Do not miss the next three episodes of Scandal.
That's the message executive producer Betsy Beers conveyed following the reveal that Scandal's secret cabal of five — Olivia (Kerry Washington), Cyrus (Jeff Perry), Mellie (Belamy Young), Verna (Debra Mooney) and Hollis (Gregg Henry) — may have rigged the election that put Fitz (Tony Goldwyn) into power. The explosion that nearly got Quinn Perkins (Katie Lowes) the death penalty? A way to cover it all up... apparently. Below, Beers dishes on what's in store for the five and how they'll handle their David Rosen (Joshua Malina) and Abby Whelan (Darby Stanchfield) problem. Get the scoop:
Are we really to believe that the cabal of five rigged the election?
Beers: Clearly there is some cabal that they have, but it could be connected to many different things. What I love around Episode 5 or 6, and this was true last year when we had fewer episodes actually, [is] everything starts to turn. You start to see that there's a larger onion that you're going to have to peel here.
If the election was rigged, that would mean Governor Reston (Tom Amandes) got screwed. Will we see him again?
Beers: I think you probably will see the governor again. The way that it tends to work on the show is it's like a little theater troupe every season. So once you meet somebody, and they're in the mix, they tend to be in the mix. I think that the governor is clearly an integral part of the past and the present of Olivia Pope and Fitzgerald Grant. He's also an incredibly interesting character. The way that case ends is so disturbing as well. The realization that he knew all along is definitely creepy. So I'm definitely hoping that we get to see him again and we learn a little bit more about him — both in the history of what happened with all of them and also what's happening currently politically. Between Abby's conversation with David at the end and these people at this table trying to figure out what to do about David Rosen, it definitely was intriguing and a little foreboding.
Will we learn how the cabal of five initially came together?
Beers: Everything will start to become clearer in the next few episodes. A lot of those questions will be answered, but also create more questions. As an audience member, you're going to start to be able to put the pieces together in this incredibly intriguing way.
Does Fitz know about the cabal of five? Or is it possibly a cabal of six?
Beers: You're just going to have to keep watching. That was like last season with did he or didn't he with Amanda Tanner? But more will be clear, especially in the next two episodes.
Mellie doesn't seem like a good person to have on the five. Will she cause trouble?
Beers: Mellie is going to continue to grapple with her own ambitions and the restrictions that are placed on the role of the first lady. That place at that table is a challenge for her. The main thing with Mellie is that she's wanting to be more present and more vital than she is. Mellie always figures out ways to get her voice in there. She's a political animal. In the next couple of episodes, there are a couple of turns that are going to occur which are amazing, shocking and fully and totally unexpected. This is as close you can come to me saying do not miss the next three episodes of this television show. Everyone's loyalties will be tested in a way that we haven't seen before.
Will Olivia deal with Abby's betrayal head on?
Beers: I think that in the next couple of episodes, you will get a sense as to how that's going to work. Olivia's approach is not necessarily what you would expect. Abby is coming to this point where she's been shut out by Olivia. She doesn't know what's going on in that office, and when you look at that office right now, that office is kind of dysfunctional. Huck's off in a corner doing stuff, Olivia's running around, Abby keeps going to Olivia and saying, "Please tell me what's happening," and Olivia doesn't. So in a way, for me, it's understandable and incredibly sympathetic that Abby's trying to figure out who her loyalty is to.
Will David be torn about what to do with this information considering it could put him in Hollis' crosshairs?
Beers: Exactly. We know about Hollis' crosshairs because we were in that room, but it's got to be a struggle for David. David feels like he is the guy who wears the white hat. The hardest struggle for David is he just got his job back and everybody has said to put this conspiracy aside, yet David has this obsessive desire to need to know the truth ever since he realized that there was something funky about the Quinn Perkins trial. You can probably expect that David, given his personality, is not going to give things up lightly.
In this week's episode, there is a spy who plans to expose someone. Does that have to do with the cabal of five?
Beers: It will connect to things, but it's some phenomenal conflict and plot. The way that it just emotionally connects to everything else that's going on will be, I think, super intriguing and surprising to you.
Olivia has a new love interest in Edison (Norm Lewis). Will that actually work or are Olivia and Fitz never really over?
Beers: What you hope is that Olivia can find someone else that makes her happy, that gives her a little bit of normal, which is that thing that they were always talking about last season. Stephen (Henry Ian Cusick) left to get a little bit of normal. What Edison provides for her is that bit of normal — what it would be like to actually have a stable, loving boyfriend that you could do things with who wasn't the married president of the United States. There's going to be a pull towards that, and she will be actively battling to find her inner normal.
Scandal airs Thursdays at 10/9c on ABC.