Fall TV Preview
Scandal ABC

Scandal Season 5 to Mark the 'Reconstitution' of the Gladiators

Scandal is getting back to what it does best: gladiating.

The ABC drama’s upcoming fifth season will find Olivia shoring up her decimated Scooby gang, according to series creator Shonda Rhimes.

Acknowledging that the show’s central Gladiator conceit was sidelined a bit in Season 4 because “we were busy healing” Olivia, Rhimes says Season 5 will feature “the reconstitution” of Team OPA.

“The Gladiators did gladiate,” Rhimes adds of Season 4. “But they gladiated on a different scale and a different level. And the Gladiators scattered.”

Indeed, Liv lost two key soldiers — Abby to the White House and Harrison to the Grim Reaper — so “a lot of times it was just Huck and Quinn gladiating by themselves,” Rhimes notes. “And that wasn’t the same dynamic.”

Might newly-christened series regular Cornelius Smith Jr. — AKA Marcus Walker — fill one of those vacancies? “I honestly don’t know,” says Rhimes, adding that Marcus doesn’t actually reappear until later in the fall.

Scandal returns Thursday, Sept. 24 at 9/8c on ABC.

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  1. masterchoi says:

    So Quinn hasn’t killed Huck?

  2. Zee says:

    Okay… I’m going to try really hard this season not giving scandal a side-eye each episode and also to lower my expectations.
    That’s my mission

  3. Brian says:

    I like this.

  4. Ian says:

    I dont think Marcus is a necessary addition at all. As long as Abby’s back too, but the show left off at such a weird place. Who knows what it’ll look like when it returns.

    • Zee says:

      I agree 👍… I really didn’t like Marcus, I don’t know what it was about him that rubbed me the wrong ; maybe it’s because I felt he came off a bit arrogant or I still miss Harrison, either I don’t like him

      • Kiddoo says:

        I think the actor did a good job of portraying a character I wasn’t supposed to like. That being said, I didn’t like the character and do not care for him to grace my TV screen again. And like others, I too miss Harrison.

      • Lizo says:

        I loved Marcus. He *was* arrogant, he didn’t doubt he was right and I think to be a civil rights worker he needs that. Plus his attitude and character played really well off Olivia and it was exciting to see two fierce black badasses working together on tv. I’ll think he’ll add a great dynamic; he’ll be calling everyone out on their crap and helping keep Team Pope moral

        • William says:

          Definitely agree. It was nice seeing Marcus challenge Olivia because it’s something we’re not used to. I think he’ll be a great influence on the show because Marcus is a man that abides by his moral compass amidst everything.

      • fiberlicious says:

        Whatever it is, it does the same for me. Feh.

    • deenabraun says:

      I don’t like Marcus either; his demeanor doesn’t seem the right “fit” for Scandal. Hope SR does not make him a gladiator.

  5. Karen says:

    Healing? No destroying with the b613 crap

  6. jc says:

    Mmmm I don’t like marcus yet. I don’t hate him but I don’t like him enough for him to be inserted into the gladiators. They need to try to find someone else not just marcus.

  7. Lizo says:

    Excellent! I’m excited to have Team Pope back together! Though I really loved the way Abby and Olivia were able to build a friendship over last season; them not working together was good for their personal relationship, so I’d love to see that carry over into next season. For Olivia to truly have a female BFF

  8. Aly Lady says:

    S4 was too much Jake and Papa Pope. Those are not characters that have been on Scandal since the beginning so it was kind of messed to take the spotlight away from the original Gladiators.

    • Lizo says:

      And it was too much of both of them. I liked the Papa Pope stuff because it showed us how messed up Liv is and why…but then to have the Jake *and* Fitz drama on top, was just too much. And like how was Liv ever okay with Jake, he murdered David! David!! How could you continue to be with someone after they murdered your friend.

      • Julia says:

        He murdered James!
        So it’s ok for her to be with Fitz who started an unnecessary war for her and had troops die for no reason…well I suppose that’s ok seeing as the troops who died were not Olivia’s friends…smh

    • fiberlicious says:

      BLASPHEMY!!!! There’s no such thing as too much Jake!

    • LeeSP says:

      Yes, I agree. Scandal needs to go back to the basic premise of the show and get rid of the B613 characters (Papa Pope, Jake, Russell, etc.) that should be on another show. Scandal became a version of Alias instead of Olivia and OPA handling crisis situations.

