Gladiators Rejoice: 'Scandal' Returns For a Night Of Twists, Turns, and Oval Office Make-Out Sessions

FINALLY! Scandal has returned from its very long hiatus! It was gone for so long I was beginning to lose hope. House of Cards gave us all a welcome dose of D.C. intrigue, but there's nothing quite like Scandal. How's a girl supposed to get by without her favorite Washington power players, wily fixers, and covert assassins? But never fear, fellow gladiators: the wait is over, Pope and Associates are back in business, and oh my God, was it ever a night (even if Mama Pope was unfortunately absent).

Basically – surprise, surprise – everyone's got problems and they keep mounting by the minute. But would we have it any other way? After two months, let's see what plagues our beloved cast of characters.


It's not ever easy being chief-of-staff, but it gets harder when you help the vice president cover up the murder of her husband right before she announces she's going to challenge the president as a third party candidate. So not only does Cy have to deal with the usual love triangle drama in Fitz's life, he also has Sally's campaign manager prancing around being uppity about the whole thing. Meanwhile, Cyrus doesn't even know about his biggest problem, namely that James has bugged his office and is working with David Rosen to convict him for covering up Sally's husband's murder. Dammit, James and David, haven't you learned yet you cannot take on these people?


It's unclear what exactly is facing Harrison right now, other than that it has to do with a man named Sharif being allowed back into the country, a poolside photograph, and an attractive British woman from his past who shows up at Pope and Associates late at night. And while I think it's about time Harrison got some action, the fact that he stole Abby's gun about a half an hour before leads me to believe this is all still pretty bad for him. Seriously Harrison, you need to tell Liv this stuff.


Jake is now head of B6-13, but even though that's got to be a headache – and sooner or later he might want to do something about Charlie moonlighting for Cyrus by covering up the murder thing while bringing Quinn along – Jake's most likely going to run into personal problems long before then. Because once the Sally campaign revived the whole Oliva/Fitz rumors, Mellie took Olivia out to a very phographed lunch to basically tell her to start dating again. And who does she pick? The one person guaranteed to piss Fitz off most, his old friend Jake. But yeah, running a secret organization of assassins will be difficult, too.


For once, Mellie's biggest problem isn't accidentally walking in on her husband making out with his mistress in the Oval Office – it's the fact that her husband's VP pick to replace Sally, Andrew Nichols, is totally in love with her. During the vetting, Nichols tell Olivia the reason he dates so much is because he let The One get away. And who should The One be? The one and only Mellie. Well it's about time she had a love interest who wasn't too busy whining, pining, and occasionally running the free world to pay attention to her.


Fitz's biggest problem, as per usual, is himself. He's started ignoring everyone else's very good advice, even Olivia's, despite the fact that pretty much all of these people are much better at their jobs than he is. But he's all obsessed with loyalty, so he gets rid of people like Eli Pope and brings on people like Andrew Nichols, like he knows what he's doing or something. Fitz is great when he takes command of things like armies. But campaign strategy? That he needs to leave to Cyrus, Mellie, and Olivia.


Olivia is still stuck in an ever expanding love triangle (pentagon?) that now includes the president, the first lady, the leader of a covert spy organization, and a vice-presidential candidate. One of her employees isn't telling her about a deadly enemy while another runs around with a deadly assassin (for once Huck isn't the problem child). Her boyfriend's wife keeps calling her a whore, her father is still Eli Pope, the president won't listen to her about the campaign he hired her to run, and Cyrus isn't telling her about the Daniel Douglas problem that she would be so much better at handling. Basically everyone's problems would be so much more... not problems... if they just let Olivia run their lives.


But everyone still has a big problem, the biggest of all problems, a problem so big not even Olivia can fix it, and that problem is named Eli Pope. He makes it very clear in this episode that he is gunning for all of them, his daughter included, and while we could all see this coming from a mile and two months off (except Fitz, I guess), that doesn't make it any less terrifying. Right now Eli seems to be working with Sally, tomorrow, who knows? And the day after that, I fully expect him to be supreme overlord of Planet Earth, because let's be real: Eli Pope angry and out for blood has the potential to burn everything we know and cherish right to the ground.

God, and Mama Pope hasn't even resurfaced yet!