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*Scandal returns Thursday, Sept. 24 at 9/8c on ABC, and show creator Shonda Rhimes tells TVLine that Season 5 will see Olivia and her remaining Gladiators reunite and do what they do best: Gladiate.

Rhimes admits that the show’s central theme was sidelined in Season 4 because “we were busy healing” Olivia, but she says Season 5 will feature “the reconstitution” of Olivia Pope and Associates.

“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, with Harrison dead and Abby working at the White House, Rhimes said “a lot of times it was just Huck and Quinn gladiating by themselves. And that wasn’t the same dynamic.”

Shonda Rhimes & Kerry W

Will new addition Cornelius Smith Jr. (who was promoted to series regular for next season) fill a vacancy on Team OPA? “I honestly don’t know,” Rhimes says.

In addition to Cornelius, it was previously reported that Portia de Rossi was upgraded from recurring character to series regular, joining series stars Kerry Washington (Olivia), Darby Stanchfield (Abby), Jeff Perry (Cyrus), Tony Goldwyn (Fitz), Joshua Malina (David Rosen) and Bellamy Young (Mellie).

It will be interesting to see how Hunk and Quinn’s professional relationship plays out next season. If you recall (SPOILER ALERT), season four ends with Quinn holding a gun to Huck’s head. In a recent interview with TV Fanatic, Katie Lowes discussed the dynamic between her character, Quinn, and Huck played by Guillermo Diaz.

“She’s in a really huge pickle. It’s really a conflicting emotion of do you kill your best friend/mentor/sexual lover/all the different various relationships we’ve been to each other [and] the man you lick every once and a while for kicks?”

According to Celeb Dirty Laundry, one actor who most likely won’t return next season is Scott Foley, who plays B613 operative and sometime lover to Olivia, Jake Ballard. Sources quoted in a June 8 issue of Star magazine allege Foley and Washington are feuding in real life. According to the source:

“Kerry is a very take-charge gal, but Scott is a veteran actor with his own opinions, and many of them rubbed Kerry the wrong way. Scott knows that Kerry is tight with Shonda, so he sees the writing on the wall. He wouldn’t be surprised if he got killed off early this fall.”