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Top 10 Shocking Scandal Moments

VO: Lisa Yang
Script written by Nick Spake It wouldn’t be Scandal without some of TV’s most shocking moments! Shonda Rhimes really got creative when she came up with some of these moments. We’ve include moments such as when Fitz gets shot, when President Fitz’ election was rigged, when Sally Langston murders her husband, when Jake kills James, when Olivia kills Andrew Nichols, Amanda Tanner’s death, Jerry Grant Jr.’s death and when Olivia is kidnapped. Special thanks to our users thisismarcelo, ninou78 and smizetillyoumakeit for submitting the idea on our Interactive Suggestion Tool at

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Top 10 Shocking Scandal Moments

There were plenty of scenes to choose from in this exciting political drama. Welcome to MsMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Shocking Scandal Moments.

For this list, we’re taking a look at moments from “Scandal” that inspired plenty of water cooler talk. If you’re not up to date, keep in mind we’ll be delving into spoiler territory.

#10: Amanda Tanner’s Death

“Crash and Burn” Season one largely revolves around Amanda Tanner, a former White House intern who claims she had an affair with President Fitzgerald Grant and is allegedly pregnant with his baby. This storyline takes an especially alarming turn when Amanda is kidnapped from Olivia’s apartment. Upon realizing that his old associate Charlie is behind the kidnapping, Huck informs his fellow Gladiators that Amanda is dead. He’s proven correct when Amanda’s body turns up in a river. The cherry on top of this scandalous sundae is that the father of Amanda’s baby wasn’t Fitz, but Billy Chambers. Amanda might’ve gotten the axe early on, but at least actress Liza Weil is still kicking on “How to Get Away with Murder.”

#9: Jerry Grant Jr.’s Death
“The Price of Free and Fair Elections”

Fitz and Mellie’s eldest son only appeared in a handful of episodes, but that didn’t make his death any less jaw-dropping. Knowing that Fitz will probably lose the election, the Grant family tries to keep their heads high at a rally. Fitz’s speech takes a turn for the worse however when Jerry’s nose starts bleeding and he suddenly dies. Although this gives Fitz the momentum needed to pull off an upset, it comes at the ultimate price. The puppet master behind Jerry’s poisoning is none other than Eli Pope, who had Fitz’s son killed because his father took Olivia from him. We can think of more than 13 reasons why this is so messed up.

#8: Jake Kills James
“Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”

The previous episode ended on one hell of a cliffhanger when David and James found themselves on the receiving end of Jake’s gun. Following a shot in the dark, it became clear that one of these two fan favorites would not be coming back. In the following episode, it’s revealed that Jake gunned down James in order to keep Daniel Douglas Langston’s murder under wraps. To make matters even more devastating, the audience is forced to watch poor James bleed out on the street until he takes his final breath. The fact that actor Dan Bucatinsky had recently won an Emmy for his role on the show only made James’ death even more unexpected.

#7: Olivia Kills Andrew Nichols

For somebody who always wears white, Olivia Pope has gotten her hands pretty dirty over the years. During a meeting with Andrew Nichols, she is finally pushed to her limits and eventually crosses the ultimate line. The former Vice President not only plans to ruin Mellie’s reputation, but also threatens to kidnap Olivia again. With her gladiatorial instincts taking over, Olivia grabs a nearby chair and unleashes her repressed rage upon Nichols, reducing him to nothing but a puddle of blood. As Olivia gazes over the gruesome mess she’s created, the audience shares the same look of horror stitched on her face. This scene brings a whole new meaning to the word mind-blowing.

#6: Sally Langston Murders Her Husband

Between (xref) Huck torturing Quinn and (xref) Olivia realizing that her mother is a terrorist, this season three episode delivered one twisted moment after another. The best is saved for last, as the episode builds to a confrontation between Sally Langston and her husband. When Daniel is caught having an affair with James, it appears that Sally’s marriage and his presidential campaign are over. Although Sally claims to be a devout Christian, she breaks the deadliest commandment in the Good Book and stabs Daniel with a letter opener. After committing this horrible crime, Sally confesses to a higher power: Cyrus Beene. Exceptionally edited, intensely shot, and powerfully acted, this scene is almost sinfully good.

#5: Rigging the Election
“A Criminal, a Whore, an Idiot and a Liar”

In season two, David Rosen stumbles upon a conspiracy that involves Hollis Doyle, Verna Thornton, Mellie Grant, and Olivia Pope. What do these four have in common? They’re all responsible for putting Fitzgerald Grant in the White House. A flashback episode goes into greater detail, as the general election boils down to the county of Defiance, Ohio. To secure Fitz’s victory, Doyle suggests rigging the voting equipment. Although Olivia is reluctant at first, Cyrus motivates her to get onboard. In addition to being one of the show’s juiciest story arcs, this is possibly the most important moment in the entire series.

#4: Eli is Olivia’s Father
“White Hat's Back On”

Introduced towards the end of season two, Eli, aka Rowan, starts off as mysterious figure that viewers knew little about. For a while, the only information we had about the calculating commander of B613 is that he’s Jake’s boss and he wants to keep Fitz away from Olivia. When a media circus bombards Olivia about her relationship with the president, several puzzle pieces finally fall into place. Pulled into a limo, Olivia finds herself sitting across from this man, who she refers to as “Dad.” Hopefully you weren’t drinking anything while watching this scene because chances are you would’ve had some broken glass to clean up afterwards.

#3: Frankie Vargas is Assassinated
“Survival of the Fittest”

Season six starts off with a bang (literally), as Mellie accepts defeat and must concede to Francisco Vargas. Before the president-elect can even finish his victory speech, however, an unknown assailant shoots him down before a crowd of supporters. Watching the madness unfold on television, Olivia and company are left at a loss for words. This commences one of the show’s most thrilling whodunits, as Olivia tries to unravel the conspiracy behind Frankie’s assassination. What she finds is a scandal overflowing with betrayal, blackmail, and cover-ups. Pretty much par for the course on this show.

#2: Fitz is Shot

Several years before Frankie was assassinated, a bullet nearly cut Fitz’s presidency short. With their marriage hanging on by a thread, Mellie seems reluctant for them to go to Fitz’s 50th birthday party at the last second. Fitz would’ve been wise to sense his wife’s trepidation, as he’s shot mere moments after exiting the limo. As the credits roll on this episode, the audience is left on pins and needles, wondering if this is the last we’ll ever see of President Grant. While he fortunately pulls through, fans will never forget the initial shock they felt when Fitz tumbled backwards.

Before we get to our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

Billy Murders Gideon
“The Trail”

Fitz Kills Verna Thornton
“Nobody Likes Babies”

Are You The President’s Mistress?

#1: Olivia Pope is Kidnapped
“Where the Sun Don't Shine”

In this riveting mid-season finale, Jake and Olivia dance the night away. This is probably the most carefree Olivia has ever been, but it puts her in a vulnerable position. After Jake leaves the room to get blanket for an intimate encounter, he returns to discover an empty room. All he sees is a spilt glass of wine all over the white couch. Cleverly shot and bursting with tension, this was a “Scandal” cliffhanger unlike any other. It was made all the more intense because we had to wait over two months for the next episode.

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