35 voters

Every Season Finale of Scandal, Ranked Best to Worst

Updated October 13, 2018 278 votes 35 voters 1.5k views6 items

List RulesVote up the episodes that left you wanting so much more Scandal.

What is the best Scandal season finale? Of all the final Scandal episodes, which one left you on the edge of your seat, balancing your ginormous glass of TGIT wine and screaming, “Nooooooooooo”?

Scandal creator Shonda Rhimes knows how to write a killer cliffhanger, and she’s got it down to an art form. This list includes all Scandal season finales, from the first to the last. While each finale is unique, they all have a few common threads. The series is dominated by power plays by characters Olivia Pope, her father Rowan Pope (aka “Papa Pope”), and politicians Fitzgerald and Mellie Grant. Not to mention murder often figures prominently in Scandal’s final episodes, leaving viewers in limbo until the next season begins.

Some Scandal series finales end with a whimper, not a bang (ahem, Season Five). Does that take away from the fun of the series or do true Scandal fans realize this just sets up the total mayhem to come in the next season? What was your favorite season ending moment from the popular ABC drama? Read on for recaps of each season-ender, and then vote for your top choices. Happy voting, gladiators!

  • 1

    Season 3, 'The Price of Free and Fair Elections'

    Photo: ABC

    Memorable moments from Season 3, Ep 18:

    • Fitz and Jake team up to evacuate the church where a senator’s funeral is being held. Maya then detonates a bomb in the church.
    • Presidential candidate (and VP) Sally Langston helps the wounded, attempting to win votes in her election bid against Fitz.
    • Olivia tells Fitz about Mellie being raped by his father.
    • Huck reunites with his family.
    • Fitz and Mellie’s son, Jerry, has a seizure and dies. They learn he was poisoned, likely by Maya.
    • Fitz wins re-election; he asks Rowan to kill Maya.
    • Harrison figures out that Rowan killed Jerry; Tom them kills Harrison.
    • Rowan arranges for a plane to take Olivia away to start a new life. Jake wants to go with her. Together, they fly away just as David Rosen goes through the B-613 files Jake has sent to him.
      Is this one of the best finales?
    • 2

      Season 2, 'White Hat's Back On'

      Photo: ABC

      Memorable moments from Season 2, Ep. 22:

      • The Defiance Five (now including Fitz) meet to try and determine what to do about Billy Chambers, who has evidence they fixed the election.
      • David Rosen helps reveal Chambers as the mole.
      • Cyrus Beene has a heart attack.
      • Jake stops someone from shooting Olivia; he explains the shooter was part of a shadowy organization known as B-613.
      • Liv is accosted by reporters wanting to know if she’s having an affair with Fitz.
      • She rushes to a limo, and meets Jake’s boss – calling him “dad.” Scandal fans meet Rowan (aka Papa Pope) for the first time.
        Is this one of the best finales?
      • 3

        Season 6, 'Transfer of Power'

        Photo: ABC

        Memorable moments from Season 6, Ep. 16:

        • Olivia and Fitz have sex during his final night in the White House.
        • A newly-released Maya removes her tracking device, putting the day’s inaugural festivities in jeopardy.
        • During the swearing-in ceremony, Maya calls Olivia and tells her she plans to shoot someone on the stage (not Mellie). She’s shot, presumably by Rowan, before she follows through.
        • Fitz admits he’s going to run B-613. Olivia is furious, and talks him out of it. He leaves, via helicopter, and Liv runs onto the lawn, passionately kissing him. 
        • Olivia and the Gladiators work to determine who hired Maya to kill Mellie. And, who was Maya really targeting?
        • Luna Vargas - Frankie Vargas’s widow, and Mellie’s VP - masterminded her husband’s assassination. After being confronted by Olivia and Jake, Luna opts to take poison pills over Jake shooting and killing her outright.
        • Olivia tricks Mellie into funding B-613, which she is going to run.
        • At the Lincoln Memorial, Olivia tells Cyrus he’s going to be the new VP.


          Is this one of the best finales?
        • 4

          Season 5, 'That's My Girl'

          Photo: ABC

          Memorable moments from Season 5, Ep. 21:

          • Jake murders his father-in-law.
          • Cyrus asks David to be Frankie Vargas’ VP running mate. Rowan suggests Jake.
          • Fitz visits Abby’s office and finds Olivia’s medical file, which contains info about her abortion.
          • Jake reaches out to Olivia via Edison, asking for help escaping. Liv meets with him and agrees.
          • Liv makes Jake Mellie’s VP pick.
          • Cyrus becomes Frankie Vargas’s running mate.
          • Jake tells Liv he wants to live in the suburbs with her, and have a quiet life. Liv tells him to put on a tie and get out on the stage with Mellie.
          • Jake realizes Rowan Pope once controlled him, and now Olivia Pope does.
          • Papa Pope watches the convention on TV, raises a glass of wine, and says “That’s my girl.” Everything is going according to plan.
            Is this one of the best finales?