At Sunday’s Scandal panel at PaleyFest, the cast of the show previewed the upcoming milestone 100th episode of the show, and, according to Entertainment Weekly, it’s sure to be a doozy of an episode.
Similar to Grey’s Anatomy‘s season eight episode “If/Then,” Scandal‘s 100th episode will explore an alternate timeline, which will focus on what would have happened if Olivia (Kerry Washington), Cyrus (Jeff Perry) and Mellie (Bellamy Young) hadn’t rigged the election in Fitz’s (Tony Goldwyn) favor when he was first running for president.
“You’re seeing an alternate reality if things had not gone the way they went,” Goldwyn said at the panel. “It’s not a standalone. It actually informs your understanding (of these characters) when we get back to our normal Scandal reality.”
Darby Stanchfield, who plays Abby on the show, said the 100th was like a breath of fresh air for the cast when they got the script because of how heavy the material has been this season of the show.
“Where it’s placed in our season, with the Huck storyline getting really heavy, it’s oxygen to this fire and you laugh because you need to,” Stanchfield said.
As for why the show is doing an alternative timeline for the 100th episode, it’s because Olivia takes a look at her life after the truth behind President-elect Francisco Vargas’ assassination the night he was elected president and thinks about how things would have been different if she hadn’t played a hand in rigging the election.
The cast also took the time to thank the fans for getting the show this far. “We would not be sitting here if it weren’t for you guys,” Washington said. “You breathed life into us and you continue to.”
Washington referenced how the show was on the bubble of being renewed or canceled after its first season on air and how it was the fans of the show who really helped getting the show to its second season, where it picked up steam to become the hit it is now.
As for how long the show will be on the air (it’s already been renewed for its seventh season), cast member Joe Morton (Eli) said that he thinks “it goes as long as you want it to go.”
Scandal will be the third drama hailing from Shonda Rhimes and ShondaLand Productions to reach 100 episodes. Grey’s Anatomy was the first to hit 100 episodes back in 2009. Private Practice, the spinoff of Grey’s Anatomy, aired its 100th episode in 2012.
Scandal airs Thursday nights at 9 p.m. on ABC. The 100th episode airs on Apr. 13.