[Warning: This story contains major spoilers from the premiere of Scandal. Read at your own risk!]
The person who leaked Olivia Pope's name as the First Mistress was revealed in Scandal's Season 3 premiere, and boy, is it a doozy!
As OPA and the White House struggled to do damage control after Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) was named as Fitz's (Tony Goldwyn) mistress, it turned out that the person who initially leaked her name had bigger plans — and that person is Fitz! Shockingly, POTUS decided to leak the information in order to protect Olivia from Mellie (Bellamy Young) — and to go back to his original plan of coming clean about his relationship with Olivia in hopes that the American public would accept him getting a divorce and moving his mistress into the White House.
But Mellie, Cyrus (Jeff Perry) and the members of OPA weren't happy with that plan, since it would hurt each of them in the process. Instead, they pointed the press in the direction of an innocent White House staffer, making her the face of Mistress-gate — and effectively getting Olivia off the hook. So what's next? TVGuide.com talked to Goldwyn on the set of Scandal to get the scoop:
Fitz was the leak! I never would have guessed that.
Tony Goldwyn: Can you believe that? Was that a good surprise? When we read the script, I was like, "What?!" I did not suspect that at all. The big thing that upset me at the end of Season 2 was the Mellie thing. I was like "What? Why? Where am I coming from with that?" I couldn't understand it. Then there was a great fight between Mellie and me in the premiere. I manipulated her, which is brilliant.
How do Mellie and Fitz move forward from here?
Goldwyn: It's so good, I declare war. We continue to be at war, but it goes into various stages of hot war and cold war. It's insane because when our allegiances or agendas line up, we suddenly fall into step, then all of a sudden we're at each other. There are forces that start to reveal themselves that become very, very threatening to the stability of the whole thing. In that way, the enemy of my enemy is my friend. So when Mellie and I are aligned in that way, we come into lockstep, and Cyrus too. In other ways, it's very ugly between us. Uglier than you've ever really seen, I think. It's just toxic. It's awful.
OPA and the White House have teamed up to leak a staffer's name to distract attention from Olivia Pope. How does Fitz feel about that?
Goldwyn: That pisses me off. Fitz is not happy about that. That messes with his agenda big time. The whole point, as I said to Mellie, is, "I did this because I did it to protect Olivia from you." So I think Fitz's agenda was to blow the whole thing wide open. The thing I love about this season is like, the last third of Season 2 is when Fitz came out of that dark period, he committed to coming clean and telling the truth. All this terrible stuff from his past and all the manipulation and craziness, he realized the truth shall set you free and whatever it is, he's going to get honest. So that continues in Season 3 where he's now engineered this amazing thing to blow it all open to expose the truth. He does it to protect Liv from Mellie, but I think ultimately he's going, "OK, now everybody knows, I can say this is the woman I love. I have difficulties with my marriage. It's none of your business. But now that you know, this is what it is." We've still got several months before the election, I think he thinks he can pull it off. Frankly, he's willing to sacrifice it, as he's said before.
Fitz was going to set Sally (Kate Burton) up to benefit from the truth. But since the cards didn't fall that way, she did not seem happy at the end of the episode. Should we be worried about her becoming his biggest opponent?
Goldwyn: I don't know yet. She might be. But other people will come into the picture to complicate matters. We don't know if Sally is going to be an opponent yet because she's my vice president, so that's never been done before, but she might. She'd be formidable. We'll see what happens.
How will Fitz be handling the upcoming election?
Goldwyn: Fitz wants to win. He intends to be president again. At the end of last season, he was convinced he could do it by leaving his wife, but that didn't work out so well, so he has to find another way. How Olivia figures into that is very interesting and very complicated.
What can you tell us about Operation Remington?
Goldwyn: So far, it becomes very, very messy, complicated and rough. We're still early on, but that's a big one. And one of these unified things that brings multiple threads of the characters and the stories together in ways that I don't even understand yet. It's obviously Jake (Scott Foley) and Fitz and presumably Rowan (Joe Morton), Olivia's dad, but we don't know how. It's a big threat. It gets really interesting.
TVG: How much does Fitz know about who Olivia's father is?
Goldwyn: I don't think he knows. We may discover that Fitz knows something of that man, but to my knowledge, Fitz has no idea about her father.
How do you think Season 3 is different from the last two seasons?
Goldwyn: It is different, which I was so happy to find out, because I didn't know, and I was so afraid we'd start repeating ourselves. It's darker. It's more complex than Season 2, if you can believe that. The complexities of it are just more intricate. So far, while a lot of crazy stuff that happens, they aren't the big, dramatic things. We are really starting to sink deep roots. These threads, in terms of the complexities of the relationships or where the real danger lies, it's more complicated. It's on a slow burn, but much more dangerous in a way. The other thing that started to happen in Season 2 that's continued in Season 3 is the interweaving of all the characters in the different worlds of OPA and the White House get real complicated in a really fascinating, great way.
Were you surprised that Fitz was the leak? Hit the comments!
Scandal airs Thursdays at 10/9c on ABC.