'Scandal' Casts Khandi Alexander as Olivia Pope's Mom, Which Means We're Terrified

Hold onto your white hats, gladiators, because Olivia Pope's mom has been cast on Scandal. Which means one thing: we're about to learn a whole lot more about the [spoiler spoiler duh c'mon] apparent murder-by-president-boyfriend-as-directed-by-dasterdly-dad. The Shonda Rhimes soaper has cast Treme actress Khandi Alexander to play Maya Lewis, momma to Washington DC's most exhausted fixer. Oh good lord: as if this show wasn't stressful enough, now we have to wonder what really happened here (and consider the possibility that after a plot twist or seven, her mom might even be alive).

Luckily, we won't be waiting too long for the actress to come into the fold, as she's already been confirmed to appear in Thursday's episode, as well as several others in a recurring capacity. (Oh flashbacks, how we love thee.) Considering the current rockiness (putting it lightly) of the relationship between Olivia and her father Rowan, the recent revelation about her mother is sure to destroy highly "handled" world. It was only last week that Huck and Jake (sidenote: Scott Foley's the dreamiest) uncovered the one-two gut punch of Olivia's nightmares. Namely that President-boyfriend Fitzgerald Grant shot down a civilian airplane carrying her mother — under the direct orders of her so-fucking-evil-it-hurts father, manipulative terrorbeast, Rowan Pope. So now that Olivia's entire world has been shattered, there's no telling what will happen moving forward.

Needless to say, I'm absolutely terrified for Olivia Pope's future and I'm not sure how one woman could handle so much earth-shattering in one lifetime, let alone one day. Hopefully the addition of these backstory bits with her mother will lead to some sort of inner peace (she says, knowing full well that it won't).

It's that very backstory that's been the basis for much of the ABC political drama this year — a shift from the previous two season's shenanigans, where who Olivia was before the White House was nary more than an afterthought. Now in its third season, Scandal has continued to gain momentum as one of the most talked-about series on TV, pulling an impressive 9.2 million viewers (a 7 percent gain) on Halloween, a feat made all-the-more noteworthy when you consider most other shows lost viewers that week.

What we're most frightened for is the mental well-being of poor Olivia Pope. Honestly how much more than this woman take? It's bad enough to be a mistress to the President, while also in love with a super-secret government spy-guy who's also under the control of your evil, super-secret-government-agency-but-not commanding father. But now all this? Somebody get Ms. Pope a bigger wine glass. And one for us, too, while you're at it.