It's been a long time since we last checked in with our favorite political drama, but that hasn't stopped Scandal fans from wondering what they can expect from the second half of this compelling fifth season. Are Olivia and Fitz really over for good? How worried should we be about this Lazarus One storyline? As usual, Shondaland is keeping things pretty close to the vest teaser-wise, but Bustle interviewed Papa Pope himself, played by actor Joe Morton, who was kind enough to dish out a few Scandal Season 5 spoilers and warn viewers that "darker" times are in store, especially now that Rowan is out of prison.
"The thing that's seemingly beginning to happen will be centered around the presidential campaign that's coming up," Morton explains. "This is an election year, so there's lots of people vying for that office. Who will it be? Who will help them get there?" And while he wasn't at liberty to say what role Lazarus One will play in all of this, there could still very well be a target on his back, even now that Russell is dead. "I think you'll just have to wait and see," Morton says. But if that really is the case, at least he may now find an ally in Jake, now that the two of them seem to be on friendlier terms.
"The last thing you saw was them going into the house together," Morton recounts. "So there's a possibility it's either going to be a lovefest or a bloodbath." And really, would we have it any other way?
As for his relationship with Olivia, Morton hints that the two of them may be on their way to mending fences as well... at least for the time being. "I think that's a constant with the two of them. I think they're always on different sides of the fence and I think at some point there's always a reconciliation of some sort," says Morton.
Because despite how manipulative and corrupt Rowan may be, he does love his daughter in his own unique way. But don't mistake this sentimentality for a weakness, because Morton knows that his character's ultimate endgame will always be about one thing and one thing only: power. "Rowan is about power and about wielding power," Morton shares. "So I think that's where he's always headed in one way, shape, or form."
However, Scandal isn't the only place where Morton's incredible acting talents will be on display this year. Starting in May, the actor will be starring in a one-man play in New York, titled Turn Me Loose , which centers around the life journey of comedian and civil rights activist Dick Gregory — a role which Morton is looking forward to jumping into. "It's enormously exciting, especially when we've done it in front of an audience," Morton recalls. "Whether they knew who [Gregory] was or not, what he has to say to them and what is revealed to them during the course of the play is wonderfully exciting, highly political, and at the same time deeply moving. And very funny!"
But, of course, we know that Morton is more than capable of captivating a room all by himself. We've seen firsthand the power his words can wield. (How many times have his Scandal monologues both impressed and terrified us?) So it's no surprise that he's well suited for the challenge of a one-man show. Just so long as it doesn't take him away from our TV screens for too long, that is.
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