From an "Olitz" encounter to the latest developments in the election, here are things to expect on Thursday night's "Scandal."

Off last week while ABC used its timeslot to launch “The Family,” drama “Scandal” returns with a new episode this Thursday night.

Entitled “The Fish Rots From The Head,” Thursday’s episode provides new developments in the impending election. Mellie Grant and Susan Ross are preparing for their primary battle, and their advisers — Olivia in Mellie’s case, David and Lizzie in Susan’s case — are eyeing a pivotal endorsement from Fitz.

SCANDAL – “The Fish Rots From the Head” :: “Scandal,” THURSDAY MARCH 10 (9:00-10:00 p.m. EST) on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/Nicole Wilder) TONY GOLDWYN

SCANDAL – “The Fish Rots From the Head” :: “Scandal,” THURSDAY MARCH 10 (9:00-10:00 p.m. EST) on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/Nicole Wilder)
TONY GOLDWYN

Cyrus, meanwhile, continues his quest to turn promising Pennsylvania governor Francisco Vargas into the democratic candidate for president.

OPA works with Abby and members of the Secret Service on a fresh case, while a suspicious Olivia continues her inquiry into Jake and the true story behind his budding romantic relationship.

Headline Planet recently screened the episode, which officially airs at 9PM ET Thursday night. Here are eight things to expect (don’t worry, no major spoilers are included):

Single Fitz
Fitz is single — and he’s embracing it!

With Abby and the Secret Service handling logistics, the president is able to add a considerable number of notches to the presidential bedpost.

The focus he is placing on his sexual appetite, however, comes at the expense of focus on his job as president. It, moreover, leads to a reckless moment in front of his family.

SCANDAL – “The Fish Rots From the Head” :: THURSDAY MARCH 10 (9:00-10:00 p.m. EST) on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/Nicole Wilder) GUILLERMO DIAZ, CORNELIUS SMITH JR., KERRY WASHINGTON

SCANDAL – “The Fish Rots From the Head” :: THURSDAY MARCH 10 (9:00-10:00 p.m. EST) on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/Nicole Wilder)
GUILLERMO DIAZ, CORNELIUS SMITH JR., KERRY WASHINGTON

To Wear The White Hat, To Not Wear The White Hat
A Secret Service party gone awry prompts Abby to solicit OPA for its help in covering up the fallout.

For Olivia, Huck, and Quinn, the case is a stunningly simple, straightforward one: pay off hotel staff, hide some evidence, and the Secret Service agents walk away from the incident scot-free.

For Marcus, the matter is decidedly more complex. His concern is not simply helping the client; it is ensuring justice is served. That would mean digging deeper into the case to determine what really happened.

Obviously right from a moral standpoint, his position conflicts with the OPA business model.

Which perspective will win out in the end?

Cyrus: A Relentless Political Mastermind
Cyrus’ quest to turn Vargas into his candidate for president hits a roadblock when the governor publicly denies his interest in running for the Oval.

By now, the “Scandal” viewer knows Cyrus is cunning and relentless. Will those qualities help him overcome the candidate’s own reservations? Will they land Cyrus his new Fitzgerald Grant?

Spying on The Spy
Certain Jake’s new girlfriend is a pawn in a greater plan he and Rowan are hatching, Olivia begins to spy on the couple. Olivia’s efforts may superficially come across like those of a jealous ex-lover, but she cannot succumb to appearances. In her heart and head, she knows Jake is planning something devious.

The Rise of Susan Ross
Manipulation from Lizzie and David may have been required to commence Susan Ross’ presidential campaign, but she is certainly not going to be a puppet candidate. Increasingly confident in her ability to win the race and drive meaningful change, Ross will not blindly follow the strategy proposed by any outside influencers. She is her own woman — and her own candidate.

SCANDAL – “The Fish Rots From the Head” :: THURSDAY MARCH 10 (9:00-10:00 p.m. EST) on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/Nicole Wilder) KERRY WASHINGTON

SCANDAL – “The Fish Rots From the Head” :: THURSDAY MARCH 10 (9:00-10:00 p.m. EST) on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/Nicole Wilder)
KERRY WASHINGTON

That confidence may clash, however, with her present, more overtly subservient role as vice president.

“Olitz” Encounter
Thursday’s episode brings former lovers Olivia and Fitz into the same room. An emotional confrontation predictably ensues.

“Olake” Tension
Fitz is not the only on-again, off-again lover with whom Olivia has a tense encounter. A suspicious Olivia also finds herself quite literally in the throes of temptation during a late-night meeting with NSA Director Jake Ballard.

Kerry Washington Shines
Celebrating the star may not be the coolest move for a critic, but it is a warranted one given the caliber of Washington’s work in this episode. The Emmy-nominated “Scandal” lead approaches — and sells — both of the aforementioned scenes with an utterly gripping intensity.