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 8 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: Good morning, Scott. How is your Scandal hangover?
Scott Foley: It’s evening, and it’s three days before 508 airs.
JM: Shh. You’re ruining the illusion. So … how ‘bout that episode last night?
SF: It was a doozy.
JM: I know, right? The first thing I remember about the 508 table read is sitting down and surreptitiously riffling through the script, as I like to do. It looked like I had a really huge role in this one. Then I realized that it wasn’t DAVID who had a ton of dialogue, but rather NAVID, the Bandari interpreter who seeks asylum in the U.S.
SF: Were you disappointed?
JM: Not at all. You know me. Happy to stay at home while others make the quality television. I did decide, though, that Navid’s last name was Rosen, and that we’ll discover down the line that he and David are brothers.
SF: It’s amazing that Shonda hasn’t snapped you up for the writing staff.
JM: Come on — David and Navid. It’s cute! Anyway, one of my favorite things about this episode was that there was so much Farsi, but it never got farce-y. You see what I did there?
SF: I’m not sure that joke works on paper.
JM: I could call and read it to you. What’s your number?
SF: I’m always so impressed with how our writers find a way to weave a common thread through all of these stories. And this episode was no different. Between the translator seeking asylum, and Fitz and Olivia’s relationship, with a bit of David and Elizabeth/Susan in there? I love this show … even if Olivia did forget how to speak Farsi in the span of one season. S— happens, you know? Farsi’s not like riding a bike. You don’t use it …
JM: … you lose it. So true.
SF: Anyway, we begin with a glimpse of an angry Fitz and don’t really have any idea what he’s up to. Of course we find out later that Liv has been arrested for letting Rowan out of jail. What must’ve been going on in his head! We learn that he thought it was a mistake, that there was no way Liv would’ve done that but then of course she tells him, he moves her into the White House and everything’s great, right? Right?
JM: Oh, Scott. Will everything ever be great on TV’s Scandal?
SF: Liv also has some words with Jake that are about him finding Rowan but not really about him finding Rowan. As you pointed out earlier, we’re writing this pre-airing so that it can be read the morning after, so I haven’t yet seen the episode. I’m only going by the script, so I’m never sure how the show was edited, what they cut, etc. However, If the scene between Liv and Jake is in and it is as scripted, I had a hard time finding the right tone for that one.
JM: Didn’t seem that way. Thought you nailed it.
SF: Thanks, pal.
JM: Though in fairness, I haven’t seen the episode either.
SF: I knew that Jake had been angry — angry enough to say everything that he said in 507 — but finding that line between anger and betrayal without it sounding petty or jealous or dismissive was a challenge for me. I really like the Abby/Cyrus side bars. They’re very much two peas in a pod, both of them leading similar professional lives and subject to the whims and wanting of Fitz. I think the transition that Darby has made from OPA to the White House has been flawless and brave and something that not a lot of people have the range to do. It helps to have the support of such talent as Jeff, Bells and Tony, not to mention Portia and yes, even Josh.
JM: I like three of those people.
SF: By the way, that moment with you and PDR in the closet!? Loved it. Her dismissive attitude towards Rosen coupled with her seeming disgust at herself is so much fun to watch and an oddly familiar feeling … Hmm.
JM: Yes. Many people feel disgusted by their attraction to me. It’s kind of my “thing.”
SF: The Gladiators pull through again and save Liv from doubting her gut. Good job, guys … and Katie. Well, I’ve basically done all of the heavy lifting here, Josh.
JM: You’re built for it.
SF: Wait! Huck has Rowan! WTF!!!
JM: I know. Big twist!
SF: How did Huck get him? What’s he going to do with him? What does he want from him? I’ll tell you this, I can’t wait until I pretend that I don’t know what’s coming up again next week.
JM: Yeah, we’ve really pulled back the curtain and shown people the sham that is the Folina blog. Hey, you never gave me your phone number.
SF: That’s right. Do you have a pencil?
JM: Yeah. I’m writing a blog.
SF: Area code 555 …
JM: Never mind.