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WashingTelevision: Are You Ready for Scandal Season 3?

The twisty-turny show is back on Thursday. Here’s a refresher on the drama.

How will Olivia’s team restore her reputation now that the secret is out about her affair with the President? Photograph by Ron Tom for ABC.

The explosively popular Washington-set ABC drama
Scandal is back for a third season this Thursday—and since Shonda Rhimes likes to pack plot
twists into her shows like Red Line commuters on a Monday morning, we’ve put together
a handy Q&A (mostly Q) to prepare you for the show’s return.

What is up with Olivia’s dad?

The cliffhanger ending of the season two finale had Olivia’s affair with the President
leaked to the press, along with the fact that the shady head of Operation B-613 (okay,
fine, his name is Rowan) is responsible for half of Il Papa’s DNA. Oh yeah, and he
tried to have her killed. What’s his ultimate plan? What is Operation B-613? Does
she still have to get him a Father’s Day card?

How will Olivia restore her reputation?

Things are not looking good for our white-hatted warrior. Looks like it’ll fall to
the Dream Team to somehow knit together the shreds of her credibility … which might
have an effect on their until now mostly unwavering devotion to her.

Will the presidential family stay together?

El Prez has once again thrown himself—this time literally—at FLOTUS’s feet. She’ll
no doubt find a way to leverage her own best interests, but how long will their tenuous
reunion last? And when, if ever, will we meet the other kids?

Speaking of messed-up marriages, how about Cyrus and James/Ira Glass Lite?

Cyrus has lied to and manipulated his husband more
times than I can count—including
but not limited to giving him an actual African child in order
to get him to stop
digging into Defiance. Cyrus’s heart attack brought IGL in
tears to his bedside, but
maybe Dan Bucatinsky’s Emmy

will somehow rub off on his character and IGL will go raise his
chubby baby with someone
who deserves him.

How long will Ballard be in that hole?

We know he’ll be around because Scott Foley’s been added to the cast as a regular.
But will he have a crazy beard and hair like Huck did? Will he and Olivia get together?
And if they do, will the Twitterverse actually self-destruct?

Will Quinn turn into Huck 2.0?

From innocent rube to power-drill-wielding torturer in just two seasons, Quinn is
the walking, talking embodiment of the ripple effects Fitz and Olivia’s poor decisions
have on those around them. Will she continue down her dark path? Will Huck intervene
to his own detriment? (Also will they start dating? This being a Shonda show, I’m
going to go with yes.)

Are there any new characters?

Glad you asked! Some exciting casting news on the
Scandal front: Deadline reports that Jack Coleman (Noah Bennet/HRG for you
Heroes fans) will appear as a “charming Southerner with ties to one of the gladiators.”
Is he Quinn’s uncle? Someone from Olivia’s past? Harrison’s secret gay lover? I actually
have no idea.

Also coming to fictional DC: Lisa Kudrow, whose character arc is being kept tightly
under wraps—but may be fairly brief, according to
Us magazine.

Will David Rosen continue to be a foil for the Dream Team?

After finally restoring his cred and negotiating himself into a plum government position
last season, David has A LOT of dirt on Olivia and the administration (though perhaps
little proof, since he gave the memory card from the tampered voting machine to Cyrus).
Will he use it for good or evil? Will he ever forgive Abby? Will I ever stop referring
to him as Jerk Jeremy? (Spoiler alert: yes.)

Scandal’s season three premiere airs Thursday at 10 PM on ABC. Check out a clip
below, and tell us your questions about what’s coming up in the comments!