Scandal has become TV's go-to-destination for big questions, bigger answers, and hashtags that light the way. But it wasn't always that way. #WhoIsQuinnPerkins (the season one finale cliffhanger question du jour) turned fans into fanatics and mobilized an army of Gladiators, making Shonda Rhimes' sublime series one of the rare shows you absolutely must watch live!
And while #WhoIsQuinnPerkins has been long solved (hi Lindsay Dwyer), the mysteries surrounding OPA's most recent hire continue to grow as the chasm between Huckleberry Quinn also expands.
To find out what's next for our favorite gun-toting, screwdriver-wielding, hacker-hottie, ETonline caught up with the effervescent Katie Lowes for a frank conversation about Quinn's bad decisions, being Scandal's black widow and the "cuckoo bananas amazing" episodes to come!
ETonline: First off, it should go without saying that I am loving this season!
Katie Loews: That means so much because we're at, what feels like, this awesome fever pitch. I keep showing up to these table reads wondering if something's going to give, if we're going to lose that Scandal feeling, but honestly, I am blown away every week, and tonight's episode is one of my favorites.
ETonline: The episode is called Everything's Coming Up Mellie, which might be the best title Scandal's ever had.
Lowes: The best ever! It's divine and fitting and spectacular enough only for Mellie Grant.
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ETonline: What about it makes you so excited?
Lowes: Oh my gosh, it's 43 minutes of television where you can't believe, at minute 20, how many things have already happened. It's an amazing episode because you're learning so much about a character you thought you knew everything about -- but, again, you find out you don't even know half of what has happened to Mellie to make her tick and become the person she is. And I know a sneak peek came out yesterday, I don't know if you saw it...
ETonline: You mean Quinn smooching Charlie?
Lowes: [laughs] Yeah! My little smooch is very exciting. I love that Quinn is getting a piece-of-a! It's been a while for her. She's gone down some pretty dark roads, and she really hasn't had a kiss since Gideon.
ETonline: Which might be for the best. I mean, I know Charlie has a dangerous streak, but kissing Quinn is tantamount to a death sentence!
Lowes: Oh my God, when we got the script, the actor who plays Charlie -- you know, the wonderful George Newbern...
ETonline: From Father of the Bride! Of course!
Lowes: Right, Father of the Bride, I mean, I call him Bryan MacKenzie on a daily basis [laughs]. Also, was a huge Adventures in Babysitting fan. I mean, come on! But when he read that at the table read he goes, "Oh, I'm a dead man!" Quinn has this reputation of being this black widow; she hasn't had the best track record with men. They're either pulling scissors out of their neck or getting blown up, like my fabulous husband Adam Shaprio did by Cytron. But I read it the same way. I thought Quinn was a dead woman because of that kiss.
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ETonline: They're not going to kill Quinn...
Lowes: Look, it's an amazing job and show to be on because anything can happen. You fear for your life on a daily basis which keeps things so exciting because you never really know if you're 100 percent a good guy or 100 percent a bad guy. It's about living in this grey zone.
ETonline: And we've really seen those shades of grey from Quinn this year. What's your take on where her head is at right now?
Lowes: A lot of people on Twitter are saying it's a dark side, but I don't think of it that way. She's living in a reality where she's being trained by an ex-CIA torturer and because she was taken under Huck's wing, and only wants to do a good job for him, she thinks torturing Billy Chambers was a great day in her life. She totally got the information that was needed and saved the day for OPA. I truly think Quinn is 100 percent ride-or-die for Olivia Pope. I mean, she has no sense of belonging without Huck and Olivia, so she's very off-balance now because her relationship with Huck is in such a tumultuous place.
ETonline: Is it odd barely have any scenes with Guillermo Diaz now after spending so much time together in season two?
Lowes: Ugh! It's the worst, just the worst because Guillermo and I are super tight in real life, so it's a lot of me reminding myself that it's Huck and not Guillermo who is mad at me; Guillermo and I are fine [laughs]. But it's exciting because it adds more layers to our characters and our relationship. Plus, this is Scandal, it can't be a fairytale all the time.
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ETonline: The same kind of goes for everyone at OPA, it's like Quinn's in a completely separate orbit this season.
Lowes: Yes! I know! It's been really odd. It helps with the feeling of separation though. Huck is Quinn's way into OPA, so when things are in discord with him, she turns elsewhere to feel a sense of purpose. I think Quinn still has some learning to do outside that office, so it's good, but I watch those scenes and think, "I want to be in the OPA client scene!" You'll have to wait and see how, or if, she comes back into the OPA fold.
ETonline: Maybe as a client again since she's getting into so much trouble. I mean, watching Quinn is like watching a horror movie this season because I'm screaming at the screen like Freddie Krueger is about to pop out from a dark corner!
Lowes: [laughs] I know! My whole Twitter feed is like "Don't do that! Don't trust him! Put the gun down!" It's crazy. The good news is that, yes, there are still some naive sides to Quinn Perkins, but she has a whole new set of skills, so the Quinn that's in trouble is a different kind of Quinn than we saw in the first season.
ETonline: The audience knows Quinn is a part of Rowan's plan; do you think she's more cognizant of people manipulating her now?
Lowes: I think she's still wide-eyed with that kind of thing. I think she's great at all the motor skills; she's good at hacking, can teach herself to shoot a gun in a day, can clean up crime scenes no problem and see problems that need fixing the same way Olivia or Huck would. But I think at the end of the day, she's a girl in her late 20s and when it comes down to it, her instinct is still to trust people at first so she doesn't think anything weird of Charlie helping her.
ETonline: What can you tease about how that storyline is going to play out?
Lowes: Oh my God, all I can say is that things are just getting started [laughs]. We just wrapped episode 10 and knowing what's in store for fans with everything Quinn does in the next few episodes ... it's just cuckoo bananas amazing. There are still so many new sides of Quinn to discover.
ETonline: Is there a moment on par with her power drill?
Lowes: Uh, like a million times bigger than that! I'm actually freaking out about how fans will react. I'm so excited for them to see tonight's episode because I can't imagine what my Twitter feed will look like given what Quinn does.
Scandal airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. on ABC.