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‘Scandal’s Joe Morton Talks Saying Goodbye to ‘Surrogate Daughter’ Kerry Washington

OK, don’t take the photo below as a prime example of their father-daughter relationship — the off-screen one, that is

Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) has the mother of all daddy issues with her father Eli (Joe Morton).

But Morton tells TheWrap that while his “Scandal” counterpart may not be the most ideal of parents, “everything he’s done he’s either done to protect his daughter or protect the Republic — or both.”

OK, we’ve heard that one far too many times from the character himself. So if that isn’t enough to make you forgive Eli (aka Rowan, the retired head of B613) at this point, maybe nothing will. Well, until you hear Morton talk about the show’s shining star, that is.

“I think Kerry and I really do love one another,” Morton said in a recent interview about the final season of “Scandal.” “I think in many ways I suppose she is kind of — I have two daughters already, so I suppose she’s my third daughter. It’s funny, because her dad and I, whenever we get a chance to see each other we get along really well and there are strong similarities between us. So you’ve seen in the tweets and so forth the expression of the ‘Scandal’ Family. And I think that’s what it turns out to be. The relationships are very specific. The women on the show are all very tight. The same is true of the guys. And as a group, we all get along really well as a family. And we know each other very distinctly. Kerry and I, I think she’s like a surrogate daughter in a way.”

If we say “we’re not crying, you’re crying,” will you punch us? OK, that’s what we thought. So enjoy this story about when Morton directed Washington in episode 16 of this seventh and final season.

“I came out on the floor and I congratulated her for whatever work she had done in the scene. And she turned to the crew and said, ‘It really means something when your dad tells you you are doing well!'”

While we can’t tell you if Eli makes it to the end of the series in on piece, Morton says Papa Pope most definitely gets what’s coming to him.

“Minds are going to be blown,” Morton says. Make of that what you will, Gladiators.

The “Scandal” season finale airs tonight at 10/9 c on ABC.