SHONDA RHIMES*The Vulture blog talked with Shonda Rhimes, executive producer of the hit TV series Scandal, earlier this month at ABC’s TV Critics Association press tour party to get the inside scoop on the third season.

She is usually vague when asked about what fans can expect from the series, but they were able to get some info on things including the possibility of a spin-off.

Here’s a taste:

So last season ended with Olivia being confronted by reporters who’d found out she’d been having an affair with Fitz. How will you kick off season three?
When season three begins, I feel like we have some business to take care of. People are saying to Liv, “Are you the president’s mistress?” The first episode sort of leads to some very interesting negotiations between the president and the first lady and Olivia in a way.

What can you reveal about the overriding themes for some of the characters next season. Let’s start with Olivia.
There’s a moment in the second scene of the first episode where you sort of discover that the Olivia you know now is a very different person than she used to be. I feel like we’re discovering that Olivia’s in this very interesting state of evolution, and we have no idea where she’s going to be at the end of this season.

And the president?
I can’t say anything about him that’s not a spoiler!

How about the first lady?
Everyone should remember that Mellie is smarter than anybody gives her credit for.

How far in advance do you plot out story arcs?
We left the end of season two, and then we all came back and sat down and went, “What the hell is going to happen next?” And then we figured it out. That’s the fun of it. I feel you have to leave it all on the page and the screen, and then go from there … When I left season one, I had no idea what was going to happen in season two. I remember saying to the writers, “Yay! The writers’ room for season two begins tomorrow. If anyone has any idea for who Quinn Perkins is, let us know.” If you hold story back — there’s no way to hold story back on this show anyway, because we’re moving so fast.

Get MORE of this Q&A at Vulture.