'Scandal': Kerry Washington and cast tease 'terrifying' second half of Season 3

kerry-washington-season-3-second-half-scandal-abc.jpgThe wait is nearly over, "Scandal" fans. In just one quick month, on Feb. 27, the buzzy ABC series will return for the second half of Season 3.

When Kerry Washington and Co. left us in December, a lot was left in the air. We'd just learned that Olivia Pope's mom ( Khandi Alexander) is really a terrorist and she's on the loose in D.C. Dad Rowan ( Joe Morton) got the B613 boot, with Fitz ( Tony Goldwyn) installing Jake ( Scott Foley) as the new head.

Elsewhere, OPA is down a Gladiator after Quinn's ( Katie Lowes) impromptu dental work at the hand of Huck ( Guillermo Diaz). Spurned by her makeshift family, she ran back into the arms of creepy Charlie ( George Newbern), the only person who will have her.

And that's not even mentioning the Vice President murdering her philandering husband, with Cyrus ( Jeff Perry) attempting to cover it up. Needless to say, there's a lot of resolution to look forward to this spring.

"We still finish every table read and go, 'That's not the season finale?!' It's pretty crazy," Washington tells THR. "The table read we just did sent us all spinning. We need for the next table read to happen right away, but we're scared because something is happening that's terrifying."

Chief among Liv's concerns when the show returns will be her epic family issues. "It's definitely on her mind," Washington says of finding her on-the-lam mom. "What was most interesting for me was the more that we're learning about who her parents are, the more of a window we have into Olivia's emotional reality. I really like that, and that's a lot about what this next part of the season is about."

Other things to look forward to?

- An inevitable return for Liv to Team Fitz, whose reelection campaign will dominate this back half of the season. "Whether she's involved or not, how those decisions get made is really interesting and unexpected," Washington teases, but, come on, we all know it's happening.

- A rudderless Quinn, searching for a new identity. "Quinn has struggled so much with her identity over the first three seasons," Lowes says. "Because Lindsay Dwyer was stripped from her and because she doesn't have a dad, a family or a home life, it's a question of 'Who is she?' And now she doesn't have OPA and that's how she figured out who she was. It's complicated and sad."

- A remorseless Huck. "The episode we see on Feb. 27, we're going to see Huck and Olivia have a really intense scene," Diaz teases. "I don't think Huck feels bad about what he did to Quinn. He only feels bad that Olivia is going to be upset with him and look at him with these eyes of 'What the f*** have you done?!' That's the only reason he feels guilt or regret for doing what he did. But as far as Quinn, he's still standing his ground and he doesn't think she belongs at OPA anymore at this point. It's weird to see him so staunch and not budging on what he feels. It's a bit upsetting."

- B613 will begin to bring out Jake's dark side. "There are these little things that start to seep in, little moments where you see that darkness come from Jake -- and it's really interesting how they're doing it," Diaz says. "No one at B613 is sane. There's something off with all those people at B613, and that's really interesting to see Jake start to show that."

- A return to the campaign trail may bring about a new love interest for Mellie ( Bellamy Young). "There will be all sorts of machinations trying to get us back in the White House for another four years," the First Lady herself says. "We will be joined by the amazingly talented Jon Tenney, who will throw a wrench in the works in the very best of ways." Might Tenney have eyes for Mellie? Young won't say, only offering that fans will be "amazed" by the role he plays. Real talk, though: It's time for Mellie to get a little something something. Fingers crossed for this.

What are you looking forward to most when Season 3 resumes? Sound off in the comments below.

"Scandal" returns Thursday, Feb. 27 at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.
Photo/Video credit: ABC