“Scandal” fans are generally trained to expect the ABC drama to throw them some curve balls. And last week’s episode opener in which Huck began torturing fellow gladiator-turned-mole, Quinn, did just that — and the stars loved it.
“I don’t think the audience was expecting it at all,” he continued. “And, I think it blew their minds. That’s exciting for an actor. It makes it all worth it. That’s why we do this: to make people feel things. Whether they were angry or scared or excited, it did that tenfold.”
Katie Lowes, who plays Quinn, agreed. “So many people reacted in so many different ways on Twitter,” she told TheWrap. “It’s exciting that everyone was genuinely freaking out. And whatever their opinions on it were loud and clear.”
“Some people on Twitter said they canceled their dentist appointments. I loved that,” Diaz added.
On Thursday, the ABC series’ midseason finale will follow Quinn’s actions after escaping by the skin of her teeth – literally – and the fallout from Olivia’s (Kerry Washington) accidental aiding and abetting of a terrorist, her own mother.
Also read: ‘Scandal’ Episode Order Reduced by ABC
TheWrap: Guillermo, were you surprised at the gusto in which Huck took to torturing his friend?
Guillermo Diaz: I think it was extra exhilarating and exciting for Huck, because it is someone that he loves and she’s in the family. I don’t think he’s tortured someone that he loves before. So, I think that may be that extra layer of excitement for him. He was just really getting off on it. It was intense to shoot.
Katie Lowes: Oh yeah. It was so intense to shoot. I knew that if we ever got to that point that Huck would be really into torturing Quinn. When I read the script, I was just insanely shocked that he was doing it at all. I had convinced myself that there was no way in hell that Huck would torture Quinn. Threaten, scare the crap out of her, tape her up, maybe, but really he would just get it into her that she needs to stop wanting to do the things he does.
The fact that the script started out with my worst nightmare with Huck pulling out Quinn’s teeth, it was such an OMG moment for me and a moment of praise for Shonda Rhimes and the ‘Scandal’ writers. Of course, they’re not afraid to do what scares me the most.
What do you think that says about Huck’s work in trying to get over his addiction to torturing others?
GD: I think it’s going to show the audience that Huck is not perfect. He’s quite a complicated person as are all the other characters on the show. But, Huck is especially broken inside. As much as he’s trying to be a different man, going to AA meetings to help with his addiction to torturing, but the more he tries to fix himself he keeps getting pulled back into this dark, dark world.
Talk about taking a few steps forward and a few steps back. He was going to these meetings and now he’s torturing Quinn. That pulled him back considerably, which is going to make for a really exciting next eight episodes for Huck. Unfortunately, it’s going to be difficult as fuck for me to shoot, as emotionally involved I get, but it’s worth it [laughs].
Quinn has been trying to figure out her loyalties and also who’s loyal to her all season. Where do you see her now?
KL: She’s just grown and gotten so much stronger as she’s been able to emulate Huck and Olivia Pope and Abby [Darby Stanchfield] and the others, these people she holds as role models. She’s definitely far more in control of the situation, the fact that she was able to get out of this predicament at all. The tooth is pretty bad, but she does get out. You’ll have to watch and see exactly where her loyalties lie and how she handles the situation.
Did you feel aligned with the writing of that episode?
KL: No, I never feel aligned with the writing. The writers and Shonda always throw me for a loop. I’m aligned in the sense that they write the character as I play her. But, I’ve never been able to call it ever. And I don’t think anyone has.
Olivia has been a much more flawed character this season, her blind spot always being those she loves. Last episode, she was fooled by her own mother. What’s the fallout for Olivia on the midseason finale?
KL: There’s definitely going to be more of that in the finale, especially regarding the phone call to Huck where she says, “He’s not the monster, she is.” That will further be explained and how that ripples through Olivia Pope and Associates. You’ll definitely see that, as well.
The “Scandal” midseason finale airs Thursday at 10/9c on ABC.