‘Scandal’s’ Joe Morton on Rowan’s Cliffhanger: ‘You Should Be Afraid for Papa Pope’

Scandal Rowan Papa Pope Huck
Courtesy of ABC

SPOILER ALERT: Do not read ahead if you have not watched the Nov. 12 episode of “Scandal,” titled “Rasputin.”

The tables have turned on Papa Pope. On the eighth episode of “Scandal” Season 5, Rowan (Joe Morton) was put in real danger in a life-or-death situation.

After being let out of jail earlier this season by none other than Mellie (Bellamy Young), Rowan reunited with Olivia (Kerry Washington), admitting that he’s fearful for his life. And his fear seemed sincere — so much so that Liv couldn’t stand to think of her father being murdered.

After Olivia told President Fitz (Tony Goldwyn) that she was the one who let her father out of jail, Fitz came to her rescue and told her that he wants to protect her. Turns out, Rowan was the one who needed to be protected: as the episode ended, Huck (Guillermo Díaz) seemingly went back to his old ways — by readying up to torture Rowan.

So, will Huck kill Rowan?

“I think you should be scared,” Morton tells Variety. “Huck is there for a very powerful life reason so the stakes are very high for him. Yes, I think you should be afraid for Papa Pope.”

Here, Morton tells Variety about Rowan being captured by Huck and teases what could happen, if he makes it out alive.

First off, why does Huck want to hurt Rowan?
That’s a tough question to answer because now we get into territory that goes into the next episode. The best way to answer that is I think sometimes in order to overcome devils or to try to defeat them, you have to face them. I think that is what Huck is doing.

If Rowan gets out alive, how would being captured by Huck affect Rowan going forward?
I think because these two devils have to face one another, that could be shocking to both of them.

Is Rowan finally at a point where he’s actually scared for his own life? He said so in the episode, but you never know what he is really thinking…
I think he is. I think the whole thing about “my sons” is a very big deal — the people that he’s trained and the way he trains them is to make them feel like they are his children. The fact that he doesn’t have B613 to protect him, he’s vulnerable. He has to figure out what to do.

Is there anyone specifically in mind who he thinks is out to get him?
He doesn’t know who the other monster is. He doesn’t know who’s running the show or who instigated Lazarus One. But, his greatest fear is standing right in front of him — and that’s Huck.

The thought of Rowan being murdered kills Olivia. Why do you think that after everything, Olivia still wants to protect him?
They have a very unhealthy relationship and it’s built on some very twisted kind of morals. He believes thoroughly in the kind of person that he is and that’s what he’s taught her to do. The interesting thing is when you compare the two characters, before [Rowan] came onto the scene, people looked at Olivia as someone who wears a white hat. I don’t think that the white hat suits her anymore, and I think some of [those new characteristics] reveal what Olivia and Rowan have in common. So that’s why I think there’s a confusion in their relationship.

On the flip side, Papa Pope is finally proud of Olivia. What did it take for him to get there?
I think he’s enormously proud of her. She is in the White House and she seems to be running things, and that’s the kind of thing that Rowan applauds because it’s all about power and her having power and her being able to protect herself. She’s in a situation where she can and she did it in such a way where she can have freedom. She’s not a First Lady, and she comes and goes in and out of the White House and runs her business outside of the White House, and she’s in a position where she can use her business to help her boyfriend. All of those things — except the boyfriend part — I think Rowan is very proud of.

Speaking of “the boyfriend,” Olivia tells Fitz that she let Rowan out of jail, but she doesn’t mention Mellie. Will anyone else ever find out that Mellie let Rowan out of jail?
Olivia will probably hold onto that information until she thinks she needs to use it.

How will Fitz and Olivia’s relationship be affected with everything going on with Rowan?
I think you will discover what love does [to Fitz]. I think that one of the interesting things about their relationship in general — and he had the same sort of relationship with Mellie — is that you could almost do no evil that was unforgivable for Fitz…although Mellie did by interacting with Rowan! I think Fitz needs that female with him and he’s willing to hold onto them for as long as they serve one another. I think that’s how Fitz operates.

If Rowan survives, where would his relationship with Olivia go from here, after his life was put in danger by one of her own Gladiators?
I think there is a possibility of a kind of equilibrium where they could begin to reconcile certain aspects of each other’s personalities. That’s a possibility. I don’t know that they can ever be father and daughter the way that “normal” people are, but I think the nature of their relationship is as powerful as the “normal” father and daughter relationship.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 2

Leave a Reply

2 Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. Heidi says:

    I LOVE Papa Pope & always have…. In my opinion he ‘needs’ to continue to be on this show for he continually adds to the show’s story line…….

  2. Shayla says:

    Why would Empire make Boo Boo Kitty so insignificant! She brings the level of class that Cookie is missing and there is no reason why these 2 very successful Black women cannot work together! It is clear she can not return to Lucious and the whole Hakem sex story line is old. Daniels is making a huge mistake by fazing her out or minimalizing her role. We like her and we want to see more of her-working with Cookie!

More TV News from Variety

Loading