It didn’t take long for Scandal to burst the happy Fitz and Olivia bubble after photos of them leaked to the public in the closing moments of the premiere. So, who’s the culprit behind the leak? The No. 1 suspect among the cast: Mellie Grant.
“Who else would’ve leaked the photos?” Tony Goldwyn, who plays Fitz, tells EW. “That’s my guess and it’s reasonably Fitz’s guess. Who else would have a reason to do it, really?”
Mellie (Bellamy Young) certainly is a viable candidate. Steaming over Fitz asking for a divorce, the first lady could be gunning for revenge. “He was gleeful handing me those papers,” Young says. “Regardless of whether of not she’s the leak, that is definitely true — when has Mellie ever let somebody have the last word? That’s never going to happen in a million years.”
“I think it was Mellie that leaked it,” Guillermo Diaz (Huck) concurs, “Because it’ll make her seem like the wife who has been wronged. People are going to be sympathetic to her and like her a little bit more because they feel bad for her, and look at Olivia [Kerry Washington] like she’s a whore and this horrible mistress.”
But people who live in glass houses should not throw stones — especially ones with potential presidential aspirations. “Mellie’s holding public office,” Young says. “There are so many secrets, so much dirt, so many things that can bring her down at any moment. It’s like walking on eggshells.”
However, there are several other suspects who could be behind the leak, including the jilted Cyrus (Jeff Perry). “What about Cyrus going, ‘Look what happens when I’m taken off the watch?’ ” ponders Perry, who has an inkling that his White House replacement Elizabeth North (Portia de Rossi) could have a hand in this. “I always suspect our dear Liz is up to something because she’s the worst kind of traitor,” Perry says. “When I’m a traitor, I do it so I cover up my tracks. You can see her footprints on everything.”
A more heartbreaking suspect is Abby (Darby Stanchfield), who was seething in the premiere over Olivia basically doing her job behind her back. “It could be Abby,” Stanchfield says. “Abby feels ultimately betrayed because Olivia lied to her face and she was totally thrown under the bus up at the press podium. That does not go away. That’s definitely a thorn in Abby’s side. She has to navigate that as well as deal with the crisis. She’s mad … It’s someone who has it out for either Olivia or the administration.”
With David “Attorney General of the United States” Rosen (Joshua Malina) leading the charge, it shouldn’t be too long before we find out who it was. “In the near future, he’s going to focus in on the investigation into who leaked the photos of Olivia and Fitz that led to the affair becoming public knowledge,” Malina says.
Meanwhile, though Olivia may have lost a friend in Abby, she could find someone else to lean on during this difficult time. “She’s now in this very public position where before she was doing her job behind the scenes fixing problems, now she’s not behind the scenes anymore, so it’s going to be very hard to do her job,” Foley says. “She’s also without a confidante, so I think Jake might be able to play a couple other roles — along with helping Huck [Guillermo Diaz] out, there might be some other duties for him there.”
Of course, that all depends on how Jake is doing in regards to his feelings for Olivia now that she’s back with Fitz. “Jake was the one who said, ‘Go to him, you love him,’ ” Foley says. “He knew it was going to happen. I didn’t think it was going to happen so quick. It’s kind of a slap in the face. The same night is kind of tough. But Jake’s a big boy. I think he’ll be all right.”
But fans of Olivia and Jake shouldn’t read too much into that since executive producer Shonda Rhimes really is moving forward with the Fitz and Olivia relationship in a big way. “Fitz and Olivia are really trying to do it,” Goldwyn says. “You’ll see in the next episode, now that the floodgates have been unleashed, it’s going to be like riding a wild bull to try to hang together. It’s not going to be easy. It’s messy and awful, but it’s really exciting that Shonda is pushing this in that direction as opposed to the back and forth that we’ve always done. it’s different now. It’s like, be careful what you wish for. Here it is.”
Scandal airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.