For most of the country, winter has felt longer and colder than usual. And while that isn’t Scandal’s fault, having Shonda Rhimes’ hit drama on hiatus since Dec. 12 certainly hasn’t helped. If you’re like me, at this point you’ve exhausted all other alternative forms of entertainment.
Super Bowl? Check.
NBA All-Star Weekend? Check.
State of the Union address? Check.
Grammy Awards? Check.
House of Cards season 2? Check.
Thankfully, Olivia Pope and her gladiators return to ABC on Thursday night, and like the weather, things are about to heat up. Here are five questions that have us walking around our apartments looking like Quinn Perkins after she killed someone. We need answers.
What Happens to Rowan Pope?
When we last saw Olivia’s daddy, he was given his walking papers by the good people at B613. He is no longer the man behind the curtain running the country, thanks in part to Fitz, who replaced him with Jake Ballard. But Rowan is still the father of the formidable Olivia, which means his run on the show should still have some legs. After all, I can’t be the only one interested in seeing Rowan as a stay-at-home dad.
Speaking of Jake, Now What?
The oddest thing about Fitz giving Jake the keys to the agency that is above the presidency is that it leaves Fitz vulnerable to his frenemy. Maybe they both live by the motto “Keep your friends close but your enemies closer,” or maybe they secretly enjoy the pissing contest they continue to have. Either way, Jake is the man now, and it’s going to be interesting to see what he does in that role. If I had to guess, Fitz won’t like it.
I say “Quinn, please” at least once an episode, and I’m pretty sure that streak won’t end anytime soon. With Huck practically salivating at the opportunity to see Quinn in the streets, she’s now beholden to Huck’s biggest hater, Charlie. I’ve never bought their relationship the way I bought Quinn and Huck, and I still don’t think she likes Charlie. But he does provide for her what no one else has been able to: safety and comfort. The only question now is whether Quinn will do what she has to do to get back in Huck’s good graces and become a gladiator again, or whether she is a good girl gone bad and, in the words of Jay Z, gone forever.
Is Sally Langston Out of Here?
A reminder: Sally went full Brandi from A Thin Line Between Love and Hate, killing her philandering husband with a letter opener in the midseason finale. She confided in Cyrus, who ended up telling Mellie. Now that those two know the haps, Sally might as well kiss goodbye whatever little bit of power she had. Not only will the woman be serving at the pleasure of the president, but she’ll now have to bow down to his chief of staff and the first lady.
Who Is Maya Lewis?
“I’ll see you real soon”: Those were the last words Olivia’s mother said to her daughter before she hung up on her and threw the burner in the trash right outside the White House. We don’t know much about Liv’s mom, but what is there to figure out about a woman who starts cannibalizing herself, literally, in order to get out of jail? It’s clear that she’s crazy. The only question is for whom: Is she trying to off her baby’s daddy, Rowan, her own daughter or the president? Maybe all three?
Gladiators, mount up.
Jozen Cummings is the author and creator of the popular relationship blog Until I Get Married, which is currently in development for a television series with Warner Bros. He also hosts a weekly podcast with WNYC about Empire called Empire Afterparty, is a contributor at VerySmartBrothas.com and works at Twitter as an editorial curator. Follow him on Twitter.