Season 4 of “Scandal” has been INTENSE so far. Olivia (Kerry Washington) was kidnapped, and Fitz (Tony Goldwyn) was forced to go to war with West Angola thanks to the conniving vice president, Andrew (Jon Tenney). Things only got worse in episode 12 when Olivia was put on the black market and sold to the highest bidder … Iran.

Episode 12 ended with Olivia being delivered to her new “owners.” However, “Scandal” viewers did not see the faces of the people who bought her. The promo video for episode 13 teases that “the winner of the worldwide auction for Olivia Pope will be revealed” – which has us speculating that fans will be familiar with the mysterious person.

So, who could it be? Our theory is none other than Stephen Finch (Henry Ian Cusick).

“Scandal” fans that have been with the show since Season 1 are very familiar with Stephen. He was one of Olivia’s gladiators and a senior associate at the firm. Stephen was known for sleeping around town, but developed a serious relationship with a woman named Georgia. He ultimately proposed to Georgia, but his fiancé didn’t know about his extensive sexual history. In the final episodes of Season 1, Stephen revealed to Olivia that he was going to tell Georgia in the hopes that she’d break off the engagement.

As far as viewers know, Georgia didn’t end her relationship with Stephen. Henry Ian Cusick didn’t reprise his role in Season 2, and the show wrote off the character by saying that he quit and moved to Boston with Georgia. According to the Hollywood Reporter at the time, it was a “mutual decision” between Cusick and creator Shonda Rhimes to not pick up his contract for a second season. However, the pair reportedly parted on “good terms.”

But why are we speculating about Cusick’s potential return to the ABC drama? “Scandal” subtly dropped Stephen’s name in episode 12. Jake (Scott Foley) found Quinn (Katie Lowes) sitting in Harrison’s (Columbus Short) old office – which was Stephen’s old office. They didn’t dive too deep into Stephen, but it seems a little odd that they would bring him up in an episode that focused on Olivia being sold to dangerous terrorists.

Stephen was known for wearing a “white hat” – but what if he switched sides? Another option is that Stephen was able to do what Huck (Guillermo Diaz) and the others weren’t able to do – rescue Olivia by buying her.

Of course we’re not basing our theory on a simple name drop. Prior to the Season 4 winter premiere, Darby Stanchfield, who plays former Pope associate Abby, dished to TV Line that fans who have been with the show since Season 1 will be in for a big surprise.

“There is the most freakin’ hugest surprise that happens in the next four episodes that the original Gladiators are going to freak out over,” she teased. “The only clue I can give you is that fans of the first season are going to lose their minds.”

Our thoughts on Henry Ian Cusick is pure speculation and not confirmed. Do you think Cusick will reprise his role as Stephen Finch on “Scandal” Season 4? Tweet your thoughts to @AmandaTVScoop.