‘Scandal’ Turns 10: See Fans’ Picks for the 10 Best Episodes (VIDEO)

Scandal Kerry Washington Olivia Pope
Danny Feld/ABC/Courtesy: Everett Collection

Imagine The West Wing with Oval Office sex, rigged elections, deep-state conspiracies, and bloody murder, and you have Scandal, which is now 10 years old.

The ABC thriller, created by Shonda Rhimes, starred Kerry Washington as crisis manager Olivia Pope. Olivia’s own life was always in crisis, sometimes because of her own ruthless ambition but more often because of the power-lust of the politicos around her. As the series progressed through seven seasons (and the bodies piled up), Olivia shifted from hero to antihero and back again, shelving her white hat to pursue her agenda through force when necessary.

With the show marking its 10-year anniversary on April 5, you may want to revisit the best episodes of the series. Here they are, according to fan votes analyzed by ShowSkimmer. Just don’t blame us for any loss of faith in American democracy!

Season 2, Episode 8: “Happy Birthday, Mr. President”

Written by Rhimes herself, this episode picks up immediately where previous hour ended: with the assassination attempt against Fitz (Tony Goldwyn). As the president fights for his life, a series of flashbacks reveals the start of his affair with Olivia…and the duplicitous vice president, Sally Langston (Kate Burton), angles for his job.

Season 2, Episode 9: “Blown Away”

One episode later, Huck (Guillermo Diaz) becomes a person of interest in Fitz’s shooting—framed by the real assassin, his ex-girlfriend Becky (Susan Pourfar). Huck has the support of his colleagues at Olivia Pope & Associates, but when Becky hears that he’s plotting against her, she violently robs him of one of his only sources of happiness.

Season 2, Episode 11: “A Criminal, a Whore, an Idiot and a Liar”

As Fitz recovers in the hospital, flashbacks reveal how his father, “Big Jerry” (Barry Bostwick), joined his rigged presidential campaign. In the present, Fitz informs Mellie (Bellamy Young) that he wants a divorce, while Senator Edison Davis (Norm Lewis) tells Olivia that he wants to get married.

Season 2, Episode 22: “White Hat’s Back On”

In the Season 2 finale, fans finally learn the identity of the man who plotted for Olivia and Jake Ballard (Scott Foley) to get together so that she and Fitz would stay apart—the same man who saves Olivia from a gaggle of reporters asking about her affair with the president. After Olivia gets into this man’s limo and finds herself face to face with him, she says, “Dad?”

Season 3, Episode 1: “It’s Handled”

Amid the media firestorm about Olivia’s affair with Fitz, her fellow gladiators try to clear her name by pinning White House communications aide Jeannine Locke (Samantha Sloyan) as the president’s mistress. But Olivia, shocked by the blame game, takes Jeannine on as a client. Meanwhile, Cyrus (Jeff Perry) learns the truth about a shocking moment from Fitz’s past.

Season 3, Episode 18: “The Price of Free and Fair Elections”

Fitz wins reelection in the Season 3 finale, but only because of a surge in voter sympathy after his son Jerry (Dylan Minnette) suffers a fatal seizure. Turns out, Rowan (Joe Morton), Olivia’s dad, arranged that medical crisis. Harrison (Columbus Short) figures out Rowan’s complicity, so Papa Pope has one of his B613 goons kill Harrison.

Season 4, Episode 4: “Like Father, Like Daughter”

Midway through Season 4, after Rowan is unsuccessful in having Jake killed, he frames Jake for Jerry’s murder. Meanwhile, Olivia returns to the White House to handle another scandal: the potential release of a sex tape featuring the first daughter.

Season 5, Episode 17: “Thwack!”

That onomatopoeia of a title refers to any one of the many times Olivia strikes former vice president Andrew Nichols (Jon Tenney) with a metal chair in this episode, after he threatens to reveal that Fitz went to war over Olivia. (Bear in mind that Andrew is the same guy who kidnapped Olivia and then had the gall to call her a “cheap slut” when she tried to help him out.)

Season 6, Episode 9: “Dead in the Water”

As the gladiators investigate the assassination of President-elect Francisco Vargas (Ricardo Antonio Chavira), they realize they have to save Huck’s life. Huck’s girlfriend—who was in on the assassination conspiracy—had shot the gladiator and left him for dead in the trunk of a sinking car.

Season 7, Episode 12: “Allow Me to Reintroduce Myself”

In the first hour of a two-part How to Get Away With Murder crossover, criminal defense attorney Annalise Keating (Viola Davis) brings Olivia on to a Supreme Court case about mass incarceration of Black people in America. The duo work the case against the wishes of Mellie, who’s now the U.S. president.