When we last saw TV’s coolest wine-swilling Washington, D.C., fixer, Olivia Pope, she’d just been unmasked as President Grant’s mistress. It was the latest in a string of shockers (NSA spying! White House infidelity! Pope’s white overcoat never stains!) that creator Shonda Rhimes has used to hook her audience while steering clear of the hokey. So what’s in store when the saga returns this month? “It picks up minutes after the finale,” says Dan Bucatinsky, who plays James, the husband of cutthroat Chief of Staff Cyrus Beene. The actor, who, along with star Kerry Washington, snagged an Emmy nom for his role, promises that burning questions will be answered. “We’ll definitely learn who released Olivia’s name to the press,” says Bucatinsky, “while Cyrus, who is just coming off a heart attack, will be frantically trying to put out that fire.” And what about Cyrus and James’s increasingly rocky marriage? “Only in the world of Scandal is a husband calling off the hit he took out on you considered a romantic gesture,” he says, referring to James’s close call in Season 2. “Of course, Shonda has told me, ‘If I’m gonna kill you, you think I wouldn’t tell you first?’ But we’re all always nervous we’re the next to go.” After all, this is Olivia Pope’s world. The rest of them just live — and die — in it.
Watch a teaser clip below: