Season 4, episode 1 of "Scandal" picks up two months after President Grant, nicknamed "Fitz," is re-elected. Olivia Pope is living on a remote island with Jake Ballard and using a false identity. She soon learns of the murder of Harrison Wright and decides that she needs to return to Washington, D.C.
Olivia returns to Pope & Associates, her crisis management firm, to find that all but one of her colleagues have left and are working elsewhere. Changed after the lost of his son, Jerry, Fitz fires many core members of his staff and passes new legislation. The head of the Republican National Committee believes the new legislation is beginning to upset the party and warns him that his wife's behavior after the loss of her son is beginning to threaten their image.
The assistant to Senator Stephanie Vaughn arrives at Olivia's apartment, saying that the Senator specifically asked for Olivia's help. The Senator informs Olivia that she was assaulted by Senator Benjamin Stirling and accidentally pushed him off of a second story railing in self-defense. Although she refuses to work on the case, Olivia eventually discovers that it was the assistant who had been assaulted. Senator Vaughn changed the story hoping that she could blackmail Senator Stirling into supporting the president's new legislation.
Fitz tells his wife that Olivia is back in town and promises to stay faithful to her. Olivia and her colleagues return to Pope & Associates after she agrees to take Senator Vaughn's case after all. David Rosen, a Democrat, is nominated for Attorney General.