In honor of Scandal revolutionizing the primetime TV landscape, we share our favorite OMGGGGG moments spanning the series’ seven seasons!
When Scandal premiered in Spring 2012, I was in a pretty interesting place in my life. I had recently returned to the U.S. after a year in Nigeria doing fieldwork for my dissertation. I was in the process of trying to finish my Ph.D. (which I would do in December 2012) and figure out what I wanted to do with the next phase of my life. It was a huge time of transition. In the midst of this, Scandal sauntered into primetime network TV and elevated my EVERYTHING.
Now, Shondaland already had my undying loyalty, thanks to Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice. But, even before Scandal actually aired, I just knew the series would be… different. Kerry Washington would be the first African-American woman to lead a network drama in practically 40 years. Plus, in the aftermath of the George W. Bush administration, with hanging chads and accusations of stolen elections, conspiracies about a cabal secretly dominating American politics and leading the country into wars, and scandals like that of Scooter Libby’s shenanigans, a television show following the adventures of a high-powered DC fixer was so well-placed.
Then Scandal’s premiere aired in April 2012, and I was hooked by the end of the first episode. Almost instantaneously, I became a Gladiator in a Suit and I was ready to follow Liv and OPA right over that damn cliff! Olivia Pope was my (s)hero, phased by nothing and totally assured in her skills and competence. From the opening scenes of the series premiere where Liv and Stephen saved a Russian ambassador’s baby from kidnappers, you knew she was not a woman to be trifled with. Within the first episode, Liv faced down kidnappers, exonerated Lieutenant Sully St. James (falsely accused of murdering his girlfriend), took Gladiator-in-training Quinn Perkins under her wing, and handled Amanda Tanner, a former intern who had been spreading rumors about a supposed relationship with President Fitzgerald Grant. Liv dominated in everything, and I knew I could do the same. I COULD.
Yet, before the end of that episode, we saw Liv’s fierceness juxtaposed with a vulnerability in a private moment with Fitz in the Oval Office. This is when we realized that she was the President’s side-lady. HAVE. MERCY. Those first seven episodes were JUICY… but then Season 2 knocked it out of the stratosphere, galloping through alllllllllllll the drama! Quinn Perkins = Lizzy Dwyer, potential mass murderess; DEFIANCE!!!!!!!!!!; #WhoShotFitz; Olitz break-up/make-up sexxxxxxxy times; #WhoIsTheMole; and the big reveal of Papa Pope. For SEVEN SEASONS, Scandal didn’t let up on that gas pedal.
Scandal was surely entertaining–I’m not saying that they invented live tweeting, but they elevated the twitter/hashtag game like it was their job. The collective experience of watching and flailing every week, especially with cast and creators, was half the fun! But additionally, these characters taught me a lot about the complexities and shades of gray in life and love. I wasn’t necessarily ready for the show to end this year, but I see how it’s better to leave on a highpoint, which the series absolutely did. I will forever be grateful to Shonda Rhimes and Scandal’s creators/cast/crew.
In honor of this series revolutionizing the landscape of primetime television, I present my favorite/most memorable Scandal OMGGGGG moments spanning the show’s seven seasons!
1. Olitz is born with a kiss! (Season 1, Episode 1 “Sweet Baby”)
I’m a sucker for angsty romantic relationships, so finding out that Liv had a secret relationship with a married POTUS Fitz (BEFORE THE END OF THE FIRST EPISODE) basically guaranteed I’d be hooked on this show.
2. “You own me! You control me! I belong to you!” (Season 2, Episode 8 ““Happy Birthday, Mr. President”)
The Olitz angst continued in this intense scene in the White House Rose Garden where Liv and Fitz lament the intensity of what is between them. Their forbidden romance was so fierce, but we also saw that it caused a lot of pain too.
3. “If you want me, EARN ME!”/“Sit with me and watch me choose you. Watch me earn you.” AKA The International Side-Piece Anthem (Season 2, Episode 20 “A Woman Scorned”)
After a half-season of Olitz being broken up (because of Fitz’s anger over Liv’s role in Defiance), Liv demands that Fitz prove himself. And by the end of this episode, Fitz does so in a spectacularly swoony way.
4. “Dad?” (Season 3, Episode 1 “It’s Handled”)
By the end of Season 2, we learned that Rowan/Eli Pope, the head of B613 who had been scaring the begeezus out of Cyrus (and us) was Liv’s father. And watching Papa Pope lambast Liv about her relationship with Fitz in this season gave us some really important insight into why Liv is the way she is.
