By the time Jan. 26 rolls around, 259 days will have passed since the last time we had Scandal on our TV screens. The last time we saw Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) & Co., Vargas (Ricardo Antonio Chavira) named Cyrus (Jeff Perry) his running mate, while Mellie (Bellamy Young) tapped Jake (Scott Foley) for her ticket. The latter was exactly what Rowan (Joe Morton) wanted, so Liv could return to the White House.
But will she? Here's everything we know so far about Season 6.
1. Election results: Season 6 will skip ahead to election night, which is probably a good thing because I don't think we can handle another election cycle right now. The results, obviously, are being kept under wraps, but the trailer, which you can watch above, offers one helluva tease. Mellie tells Liv: "I am done running for president!" Liv: "I'm not!" Did Mellie lose and Liv wants to rig another election? Did she actually win but Liv has come up with some other bonkers plan? The tagline, after all, is "The balance of power is about to shift."
2. Flashbacks: The time jump will allow the show to employ flashbacks to show what happened during the campaign and fill in the blanks. "They found a new way this year to tell the story," Young tells TVGuide.com. "We keep going back and forth in time and following each character's road to that election night moment. So it's not just who got into the White House, but how they got there and at what cost. That's been delicious to watch everybody dig in and get their time under the microscope."
3. The premiere is explosive: You saw that cabin go kaboom in the trailer. There's also a shot of Liv running through a hospital and Abby (Darby Stanchfield) entering a hospital room. Let's put two and two together and assume someone was in that cabin. Who?
4. Sole survivor: The Season 6 premiere, written by Shonda Rhimes, is titled "Survival of the Fittest," which could apply to any one of these political animals or, if we're being literal, presumed cabin victim.
5. Jake's new wife: Well, it's still his old wife, but a new actress. Glee's Jessalyn Gilsig is replacing Joelle Carter as Vanessa. Carter had to depart the show due to scheduling conflicts with NBC's upcoming Chicago Justice, on which she's a series regular.
6. A family reunion: Jeff Perry's daughter IRL, Zoe Perry, will recur in a top-secret role. Who could she play? An OPA client? A new Gladiator? Fitz's (Tony Goldwyn) new flame? Cyrus' long-lost daughter?
7. Bump-block watch: Season 6 was delayed and cut down to 16 episodes to accommodate Washington's pregnancy. Liv is not pregnant, which means get ready for lots of belly-blocking! They've already got the oversized coats and handbags going, but will they go back into the well for more lamps? Flat-screen TVs seem to be the new go-to bump-blocker.
Scandal returns Thursday, Jan. 26 at 9/8c on ABC.