      Strong supporting actors and characters like Cyrus, Fitz, VP Susan Ross, Abby, Quinn, Huck, Mama Pope, etc. were pushed to the side to focus on the ridiculous Papa Pope and Jake B613 story line. Also there was way too much of whiny useless Mellie depending on everyone to help her get elected.

      Hopefully season 5 will be better than the mess of season four which had some really good episodes and then some really silly B613 episodes.

      Of course Marcus will join the OPA team and be less self-righteous after his scandal with the Mayor’s dead wife.

  9. abz says:

    Even though the past season was pretty much garbage, as long as I don’t have to see Pape Pope and his TERRIBLE acting and that stupid B613 storyline, I’m willing to give this new season a shot.

  10. Julia says:

    I don’t know why people have a problem with Papa Pope..I liked him and I hope to see more of him…

    • abz says:

      Well, there’s his increasingly terrible acting for one. Those stupid, endless monologues (made me just want to turn off my screen every time he showed up). That and the fact that the B613 storyline dragged on for far longer than it should have and just became annoying.

  11. Mr. Tran K says:

    Started to hate Huck during the second half of last season and he’s becoming a monster and still we don’t know whether or not Quinn pull the trigger on Huck. All I’m saying is WHAT THE HUCK?!

  12. Win says:

    I’m not going to say that TVLine forgot about Henry Ian Cusick’s Stephen Finch, but simply add that they lost gladiator Stephen to… uh… having a life?

  13. Margo says:

    This is some good news then….now can we just get rid of Fitz….forever!

  14. i think cyrus bean will be a gladiator since fitz fired him

  15. Rachie says:

    I love Jake, but I will forever & always be Team Fitz! The Olivia & Fitz relationship is what drew me into the show, just like Liv & her Gladiators. I’m excited to hear that Shonda will be going back to the show’s roots & bringing the Gladiators back together. :) I do have to ask this.. I have seen people say that Fitz is bad & not good for Liv etc etc he started a war, he shot down a plane, he killed Verna.. he doesn’t deserve Olivia.. How does one come to that conclusion?! Olivia helps some very bad people get away with very bad things sometimes.. is it okay, just because when she realizes it, she feels like crap?! She knows what she’s doing, she may strive for that white hat, but I can’t buy into because she wants to be good, that makes the crappy things she’s
    covered up all okay.

    • rose says:

      I agree, the reason I started watching the show was the Olitz relationship…just hoping it is not revealed that someone was having a dream and dreamt the entire season, also I’m really interested to see how the relationship continues.

      • Cheyenne says:

        You know what’s going to happen: Mellie is going to announce that Fitz threw her out of the WH so he could bring his black whore in, and all hell is going to break loose. Fitz’s approval rating will drop into the single digits, Olivia will volunteer to break up with him to save his presidency, Fitz won’t hear of it, and they will have a titanic fight over it which will go back and forth for the rest of the season.

  16. Angie Marie says:

    Healing Olivia? I’m just happy the triangle is dead, B613 is dead, Olitz is back together, and Rowan is gone for now. Now divorce Fitz and I’ll be very happy.

  17. Bigdede says:

    This shows the network executives stepped in and told Shonda to stop with the B613 crap and get back to basics. Fans been complaining for the longest but it was until ratings started dropping rapidly that the network stepped in. Shonda thinks what she does is gospel but now she knows it’s not

    • singsongsoy says:

      Judy Smith is coming out with her own political show on another network. It sounds fascinating…and to think SR wasted the gem she has with Olitz for Jake & Mellie is ridiculous. The rating plummeted. She will rue the day she made that horrendous mistake. And if Season 5 doesn’t go in the right direction, fans will leave in droves. SR has one more chance to make it right.

  18. Bill says:

    In other words Shonda is done with her leftist political BS episodes

  19. TrudiV says:

    It’s about time that Scandal got back on track. Let’s return to what attracted me to Scandal in the first place: More Olitz; more gladiating; less of Jake; less of Mellie; less of Papa Pope.

  20. Cheyenne says:

    I don’t care if they bring in Quick Draw McGraw and Baba Louie as new Gladiators, as long as they put Papa Pope permanently out to pasture.

    • lena says:

      Papa Pope’s ranting on and on and on…is the only reason everyone wants him to shut up and leave already..not that the B16 storyline was bad, the Pope characters ‘overacting ! Is annoying. ..Makes one want to take a bathroom break when he comes on..

  21. Guest says:

    Let’s hope this signals the end of the BS, uh, B613 garbage. It’s old, worn out and NOT interesting anymore. Stop with the conspiracy junk. Bring back what made the show work the 1st few seasons. The gladiators taking on cases that would turn crazy during the episode.