Case Notes: A recap of Scandal Season 1 and 2
Jo Bromilow | On 30, Jul 2014
From 8th January 2015, the glossiest, most dramatic Washington-based show since House of Cards hits our screens for a fourth season. That’s right – after months without her, Olivia Pope – Washington’s premiere fixer – is back for brand new Scandal with her team of “gladiators in suits”, defending the un-defendable in America’s highest echelons.
Not yet initiated into the world of Shonda Rhimes’ series? Wondering how to watch it now that More4 dropped it? As of February 2014, Season 1 to 3 are on Amazon Prime, while Seasons 1 to 4 are on NOW.
Read on for your case file to get you briefed on the first two seasons and ready to do battle.
So who’s our protagonist?
That would be Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) – a former communications guru largely responsible for the election of now-President Fitzgerald Grant (Tony Goldwyn), since turned defender of Washington’s dirty rich as head of her own consulting firm. Sleeping with an aide? Accidentally committed fraud? If you’ve got a problem, you call Olivia, who, along with her team of legal eagles, will fix it before it even hits the radar.
The biggest scandal she’s ever covered up? Her own affair with the President.
That’s a pretty big scandal…
It’s not the best-kept secret in the White House either, especially given the number of security cameras in the Oval Office. But Fitz’s wife, Mellie (Bellamy Young), a woman with political aspirations of her own, and Fitz’s Chief of Staff, Cyrus Beene (Jeff Perry), have found ways to make use of Olivia’s hold over the head of the free world.
It’s not just politics…?
Oh no. Like House of Cards, everyone has an agenda, but unlike House of Cards, Scandal is easier to follow for non-US citizens (which is likely a large part of the show’s appeal). Olivia and her team have a juicy variety of cases to solve to keep fans of shows like CSI interested. And that team itself has as much dirty laundry as Olivia does.
Ok, fill me in – who’s in the team?
First, there’s Harrison Wright (Columbus Short), a smooth talker who did time for insider trading. Then there’s Abby Whelan (Darby Stanchfield), fleeing from an abusive marriage with emotional baggage and a chip on her shoulder – judgmental is her middle name. There’s Huck (Guillemo Diaz), a former black ops agent who can hack anything with anything and kill anyone with anything too. (The first season also included Olivia’s right hand man, Stephen Finch (Henry Ian Cusick), who left to settle down into married life.) And finally, there’s the mysterious Quinn Perkins (Katie Lowes), who, up until three years before the first season, was named Lindsay Dwyer…
And I thought my workmates were a dramatic bunch…
Too right. Of course, this means that alongside every case the team cracks, other cracks begin to show in each of their facades – from Huck being hunted by the government and Quinn’s past catching up with her to Abby’s debatable taste in men. Of course, none of this compares to the drama surrounding Olivia, who, aside from screwing her boss, is also part of a wider conspiracy to rig an election (which also involves Cyrus and Mellie).
So who will fix the fixer in Season 3?
Whoever they are, they’ve got a job on their hands. The fallout of Season 2’s vote-fixing scandal has pushed Fitz – betrayed by the woman he loves and manipulated by his nearest and dearest – over the edge. America’s leader is now a volatile drinker running for re-election. Oh, and a murderer too, having killed Supreme Court Justice Verna Thornton (Debra Mooney) to cover up her role in the vote fixing and protect the entire group, which, as well as his wife and former mistress, includes slippery Southern businessman Hollis Doyle (Gregg Henry), aka the Raymond Tusk of the series. As Fitz is going to pieces, you can bet his ambitious VP Sally (who tried to seize power following the assassination attempt on the President) is gunning for his seat again.
An assassination attempt?
We never said Scandal was subtle.
What else is going on?
Cyrus, ostracized by his former boss, is also dealing with the fallout of the voting scandal, partly because the journalist who helped expose it just happens to be his husband, James. Oh, and the lawyer working with James? That’s David Rosen (Joshua Malina), Olivia’s main opponent, who just happened to sleep with Abby to get some inside knowledge on his rival.
Why should I give Scandal my vote?
More and more people are being won over by the high drama (veering on the award-nominated side of soapy) and for the political machinations but the main draw? Kerry Washington. She was born to play this role – think Robin Wright’s Claire Underwood with some teeth – and as the first African American to be nominated for the Leading Actress in a Drama Emmy, you sure as hell want to be there to watch her earn it.
Ok, ok, I’m in. I want to be a gladiator in a suit!
Of course you do. You can watch Scandal Season 4 online on Sky Living – and if you don’t have Sky, you can watch it live and on-demand on NOW with an Entertainment Membership for £8.99 per month (no contract).
Not ready for Season 4 yet? The first three seasons of Scandal are on Amazon Prime Instant Video, as part of a £7.99 monthly subscription.