Scandal is in a junior-year slump. Last season, ABC’s political soap was one of the best series on television, the writers expertly shoving characters together and wrenching them apart for maximum delicious conflict. Showrunner Shonda Rhimes achieved a kind of baroque storytelling that was grotesquely convoluted, yet stunning to behold. The season didn’t culminate in a single and-then-the-earth-stopped-spinning revelation, but four or five. (Spoilers ahead.) The president had the election rigged for him — and didn’t know it. When he discovered the truth, the POTUS killed one of the people who got him his gig in retaliation: a dying Supreme Court justice. The First Lady threatened to expose her Republican husband’s interracial affair on live TV and use the sympathy vote to get herself elected to office. As a pre-emptive measure, the president’s gay chief of staff counter-threatened to “out” the FLOTUS as a lesbian. Oh, and he also used his assassin connections to order his baby-crazy husband dead.