because I was worried and I was scared. It was awkward, I felt nervous. All that was going through Huck’s head worked for the scene. He was feeling all those things, too.
What was your biggest WTF moment from the episode?
I don’t know if it was the biggest one, but the one that stands out is when he’s homeless and he starts rattling off about B613, Wonderland, Command, and these things that have happened to him, and Olivia is squatting down there listening to him just like a deer in headlights. I thought that was the most powerful moment in the script for me because it’s very subtle. It’s not loud, it’s not a big fight, it’s not anything like that. It’s Huck just going back into all these things streaming out of his mouth. He’s just remembering these things, and he doesn’t know if they are real or not. Obviously we know they are real, but it was really emotional and really powerful.
Let’s talk about the end of the episode when Jake comes back. Could we potentially see Huck and Jake team up?
Personally, I’m team Jake, and fans have actually gotten really mad at me for saying that before. (Laughs.) I would love to see Huck team up with Jake. They’re both B613. They both know what Command is capable of doing. They’ve both been trained to be killer spies. I think they would be a force to be reckoned with if they teamed up.
Do you think bringing down B613 is a step in the right direction for Huck to get his family back?
I don’t know. You never know with B613 people; they are unpredictable. I would love to see it. I really hope that Shonda — and we don’t know anything yet — brings his family back. I think that is certainly in the back of Huck’s head since the beginning of this season. You can see it in his eyes that he’s always thinking about that and hoping that that’s going to happen. I’m sure he’s plotting somewhere in the back of his head how to find his family and get them back.
Quinn is embracing her dark side. How do you think that’s going to change Huck’s relationship with her?
It’s tricky. I think Huck is feeling a little bit of envious of Quinn taking a liking to torturing. I feel like he thinks that Quinn emotionally is more capable of doing the things that he taught her than he is. Huck has been going to recovery meetings to try to change his addiction to torturing and the things that he does. To see Quinn pick up that drill and drill that information out of Billy Chambers so easily, that’s scary for him. He feels a little bit of envy, and it’s embarrassing that she was able to do it so easily. It’s like all addictions, she’s on a high right now, and he’s trying to snap her out of that. But I don’t think she’s going to snap out of that so easily. That’s definitely going to put a strain on their relationship.
Looking ahead, what can you say about what Huck and Rowan’s next interaction will look like?
It’s not going to be good. It’s going to be a scary, scary confrontation between Huck and Rowan. I think that’s saying a lot right there.
Do you think the fact that Huck now knows that Rowan is Olivia’s father changes his relationship with Olivia moving forward?
Yes and no. They’re all caught up in this messed-up world of lies and betrayals. It’s going to change their relationship, but hopefully they’re going to have each others’ back.
What did you think of Huck and Olivia’s confrontation? Hit the comments below with your thoughts. Scandal airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. on ABC.