By Natalie Abrams
January 18, 2018 at 10:07 PM EST
Eric McCandless/ABC
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Warning: This story contains major spoilers from Thursday’s episode of Scandal. Read at your own risk!

Is Quinn Perkins actually dead?

Though fans waited two months with hopes that Quinn (Katie Lowes) was somehow still alive, Scandal’s winter premiere revealed that one of the original Gladiators and the new head of QPA is actually dead — supposedly.

After a standoff with Olivia (Kerry Washington) resulted in Rowan (Joe Morton) purportedly shooting Quinn in the fall finale, Thursday’s hour opened with Rowan destroying a car housing what appeared to be Quinn’s body. Partial dental, blood, and hair samples later indicated to police that Quinn Perkins is, indeed, dead. Again, maybe. Possibly.

Even though we saw a body, we never saw Quinn’s face, nor did we ever see Rowan shoot her, so there’s still hope that this is all a ploy by Rowan to really show Olivia the error of her ways, or maybe even to turn her allies against her. After all, it’s not long before Huck (Guillermo Diaz) basically tracks Quinn’s death back to Olivia.

On the bright side, the end of the hour dropped a big clue that Quinn could still be alive, and even possibly working in tandem with Rowan. After a despondent Charlie (George Newbern) arrived at Rowan’s to basically rejoin B613, he hears the cries of a baby. Could this be Quinn’s baby? Was it born before Quinn’s death? Or is Quinn still alive and well?

For the record, when EW recently hit the set, Lowes was present. However, she was coy on whether that signaled good news. “I can’t say anything much about why I’m here, but you know that the show deals a lot with flashbacks and time not necessarily moving in chronological order,” Lowes said. “You will find out very early on as soon as we come back what Quinn’s fate is. All I can say is some of the stuff you’re going to see is definitely the hardest stuff I’ve ever done for sure.”

Of course, the sad truth could actually be that Quinn is dead. That memorial, with those closest to Quinn remembering fond memories, was quite an emotional sendoff. And let’s not forget that the winter premiere did kick off what are ultimately the final 11 episodes of the series. This tends to be when the stakes are real, even if it hurts us beyond repair. Because happy endings aren’t always achievable. But, for now, we’ll hold out hope.

Scandal airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.

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