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: R.I.P. Dick Maugg.
Scott Foley: Pardon?
JM: Dick Maugg. He played Ed Jaymes in the classic 1980s TV commercials for Bartles & Jaymes wine coolers. He passed away in July, but his obit appeared a couple days ago in The New York Times.
SF: Sorry to hear it. We’re discussing this … why?
JM: Well, my scenes in this episode — “Get Out of Jail, Free” — revolve around meeting with Vice President Susan Ross to talk her out of resigning. I love the detail the writers added that Susan requests wine coolers as a beverage. Sometimes it’s the littlest things that help create a memorable character. Artemis Pebdani and the Scandal writers have done a bang-up job with Susan. Also, kudos to her for mentioning my job title in our first scene, and giving me an episode off from having to do it myself.
SF: Pretty soon it’s going to be a requirement that anyone in a scene with you mentions David’s job title, if only so you don’t have to. I’m very impressed with Artemis. The character that she’s created is such a breath of fresh air in the Scandal world with a moral compass that always seems to know due north.
JM: I love that she never feels like artificially added comic relief. Susan is a funny, idiosyncratic character, but Artemis’s subtle performance and the writers’ light touch keep her very much a part of the Scandal universe. I also dig that David understands her appeal. Like you, I think he recognizes that in the D.C. of Scandal, she’s a rare straight-shooter, someone who — like him — is looking to do the right thing. They bond over their mutual disapproval of Fitz! Sorry, Tony …
SF: You actually had one of my favorite lines of the night.
SF: You didn’t write it.
JM: Still …
SF: It was a nice glimpse into a little background of David Rosen when you mentioned growing up with sisters as being the reason for your familiarity with wine coolers. I loved that line.
JM: Yeah. Me too. I like that Rosen has sisters. I also have sisters. They are nice and good. How about the rest of the episode?
SF: This one had a bunch going on (as they all do), but for me there was a scene that really stuck with me, and it was Fitz’s proposal to Olivia and their subsequent argument. I totally sympathized with both sides, and I thought that scene was beautifully written and honestly acted. I really related to Fitz, as a man, admitting that all the pomp and circumstance wasn’t what he wanted, and to Olivia not wanting that commitment that way and at that time.
As far as Jake goes, I think that we saw an interesting shift in him this episode. The past few times that we’ve seen him and Liv, Jake has really been trying to be a friend, but in this episode we saw just where the line was that he couldn’t cross… and it looks like that line is marrying Fitz. I don’t blame him.
JM: Nor do I! You go, Jake.
And a major moment … your ex gets axed! That’s Scandal. You find out you used to be married, and two eps later, she’s dead! Mia Maestro, we hardly knew ye. That’s one of the odd things about working on this show. I feel a connection to everyone who’s involved with it, but sometimes — depending on the plot — I don’t get much (or any) interaction. I met Mia briefly in the make-up trailer, and that was it. But I thought she did a great job on the show.
SF: I did too, and I enjoyed our time, albeit brief, together. It is strange. There are people on this show who play characters that contribute a great deal to it, but because of storylines, I never get to work with. In my case, one of those so far has been Artemis. So it goes both ways, my friend. Although she and I do have a nice bit coming up on Kimmel sometime in the near future, so look for that … or don’t.
JM: Oh I’ll be watching.
JM: Because I’m in it too.