[Warning: This story contains spoilers from Thursday’s "Top of the Hour" episode of Scandal.]
From #WhoIsQuinnPerkins to #KickAssQuinn in training, Scandal‘s newest Gladiator is expanding her role with Olivia Pope & Associates.
During Thursday’s episode, Quinn Perkins (Katie Lowes) earned her keep in a major way, partnering with Huck (Guillermo Diaz) to learn the ways of tailing a suspect. In this case, that mark is director of the CIA Osborne (Kurt Fuller), whom Quinn realizes is using the cover of a dry cleaners to exchange information (and money) connected to the U.S. operatives being held overseas.
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The closing moments of Thursday’s episode, however, Quinn may go from one step ahead of the mole when Osborne — thanks to his spy at the dry cleaners — identifies that Quinn is onto his back-room dealings.
The Hollywood Reporter caught up with Lowes to break down the episode — is Quinn in danger? Might Osborne recognize her as Lindsay Dwyer? — and preview next week’s hour when Hollis Doyle (Gregg Henry) becomes a client at OPA.
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The Hollywood Reporter: Now that OPA has confirmation that Osborne is the mole, what’s their next step? Will she show Olivia that she cracked this?
Katie Lowes: This is the episode where we find out that Osborne’s dirty business and Huck and Quinn take that to our bosses to see what the heck we’re going to do about it. Huck has been training Quinn and in the last episode we saw, he trains Quinn on cleanup and this week she’s learning observation. Quinn is starting to get really good at these things that Huck is teaching her — and it doesn’t happen over night. She’s definitely not at the place yet where she’s confident enough to say, "I solved this; I found the mole." We still have a little while to go on that font.
THR: What might Osborne do now that he knows he’s being tailed? Will he come after Quinn?
Lowes: This was one of the table reads none of us had read the script and we got to that ending moment and [showrunner] Shonda [Rhimes] looks at me, stops the reading and jokes, "So Katie, it’s been nice working with you!" I literally almost went to the bathroom on myself. In that moment, where you know Osborne knows he’s being trailed by Quinn, I thought, "Oh my God, am I going to die? Is Osborne going to come after Quinn? Is he going to get his people to come after her?" I went home and told my husband [and Scandal guest star] Adam [Shapiro], "Shonda made this joke at the table read but I don’t think she would have actually made the joke in front of people if she actually was killing me off, right?" We’re all in such constant fear for the safety of our jobs. Everyone laughed when she said it, but I was secretly petrified! I’m not worried anymore. I think Osborne knows that Quinn is part of something bigger. It’s not definitely Quinn, but he might be coming after what Quinn is attached to.
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THR: Does Osborne recognize Quinn — who is spotted from his spy at the dry cleaners — as being Lindsay Dwyer?
Lowes: It’s definitely a possibility; that was the first thing I said. Not only does he know it’s Quinn, but he could definitely know it’s the Molotov Mistress. Osborne isn’t an idiot and he sees what’s been going on with her and knows all of those things. The funny part of that scene is when we all watched the episode on Sunday at Jeff Perry‘s house and when I took the shirt off in the dry cleaners, Dan Bucatinsky shouted out, "#QuinnsTwins!" I’ve not been blessed with a huge rack, but when we shot the pilot, the original script had Quinn in a really short miniskirt. It was changed to a low V-neck and the line changed to Quinn revealing too much cleavage. Ever since then I’ve been wearing huge pushup bras and when I had to walk around in that tank top, that pushup bra was in full effect! #QuinnsTwins indeed! Maybe there will come a time where Quinn can use those puppies to get her way. She’s really starting to learn her way around the business and talking people into things that they don’t want to do. Quinn’s "twins" may have some power (laughs).
THR: She’s joined Huck as his sidekick and is learning what he does; how might that get her into trouble?
Lowes: It absolutely can. Quinn is trying to find a place where she fits in at OPA now that she’s chosen to be Quinn Perkins forever. She’s searching for where she fits in: What’s her skill set? What is she good at? Through Huck being her mentor, she’s figuring out she’s good at these things and has the stomach and head for them. Is she good enough to be on her own yet? You’re going to see her get to put these things that she’s learned to the test; if Quinn can hack it or not.
THR: How long will Quinn study under Huck before she can go solo?
Lowes: You’re going to see that pretty soon. It happens in my favorite episode to come in episode 218. In two weeks, I get to do some of the most fun work I’ve ever gotten to do and a lot of the hardest stuff I’ve ever gotten to do. After that, we get into a whole new situation that I can’t say but Huckleberry Quinn is definitely in full effect. We are a dynamic duo.
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THR: Huck has had some pretty intense methods. Might there come a point where they disagree?
Lowes: At the moment, she’s following and learning from him and grateful to have a friend in the office. He’s always been helpful in keeping her from being one step behind. But she’s not at the point where she’s going to disagree or stand up to him. At the moment, he’s a mentor to her and she wants to impress him and do a good job.
THR: Next week, OPA takes on Hollis as a client when his daughter is kidnapped and held for ransom. How will Quinn feel working for the guy who killed her boyfriend and turned her life upside down?
Lowes: Quinn was in full-blown revenge mode the last time she talked about Hollis. She was giving Huck $5,000 and begging him to take Hollis out. Quinn — out of everyone — is the good guy; she is the only person at the office who hasn’t done a lot of the bad things others have. Until this Hollis thing, she was ready to murder somebody. When he comes strolling into her office, it’s going to be pretty fiery. It’s one of these moments where she has to ask herself if she’s a Gladiator or a person first? That’s the question that we all ask ourselves. How is she going to keep her job and work for Hollis Doyle?
THR: Could we see Quinn finally confront Hollis for his role in Defiance? Is she still looking for vengeance?
Lowes: You’re going to see a version of that. It gets changed drastically because we see a new side to Hollis. Maybe some of his humanity, maybe not!
Scandal airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. on ABC. How do you think Quinn will fare in her expanded role with OPA? Hit the comments with your thoughts.
Email: Lesley.Goldberg@thr.com; Twitter: @Snoodit