Consider it handled. Each week, Scandal fan favorites Josh Malina and Scott Foley, who play David Rosen and Jake Ballard, respectively, join forces to bring you behind-the-scenes scoop. Here, they revisit episode 9 of season 5. Check back each week for more — and of course, send feedback to us at @EW and to the guys at @JoshMalina and @scottkfoley.
JOSHUA MALINA: Holy smokes, it’s here.
SCOTT FOLEY: It is, Joshua. It is here. The Holiday Hiatus Temporary Television Timeout!
JM: The Midseason Scandal Pause break! You know what this means …
JM and SF (typing in unison): NO MORE FREE BLOGS TO WRITE!
JM: Woo indeed. Just this one to get through. Then we’ll see you back here on February 12th, folks. So, this episode … 509 … “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” Written by Mark Wilding, otherwise known as “The Hammer.” Directed by Tom Verica.
SF: Otherwise known as “the dead dude from HTGAWM.”
JM: How was your experience shooting this one?
SF: I had an interesting experience with this one, because I was shadowing Tom Verica during a lot of his prep.
JM: “Shadowing.” That’s following a director as he or she preps, shoots, and edits a TV episode, so you can see how it’s all done on a particular show.
SF: Correct, Josh. Thanks for that.
JM: My pleasure. A lot of our readers don’t have access to Google, so I figured I’d help out. Anyway, you were shadowing because you’re going to direct an episode of Scandal later in the season.
SF: Right again. I was able to see the script come together from the outline, through a bunch of rewrites into — finally — the shooting script. Now we both know that the shooting script is always in flux but getting a behind-the-scenes eye into what goes on was interesting. I’ve directed television before but the main thing I was able to learn about the process that is unique to Scandal was the grace with which our production team handles not knowing anything. Because Scandal is such a complex story and because we shoot them so quickly (9 days) one after another, the writers and the production team really have to look out for each other, and there is a great line of communication that has to exist, or the whole thing would just go to s—.
SF: We were scouting locations just days before filming, based on the likelihood that the writers would write scenes in those locations. There was no guarantee, no script yet, just the thought that maybe they’d place a scene here, or maybe they’d place a scene there. It was a real eye-opener.
JM: Yeah. The last-minute nature of the endeavor means that all departments have to be ready to pounce as soon as actual pages come in.
SF: Now, as for the episode itself: Mellie with the filibuster for the win!! I thought that story line was really on point and gave us a great insight into the kind of woman that we want her to be (at least for me!) Jake had his hands full with “the sons” … does that make them his brothers? And if so, what does that make Olivia to him?
JM: Don’t go there.
SF: For me, the real moment of this episode is a very simple yet poignant scene with Olivia. The abortion scene is so telling, so on point and so in character that just listening to the stage directions being read at the table read was heartbreaking and maybe more importantly, it was powerful. So powerful. The silence in the room at that moment was really telling. That something that has been legal throughout this country for 42 years can still have that effect, just on paper, and to a fictional character, really tells you what an important topic it is. Yeah, so there was that. Also, Jake shot Russell in the face.
JM: Had to feel good.
SF: Olivia said “snickerdoodle.” Mellie said “gonorrhea.” Rowan teased Huck about his kid, (not cool, BTW). David re-gifted a bracelet (nice move).
JM: Economical. Environmentally sound. Also, I discovered in that scene with Artemis that I no longer possess the fine motor skills necessary to fasten a bracelet on a woman’s wrist. I never managed to get it.
SF: And last but certainly not least, Liv tells Fitz that there is no … wait for it … Vermont! How is that possible? For years now I’ve been dreaming of a big farmhouse with acreage and stone walls leading off over rolling green hills and now … What do we have to look forward to? Not jam, that’s for damn sure. I’m crushed. Well, crushed may be too strong a word but … I’m something. Oh, and Liv got a new couch. To sit on. By herself. You. Go. Girl.
JM: It was a whopper of a near Winter Solstice Scandal-palooza-rama-thon. And now we’re off the air for nearly 3 months! And while that means a break from “Folina: The Scandal Hangover Blog,” “Folina: The Friendship” lives on! We‘ll still hang out, right? Scott?