What Happened On 'Scandal' Season 5? Basically, Everyone Is Running For President
After an extra-long hiatus, Scandal is finally returning for its Season 6 premiere on Thursday, Jan. 26. Although it was basically B613-style torture to make us wait this long for a fully reinstated TGIT lineup, I have a sneaking suspicion that Scandal Season 6 will so powerfully intersect with the real-life 2016 election that it would have been too intense to watch the two play out side by side. I say this because the Scandal universe is in its own "election year," complete with a Republican candidate based on Donald Trump. So what happened on Scandal Season 5? Here's a brief rundown of what Pope and Associates (and the White House) have been up to.
In short, pretty much every side character on the show is either running for president or is on the ticket as vice president after an arduous primary season. Olivia and Fitz are no longer an item, and her storyline about terminating a pregnancy without consulting her partner in conception (uh, the President of the United States) made waves off-screen. Of course, it was also a bold move to depict a woman who doesn't need anyone's permission to make choices about her own body — even if he is the president. And after five seasons of will-they-or-won't-they, perhaps Liv and Fitz can get through one single season without falling back into each other's arms (read: back into bad habits). Here's what else went down last season.
Olivia & Fitz Started Officially Dating
Fitz filed for divorce from Mellie because he wanted to be with Olivia. Olivia agreed to this, but only if they kept their relationship under wraps to give them a real shot at developing something. Of course, Sally Langston revealed their relationship on air moments later. Olivia later confirmed the report by confessing their affair to the press.
Fitz planned to announce his and Mellie's amicable divorce (in exchange for helping her campaign later), but at the last minute, Mellie refused to comply. Olivia let Abby "handle it" by telling the press that Olivia was lying about being the President's mistress the whole time. Fitz, of course, retaliated against this by taking his girlfriend out on a very public date. Olivia considered marrying him to avoid testifying against him in his impeachment hearings, decided against it, and then went through with it anyway.
Once the impeachment investigation was dropped, she and Fitz basically began co-presidenting, which worried Cyrus. Olivia then got detained for her role in freeing her dad from jail, but Fitz eventually let her go and moved her into the White House for "safe keeping." She found out she was pregnant by the president and had an abortion. Ultimately, Olivia and Fitz couldn't take the pressure of being thrust into the spotlight as the new president and first lady, so they broke up in the winter finale.
Papa Pope Got Out Of Jail
Papa Pope put into motion a mysterious protocol called Lazarus 1. It involved Jake meeting up with his ex-wife, a B613 agent, who eventually got killed. Rowan was released from jail after offering Olivia a way out of the senate judiciary committee hearing in exchange for freedom. She complied and, miraculously, envelopes full of incriminating personal details against every senator on the committee appeared as Olivia took the stand. The investigation was dropped.
Mellie Guilted Olivia Into Running Her Campaign
Mellie was sitting on the committee that was trying to impeach Fitz, but after she helped Rowan get the whole investigation dropped, she cornered Liv into helping run her presidential campaign. Liv "owed" her, after all, for getting her off the stand in the nick of time. And, you know, for being a chill mistress for years.
Cyrus Came Back To The White House
Fitz was blackmailed with impeachment when the CIA discovered the West Angola tape. Cyrus was the only person who knew Fitz watched it, so he got his job as Chief of Staff back in exchange for his silence.
New Relationships Formed
Abby became Fitz's new work wife after he and Liv broke up. Jake became head of the NSA and married a woman named Vanessa Moss. Fitz briefly dated a reporter named Lillian Forrester, followed by a string of flings.
Literally Everyone Was Running For President
David Rosen juggled both Elizabeth and Susan in the girlfriend department in order to convince Susan to run for president. He eventually dumped Liz to bolster Susan's confidence when she sensed he was cheating and to see her through to the debates. But Susan dumped him back for his infidelity and they were forced to pose as a couple for the rest of the primary season because news that they were together was already out.
Meanwhile, Cyrus started grooming the democratic governor of Pennsylvania, Francisco Vargas. Abby got him fired for this and stole his job. Cyrus tried to pitch David Rosen for Vargas' VP pick, but it was all a scheme. Cyrus was the real VP candidate he had in mind all along.
Olivia continued to run Mellie's campaign after tweaking the content of her tell-all book, which turned out to be a huge success. Hollis Doyle entered the race as well after hearing Mellie's campaign strategy during donor negotiations and decided to steal it. Sad.
Additionally, Edison Davis entered the democratic race at the urging (and under the control) of Rowan. Jake got married just to be a more attractive VP candidate for Edison's ticket. But Olivia snatched him away and put him on Mellie's ticket instead. They announced it onstage at the Republican National Convention.
Olivia Committed A Brutal Murder
Bizarrely, this is actually a pretty small plot point during the course of Season 5, but I'd be remiss if I didn't point out that Olivia committed a brutal murder in the secret presidential bunker. She beat the disabled former Vice President Andrew Nichols to death using a metal chair to prevent him from spilling all of Fitz's secrets after he was able to regain his speech.
Hopefully, all Fitz and Fitz-adjacent drama takes a back burner this season as we focus on getting a new administration into the White House. Whether that makes it easier or more difficult for him and Olivia to be together remains to be seen.