Warning: The following contains spoilers from the season six premiere of Scandal. If you haven't watched yet, you may want to bookmark this page and return once you have. Proceed with caution.
Well, the results for the most hotly contested election since, well, you know when, are in now that Scandal has finally returned for season six. (Never make us wait this long again, Shondaland!) And true to Shonda Rhimes fashion, they were unpredictably insane.
First, the bad news: Mellie Grant (Bellamy Young) did not win. For the first time in the show's history, Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) proved fallible and could fix her candidate's way into (staying in) the White House. But before you could finish saying "Ricardo Chavira just got a new series regular gig," President-elect Francisco Vargas (Chavira) was shot in the face and, ultimately, killed. Like we said, insane.
With OPA on the case to figure out who arranged the hit on Vargas, Fitz (Tony Goldwyn) has to decide who to throw his support behind to become the next president now that Vargas was no longer alive. Would he advocate for his ex-wife, the losing candidate? Or would he essentially hand over the presidency to Vargas' vice-president, a man who was on the winning ticket, but not who America voted for either? Of course, Liv and Fitz's paths converged on Cyrus Beene (Jeff Perry) because of course Cyrus would have the man he puppet-ed into the presidency killed so he could finally have all the power his grubby little heart's ever dreamed of.
At least, that's what the show wants us to think right now. But we've got some suspicions that things are more complicated than they might seem.
Hear us out: Papa Pope (Joe Morton) may have told Liv he didn't have anything to do with Vargas' death, but his right-hand man Jake (Scott Foley) was conspicuously absent for a period of time on Election Night, despite being, you know, Mellie's running mate. Where was he? Could he have been arranging the hit on Rowan's behalf to try and get Mellie in the White House instead? We wouldn't put anything past any of these power-hungry dudes anymore.
One thing we know for sure: It's going to take one hell of a strong woman to clean up this twisted mess. Luckily, there's one in town. Time to suit up, Olivia.
What did you think about the big premiere? As stunned by the election fallout as we were? And do you think there's more to this assassination story? Share your theories in the comments below!
Scandal airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on ABC.