Scandal Season 3 Premiere Brings Record-High Ratings

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Olivia Pope is back — and Scandal fans are more than ready! Viewers of the ABC drama proved their loyalty by tuning into the show’s Season 3 premiere on Thursday night, giving it an all-time high in ratings.

10.5 million people watched to see what was next for Kerry Washington‘s character after she was reunited with her long-lost father at the end of Season 2. The premiere was up 59 percent from last season’s, and the impressive numbers look even better when compared to other Thursday night shows, like Glee and The Big Bang Theory, which both dipped in ratings.

In the jam-packed premiere, Olivia’s dad immediately continues his bad-guy role as the head of B613, and tries to send his daughter away to rid her from the press surrounding her leaked affair with President Fitz. Cyrus urges Olivia not to leave, so instead, she comes back for a private meeting with Fitz and his wife, Mellie, who decide the President will admit to the affair. However, in an attempt to somewhat save her reputation, Mellie refuses to let the world know her husband was in love with another woman, and forces him to say he only slept with Olivia on two occasions.

Thanks to Olivia’s team, it never comes down to that. Instead, the gladiators leak a video of drunken Communications Aide Jeanne Locke expressing her attraction to the President. The suspicion is turned away from Olivia Pope — and after all of her planning, she isn’t happy about it. While she’s confronting them, though, we see another interaction between Fitz and Mellie, during which he, shockingly, admits that he was the one who leaked Olivia’s name to the press as his mistress. While he claims he did it in a way to protect his real love from his wife, Mellie suspects he did it so he could finally have Olivia as his First Lady.

It wouldn’t be Scandal without a cliff-hanger, though. At the end of the episode, Cyrus meets with Olivia’s dad, Rowan, during which he shares a folder with him about what went down between the President and Jake Ballard back when they were in the Navy — Operation Remington — and the President’s right-hand-man can only respond with: “Oh my God.”

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