Today, Scandal celebrated its 10th anniversary. For seven seasons, Olivia Pope, alongside her team of Gladiators, set the bar for crisis management on a weekly basis – and she did it in style as an intelligent and beautiful Black woman.
Created by Shonda Rhimes, this pop culture phenomenon aired on ABC from 2012 to 2018 and became must watch television on Thursday nights. Starring Kerry Washington as Pope, the series followed her as she excelled in her career and the maintenance of others’, but struggled to keep a healthy hold on her personal life.
During its run, Scandal received numerous accolades, including the Peabody Award for Excellence in Television, and NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Drama Series, as well as being named “Television Program of the Year” by the American Film Institute. As for individual acclaim, Washington has won the Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series and was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award, a Golden Globe, and a SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Drama Series.
In celebration of the show’s 10th anniversary, take a look at the 10 best episodes in Scandal history.
“Sweet Baby” (Season 1, Episode 1)
The start of it all. Scandal’s pilot episode introduces the show’s main character Olivia Pope, a crisis manager who heads her own firm, Olivia Pope & Associates. We see just how good Ms. Pope is at her job, and the episode lays down the foundation for seasons to come.
“Defiance” (Season 2, Episode 7)
An already highly rated series on television, “Defiance” is what marked a turning point for Scandal’s audience.
“Happy Birthday, Mr. President” (Season 2, Episode 8)
Olivia’s primary love interest – and President of the United States – Fitzgerald Grant is shot upon arriving at a gala for his 50th birthday. This episode sent the internet in a frenzy and popularized the #WhoShotFitz hashtag.
The White Hat’s Back On (Season 2, Episode 22)
The finale of season two’s tumultuous storyline saw finally back in control of her life, until a surprise meeting with her father at the episode’s end.
“It’s Handled” (Season 3, Episode 1)
With Pope now known for her affair with President Grant, she has to face her biggest obstacle to date. Meanwhile, Olivia’s father – played by Joe Morton – will stop at nothing to carry out his orders, even at the expense of his daughter.
“The Price of Free and Fair Elections” (Season 3, Episode 18)
The turbulent finale of season three begins with the threat of a bomb, and the President at the tail end of an election. This episode brings the death of one of Scandal’s main characters, and the possibility of a new beginning for Olivia.
“The Lawn Chair” (Season 4, Episode 14)
One of the more powerful episodes in the series’ history, this episode comes in the aftermath of Ferguson, and tells the story of a teenage boy shot dead by a White police officer. Art, imitating life.
“Baby, It’s Cold Outside” (Season 5, Episode 9)
In the last episode before the mid-season break, Olivia Pope’s team continues to hunt her father, and Pope learns that to be happy you have to sometimes let things go.
“Thwack!” (Season 5, Episode 17)
In a rare moment when the always-poised Olivia Pope loses her cool, the audience comes to understand how the episode received its name.
“Allow Me to Reintroduce Myself” (Season 7, Episode 12)
Definitely a fan favorite. Olivia Pope. Annalise Keating. What more can you ask for?