[WARNING: The following story contains spoilers about Thursday's season finale of Scandal. Read at your own risk.]
After Rowan — excuse us, Damascus Bainbridge — blackmails Mellie (Bellamy Young) into giving him a list of names, a busload of the grand jurors on the B613 case wind up dead. Olivia (Kerry Washington) and Jake (Scott Foley) try to expose B613 to the CIA, but Rowan, of course, is one step ahead of them, blackmailing Cyrus (Jeff Perry) to blackmail David (Joshua Malina) to drop the case. Rowan systematically (temporarily) shuts down B613 himself, killing the agents who could ID him as Command because "you can't take Command."
But you can take Eli Pope. Liv gets "doddering" Smithsonian paleontologist Eli arrested on embezzlement charges (how Al Capone), landing Papa Pope behind bars, very much alive. But that's still not all: Quinn (Katie Lowes) recognizes the juror mass-murder handiwork as Huck's (Guillermo Diaz) and puts a gun to his head. Huck urges her to pull the trigger... but does she?
Elsewhere, Fitz (Tony Goldwyn) kicks out newly elected Virginia Senator Mellie and fires Cyrus for not telling him about Rowan's blackmail after Liz (Portia de Rossi, now a series regular) "accidentally" revealed it to POTUS. The new chief of staff? Lizzie Bear. And after Jake tells Liv he's leaving because "my mission is complete" and because she still loves Fitz, she
stands in the sun reunites with Fitz on the White House balcony.
So is Huck dead? Did he want to be caught? Will Liv find out he's the juror murderer? Guillermo Diaz answers our burning questions.
I guess the simplest question is: Will you be back next season?
Guillermo Diaz: [Laughs] I don't know. That is a Shonda [Rhimes] question! A couple of weeks ago, she emailed us all and said the ending was changed. In the original script, Quinn ends up walking away from Huck and obviously doesn't shoot him. So who knows what's gonna happen, but that's what makes Scandal so exciting. Shonda is not afraid to get rid of characters that are popular on the show or regulars like myself. Now we have to wait and see. I have no idea if I'm dead or alive! We have no idea. It's been that way from the beginning. They don't give us a heads up about anything. It's exciting because it makes you just focus on your work in the moment, keep it fresh and organic.
Why did Huck work for Rowan? Is it just because he threatened his family? Or is it also guilt over his confession since it started this whole thing?
Diaz: I think it was absolutely all about his family. I'm not married and I don't have kids, but I can imagine that if someone with Rowan's power came and said to me, "Look, I'm gonna kill your family unless you do this for me," I think I would — I mean, I wouldn't do the same thing obviously, but you know what I mean. [Laughs] He was put in quite a position there and I think he did it all for his family. In a really sad, messed-up way, it's understandable. ... If Huck came home and saw his wife and son murdered, there was no way he could deal with that. He had no choice but to work for Rowan. It was as simple as that in his mind.
Do you think Huck wanted to be recognized? I feel like he's skilled enough to not use his M.O.
Diaz: Right. Honestly, I didn't play it that way. I played it as, "This was what I was manipulated into doing. This is the only road I can go down. This is the only way this is gonna end. This is what I have to do." It's always interesting when people see it a different way and it's an interesting theory.
I liked when Quinn told him that he can't go back to his family after this because he's too damaged. Do you think that's accurate?
Diaz: Yeah. In my head, I think he did this completely to protect his family. I think now it pulls him away even further from that normal life, his wife and kid even though he probably saved their lives. But now he's completely swooshed further and further away. I don't know if he can ever live with his wife and kid and have a normal life and not forget all these incredibly horrible things. I don't think he's done anything as horrific as what he did [in the finale]. It'll be fascinating to see what Shonda does with Huck if she keeps him alive.
He promised to stop killing and that didn't really work out well.
Diaz: Yeah, he sure did. He promised Quinn and right after that he killed Sue (Lena Dunham) and now these jurors. He didn't stick to his promise and obviously that's why Quinn was so pissed off at him.
Do you think Huck wants to die or is he just bluffing?
