Gladiators, the time has come to grab your popcorn and bottle of red wine for the final time.
After seven seasons and 124 episodes from April 5, 2012 to April 19, 2018, viewers will say farewell to Kerry Washington‘s D.C. fixer Olivia Pope, along with President Fitzgerald Grant (Tony Goldwyn) and the rest of Quinn Perkins & Associates (formerly OPA) on ABC’s Scandal.
Countless storylines and plot twists have had viewers and Twitter users gripped to must-see Thursday night TV thanks to showrunner and creator Shonda Rhimes. From its original scandal-of-the-week format involving the Oval Office to a deep dive into the corruption of B613, the show truly lived up to its name.
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With just one episode left, fans have been left to find out if Cyrus Beene (Jeff Perry) will successfully remove Mellie Grant (Bellamy Young) from the White House. However, his plans will surely come to a halt: Olivia just exposed B613 to the powers that be, and she will make it certain that the truth comes out, because that’s the only way left to stand in the sun.
Though there have been several jaw-dropping and spine-tingling scenes, here’s a look back at the most scandalous happenings ahead of the series finale.
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The Affair That Started It All
Most of Scandal‘s steamiest sex scenes involved Olivia and Fitz after season 1 revealed media-relations consultant Pope first met married Republican hopeful Governor Fitzgerald Grant III when she interrupted a presidential-campaign meeting. Since then, the on-again, off-again pair have sneaked off for rendezvouses to Camp David and the Oval and, of course, there’s the dream house in Vermont.
Eventually, their torrid affair is outed to the public during season 5.
Though she also got with Jake Ballard (Scott Foley), Olivia is back in Fitz’s arms in the final season.
Rigging an Election
In flashbacks shown in season 2, episode 4, it’s revealed that Olivia, Cyrus, Supreme Court judge Verna Thornton, Mellie, Hollis Doyle and Sally Langston all conspired to rig electronic voting machines in Defiance, Ohio.
Sadly, Fitz was unaware of their scheme and thought he won on his own — until he called Olivia in episode 16 to tell her, “I trusted you, you know. You ruined me. I’m ruined.”
Defiance truly ruined everything, as it’s been insanity ever since knowing that Olivia and the crew involved will go to unimaginable lengths for power.
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Who Really Is Command?
In the season 2 finale, the quest for the identity of the mysterious man who bossed Jake around intensified as the media circus surrounded Olivia and Fitz’s relationship. The press waited outside her apartment to interrogate her, but she was hustled into the back of a limo, where Jake’s B613 boss was waiting. A confused Olivia shocked viewers when she addressed the mysterious man as “Dad,” aka Eli Pope or Rowan.
Fans were introduced to him as the original commanding officer of B613 — until Fitz fired him and replaced him with Jake. Papa Pope stayed in power until his own daughter Olivia and her team took down B613 and put him in jail.
It’s the secret Mellie has still kept from Fitz after all these years, and a big part of her complicated past.
In season 3, a flashback revealed the traumatizing memory that she was raped by father-in-law Big Jerry (Barry Bostwick), which led to a pregnancy and ultimately not knowing the paternity of her late son Jerry Jr. (Dylan Minnette) who died from a sub-strain of Meningitis.
A Gladiator Leaves
Columbus Short’s character and original OPA member Harrison Wright was killed off in season 3 after real-life troubles plagued the actor during his contentious 2014 divorce, with allegations of spousal abuse made public.
Short admitted offscreen problems led to his departure from the show. Although Shonda has refused to name names, she revealed in 2015 that she’s written the untimely demise of series regulars because of personal issues.
Meanwhile, Huck (Guillermo Diaz) and Quinn went from face-licking co-workers to steamy lovers after a steamy hook-up on the hood of her car in season 3, when she briefly worked for B613 in secret.
The Kidnapping That Drove Olivia to Kill
Before there was a How to Get Away with Murder crossover, Olivia truly got away with murder in the White House bunker during season 4, when she brutally beat former Vice President Andrew Nichols (Jon Tenney) to death with a chair after he triggered her severe PTSD by bringing up her kidnapping.
Nichols, of course, had a tremendous amount of power over Olivia because he orchestrated Olivia’s kidnapping to force Fitz to initiate war with West Angola.
While PTSD-triggered homicide was not Plan A in Olivia’s mind, Nichols had no remorse or guilt for his actions and had actively set out to hurt her and Fitz, all while he had a secret affair with Mellie.
In season 5, Olivia made the difficult choice to have an abortion, all while Mellie filibustered to protect funding for Planned Parenthood. The heartbreaking scene, which featured Olivia in stirrups, was accompanied by Aretha Franklin’s version of “Silent Night.”
Full-On Black Hat
Season 6 ended with Olivia prevailing over the nation’s capital as the new Command in charge of B613, as well as chief of staff for Mellie’s presidency.
With her new position of power, a darker version of Olivia arose — and she wasn’t wearing her white hat.
Season 7 premiered with Mellie’s 100th day as commander-in-chief, though it was clear that with Olivia still by her side, POTUS Grant really had no power over her post. Regardless, Mellie has come a long way from first lady, wronged wife and grieving mother and to leader of the free world.
The final episode of Scandal airs Thursday (9 p.m. ET) on ABC.