Shonda Rhimes's latest tour de dramatic force, the hit prime time political soap-meets-thriller Scandal, debuts its third season tomorrow, October 3, 2013. Legions of Gladiators across America are ready to return to Olivia Pope's high-powered world of crime, corruption, and really great pantsuits. Are you?
If you think back to the end of Season 2 and only remember a muddle of plot twists, murders, and something about an affair, don't worry — we're here to help, with a quick refresher on where we left off with all the major characters.
After years of secrets and broken hearts, Olivia and Fitz decided they should be together. Screw the shady black ops figures trying to bring Olivia down, screw the potential destruction to Fitz's political career (though Olivia claimed to have a plan for that): true love was going to win the day. But then Cyrus spilled the news to Liv that Fitz murdered Verna Thornton, and showed Fitz a video of Olivia sleeping with Jake Ballard. Olivia realized that life is not a romance novel after all.
But just as Olivia was accepting her decision to turn Fitz down and work on getting back onto the path of the White Hat, everything went to hell. Apparently the news that she was Fitz's mistress got out, and in the last seconds of the Season 2 finale, she was swept away in a limo by the head of the shady CIA black ops unit — AKA her father(?!).
Cyrus continues to work on his strained relationship with partner and reporter James Novak while struggling to keep the Grant administration together and cling to the remaining scraps of his soul.
Huck is struggling with all sorts of psychological issues thanks to his mistreatment by the CIA and the discovery that he once had a family the secret organization brainwashed him into forgetting. Poor, poor Huck.
The most important thing to know about Quinn is that she's been spending a lot of time with Huck, and seems to have picked up some of his more unsavory habits, like torturing people.
Abby doesn't have a whole lot going on at the moment, though we suspect her on-again/off-again relationship with David might crop up again. Sure, they've both lied to each other a lot, but come on — this is DC in Shondaland. Lying comes with the territory.
Eh, Harrison hasn't had much of an independent storyline. His loyalty to Liv is the long and short of it.
After pretending to turn to Olivia Pope and Associates for help, David betrayed the gang, using his temporary "hideout" at the office as a chance to get the all important card that proved Fitz's election was stolen. Don't worry: he's still a good guy, despite all appearances. See, he was only pretending to work with baddie Billy Chambers, but in actuality double-crossed his evil partner, gathering the proof needed to take Billy down. In the end, he handed the card over to Cyrus in return for being reinstated as the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia.
Speaking of Billy, he was the big bad of the season, but he's in jail now. Bye, bye… at least for now.
President Fitzgerald Grant
Mostly Fitz is sad. He wants to be with Olivia, hates his wife, and knows he wasn't elected legitimately. He almost threw his political career away for the off-chance that he could still get elected with Olivia by his side. Will he be able to recover from her turning him down?
Mellie showed her true colors last season by exposing that Fitz had an affair (though she refrained from saying it was with Olivia) as a power play to make him stay. What will she do now that he has no choice but to stay with her? We can't wait to find out.
Captain Ballard paid a serious price for failing to stop the Fitz/Olivia disaster. The last we saw of him, he was being dumped into a solitary cell — possibly the same one that drove Huck crazy.
Which characters are you most excited to see again? Sound off in the comments below!
Catch the Scandal premiere Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.