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09/22/2014 08:37 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Handle Yourself With This Season 4 'Scandal' Primer

ABC

"Scandal" starts up again on Sept. 25, and all we know right now is that Olivia Pope, "saved" by Eli, is on an unspecified beach drinking red wine. In preparation for all of the terrorism, blackmail and well-tailored outerwear to come, let's review everything pertinent to the Season 4 premiere:

Cyrus let a church full of people explode, but he is mourning James' death, so maybe he'll stop being a pudgy Voldemort now.
Letting a congregation of people die in order to rig an election is officially Cyrus' most dastardly move to date. Although, James' death leaves him to ask how he became such a monster, so we have at least a shred of evidence that he still has a soul (even if it is a tiny, shriveled soul that would dissolve faster than a Metamucil packet in a glass of cranberry juice). RIP, James.

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Sally almost won the election by using the church explosion as her "Pearl Harbor" ...
Sally's campaign manager, Leo Bergen, calls the church explosion her "Pearl Harbor or 9/11" moment, ruffing her up and setting her to work for the camera. Cue shots of Sally with a ripped sleeve and some dirt smudged on her face (amount of dirt: off-Broadway production of "Oliver Twist"). The whole thing gave her such a boost in the polls that Fitz had already started writing his concession speech with Liv. It seems like this would be enough to keep her fairly inconsequential -- if not irrelevant -- in Season 4.

... But then didn't because Eli/Papa Pope killed the president's son, while he was on stage with the president.
Petition to replace "jumped the shark" with "killed the president's son, while he was on stage with the president." In case you were unsure that "Scandal" is possibly the most amazingly over-the-top show on television right now, recall the scene of Jerry Jr. coughing up blood, passing out and pretty much immediately being diagnosed with bacterial meningitis. Yes, poor Jerry Jr. was poisoned with a vial stolen from a "secure fort," leading directly to Fitz's reelection. (Papa Pope did it, but he convinces Fitz that Mama Pope is responsible and generously offers to kill her.)

Quinn and Huck are done being disgusting and weird, for now.
Basically, a jealous Charlie finds Huck's family (his pre-B613 family, not the people he was stalking who got murdered) with the specific goal of breaking up Quinn and Huck. Quinn takes Huck to see them and he says he never wants to see her again. Of course, finalities in this show are never particularly final, but we hope Huck means it, because that relationship is so tedious and gross (and, seriously, did we need to see them getting it on over Eli's pool of blood?).

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Maya Pope is in the midst of her terrorist plot ...
Sorry, she is, according to herself, not a terrorist but a "facilitator." "I don't make bombs, I make money," she says. Except that she did set off a bomb in a church. Whatever. The only clear labels in this show are Louis Vuitton and Prada. In the penultimate episode, it is revealed that Adnan Salif (aka Harrison's lover, who is now dead at the hands of Eli) financed her effort to bring in a team of terrorist to kill Fitz, so that is probably still something she will be trying to do next season.

... And B613 is reinstated, so Eli is in position for prime evil.
Get ready for some of Eli's specific brand of evil, because everything is perfectly set up for him to be a total monster. He has B613 back in his power (now that it has been reinstated since Pope & Associates dismantled it) and basically has permission from the president to murder his ex-wife. Never mind the fact that Olivia is out of his hair, because she is busy drinking her red wine on a beach. It's probably only a matter of time before he is gladiator-ed, but lots of destruction and daddy issues will come first, probably.

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Olivia and Fitz are off again ...
Their theme song played while they sat on the phone in silence, so it looks like The Grand Vermont Analogy for the Future will have to wait! Liv told Fitz that Mellie was raped by his father, he said he couldn't leave her now, Liv said she wouldn't want him if he did. (Sorry, Liv-Fitz babies and homemade jam.)

... And now Olivia is on a plane with Jake, despite the fact that, after the lights go off, they have the chemistry of two J.Crew mannequins.
Olivia asks Papa Pope if his get-on-a-plane-and-be-erased offer is still a thing, and it is. Abby freaks out, but Liv is just so over it, she decides to get erased. Then Jake shows up because he wants to be erased too (and Shonda is still schilling that romance, apparently).

Also, Fitz still doesn't have eyebrows.
Just a reminder.

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Season 4 of "Scandal" premieres Thursday, Sept. 25, at 9:00 p.m. ET on ABC.

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