Kerry Washington: Olivia Pope is ‘a different woman’

Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope
Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) might not be the same Gladiator when season 5 returns in February. (ABC photo)

The last time fans saw “Sandal’s” Olivia Pope and Fitzgerald Grant, the couple was calling it quits after America’s fixer realized she wasn’t quite ready to accept the role of first lady, taking somewhat drastic measures to cut ties from her former lover.

What happens next? Viewers might not get to see it all for themselves because when “Scandal” returns on February 11, the storyline would have leaped six months ahead.

Whatever happened during that time period, it’s had a dramatic effect on Olivia. “She’s definitely changed,” Kerry Washington recently told writers at the Television Critics Association’s press tour. “What happened at the end of the winter finale is a huge decision for her, and she’s a different woman because of it.”

Not only did Olivia end her romantic relationship with the President after publicly identifying herself as his mistress, she also secretly aborted his child. Instead of grabbing onto the love she was seemingly fighting for since season 1, Olivia chose to return to her apartment and her goblet of red wine.

Fans will have to wait until the mid-season premiere to find out just exactly what that means for Olivia, but Shonda Rhimes said she’s “excited” about what’s next for her heroine. “The evolution of those people is exactly where I have been hoping they were going,” she said.

Surprisingly, that road leads to Fitz’s solitude, as he’s now without a wife and without a lover. “He’s trying very hard to focus on work and making the last year and a half of his presidency meaningful and effective,” said Tony Goldwyn.

“Olivia is in a very strange and interesting place, and Mellie is running for president,” Goldwyn told The Hollywood Reporter.

Loyal viewers may or may not appreciate their favorite characters changing after five seasons, but Rhimes suggested it’s all part of her master plan. She knows exactly where she’s going with these characters, and she might get there sooner rather than later.

“I’ve heard her say six [seasons is the maximum], but I don’t know if that’s true or not,” Goldwyn said. “It’s at least to the end of next year because Fitz’s administration will last that long. That’s my guess. … I’m assuming through next season, there will be a new president of the United States on ‘Scandal.’ Beyond that, I don’t know. We’ll see!”

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