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Gladiators, the wait is over!

Treme‘s Khandi Alexander (pictured above left) will join ABC’ s Scandal cast in the recurring role of “Maya Lewis,” mother to ultimate Beltway “fixer” and fashionista, “Olivia Pope,” played by Kerry Washington (pictured above right).

Alexander will make her first appearance in Thursday’s episode in flashbacks, reports The Hollywood Reporter.

Luvvie Ajayi, the mastermind behind the uproariously funny blog, and a purveyor and connoisseur of all things Scandal, created a list of who she thought should play “Mama Pope,” including veteran actresses Lynn Whitfield, Phylicia Rashad, Jenifer Lewis, and powerhouse actresses CCH Pounder and Valerie Pettiford.

None of them made the cut, but Luvvie acknowledged the Alexander choice was an unexpectedly brilliant one:

NAACP Image Award winner Alexander’s credits include CSI: Miami, The Corner and ER. She most recently starred as LaDonna Batiste-Williams on HBO’s Treme, reports THR.

Gladiators have been waiting anxiously on the appearance of Olivia’s mother since the beginning of Season Three.

After a lot of dangerous snooping into the mysterious Operation Remington, former B6-13 agents Huck (Guillermo Diaz) and Jake (Scott Foley) finally discovered during last week’s Scandal episode that President Fitzgerald Grant (Tony Goldwyn) shot down a civilian plane flying over Iceland on the orders of Olivia’s father, Rowan/Eli Pope, played to perfection by Joe Morton.

“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,” Goldwyn 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.”

Things just got real, Gladiators!

Weigh in on Khandi Alexander as Olivia Pope’s mother below:

Drumroll Please: Olivia Pope’s Mom Will Be Played By… [POLL]  was originally published on