The hit television show Scandal, starring Kerri Washington, and created by Chicago native Shonda Rhimes, returned from holiday hiatus last night to continue its steamy storyline.

Washington plays Beltway insider and fixer, Olivia Pope, who was once the communications director in the administration of President Fitzgerald T. Grant who is also her paramour. Her character is based on real life Washington fixer Judy Smith.

Though both Pope and the married POTUS try to keep their amorous relationship in check, the sparks continue to fly. Pope even re-engages with former lover and Senate President, Edison Davis, to help her get over the President.

POTUS and his pregnant wife, Mellie, are on their way to his black tie birthday celebration when a gunman shoots the President and kills his communications director. Pope steps in to her old position in the interim as the female Veep, Christian conservative Sally Langston, is temporarily sworn into office.

Suspicion for the assassination attempt turns to a member of Pope’s fixer team, Huck, who happens to be a former CIA operative with a license to kill. He is, however, being framed by long time billionaire Senator Hollis Doyle to cover up voter irregularities orchestrated during Grant’s election. This senator, who enlisted the assassin, is now firmly ensconced as a confidant to acting President Langston.

Meanwhile, POTUS’ chief of staff, Cyrus, who knows about the voter deception, works to keep his husband, a member of the White House press corp, off the trail of this explosive story by offering to finalize the long promised adoption he has been pestering Cyrus about. Spoiler alert: the middle age white males are adopting a black baby girl.

Huck, who was taken into custody at the end of the previous episode, is being held under the Patriot Act and is being subjected to some nasty interrogation methods including water-boarding. Tactics that sicken Assistant U.S. Attorney. David Rosen, who eventually helps free Huck.

Pope has sought to keep her distance from the President as he fights for his life in a coma, and has literally been barred from his side by the First Lady who knows of their relationship. FLOTUS is no shrinking violet and once the alliance between acting President Langston and Senator Doyle comes to light, she forges her husband’s signature to a letter saying he is fit to assume his duties even though he is still comatose.

Pope’s team springs into action to support this scenario as they, in tandem, try to free Huck and flush out the real assassin. They do this by saying the President will be recuperating at Camp David, forcing the assassin, herself a paramour of Olivia’s operative, Huck, to seek to finish her assignment.

Meanwhile, Pope can no longer keep her distance from POTUS, and literally climbs into his hospital bed offering the closeness that both of them need so desperately.

Huck tracks his paramour Becky to her rooftop perch rifle in hand – love the twist of a female assassin – effectively solving the crime of the decade. And just as all of the team, including Olivia, are packing it in as part of the now former administration, phones start to ring all over Washington. Pan to Walter Reed where a wane and weak President Grant utters his first ‘tentative ‘hello’ via phone to Olivia.

Whew, I was tired just watching, and the buzz on Facebook was epic. We were all SCANDALIZED!!!!! Rhimes, who also brought us Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice, has done it again.

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