The seventh and final season of ABC's Scandal is beginning to take shape.
Following a crazy penultimate season in which Shonda Rhimes' game-changing drama had to scrap storylines because they hewed too close to the country's real political landscape (Russians hacking the election!), the final run will kick off with Bellamy Young's former first lady Mellie Grant back in the White House — as the president.
Below, The Hollywood Reporter rounds up everything to know (so far) about the final 18 episodes of Scandal.
Shaun Toub (Homeland) and Jay Hernandez (Bad Moms) will both guest-star in season seven. Details on their characters are being kept under wraps.
Olivia (Kerry Washington) is Command. In the season six finale, Mellie tapped Olivia as her chief of staff. But that's not the only new gig for the political fixer: She's now Command, the head of black-ops group B613 after using her power to reinstate it.
Cyrus (Jeff Perry) may also be taking on a new role — as Mellie's vice president — after Olivia realized he was the puppet master who attempted to put Luna in the White House with the former first lady. Of course, Cy hasn't been sworn in yet so in Scandal terms, that's not really set in stone.
Quinn (Katie Lowes) also has a new role — as Charlie's (new series regular George Newbern) bride-to-be. The character, like Lowes, is pregnant and about to add "mother" to her résumé alongside her role as the new head of Olivia Pope & Associates.
Abby (Darby Stanchfield) has a new (old) role, too: As Quinn's right-hand at OPA after leaving the White House with Fitz (Tony Goldwyn).
Speaking of Fitz, he, too, has a new role in season seven: The former president left D.C. for Vermont — to head his own foundation after Olivia talked him out of taking over B613 so she could do it herself. As for their relationship, well, that's still open to interpretation.
'Going All Out'
Here's how Rhimes, in a May press release, described the final season: "We are going all out. Leaving nothing on the table. Creating this world in celebration. We are going to handle the end the way we like to handle the important things in our Scandal family: all together, white hats on, Gladiators running full speed over a cliff."
So When Does It All Start?
The final season of Scandal begins Thursday, Oct. 5, at 9 p.m. as part of ABC's Rhimes-branded TGIT programming block.
Bookmark this page as more information about Scandal's final season becomes available.