"Scandal" casts Khandi Alexander as Olivia Pope's mom. The "Treme" actress, who is also best known for her role as Dr. Alexx Woods on "CSI: Miami", lands a recurring role on the Shonda Rhimes-created series as Maya Lewis and will appear in the third season in flashbacks starting this week.
In last week's episode, Olivia made a rare reference to Maya when she shared how Maya influenced her. At the end of the same outing, it was also revealed that circumstances surrounding Maya's death were much complicated than Olivia always thought they were.
Huck, a tech guy in Olivia's firm, believed that a commercial plan, which had Olivia's mom on board among its more than 300 passengers, did not crash due to "mechanical errors," but was shot down by Fitz under the order from Olivia's father, Rowan.
Tony Goldwyn who plays President Fitz has said that Olivia's mother becomes a "major issue" in her life. "You can only imagine what that would be like to find out that your mother did not die in the way that you thought she died, in terms of it being a willful act. It's surreal for Olivia," he told THR.
"The audience can imagine what that must be like to find out that your mother was murdered along with hundreds of other people. So the fact that her father was behind it is incomprehensible. It's going to really complicate [Olivia and Rowan's relationship] because Rowan remains a very dangerous person. It's not like everyone can just expose him or take him out. It becomes a very volatile and dangerous situation. You can imagine how devastating it is for Olivia."
A new clip from the upcoming episode, "Icarus", teases what Olivia will do after she learned of President Fitz and her father's involvement in her mother's death. "Scandal" airs Thursdays at 10 P.M. on ABC.