Olivia Pope's (Kerry Washington) heated rivalry with Rowan (Joe Morton) reached a boiling point on Scandal when the former head of B613 called her bluff. Now, when the ABC drama returns for its final episodes this week, it's Olivia's turn to respond.
Rowen kidnapped Quinn as leverage for his dinosaur bones, which Olivia had stolen, and neither side agreed to back down, leading to one tense standoff in the fall finale, which ended with Quinn (Katie Lowes) presumably shot dead. When the show returns on Thursday, the question of whether or not Quinn is still alive will need to be answered, along with how Olivia will respond to Rowen's brash actions.
"It's yet another ping pong ball in their relationship ,so now the ball is in her court," Joe Morton tells TV Guide. "We'll see if I get my bones back."
Although the bones mean a great deal to Rowan, there's something else that he's fighting for in addition to his stolen property. "I think what he's fighting for is what is essential to his existence, which is freedom. At any point, when his freedom is taken away from him, that's when he becomes the most violent and the most dangerous," Morton explained.
While Papa Pope might be fighting for his freedom, his biggest concern right now is protecting his daughter. "I think he's concerned that she will end up literally destroying herself because she's so completely intoxicated by power," added Morton. "So to try to figure out a way to help that will probably his first concern."
Saving Olivia is one thing, having a healthy relationship with her is another. It's something we've seen them attempt several times throughout the show's run, but given both their ties to the seedy underbelly of Washington D.C., any sense of normalcy is likely impossible at this point. "[Their relationship is] always sort of infected by other things, either from the past or from what's going on with one of their lives in the present. So what's great is that there's always the attempt to be a family. What's disconcerting is that clearly, they are dysfunctional," said Morton.
Whether or not Rowan remains alive long enough to make another attempt at a normal relationship with his daughter remains to be seen. After all, Olivia did order a hit on him in the fall finale and has yet to call it off. Either way, it looks like it will be rough going for the father-daughter duo in Scandal's swan song.
Scandal returns Thursday, January 18 at 9/8c on ABC.