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'Scandal' recap, Season 4 returns with a bang

"Scandal" is back from its winter break and is pulling no punches.

"Run" kicks off by allowing us to see Olivia’s kidnapping from her point of view, instead of Jake’s. While he was out of the room, prepping for sexy time with Liv, a group of masked men burst in, dragging her into the apartment across the hall.

When (a completely naked) Jake realized she was gone, he immediately rushed out the door and onto the street in search of her. (My entire Twitter timeline winced when he spilled that red wine on Liv’s couch. No amount of OxiClean is going to get that stain out.) Nothing. He starts phoning some people who can help.

Problem is, Liv is still in the building. It’s a possibility I feel like a man who was once Command should have considered, but Jake is distraught, so that warrants a pass. The kidnappers had commandeered her elderly neighbor’s apartment, promising the woman that they would let her go once they had Liv. And they did let her go ... by shooting her in the chest.

They get...

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Before 'Scandal' returns, a Season 4 refresher

Before “Scandal” returns from its two-month hiatus tonight at 9 on ABC, TV Lust recapper Lauren McEwen wrote a refresher to get you ready for tonight’s episode, “Run”:

After receiving news about Harrison’s death from Quinn, Olivia and Jake begrudgingly returned from their romantic deserted island getaway. Though Jake and Olivia’s original agreement was to handle their D.C. responsibilities as quickly as possible in order to return back to the island to stand in the sun whilst wearing white hats, that dream soon died for a number of reasons. 

For one, OPA was in shambles. With Liv gone, Abby, Quinn and Huck went down their own messy paths. Abby took a job as the White House Press Secretary, where she struggled to be respected by Cyrus and Fitz. They even refused to learn her name, calling her “Red” or “Gabby,” instead.

Huck took up a job at a tech store and had been making fruitless attempts at reuniting with his wife, Kim, and their son, Javi. That was, before he began secretly playing...

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'Top Chef' recap, 'Getting Prickly in Mexico'

A three-part finale? Are you kidding me?

Looking back at past seasons, they’ve all lasted about 16 or 17 episodes. This season felt longer because it was Boston, where the frigid weather and overall snobbery make a month feel like a year.

After a customary hiatus before the finale, the chefs reconvene back in Guanajuato, Mexico.

No, it’s not the seaside town where Andy Dufresne finally reunites with his buddy Morgan Freeman at the end of “Shawshank Redemption.” That would be Zihuatanejo. And yes, it would have made a cool tie-in given the fact that "Shawshank" was based in New England. But they decided to pick this artsy town of San Miguel de Allende.

It’s been six weeks since Boston. During that time, Mei went to work at that “other” Voltaggio’s place in Frederick (Volt) and even staged at a Mexican restaurant just to prepare for the finale. I guess that place doesn’t get a name drop, since it’s not part of the Voltaggio empire.

Back at the "Top Chef" villa, Dougie and George are...

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Union Craft Brewing news: Commemorative limited-edition beer, new seasonal can on the way

Last year marked an important time for Union Craft Brewing, the Woodberry-based beer company. An expanded facility with new brewing equipment allowed Union to produce 5,100 barrels of beer in 2014, 90 percent more than the previous year.

So, according to founder Jon Zerivitz, it was time to celebrate. For Union, that meant brewing a limited-edition beer to commemorate the company brewing its 500th batch. The result is Balt the More Sticke Alt, which Zerivitz described as variation on Union’s popular German-style Balt Altbier.

The Balt the More Sticke Alt is “a craft-centric beer, but it’s very traditional in its origin,” Zerivitz said on Wednesday morning. The beer nods to the city’s established love of German-style beers, he said. (“Sticke” is a play on the German word “stickum,” which translates to “secret.”)

“Our regular Balt Alt is very well received, and this is a really special version of that beer,” he said.

Balt the More Sticke Alt is a draft-only release for Maryland and...

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Dew Tour won't return to Ocean City this summer

The Dew Tour will not return this year to Ocean City for a fifth consecutive summer after organizers of the extreme sports competition said they will seek out new venues.

"Ocean City has been a fantastic host city and partner for the Dew Tour for the past four years," Dew Tour organizers said. "As we plan for a new season in 2015, we will be looking to reach different markets."

Ocean City officials said the town is "disappointed" about the change but stressed the successful partnership lasted longer than expected.

"Historically for the Dew Tour, they don’t stay in one location for a long extended time," said Jessica Waters, the town's communications manager. "The fact that they stayed for four years speaks volumes for the success they had here."

Last year about 100,000 people packed Ocean City for the five-day event held in June, along with some 100 athletes who competed in sports ranging from skateboarding to BMX bike riding. Organizers said the event, which offered free admission,...

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Orioles pitcher Zach Britton is ready and excited for FanFest

Orioles closer Zach Britton is getting ready for his fifth FanFest this weekend, and he can't wait.

For Britton, 27, FanFest is all about the game and his teammates — and getting ready for another season wearing the orange and black. After a stellar 2014, where he led the AL East-champion O's with 37 saves, he's understandably eager to get back on the field.

FanFest is set for Saturday (11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Baltimore Convention Center). Pitchers and catchers report to the team's spring training complex in Sarasota, Fla., on Feb. 19. Hang in there, O's fans.

How anxious are you to get the season started?

Very. I think at this time of year, guys are starting to go down to Florida. The guys that I work out with — Chris Tillman's already there, Miguel Gonzalez and some other guys, we're all kind of getting ready to go for spring training.

Once you get to FanFest, the itch gets even worse, because you're around everybody again, telling stories about the off-season. You get really excited for the...

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