'Scandal' Star Katie Lowes on the Shocking Quinn Twist and What It Means (Exclusive)

By
ABC

Warning: Spoiler alert! Do not proceed if you haven't watched Thursday's episode of Scandal. If you have, you may proceed...

What really happened to Quinn?

On Thursday's episode of Scandal, titled "Good People," viewers finally got to see what actually went down in Rowan's basement the day Quinn was kidnapped. Did Rowan kill Quinn with a gunshot to the head and another one to the stomach? While it appeared to be the case, leaving Olivia and co. to say farewell to Quinn with a "warrior" send-off, it was revealed in this episode that there's far more to the story than meets the eye.

Turns out, Quinn and her baby are very much alive and well.  

Here's how it all went down: After Papa Pope presented Olivia the ultimatum of Quinn's life or his dinosaur bones, Olivia called his bluff, choosing the latter. That's when Rowan went down the basement steps and fired off two shots, which, in Olivia's mind, confirmed that Quinn was dead.

Not so fast, though. Rowan didn't fire those shots at Quinn, choosing at the last moment to spare her and her child's life. That crying baby girl Charlie came across? That's Quinn's baby.

Following the episode, Scandal star Katie Lowes spoke with ET to break down the big Quinn twist, filming the intense birthing scene weeks away from giving birth herself, and what this means moving forward.

ET: Set the record straight once and for all. Quinn is alive, correct?

Katie Lowes: She is alive. 

Were you aware beforehand that Quinn wasn't going to end up six feet under?

Yeah. I knew I was alive because we shot the episodes out of order. I actually shot tonight's episode before they shot last week's episode, so I knew she was alive. The whole funeral episode that happened last week was such a gift. I was like, "Oh my gosh, this is like an homage to Quinn!" -- this character I've been so lucky to play the last seven seasons. I was very overwhelmed and appreciative. I emailed [creator] Shonda [Rhimes] after last week's episode and I was like, "That was such a gift to be able to go through her funeral knowing she wasn't actually dead." I could appreciate how special Quinn is to me and how special she was to her fellow Gladiators and how special she was and is to the fans. It was awesome.

This episode packed quite an emotional punch, and I can only imagine how tough some of the scenes were to film for you.

It was so intense. I was nine-and-a-half months pregnant, and I could have gone into labor at any time. (Laughs.) I was shooting intense things with Joe Morton, who was such a love and a gift and a friend to me during this whole episode and kept looking down at my stomach being like, "It's pretend! You're OK. We're safe." And we were. There's no better place to be pregnant and working than Shondaland. Yes, those scenes were super emotional and very intense, but I was so taken care of as soon as they called "cut." I was in a comfy chair and there were awesome PAs bringing me water and changing my shoes and making me peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. It was very comforting. There was a medic on set at all times whenever there were difficult physical scenes. There was a stunt coordinator. There was an OB there making sure I was doing everything safe for the baby. It was incredible.

You kind of got to have a trial run with Quinn's birthing scene.

Oh, yeah! The scene where I was pushing and giving birth with all my friends and I was like, "Oh my god, you guys, I'm going to be doing this in a couple of weeks but, like, for real!" I had a blanket over my knees and they either pulled out a real baby, who was an actor, or they would pull out a fake baby that was a doll covered in cottage cheese and grape jelly, which was real gross. What a surreal mind-bending experience! I really got the most emotional when they pulled out the real baby because the real baby was hysterically crying, and so it was kind of like, Oh my god, this is what's really going to be happening to me. I just gave birth to my first child [in October 2017]. It was really [an] out of body [experience]. The scene where I put the baby in Olivia's old bedroom and I'm holding a real baby? That baby was on top of my big stomach with my real baby inside of it. (Laughs.) I was like, this is just unbelievable.

You went through a lot of emotions during the filming of this episode, it seems.

A hormonal roller coaster.

At this point in time, everyone believes that Quinn is dead. What can you tease in terms of Olivia and the others possibly discovering that Quinn is alive?

At the end of tonight's episode, the only person that knows is Rowan, and they're both in agreement and have sort of formed this alliance that here is where we're safe and they have to sort of figure out -- you'll see how it plays out very soon -- how well they're able to keep this way of life up.

Who will have the most surprising reaction if and when they do learn the truth about Quinn?

If Charlie ever finds out that his fiancee and his baby are alive and well, that would be the one I would be most interested to see.

And just to confirm: The baby Charlie saw in last week's episode is Quinn's?

Yes, that is Quinn's baby.

There was one line Quinn says that really struck a chord, when she calls Rowan a "good person." Does she truly believe that?

I think they had some sort of weird connection in this episode. As far as it being super intense that he wanted to kill her, he also made a choice not to kill her. In some other alternate reality, Rowan would be a great dad and a great grandpa -- if he wasn't also a killer. She gets confused about trusting him, and I think there are parts of him that are a good person, and Joe did an amazing job of making Rowan complicated enough that he is good and evil. He's many things. He's complicated. But then again, it's Papa Pope and you can trust him as far as you can throw him. When Quinn goes downstairs [at the end of the episode], of course he's killed somebody -- but he's killed somebody for the good of her life and her baby's life. That's kind of how it works, I guess.

Olivia seems so far gone this season. In your heart of hearts, what will it take for Olivia to regain a sense of morality?

I don't know if she ever can. I think Quinn thinks she's so far gone. I'm not that far ahead of you and I haven't seen the end of what this series looks like. At the moment, I'm not sure if Quinn and Olivia as friends [is possible]. I don't know if they can ever come back from this.

The Scandal-How to Get Away With Murder crossover is coming up in March. What are you comfortable saying in regards to your involvement in those episodes?

All I can say is that Annalise crosses over to us and Olivia Pope crosses over to them, and that's all I can say about that. It is a mystery.

In terms of the upcoming episodes you've already shot, what kind of vibe should fans expect?

In the next episode, I got to do the most fun and favorite thing I ever got to do on Scandal. It's really, really, really fun and it's not intense.

Scandal airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

RELATED CONTENT:

'Scandal' Sneak Peek: Is This How Quinn Spent Her Final Days Alive? (Exclusive)

‘Scandal' Sends Quinn Off With a Bang -- But Whose Baby Is That?

'Scandal' Star Joe Morton Says Olivia ‘Has to Deal With the Consequences’ -- Is Quinn Really Dead? (Exclusive)