With last year's addition of How to Get Away With Murder to ABC's existing Thursday-night lineup, which already included Scandal and longtimer Grey's Anatomy, Thursday nights were officially rebranded as #TGIT. And for the past several months, TGIT fans have suffered through withdrawal from all of the murders, affairs, scandals and general degeneracy to which they have grown accustomed. But finally, TGIT is back!
The season finales of Scandal and HTGAWM left viewers anxious to find out what happens next, and from the looks of the trailers for the new seasons of Scandal and HTGAWM, the shows are going to deliver more of the scream-at-your-screen drama that TGIT fans love.
Before you pull out your popcorn and your red wine, check out this quick-and-dirty refresher on where both shows left off last season to get you up to speed.
1. Olivia and Fitz, sittin' in a tree … After seasons of the two of them thirsting for each other, breaking the hearts of the people who love them and sneaking in quickies in electrical closets, President Fitzgerald Grant III has kicked his wife, first lady Mellie Grant, out of the White House (bags, tears and all), and he and Olivia Pope are finally going to make a go of it … whatever that could possibly look like. #TeamOlitz ran celebratory laps around their living rooms when Fitz and Olivia kissed under the moonlight to Nina Simone singing "Here Comes the Sun" in the final scene of the season. The rest of us rolled our eyes while placing bets on how long (read: short) this relationship will last.
2. Command actually did get taken. To jail. That's right. Olivia learned that while "you can't take Command"—Olivia's father and the head of supersecret spy agency B613—you can take Eli Pope, who fakes a day job as a paleontologist at the Smithsonian. After unsuccessfully attempting to take down her father and B613 for most of the season, Olivia and the gladiators finally bested Papa Pope by taking the money Huck confiscated from B613 and using it to frame Eli Pope for embezzling funds from the Smithsonian. The final shot of Papa Pope in the season finale was of him fuming in his new home: a jail cell.
3. Jake finally hopped off the Olivia train. As soon as Capt. Jake Ballard finished helping Olivia dismantle B613 and tucked Papa Pope snuggly away in his jail cell, Jake finally gathered his pride and bid farewell to Olivia. I mean, at some point, after pining for Olivia and putting his life on the line for her episode after episode while she longed for Fitz, you figure Jake had to look in the mirror and think to himself, "I am somebody. I deserve more than this." Good for you, Jake. Set up a Tinder profile and get back in the game.
4. There's a new White House organizational chart. Elizabeth North, Mellie's Senate-campaign manager, snitched to Fitz that Mellie and Cyrus Beene, Fitz's chief of staff, bowed to Command's blackmail attempt and facilitated the murder of all 16 of the grand jurors whom Attorney General David Rosen had assembled in his trial to take down B613. So, along with banishing Mellie, Fitz snatched Cyrus' badge (and his wig) and kicked him out of the White House, and Elizabeth promptly moved her things into Cyrus' office. She couldn't even let Cyrus get out the door first. Rewd.
5. Maya Pope is free at last. Olivia's mother, Maya Pope, has spent a significant portion of her adult life locked up in a prison cell for committing heinous acts of terrorism, but in exchange for signing an affidavit denying the existence of B613, Maya Pope is finally free. Nothing good can come from giving Maya Pope license to roam about the globe. Anyone want to play a "Let's count the dead bodies" drinking game?
6. Frank did it! After an entire season of suspense, we finally learned that law professor/criminal-defense attorney Annalise Keating's right-hand man, Frank, killed Lila—Annalise's dead husband Sam's student and pregnant mistress—at Sam's request … or did he? Some viewers argue that the cleverly edited flashbacks that revealed Frank to be the killer may have been intentionally misleading. You can't put anything past HTGAWM creator Peter Nowalk & Co.
7. RIP, Rebecca. While trying to figuring out if perhaps Rebecca, Lila's former friend and suspect in her murder, actually killed Lila, the Keating Five—Annalise's team of top law-student disciples—tied up Rebecca in Annalise's house. After ultimately deciding that they didn't have enough evidence to hold Rebecca hostage any longer, they decided that they had to let her go, but when they went to release her, they discovered that, oops, Rebecca had been killed. Many fans exclaimed, "Thank God!" because, wow, her character was a pain. Now Annalise wants to know whodunit.
8. Rebecca sent out a bat signal before she died. While Rebecca was being held hostage, she grabbed the phone of one of the Keating Five and texted, "Eggs 911. Lawyer's House" before they could stop her. Who is Eggs 911? And is he or she on his or her way??
9. The legal fallout following Sam's murder is just beginning. Annalise's lover, Nate, is in jail for the murder of Annalise's husband because Annalise framed him, but she appears to have a plan to get him out. Meanwhile, the snoopy prosecutor in charge of Sam's murder trial showed up on Keating Five member Asher's door late at night with some questions for him about Annalise's possible involvement.
10. Connor's boyfriend tests positive for HIV. After a season of fooling around, Connor, the playboy of the Keating Five, has finally claimed his lover, Oliver, as his boyfriend. In the season finale, Oliver reveals to Connor that he tested positive for HIV. This plotline feels spinoff worthy.
That's it, guys. You're all caught up now! TGIT!
Editor’s note: The new seasons of Scandal and HTGAWM premiere Thursday at 9 p.m. ET and 10 p.m. ET, respectively.
Akilah Green is a recovering Washington, D.C., lawyer-lobbyist-politico turned TV and film writer and producer living in Los Angeles. She currently works for Chelsea Handler’s Netflix talk show, Chelsea. She has also worked as a staff writer for Kevin Hart’s production company, HartBeat Productions, and as a consultant for Real Time With Bill Maher on HBO. In addition, she co-wrote and is producing Scratch, an indie horror-comedy feature film, and is a regular contributor to The Root. Follow Green’s adventures in La La Land on her blog, Twitter and Facebook.