Scandal returned on Thursday with an introduction to the character of the highly anticipated guest star Lisa Kudrow and a revelation about Operation Remington.

The election is around the corner and both Cyrus (Jeff Perry) and Mellie (Bellamy Young) are hard at work in their efforts to get Fitz (Tony Goldwyn) reelected. One of their major strategies is landing regarded campaign manager Leo Bergen (Paul Adelstein). Leo isn’t so sure about taking on Fitz, though, as he cites his poor relationship with his wife as a major detriment. He also states that the POTUS “looks like a loser.” If Fitz’s morale is low, Bergen sees no hope of a win, and he has no intention of going down with them.

Olivia (Kerry Washington) has another plan in store, getting the dynamo congresswoman Josie Marcus (Kudrow) to help Fitz keep his place in the White House. She’s game for the task, but informs Olivia that she gave up a child in her teens and wants the fixer to make sure it doesn’t get out. When Olivia says the story could be turned into a positive, Josie shuts her down, insisting the story be corked.

Olivia proceeds to handle the matter with a combination of bribes and blackmail for all those who could expose the truth. The truth, as it happens, is that Josie “gave up” her daughter to her mother to raise as her own. So, her daughter has been raised as her sister. It all comes out during a debate, and Josie manages to do what Olivia first told her to do – use her story as an empowerment narrative for female voters. She does so well that she starts to consider her own bid for the presidency and asks Liv to run her campaign. It’s not going to happen, however, since Mellie has already convinced Liv to run Fitz’s campaign.

At the White House Correspondents dinner, Sally (Kate Burton) reveals she’s ready to make another stab at unseating Fitz from his presidency. She boldly follows Leo Bergen into the men’s bathroom to ask him for his help in getting her into the Oval Office. Abby (Darby Stanchfield), meanwhile, skipped the dinner when she realized that her ex was going to be present. Instead, she heads to David’s (Joshua Malina) house, making it seem like the pair is going to rekindle their past romance.

As for Operation Remington, Huck (Guillermo Diaz) comes across a video that shows Fitz meeting with Olivia's father, B613 boss Rowan (Joe Morton). The two men exchange a series of threats. Cy warns Fitz to take Rowan seriously, suggesting that if he pushes him too far he could wind up like John F. Kennedy. Brainstorming, Huck and Jake (Scott Foley) realize that Fitz didn’t fly the Iran mission he claimed to have, and come to the conclusion that he had been in Iceland. Then the evidence begins to pile up: A 300-passenger plane went down that day. A local fisherman’s account points to there having been someone who shot it down. Maya Lewis, Olivia’s mother had been aboard the plane.

Huck and Jack, after coming to their stunning realization, go to knock on Olivia’s door.

Scandal airs Thursdays on ABC at 10/9c.

– Chelsea Regan

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