Time to put on your white hats for the very last time, gladiators — Scandal is coming to an end.
We first met Olivia Pope & Associates when the Shondaland series premiered in 2012. A fresh-faced Kerry Washington was hard to miss when she flawlessly took on the role of Olivia Pope and “handled” each and every curveball thrown her way. Not to mention the captivating performances by the ensemble of Tony Goldwyn, Bellamy Young, Jeff Perry, Guillermo Diaz, Katie Lowes, Darby Stanchfield, Scott Foley, Joshua Malina, Joe Morton and more.
Through the years, viewers have experienced emotional betrayals, tearful goodbyes, jaw-dropping shockers and the rise and fall (and possible rise again?) of Olitz. How it all ends on Thursday’s series finale, we’re not sure, but one thing we know is we’re just not quite ready for a life without Scandal.
Take a trip down memory lane with a look back at the show’s 11 most shocking moments.
The Affair That Started It All
Let’s start with the shocker of all shockers: the pilot’s reveal that Olivia was having an affair with President Fitzgerald Grant (Goldwyn). While it’s hard to imagine a time when Fitz and Olivia weren’t a thing, not even Cyrus Beene (Perry) knew of their affair until walking in on them mid-kiss in the Oval Office. Scandal!
The Motley Crew That Rigged the Election
In season two, episode four, we discovered that while Olivia, Cyrus, Verna Thornton (Debra Mooney), Hollis Doyle (Gregg Henry) and Mellie Grant (Young) might not always get along, they were able to come to an agreement on one thing: rigging the election. The episode revealed the five’s decision to fix the vote in Defiance, Ohio, in a move that seems to still have repercussions in season seven.
Fitz Gets Shot — And Then Kills Verna
Just three episodes later, audiences were delivered another shocker, when an assassination attempt was made on Fitz while he was on his way to a gala. While we can’t imagine a world without him, for a good half an hour, we weren’t really sure he was going to make it. Fitz pulled through, however, and soon discovered it was Verna who put the hit on him (and also rigged the election). How did Fitz respond? By suffocating her with a pillow.
Mellie Was Raped by Fitz’s Dad
Scandal didn’t just drop bombshells in the present — flashbacks were also fair game when it came to unbelievable twists. That’s what happened in season three, episode seven, when viewers learned that there was more to the love-to-hate Mellie than meets the eye. In an upsetting flashback taking place years before Fitz became president, Mellie was raped by his father, which may have gotten her pregnant with her son, Jerry (RIP!).
Olivia’s Parents Are Who?
We found out in the season two finale that Rowan (Joe Morton), the head of B613, was actually Eli Pope — and Olivia’s dad. In season three, episode nine, it was revealed that Olivia’s mom, Maya Lewis (Khandi Alexander) didn’t actually die in a plane crash. Nope, she was alive and well, and an international terrorist. The worst part? She knew how to play Olivia like a fiddle.
Jake Guns Down James
Season three, episode 14 had everyone talking after the previous week ended on a cliffhanger, with all signs pointing to Jake Ballard (Foley) killing David Rosen (Malina). It wasn’t until the episode aired that we learned that David was safe — but Cyrus’ husband, James Novak (Dan Bucatinsky), wasn’t. It was a twist that reminded us that no one is safe on Scandal (except maybe Olivia and Fitz), and reminded us that Jake is just as deadly as he is beautiful.
The Death of Jerry Grant
Fitz needed to get re-elected, so his oldest child had to go. Season three, episode 18 killed off poor Jerry Grant Jr. (Dylan Minnette), who didn’t do anything to deserve his tragic death by way of meningitis on stage during his dad’s speech, but that didn’t matter to Rowan.
Olivia Gets an Abortion
First lady life isn’t for everyone — and definitely not for Olivia Pope. While she and Fitz seemed to finally be happy with their relationship out in the open, not everything is what it seems on Scandal. By the end of season five, episode nine, it was clear that Olivia was far from happy, and a baby wasn’t going to make her happier. The D.C. fixer made a trip to the doctor, where she received an abortion — and then broke up with Fitz.
Olivia Gets Dirty
All that anger has to get released somewhere! Viewers found out that Olivia was willing to get her hands (and face, and beautiful white coat) dirty in season five, episode 17, when the former Vice President Andrew Nichols (Jon Tenney) threatened to reveal Mellie’s secrets — so Olivia beat him to death with a chair.
Who Killed Frankie Vargas
It was a mystery that seemed to last an eternity (but really just lasted six episodes). In season six, episode six, we finally found out who killed President-elect Frankie Vargas (Ricardo Chavira), and surprise, it was Papa Pope — only this time he wasn’t pulling the strings. As it turns out, the whole thing was planned by Frankie’s wife, Luna (Tessie Santiago), in one heck of a messed up power play.
Season seven’s big conundrum was revealed in episode six, when pregnant Quinn Perkins (Lowes) was mysteriously kidnapped on her wedding day. One week later, it appeared as if Rowan killed after Olivia told him she didn’t care what became of Quinn after coming to blows with him over his dinosaur bones. Then, in episode eight, Charlie (George Newbern), Quinn’s fiance and father of her child, found a baby (his and Quinn’s) in Rowan’s house. In episode nine, it’s revealed that Quinn survived — no thanks to Olivia.
Affairs, murders and drama aside, the team appears to be all back together just in time for Thursday’s big finale. See what Washington told ET about how it all ends in the video below.
The series finale of Scandal airs Thursday at 10 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.