'He's going to be up against some really strong opposition,' the actor says of the Olivia Pope intervention
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WARNING: This story contains spoilers from Thursday’s episode of Scandal. Read at your own risk!

For fans waiting the highly anticipated Olitz reunion, Thursday’s episode of Scandal, well, did not offer that.

In fact, the only Olivia (Kerry Washington) and Fitz (Tony Goldwyn) moment we did see was the same one that closed out the episode from the week prior. However, now fans know that Fitz has returned to Washington because he not only knows Olivia is now the head of B613, but that she also killed the vice president. He’s come to hopefully bring her back from the edge. But will he be able to do that? EW turned to Goldwyn to get the scoop.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How does Fitz feel about Olivia’s dark turn?
TONY GOLDWYN: In a certain way, it’s his worst nightmare. Fitz and Olivia have a pact, based on love really, that he needed to leave and let her become who she needs to become. They both realized at the end of last season that he couldn’t be a part of that, that her destiny is to become — presumably wearing the white hat — her fullest self at the center of power. She could affect that kind of change in the world by Mellie’s side, and Fitz being a part of it just couldn’t work. It was an act of love that they agreed to that. So he stepped out, and that’s really rough for him and painful, but when he finds out from Rowan that she swallowed the hook, that the darkness has taken her, he’s got to get back in there. That has got to become Fitz’s life mission. He would sacrifice himself, because he loves her. He knows both how tragic and dangerous that will be for Olivia and how much havoc that could wreak in the world, because Olivia is a formidable human being. It really is his worst nightmare that she could become her father. He understands how attractive that power is, because he almost did it himself at the end of last season, and Olivia was the one who shamed him out of it before he could do it, and now she’s done it. If she killed Luna Vargas and she’s headed down the road — and he sees the fear and worry on Rowan’s face, that Olivia with that unbridled power is a demonic force — it becomes priority No. 1.

Credit: Mitch Haaseth/ABC

Could he be the one thing to bring her back from the edge?
I think he’s the only thing, honestly. Rowan says that. Whether Rowan is manipulating Fitz, I don’t know. I don’t think Fitz trusts Rowan. I don’t necessarily know that Fitz quite buys Rowan’s act, which may be real; I don’t know what Shonda is thinking. Rowan is not Fitz’s go-to person to get the truth from. But I think he sees that this is no joke. In a certain sense, Fitz feels that he may be the only person who can help Olivia. I hesitate to say save her, because that sounds paternalistic, and Fitz knows that’s not who he can be with Olivia, but he knows that he loves her more than anybody, and he understands the forces that she’s up against.

What can you tease of what that conversation between Fitz and Olivia will look like?
We all know that Olivia is not going to be welcoming this with open arms. We’ve seen how Olivia reacts to Fitz’s interventions in her life in the past, and it never goes well. He’s going to be up against some really strong opposition. It’s going to be a huge challenge for Fitz to try to get in there, because he’s not going to be welcomed.

How much does he actually believe Rowan? It’s one thing to hear she’s taken over B613, but it’s another thing to hear she’s killed someone.
I think that he’s not sure. Put it this way: it’s credible enough that he’s got to get in there. If what Rowan is saying is true, he has to get in there and find out for himself. I don’t think he trusts Rowan at all, but he sees something in Rowan’s eyes in the way Rowan has come to him that has credibility to it. Maybe it’s not true, maybe he’s going to get to Washington and find out that none of it is true, Rowan is just trying to get himself back into a position of power by manipulating us. Fitz is smart enough to know that may be it, but there’s something about his knowledge of Olivia that rings true about this. It’s his worst fear, it smells true to him so he has to go check it out. We know it is true, so we know Fitz is going to find out. But he doesn’t just take it at face value. He has great issues with Rowan.

What does his relationship look like with Mellie now?
He gave her the 100 days. He was trying to stay out of it. It was very hard for him to stay out of it. It’s been his world for more than eight years, and suddenly now he can’t even participate. It’s hard for him. He and Mellie have a good relationship, but he’s promised to keep his distance. It’s going to be very problematic when he inserts himself back in, because he’s got to try and find a way to help pull Olivia back from the darkness. Whether Mellie knows it or not, she’s part of that. In terms of his institute and the work he wants to do, Mellie is a potential real ally, but also it’s going to be problematic, because Mellie doesn’t necessarily want Fitz around. She’s got to be her own president, so it’s going to become complicated in that way.

Scandal airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.

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