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 6 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: Dude.
Scott Foley: Dude.
JM: So…we’re back.
SF: And better than before.
JM: Well, the same. Let’s go with “the same as before.” Let’s not set the bar too high.
SF: That’s not really your thing.
JM: It really isn’t. I like to set the bar low and then step over it. So, you are still in the middle of directing episode 516.
JM: How’s it going? I mean, I’m sure you’ll document the experience extensively in “Folina 516,” but can you give us some idea what it’s been like directing your first episode of the show?
SF: It’s been, so far, a pretty good experience. I love working with our crew in this capacity. I’ve spent enough time with them to know that they’re a really talented, cohesive group but seeing them through a different lens really gives me a different perspective on them and just how hard they work and how well they collaborate with one another. That goes for our cast as well. Standing in front of you guys, I know how good you all are but watching you, seeing how well you take direction and being one step removed is really amazing and humbling.
JM: Wow. That was really positive. I’m disappointed. Hopefully we’ll mine the downside of it all when we blog 516. But I will join in on the love-fest and say that I have thoroughly enjoyed working with you. We had one long day together, and I was impressed with your demeanor on set. A director really has to set the tone, because it trickles down to the cast and crew, and you seemed very prepared and confident. And of course you know actors and you know the show, which was apparent in your direction. I found your input very helpful. I had some complex scenes with Portia and Artemis, and you guided us and shot them well. See, I can be nice.
SF: Who knew?
JM: I’ll point out here that while you have been slogging through long day after long day, I have thus far shot a single day on the episode, and then enjoyed a full week off. Next week I’ll work just two more days for you, and then be done with the episode. That’s one of the reasons I don’t direct. It’s extremely time-consuming and would pull my attention away from our blog. I am, ultimately, more committed to the endeavor.
SF: I thought you didn’t direct because you never have, you don’t have the skill set to do so, and Shonda hasn’t offered you the opportunity.
JM: Yeah, but the main reason is so I can concentrate on our blog. So, let’s get to it. Episode 511, “The Candidate.” My storyline has David finally fully engrossed in the (love? sex?) triangle that looked to be forming with both Liz and now Susan. I just shook my head at the table read when we reached the moment where Liz says “Down boy,” and David actually hits the deck, on all fours. Oh, dear, twisted Scandal writers, what will you have me do next? I’m not even entirely sure what David thought was going to happen next. Sexy horsey ride? Human coffee table? Best, perhaps, not to ponder it.
SF: Agreed. Although I have the feeling that you’re constantly pondering it. In your car. In the shower. While eating a burrito…
JM: No. I’m usually thinking about what I’ll eat next. Even when I’m already eating a burrito. I will say this: I have long argued that David Rosen is the only character who has any claim to white-hattedness on the show. In my view, Olivia lost that competition to him long ago. But after this particular episode, David has hit new depths. Liz sex-leverages him into leading Susan on — a sad, sad day for the once-ethical Attorney General of the United States.
SF: Way to work in your title. Drink!
JM: I cannot, of course, play the role as if I look down on him, but I’ll tell you, I’m disappointed in Davey boy. And now, truly, Susan Ross is the leading contender for Wearer of the Hat of Ivory. Her character seems to be pretty solid, pretty squeaky clean. We’ll see…
SF: I really liked this episode. I though that Bellamy especially was on her A-game. I’m looking forward to seeing her relationship with Liv develop (or destruct)!
JM: Yes, it was good fun to see those two snack and argue at O.P.A. I felt a bit possessive of the cereal, though. That’s my jam! Sorry about the word “jam.” I know that some of you are sensitive…
SF: Also, what the hell is Cyrus doing?! Pining in the wings of some small town hall meeting? He’s cheating on Fitz! It seems that Jake and Olivia have fallen into a bit of a rut, a wordless, physically sexual rut, which I guess isn’t a bad rut to be in.
JM: Yeah. I watched last night with the closed captioning on (hey, I’m 50), and was struck by two phrases during your scenes with Liv. They were “Belt buckle jangles,” and “Box springs bouncing.” I took these as a cue to watch through a small crack in my fingers.
SF: And let’s talk about Fitz for a second — now divorced, dating but in a quasi relationship with Abby, his “work wife.” I’m happy for him on the one hand, I’ve had a crush on Annabeth Gish since I saw Mystic Pizza, but I worry that this may open up a Pandora’s box of women in his life that…I’m changing my opinion, I’m not worried about Fitz in the least.
JM: Yeah, he’ll be okay. Or will he? See how I tease the next episode?
SF: You have a way.
JM: OK, that’s all I’ve got. Go direct!