That’s been the question at the top of everyone’s mind after Scandal’s shocking midseason finale, when a power play between Eli and Olivia Pope appeared to take a deadly turn. But if fans were hoping to get a confirmation of Quinn’s fate ahead of the show’s return on Thursday, they shouldn’t look to Joe Morton; the actor’s got Shondaland secrets under lock and key.
“I mean, all I can tell the fans for now is that Olivia made all that unfortunate and possible by taking away my bones and putting me in prison, and then betting on one of her best friends,” Morton tells ET. “I mean, I think she just sort of has to deal with the consequences of her acts.”
Consequences could either mean that Quinn’s really dead, or the shock of possibly losing her friend is enough to scare Olivia into smoothing things over with her father. As for whether we’ll see the Popes working on the same side again, Morton said he hopes so -- if Olivia can get her act together.
“From the very beginning of the season, he's been trying to warn her about the evils of too much power, and she's obviously ignored it and moved to the dark side. And it depends how addicted she is to that power, as to whether they can reconcile,” he reasons. “Unfortunately, Olivia is of the mindset that she can have it all, which as the old blues singers have said, not all at one time...At this point, it’s not even so much power hungry as now power greedy.”
According to Morton, the theme of power will continue throughout the last half of Scandal’s final season, and shift “from character to character” -- perhaps even including How to Get Away With Murder’s Annalise Keating, who will join Scandal’s Olivia for a special crossover episode.
“I'm really excited to see what's going to happen, to have two major players like Annalise and Olivia, it's going to be very exciting, I think. I'm not sure where it's going to go, but I'm looking forward to it,” Morton dishes. “I predict that there probably will be a struggle for who is in control. I mean, you have two women who are all about control, so it will be interesting to see how they work it out, or they don't.”
While details of the special episode are still under wraps, the crossover got fans hoping that Scandal could live on in the world of HTGAWM after the series comes to an end. “I guess it’s a possibility, sure,” says Morton, who noted that any characters moving from show to show would be leaving the Scandal world fans love so much. “It would then be about whatever this character has to do in that world.”
For now, Morton is focusing on the end of Scandal, revealing that he still doesn’t know how his storyline will wrap up.
“Whatever I can come up with will just pale in comparison to whatever Shonda [Rhimes] and the writers will come up with,” he says. “Shonda has always known what the ending of the show will be, and that ending was somewhat altered by the fact that Trump won the presidency. So now, at this point, I’m not sure [what will happen], other than our occasional sort of parallels to what’s going on in the real world. I’m not sure where that all ends up.”
“A part of me hopes it will be a happy ending,” Morton adds. “Another part of me thinks it might be more interesting if it’s not quite, so it’s a little bittersweet.”
Morton, who already has several projects keeping him busy after Scandal -- including appearances as Dr. Silas Stone in DC films, as well as a show he’s developing called Inside the Black Box -- said that no matter how the series ends, “we’re all feeling a tremendous amount of gratitude.”
“To be working with Shonda Rhimes is an amazing thing. She's an incredible woman, one of the best bosses I've certainly had to work under, and then working with each other as well [has been amazing],” he reflects. “I think we've all formed a family, where we truly care about each other. We care what happens to all of us.”
Scandal returns Thursday, Jan. 18 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.