Cast of Scandal (Danny Feld/ABC)

(The Root) — We've already got a list of questions that we're dying to have answered in the coming season of Scandal, and, well, we just can't wait for the premiere to satiate our curiosity. I sit down with the people at the center of the all drama — Olivia, Harrison, Abby, Huck and Quinn — to get the scoop straight from the horses' mouths.

I am led to a familiar place — the long, wooden desk in the middle of the Olivia Pope and Associates office. One at a time, the Gladiators file in and sit across from me as the others line up behind the plate glass wall, arms crossed, staring at me without blinking. First up is Miss White Hat herself, Olivia Pope.


The Root: Hi, Ms. Pope. Thanks for speaking with me.

Olivia Pope: Not a problem. We just have to make this quick; I've got a Cambodian diplomat accused of smuggling bald eagles out of the country in teddy bears.

TR: How do you even get an eagle inside a teddy bear?

OP: Is that your one question? Because you do understand that you only get one question, right?


TR: No, sorry. Here's my question: Are you crazy?

OP: Excuse me? Am I crazy? That's actually your question? Let me answer your question with a question: Is it crazy to expect the biggest and the best and the fullest that life has to offer? Is it crazy to stop and think for just one second, after risking everything I have to make sure that other people have everything they need, that maybe, just maybe, I deserve a thing or two, too? Is it crazy to look at a forever filled with contentment and have the nerve to visualize my face there in the background? Is it crazy to expect that a black woman can just walk into the White House, unseat the first lady, marry her husband and not throw the nation into complete and total chaos or have her life ruined by people hell-bent on stopping her?


If so, then yes. I am crazy. I am absolutely, completely crazy, and it's a wonder that I am capable of making grounded decisions for anyone else. Good day.

[With a gentle quiver of her lip, Ms. Pope springs from her chair and walks quickly — very, very quickly as people in this office are wont to do — out of the room and out of the office. Next up is Harrison Wright, Olivia's unquestioning devotee.]


TR: Hello, Mr. Wright.

Harrison Wright: Let's make this quick. Every second that I am in here, the nation inches a little closer to implosion.


TR: Right. So, you are unwaveringly faithful to Olivia. What's your connection, your history with her?

HW: There are blue pipes and steeples in this world —

TR: I'm sorry, you're going to have to speak a little slower, please.

HW: I said there are two types of people in this world: those who are bold enough to call attention to themselves, and those who are smart enough to live in the shadows. When Olivia found me, I was nothing, a young punk running the streets in a pair of Dockers and a T-shirt. I was street-smart, but common, no ambition.


While walking through a dark alley one night, Liv's voice called out to me, asking if I wanted more, asking if I was tired of being alive but not living. I followed her right then and there to the nearest Men's Wearhouse and emerged with a new suit and a new sense of myself. And now look at me. Who do you know who can pair a green-and-fuschia polka-dot shirt with a blue-and-white Chevron-print bow tie? Liv saved my life in that alley. I owe her everything.

[With a dramatic huff, he stands, straightens his tie and exits, signaling for Huck to take his place. Huck looks me in the eye for awhile, but soon it seems that the isn't looking at me, but through me.]


TR: Hello, Huck.

Huck: You look like someone.

TR: I'm sorry? Huck? Hello?

H: Ask your question.

TR: OK. You seem to be having some changes in your interest or ability to do the job you've been doing. Where do you see yourself in five years?


H: Have you ever felt a human spleen?


H: It kind of feels like a big tea bag that's been soaked in syrup. I've felt a total of 63 spleens in my life. Sixty-three syrupy tea bags in the palm of my hand. Sixty-three. Sixty-three. Sixty-three.


TR: Huck? Huck, are you OK?

H: Sixty-three. Sixty-three. Sixty-three. Sixty-three. Sixty-three.

[Quinn walks quickly into the room and, putting her hand on Huck's arm, gets him on his feet and leads him out of the room. She returns and sits opposite me and speaks before I can open my mouth.]


Quinn Perkins: Hi! I'm Quinn, and I'd be happy to answer the question you just asked Huck, about where he'll be in five years. Well, obviously I'm not a fortune-teller so I can't tell you exactly where he will be, but I can tell you where he won't be, and that's right here, in this office. He's weak, Huck is. The years have worn on him; his feelings are outgrowing the tools in his torture kit, and that's not good for business.

I love Huck like a brother, and my job is to protect him, and if that means adopting his sociopathic bloodlust, then I don't really have a choice, do I? I mean, I don't want to strap grown men down and take away all their power and control, rendering them slaves to the will of my drills and knives and syringes full of things you only read about in your chemistry book, but someone has to do it. And if Huck can't do it, then what choice do I have? It's unpleasant, really it is. Just dreadful.


[She stands and walks to the door, pausing to turn, look back and tell me with a wink that her goal for this year is "107 syrupy tea bags." Last but not least to enter to room and take a seat is Abby Whelan.]

TR: Hi, Abby! My question for you: Are you and David Rosen ever going to get back together?


Abby Whelan: No! Well, yeah, probably.

So there you have it. Olivia's crazy, Huck's crazy, Quinn is definitely crazy, Harrison is crazy for fashion and Abby is apparently the sanest of them all.


Tracy Clayton is a writer, humorist and blogger from Louisville, Ky.

Tracy Clayton is a writer, humorist and blogger from Louisville, Ky.

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