Diaz: I think part of him wants to die. I think part of him is just done. I feel like he's just sick and tired of being so hurt and so broke and so confused. The other part of him wants to be with his family, but I think part of him wants to die and he just wants Quinn to pull that trigger because it'd make it all so much easier. I don't condone suicide, but in the position he's in, I would imagine he's done and he's over it, and part of him does want to die. ... He doesn't get his sh-- out. He doesn't talk to anybody. He goes to his meetings sometimes, but it's probably been a while since he's been to one of those. When you keep all those things inside, it's not good.
Obviously Quinn can kill him, but can she go through with it? They're Huckleberry Quinn.
Diaz: I know! I think she can. She can and she can't. It would be hard for her, but at the same time, she'd be saving other people's lives because who knows what he would do after this. Maybe he's at a place of "I don't care anymore," so he'll just keep going and things will get worse. She's thinking, "Do you end his life and maybe this will protect a whole bunch of people?" I think she is capable of it. She loves him too and she wants him to be relieved of these demons that he has. It's such a sad relationship right now.
Can Huck still be a gladiator after this?
Diaz: I don't know. I wouldn't want to tell [Olivia]. I think this is something they'd probably keep a secret from her for a long time, maybe forever. I would imagine if Huck does live, these two would keep it a secret and not tell anyone. I don't know how you can work with someone who has done that. I don't know if Olivia would tolerate that and allow him to stay there after that.
Why didn't Rowan kill Huck, Jake and Quinn too when he was getting rid of everyone who could ID him? And Russell and Charlie?
Diaz: Right, right. Well, he didn't kill us three because we're regulars on the show and we're under contract, so Shonda would have to hire new actors. So that's why. [Laughs] I don't know. Last week, when Huck was attacked ... he could've gone then! I joke, but Shonda has a bigger picture in her head. She's got it all worked out in that brilliant brain of hers. That will all be revealed in the episodes to come. I don't know how she sees the stories and keeps the stories straight. We trust her.
Do you think B613 should've been eradicated completely and Rowan should've been killed? I'm assuming he'll find a way out of jail soon.
Diaz: Well, what I loved was you saw that light bulb above Olivia's head, like, "Oh, my God. I can nail him for this." I don't know if she would've been able to completely eradicate B613 and kill him. He's still Rowan and I'm sure he still has people out there who could do his dirty work and get him out somehow. But it was nice to see him scream out her name at the end and look so desperate and defeated. That was exciting to see him that way. We never see Rowan weak in that way.
What did you think of the other story lines — Fitz firing Cyrus and kicking Mellie out even though he's literally killed hundreds of people himself, Lizzie's big move and Jake leaving?
Diaz: Lizzie — wow! That was such a savvy move. I'm excited to see what she's gonna do [as chief of staff]. Mellie getting kicked out — I couldn't imagine him doing anything else. I think it was the secrecy and he was upset she didn't tell him after that nice speech he gave about [their relationship]. And Cyrus Beene fired — that was shocking and cool to see him exit that way. I was torn with seeing Liv go to the White House and be with Fitz. I'm Team Jake. It was kind of sad. But you know what they say: If you let someone go and give them that freedom, sometimes in the end that brings that person back. Jake loves her so much that he was able to walk away from it and say, "OK, it's all you now." I have that hope that they might end up together, Jake and Olivia.
I thought it was rude to play "Here Comes the Sun" for Olivia and Fitz when "standing in the sun" was Jake and Olivia's thing. It was a lovely cover, but still.
Diaz: [Laughs] Totally! I know, poor Jake! He can't win. But it was a nice moment!
What would you like to see in Season 5?
Diaz: For Huck, if he lives, because I love all that dark stuff, I would love to see Huck spiral even more out of control and see what other things he gets into. I would love to see him by himself and tormented by what he's done. I'd like to see him outside of OPA in his own home and see how he acts. And I would like to see Huck and Quinn mend that relationship and figure stuff out because I think they really do love each other.
What did you think of the Scandal finale?
Relive all the best drunk Mellie moments: