Scandal takes us through Quinn’s perspective of Rowan’s wrath–and it’s not pretty.
This week’s episode of Scandal was a flashback to the moments before Quinn’s (Katie Lowes) “death”. As fans, many remained skeptical of the idea that Rowan (Joe Morton) took her life. The episode rewinded back to the moment of Quinn and Charlie’s (George Newbern) wedding day–with Quinn leaving the QPA office. Unbeknownst to her, Rowan was tucked away in the darkness, ready to kidnap her. How exactly did he manage to whisk her away? Thanks to an employee by the name of Marvin (Tim True), who provided Rowan with the optimal body-sized suitcase, Quinn was packed and carried away. At least that’s what a subtle strand of hair falling out of the suitcase indicates. Upon waking up Quinn realizes she is no longer in the comfort of the QPA office, but rather a basement where she is chained to her bed. However, Rowan explains the intricacies of his plan to Quinn–but as we know, things didn’t quite go according to plan.
RELATED | SCANDAL ROUNDTABLE 7×08 “ROBIN”
In an attempt to use Quinn as bait, Rowan initially fails to convince Olivia (Kerry Washington) to go along with his game. Realizing Olivia has the upper hand in the situation, Quinn abruptly realizes that this basement may be the end of her. Even Jake (Scott Foley) tries his hand at getting through to Rowan, conveying to him that Olivia is not giving up. Whether it was a mental breakdown or a way of coping with the loneliness of the basement–Quinn began to see visions of Charlie, Huck (Guillermo Diaz), Abby (Darby Stanchfield), and Marcus (Cornelius Smith Jr.). Through these visions, Quinn quickly realized how far gone Olivia had become.
And while Quinn grappled with the reality of her situation, Rowan befriended Marvin. Through him, he was able to obtain a gun–the same gun we believe would take Quinn’s life. This all led us to the heated moment between Olivia and Rowan–the gunshot heard around America. As Quinn begged for her life, we learn Rowan did not take her life and spared it for the time being. Olivia, however, believes Quinn to be dead and starts planning her funeral immediately. Moments after, Quinn went into labor and wakes up to meet her baby, delivered by Rowan’s friend Marvin–whom Rowan kills moments later. And if that wasn’t the emotional kicker–then watching Quinn realize that Rowan has bought children’s clothes for up to 24 months was altogether frightening. Will Quinn and Robin ever escape Rowan’s grip?
Here to discuss Quinn’s imprisonment, fake death, and Robin’s birth is our Scandal roundtable. Let’s see what they had to say!
Dorothy (@DorothyJGentry)– Educator, journalist, Jeremiah’s mom
Myoshi (@BeingMyoshi)– Writer, comedian, and traveler
Lucy (@lampareaux)– Account manager, life enthusiast, New Yorker
Neemie (@NeemieNima)– Forensic psychologist, movie buff, travel fiend
Nthabbie (@nthabbie)– Marketing & Media Maverick, Sometimes TV Commentator (TVAD) & most times Epitome of Awesomery
1. So, we finally got to see what happened in the basement, and as speculated by many, Quinn was alive. Were you satisfied with how the story played out or did you want it to go another direction?
Dorothy (@DorothyJGentry): This was a great storyline and a great way to tease the audience. I truly thought, wait, maybe they DID kill Quinn!! That’s just how convincing last week’s episode was. I enjoyed it. Good writing.
Myoshi (@BeingMyoshi): I was very satisfied with how this story turned out. We got to see that Papa Pope is the man with the plan and a softer side. I think he wants this to be his do over to destroy Olivia and move on.
Lucy (@lampareaux): I was happy Quinn was alive! Rowan does bad things for good reasons and kills good people without a flinch. I definitely thought he had the guts to kill Quinn, Rowan’s only thought twice about killing Quinn and Mama Pope. Quinn’s on the better side of that statistic. I wish Quinn wasn’t pregnant in the situation though, I would have loved to see her drop kick, Rowan. It’s been long awaiting him.
Neemie (@NeemieNima): So I loved the build-up to this storyline. I suspected that she was alive, but there was still enough ambiguity that they made me second guess myself. Even when Papa Pope pulled the trigger, I still ardently thought that odds are he did kill her. This episode felt like one of those season one episodes that were full of twists, but yet realistic.
Nthabbie (@nthabbie): I was not satisfied because it was too predictable. How the storyline unfolded was very elementary, if you ask me. Maybe if Quinn was holding Rowan hostage after overthrowing him, I would have gone – oh wow, I did not see that coming.
2. Rowan was told by Marv and Quinn that he is a good person. Do you believe deep down that he could be or are his intentions always malicious?
Dorothy: I feel Papa Pope. I think he’s done some bad things, but I also believe some bad things have been done to him. I don’t think he always has an ulterior motive. I believe he is in need of love.
Myoshi: I feel like Papa Pope has good intentions when it’s necessary. He knew from the jump that he wanted to save Quinn and the baby. That’s why he started to prep. I think he really liked having Marv as a friend and someone to lean on, but the B613 code never dies…even if you do bleed red white and blue together.
Lucy: I believe Rowan is a good person deep down but he’s not afraid of doing the bad job for a good thing. If someone crosses him his intentions can definitely get malicious.
Neemie: I’m not sure whether it’s so much a question of being motivated by good or malice, as it is that he’s motivated by his love for Olivia. All roads lead to her (and to a lesser extent, Mama Pope. Mothers and children first, right?). Ultimately, he’s motivated by whether he can protect Olivia or not – which is precisely why he couldn’t kill Quinn because he knew it would just destroy her. As he said, “Command is just a title.” What he primarily identifies was is is as a father, and all of his actions in this episode was about (re)asserting the full scope of that role. At this point, he’s invested in saving Olivia’s soul and getting his bones back. Twisted logic and unorthodox methodologies be damned.
Nthabbie: Like Marv said, we are all good people when someone gives us a chance to be. Rowan lets the darkness take over a lot, but we are all born good. His malicious intentions are often necessary.
3. Quinn’s time in the basement was quite the mind trip. What do you think her visions of everyone meant?
Dorothy: This was really interesting. I enjoyed this part of the show. I’m not sure on the visions. I’ve always been one foot in and one foot out with Quinn. Some episodes I’m #TeamQuinn; others I am, ugh, don’t like her she doing too much.
Myoshi: Hmm, her versions of everyone had different meanings for her fight for survival. Huck was there to get her to think about how to escape. Charlie was there to get her through being alone with the baby. With the whole team around, she felt somewhat safe with hope.
Lucy: Visions are usually a representation of how you’ve been feeling mentally. It sucks her vision with Huck didn’t become sexual, I’ve been waiting for something to happen between those two since season 2.
Neemie: I think that given the poor conditions, no food or water, being chained, the heartbreak of the situation, etc., that she was legitimately close to death’s door and folks hallucinate when they are traumatized and trying to stave off physical deterioration. The hallucinations were functional in that she imagined the very folks with whom she would bounce ideas off of and she also needs to tap the love of those she loved the most. I also think the reality of Olivia’s betrayal was so devastating that she had to conjure up what she wouldn’t allow herself to believe. She could only believe the truth if it was “affirmed by” her friends.
Nthabbie: Those visions were bizarre but I suppose she was drawing strength from her gladiator friends to get herself out of there. Also, different people have different approaches which she knew she had to deploy to break free from that basement.
4. The suspense of whether or not Rowan shot Quinn was brutal. Why do you think he spared her life?
Dorothy: As I mentioned earlier. I don’t think he is ALWAYS bad or evil. She was a new mother and I believe his soft side won out. He’s not a terrible person down deep.
Myoshi: I feel Rowan saved Quinn not only because of the B613 code, but because he couldn’t kill a mother and her daughter when he’s already killed his own daughter and her mother, figuratively. This may have been a second chance for him to be different and kind of get it right.
Lucy: Rowan is very tactical. I think he figured Quinn would be of better use of him alive rather than dead.
Neemie: Rowan operates by a code and in this case, he’s adhering to the “mothers and children first” edict. The only thing is that I don’t think this necessarily applied to Quinn but to HIS child. Not only did he know that Olivia – despite her brandishing this new persona – would not be able to live with the knowledge that she stood by and allowed Quinn and her child to be murdered, but that it would torpedo any future possibility of the paternal relationship with her that he longs for. Sparing Quinn’s life was also a masterstroke from a strategic standpoint, as he has reclaimed some ground psychologically from Olivia. She now remembers to respect him, to be afraid of him, and to accede to his demands more readily – and there’s the payoff that her soul is not lost forever.
Nthabbie: Rowan just wants his bones back. He doesn’t seem to get off killing people anymore. He wants to grow old with his bones and a glass of red wine. Also, I think his biggest fear is Olivia turning out to be exactly like him.
5. Between the last two episodes, Olivia’s lies have caught up with her. What are your predictions for next week’s intervention in Vermont?
Dorothy: I hope she gets what coming to her. I’m not fond of Season 7 Liv.
Myoshi: Oh, the intervention (sigh) I don’t really think it will do anything. Olivia has become so dead inside. She planned Quinn’s funeral after having her killed…over some BONES and control issues. Even with the evidence piled against her, she will figure out somehow to get out of it.
Lucy: Olivia opens her eyes, stops her power trip, and puts on her white hat again. She belongs saving lives and people. I hope Vermont will help her realize that.
Neemie: I have no expectations beyond Huck will try his damnedest not to strangle her. I tend to have really poor attention when it comes to anything Fitz or Vermont-related, so I have no expectations.
Nthabbie: Olivia might be exposed but she will wriggle her way out of it. She is the product of her parents and they are the biggest cons!
6. Yay, Quinn had the baby! How do you think she is going to get out of this “hostage” situation?
Dorothy: The original gladiator will find a way.
Myoshi: I think Quinn may get out of the hostage situation when she saves Rowan from Charlie. At least he will know she’s alive and they can take down Liv together. Or, I’m wrong and they’ll kill Liv and Rowan and live happily ever after lol.
Lucy: Well now that she has the baby maybe she can dropkick, Rowan! If there’s anything to learn about Scandal hostage situations is that most times you either die or have to save yourself. It’s not in Olivia’s best interest to have Quinn found. Quinn’s going to have to use her baby in the situation to distract or weaken Rowan and break herself out.
Neemie: Charlie. He will probably turn the house upside down looking for some clue as to what happened to her. I imagine that she might stay with Rowan, and would swear Charlie to secrecy. He might just be content with that. One never knows in Shondaland.
Nthabbie: She’s probably going to work with Rowan on a strategy to stop Olivia in her tracks. The closing scene with the two of them cleaning up Marv was an indication that they are going to be a tag team moving forward.
7. After everything, Rowan killed Marv to protect his secret. What are your thoughts on this and how far Rowan is willing to go to beat Olivia?
Dorothy: Papa Pope will not rest until he has put his daughter – who is just like him – to rest. Whatever that means.
Myoshi: Rowan was really hurt about killing Marv, but as we see he is willing to go to any length to beat Olivia once and for all. I mean, the man is holding a baby and her mother hostage after he faked their murder. That’s a pretty extreme length of a chess move. Don’t ya think!
Lucy: I knew Marv was dead the moment he told Rowan he’s a good person. Rowan is unstoppable, killing Marv was like flicking a pawn off the chess board. To beat Olivia Rowan is even capable of hurting Quinn’s baby, he second-guessed himself once … he won’t do it again.
Neemie: Well he kind of had no choice with this one. Marv knew too much and would have just ended it all for him. For him, it was one of those impossible decisions. As I mentioned earlier, I’m not sure that it’s so much about beating Olivia, than it is about protecting her. There was no way he could save Quinn and her baby, then keep them safe, AND ultimately protect Olivia if Marv came back to blow up his spot. The friendship certainly was dead once Marv saw how deep the rabbit hole of lies went, so knowing that probably made that decision easier. All the same, it was clear that he regretted that decision and Quinn quickly came to understand his “predicament.”
Nthabbie: Rowan is a rational, no-nonsense type of guy. He gets what needs to be done, done. Olivia will do well to remember that because she’s only surviving at the mercy of her father.
Final Verdict: Quinn, Rowan, and Robin live forcefully ever after–yikes.
This week’s Scandal took us on a whirlwind journey through the eyes of Quinn. The flashbacks provided the audience with the sequence of events that ultimately led to what we believed was Quinn’s demise. We learned that Quinn did indeed survive, but now faces a completely different problem–Rowan. While the group believes Quinn to be dead, Rowan plans to keep it that way, at least for the next two years. However, based on last week’s episode, we know Charlie shows up at Rowan’s doorstep and discovers the baby. Going into next week’s Vermont intervention episode, we are hoping to see the moment come together–with Charlie reuniting with Quinn and the baby.
It will be interesting to see where the story goes from here, and how long Rowan will attempt to keep Quinn hidden. While Quinn’s survival was fairly predictable, the episode did a good job keeping us in the dark and maintaining the suspense. It was also a deep, dark insight into Rowan’s psyche–which isn’t always the prettiest place to be. His outbursts, attempt at friendship and struggle to “fix” Olivia all caught up with him in this episode, and the continuing storyline will surely be intriguing to follow.
Will the group ever discover Rowan’s secret and find out about Olivia’s betrayal? If next week’s intervention episode is any indication–we sure hope so.