5. Mama Pope is alive, y’all! (Season 3, Episode 8 “Vermont is for Lovers, Too”)
Basically, given who Papa Pope was, we should have known that he was lying about Mama Pope being dead. But at the same time, maybe we shouldn’t have been surprised that Liv’s mother turned out to be an international terrorist. THIS. SHOW.
6. HuckleberryQuinn kink (Season 3, Episode 9 “YOLO”)
Huck, our fave recovering B613 agent, had a bit of a relapse when he found himself needing to use his “skills” on Quinn. She had fallen into Papa Pope’s B613 trap and Huck believed her to be a threat to Liv. What resulted was a super disturbing scene, all the more alarming because of the HuckleberryQuinn UST. (Don’t @ me.)
7. Papa Pope vs. Fitz AKA that one time Papa Pope told Fitz alllllllllllllll about himself, boy! (Season 3, Episode 10 “A Door Marked Exit”)
8. Eiffel Tower (Season 4, Episode 4 “Like Father, Like Daughter”)
Just look it up in urbandictionary.com *SNORT*
9. Liv is kidnapped! (Season 4, “Where the Sun Don’t Shine”, “Run”, “Where’s the Black Lady?”, “Gladiators Don’t Run”, “No More Blood”)
The entire arc of Liv being kidnapped by VIce President Nichols’ goons, sold on the Dark Web to Iranians/Russians, outwitting her captors, and secretly being saved by OG Gladiator Stephen was so scary and thrilling! One of the best of the series, with wide implications for Liv and the rest of the show.
10. “You Can’t Take Command!” (Season 4, Episode 22)
Just when Liv, OPA, and David Rosen think that they’ve got the evidence they need to have Papa Pope arrested and shut down B613 via grand jury, Damascus Bainbridge AKA Rowan Pope, pretends to be a donor to Mellie’s Senatorial campaign. He blackmails her for information on the jurors’ location. Huck does the rest…
11. Liv’s abortion (Season 5, Episode 9 “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”)
My Olitz heart was so happy that Liv had moved into the White House and was living with Fitz as his live-in girlfriend. Admittedly, there was a point where it started to feel like a hostage… you could tell that Liv was chafing at Fitz’s influence and the regimentation of being his First Lady. But then, Liv quietly had an abortion, no muss/no fuss, and, for me, this signaled the end of their relationship. I’m pro-choice, but I’m still baffled by this decision. Clearly, Liv was not trying to have anything or anyone tie her to Fitz, long-term, and that broke my heart. Interestingly, this drama snuck up on us as Mellie was holding the Senate floor to prevent a bill that would defund Planned Parenthood.
12. THWACK! AKA Olivia Pope done lost it AKA “Never cross me again.” (Season 5, Episode 17)
13. Hollis Doyle runs for President, AKA art imitating life… (Season 5, Episode 20 “Trump Card”)
We all thought that Hollis us basically Trump, right? *SNORT*
14. Ruland, Peus, Papa Pope, and Frankie Vargas (Season 6, Episode 6 “Extinction”)
I’m telling you, there was a point I though Ruland and Peus were unstoppable. Who else could get Papa Pope so shook up that he would be willing to shoot the woman he loved in the head AND kill Frankie Vargas as he won the Presidential election? LAWD.
15. Olitz wedding AKA the quality AU fic we deserve (Season 6, Episode 10 “The Decision”)
For Scandal’s 100th episode, we got to explore what life would be like if Defiance never happened… and this alt-universe included Liv and Fitz getting married!
16. Team Mellivia (Season 7, Episode 1 “Watch Me”)
Watching Mellie and Liv dominate politics in the administration of America’s first woman POTUS’ administration was magnificent. Girl power for fucking ever!
17. Liv vs. Annalise (Season 7, Episode 12 “Allow Me to Reintroduce Myself”)
Thanks to Shondaland’s #HowToGetAwayWithScandal crossover, we got to see two powerhouse characters and actresses go toe-to-toe and it was GLORIOUS. This scene between Liv and Annalise Keating (Viola Davis) in the hair salon? I.DIED.
18. Papa Pope makes America great! (Season 7, Episode 18 “Over a Cliff”)
Just when we thought Cyrus and Jake were going to take Mellie and Liv down, Papa Pope came to the rescue by letting these White Men Senators who *think* they hold the power, that HE makes American great.
19. Liv in the National Portrait Gallery (Season 7, Episode 18 “Over a Cliff”)
Scandal ended with us watching two young Black girls gaze upon Liv’s beautiful painting in the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery. Liv would one day recognized as an important person in American history…maybe even as POTUS, herself.
Gladiators, let me tell you, just re-watching these clips was enough to overwhelm me with feels and tummy flutters. DAMN this was a good show! Make sure to share your own faves in comments!