Darby Stanchfield has won the hearts of ABC's audience two-fold. Though Castle fans may have never gotten on board with Meredith's cheating or immaturity, it was always hard not to smile when watching Stanchfield fully embody the narcissist, seeing the kind of helpless man-child she brought out in her ex, Castle himself. As Abby Whelan on Scandal, though, Stanchfield gets to be a different kind of strong, smart, sassy woman giving everyone around her a run for their money, but because she has a dark past, you feel for her, as well. ABC has certainly been a great home for Stanchfield of late, and for one very special week, you'll be able to see her take on both different roles nearly back-to-back.
Stanchfield reprises her role of Meredith, Richard Castle's ex in the winter return episode entitled "Significant Others." Last we saw Meredith and Stanchfield on Castle, Rick (Nathan Fillion) had to pull some strings to get her a movie job out in L.A., basically to get her out of his life. Even the daughter they shared had admitted she didn't really want her mother around all the time. But in "Significant Others," Meredith is back in town and dropping in on her family while Alexis is home sick.
"Meredith has gone off-- she's always in Paris, shopping, or she's acting in films, or doing whatever she's doing. She really doesn't have any accountability, and so I think it just kind of picks up where it left off," Stanchfield said to LA TV Insider Examiner about the dynamics between Meredith and her family.
"With Alexis, I wouldn't say a lot changes. There are some touching moments, and there's a sweet connection, but there's also this eye rolling of 'Oh God, mom's back in town'. The episode storyline really addresses more of the Beckett/Castle relationship and the fact that Beckett is staying there, and Meredith is staying there, [though]"
Stanchfield reminded us that though their divorce became final quite some time ago, the exes would fall back into bed together easily when they saw each other. Not so much anymore, though.
"She still sleeps with him because she feels like it and because she can. So although [Castle and Beckett] are together, and its quite evident because she's staying there, I would say Meredith is still a troublemaker! Meredith has a way of-- in her own mentality-- winning, whether or not she's actually winning or not."
All that being said, though, Stanchfield teased that it's "highly possible" by the end of the episode Beckett (Stana Katic) and Meredith do bond a little. The women in Castle's life teaming up against him, even for a moment, may just be too fun to resist!
But while slipping into Meredith's high heels and (we hope faux) furs is a comedic turn for Stanchfield, over on Scandal she taps into a much more serious, and mostly anxiety-driven side of herself. Abby is a woman who has been blindly trusting her boss Olivia (Kerry Washington) for years out of loyalty and only recently begun to realize that things aren't as rosy as they seem-- at work and in her personal life.
"Shonda said Abby Whelan is someone who could benefit from lots of therapy, but she's someone who's so unselfaware that she would never go; she'd never get help. She really is a stray dog that Olivia helped saved but by no means has she fixed," Stanchfield said.
"There was a point where Abby was really questioning everything in the beginning of the season, and then you saw her and Olivia have a reconciliation moment where Abby dropped everything and just started trusting Olivia again with blinders...but yes, it's all still there, and it all still matters. All the stuff she was investigating with David about voting machines, that's all very present with Abby, and it starts to rise [back] to the surface."
Stanchfield said that throughout the second half of this second season of Scandal, Abby will still continue to go after the truth-- both when it is in regard to the political conspiracy and regarding whether or not David is the abusive man Abby has been told he is. But her approach is different this time around because her relationships have changed: she's in a good place with Olivia, while she's still inherently confused about David.
"Is she doubting the story? Is she doubting her gut? Is she testing him? All that is possible," Stanchfield said.
"By no means is it over with David and Abby, and because [our] scene [in "One for the Dog"] didn't have a single word during anything that transpired, anything is possible, and it goes somewhere that I did not expect. We have a David Rosen problem. I don't even know that Abby knows the extent of how dangerous it is. She knows something is not right, but she's also in love with him."
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