Character Rehab: How to fix Quinn on 'Scandal'
Here at EW, we have a new weekly series in which we — and readers — weigh in on ways to rehab much-maligned characters on some of our favorite shows.
I’ll admit, I was a little late to the Scandal train. This past May, however, I decided to take the plunge and, man oh man, can I just say that life can be separated into two factions: pre-Scandal and post-Scandal.
Forget Revenge — Scandal is the definition of a guilty-pleasure soap. Just thinking about it right now makes me feel giddy. I went through the first two seasons in two days (the first season is only seven episodes, so I’m not that much of a loser) and couldn’t stop telling everyone I know/have ever met (and complete strangers) that they need to start watching this show like right now. “Well, what happens?” You know what happens? EVERYTHING. Assassination attempts, murder, Monica Lewinsky-esque shenanigans, sexy time with the PRESIDENT (who looks like a Ralph Lauren model), fraud, fake miscarriages, bombs, the CIA, awesome characters and Kerry Washington in the best wardrobe of all time. Seriously, you’ll be watching an episode and your jaw will hit the floor and you’ll go “Oh wow, what a great episode” and then you check the time and it’s ONLY BEEN 10 MINUTES.
OK, I’m obviously a fan. I find this show pretty perfect in its ridiculousness, but there is one character who desperately needs some help. Whenever I watch Scandal and see Quinn Perkins/Lindsay Dwyer (played by the very talented Katie Lowes), I can’t help but want to punch her in the face (that’s reasonable, right?), so let’s get to the bottom of it and figure out some solutions:
Make her better at her job. Now, I know that she ultimately served some kind of function in uncovering the whole Defiance debacle, but Lindsay, for lack of a better word, really sucks at her job. The writers have been obviously playing around with the concept, trying to figure out where Quinn fits at Pope & Associates but they haven’t quite hit the nail on the head yet. This is a character who distracts her co-workers and is constantly left behind with nothing to do, someone who’s just a heavy set of baggage that people whose job it is to fix problems can’t be bothered to lug around. “How do you fix it,” you ask? Well, I can tell you that you don’t turn her into a female version of Huck (Guillermo Diaz). A girl doesn’t spend her whole life as a la-di-da-di-da kind of person and then one day decide that she enjoys torturing people. Quinn needs to find another role in the firm: Harrison (
my husband Columbus Short) is the second in command, Abby (Darby Stanchfield) investigates, and Huck has the whole torture/hacking schtick. Perhaps Quinn can take over as the psuedo-lawyer? Or she can even take hacking off Huck’s hands so he can stick to what he does best: speaking in a creepy voice while drilling people. Olivia (Kerry Washington) could also put Quinn in Kung Fu lessons to be the group’s muscle or have her enroll in an Intro to PR course — really, anything that can make her useful. Quinn needs to be trained in some capacity so she isn’t just constant dead weight on a case. And as a bonus, she’ll stop freaking out over Defiance. Haven’t you learned anything? You’re supposed to blindly trust Olivia with your life. If she says wait, you wait.
Give her a conflicting love interest. True story: I hated Abby (a little too snarky and a little too quirky a little too forcefully) until she got together with David Rosen (Joshua Malina). Perhaps a similar structure can work for Quinn (R.I.P Gideon). My vote? Harrison. How will they handle working together? Will he call her Quinn or Lindsay? This could also be used as a good time to introduce a new character, maybe one that works under Chief of Staff Cyrus Beene (Jeff Perry) or the President of my Dreams (Tony Goldwyn)?.Think about it: Quinn has to choose between her job and the sexy-but-smart White House intern! It’ll be just like the Gideon affair, except we hopefully won’t find him annoying and SPOILER ALERT: he won’t do his job so stupidly that he winds up with a bad case of the stab-in-the-chest. I can tell that writers are pushing for Huck and Quinn to have a will-they-or-won’t-they relationship, but that just makes me want to hurl.
Stop with the Defiance background. Just stop. Give her a new goal. It’s always cool when the audience learns about something new along with a character. In Quinn’s case, the audience basically knows everything, and she’s still running around with her head cut off asking questions at the most inopportune times: “Tell me about my past!” “I need to know why!” — it’s not all about you, hon. Hence the need for: A) A job, and B) A love interest. Or at least a dog or a new apartment that’s in need of decorating. Seriously, there has to be something else out there that she could be focusing on.
If all else fails, kill her off. And bring back Stephen. Oh well, a girl can dream.
So what do you think, PopWatchers? Is it me, or is Quinn just a waste of space? What are YOUR suggestions?