If you thought Twitter exploded during the May finale of "Scandal," then just wait for the Season 3 premiere. As Emmy nominee Kerry Washington puts it, "There are a couple of moments that just might break Twitter."
"Scandal" became one of TV's most talked-about shows thanks to social networking and sharing. At the end of last season, fans were agog as Olivia Pope (Washington) was outed to the world as President Fitzgerald Grant's (Tony Goldwyn) mistress.
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And who was there to whisk her away from the paparazzi? The Mysterious Park Bench boss (Joe Morton) — who seemingly ordered Captain Jake Ballard (Scott Foley) to watch over, and possibly kill, her — turned out to be Olivia's father, Rowan! Yeah, bananas.
If we know anything about "Scandal," it's that the show is never content to rest on its buzzy laurels. Creator Shonda Rhimes and the cast love dishing out those "OMG" revelations that have made the ABC drama a hit — but they love topping those revelations even more.
Get a Season 2 recap:
Here are the jaw-dropping storylines you can expect from "Scandal" Season 3:
1. Olivia's dad is here to stay.
Who here literally guffawed when Olivia called Rowan "Daddy"? Yeah, we did it, too. That cliffhanger is going to be crucial to the big arc for the first half of Season 3 ... but not in a straightforward way, Rhimes tells E! Online. With his renewed presence in Olivia's life, we'll learn even more about our favorite fixer's past.
2. Who outed Olivia? It's not who you expect.
This reveal will also set events in motion for the rest of the first half of Season 3. Of course, fans are pointing their collective finger at First Lady Mellie, but has "Scandal" ever gone with the obvious route? As Rhimes notes to Vulture, "Everyone should remember that Mellie is smarter than anybody gives her credit for."
3. Jake gets out of the hole.
Last we saw Jake, Rowan had banished him to the same solitary confinement hole that Huck had been trapped in. "If and when he gets out, his condition will be substandard at the least," Scott Foley tells the Hollywood Reporter. That "if" seems all but a certainty, since Foley has been upped to a series regular.
4. The other gladiators get flashbacks, too!
So far, we've seen many Olivia-centric flashbacks, but very few focused on her associates (aside from a very memorable Huck one). This season, Darby Stanchfield says Rhimes promised her an Abby flashback. "Abby is such an odd bird, it would be fun to see what makes her tick," she told E! Online. "She was in an arranged marriage, for god's sake! Who put her there? And what kind of woman was she to agree to an arranged marriage?"
5. Abby and David Rosen: It's still complicated.
This passionate pair have experienced a lot of relationship drama — and there's more to come in Season 3. "In the first couple of episodes, there's something around the corner for Abby and David," Stanchfield teases. "I don't know what, but they're definitely sniffing around each other. I don't know if it's on, but it's definitely not off."
6. Quinn continues to grow as Huck, Jr.
At the end of last season, Quinn discovered that she's pretty good at the torture game — and she kinda likes it, too, to Huck's dismay. "She's rocking some new skills as far as she's concerned, so she's enjoying herself," Rhimes explains. "Whether or not the rest of her colleagues at OPA are going to enjoy her in this way is a little bit different. Whether or not Huck is going to be in an emotional position to deal with where she is is also a question."
7. More information comes to light about Huck's past and B613.
As Guillermo Diaz teases to E! Online, "You're going to get to find out more about Huck's relationships before he worked for OPA with Olivia. Stuff you didn't know before." That may include his time at B613, since Foley also promises that fans will learn more about the shadowy black ops organization.
8. The presidential election moves into a new gear.
With Fitz on board to run again, the election storyline will be a huge part of the new season. "In Season 3A, the Democrats will be having their primary election," Rhimes explains to TV Guide, "so in Season 3B, we will face the election at some point."
9. Could Lisa Kudrow be Fitz's opponent?
The "Friends" star — who is BFF with cast member Dan Bucatinsky (James) — is joining "Scandal" in a recurring role as a politician. That's the only detail the tight-lipped staff is revealing, but can you just picture Kudrow as a Hillary Clinton-esque Democrat who battles Fitz for the Oval Office?
10. There's more Cyrus and James.
Yes, please! We can't get enough of Jeff Perry and recent Emmy winner Bucatinsky, either individually or together. Funnily enough, Rhimes calls the Chief of Staff's relationship the healthiest on the show — even though Cyrus put a hit on his husband before calling it off. Rhimes calls them her "favorite thing ever" and raves about the complexities of Cyrus saying, "[He] is the most intriguing character I've ever gotten to write because he's so dark and so full of love and is so kind and so cruel."
Watch a Season 3 promo:
"Scandal" returns for Season 3 on Thursday, Oct. 3 at 10 p.m. on ABC.