Scandal is on hiatus until January. To get you through the dark months, we have a list of must-watch episodes from the series!

Scandal has put its characters through the ringer. Death, deceit, treason, redemption, nearly every character can check off one or more of these if they trace their arc back to season 1.

Season 7 is falling short of the greatness achieved with season 6’s unconventional flashback driven episodes. But perhaps that is on purpose.

With Olivia running free with unchecked power, Jake falling in line behind her, Rowan going mad at the thought of losing his daughter, and QPA holding on for dear life, things are a bit disjointed and lost.

Scandal needs to pull itself back together. And to do that, Olivia needs to figure out what and who she places importance on in her life. Is it family? Is it power? Can it be both?

While we wait for the final season to return, here are some essential episodes to rewatch. These episodes highlight some of the current situations unfolding in season 7. But they also highlight the highest highs and lowest lows of the characters we watched over the years.

Warning: once you dive back into seasons 2 and 3, it will be hard to stop watching!

‘Scandal’ episode guide

Season 1, Episode 1, “Sweet Baby”:

Why you should rewatch: Umm… it’s the pilot? Rewatching pilots is one of my favorite parts of creating a list of must-see episodes. It’s a chance to catch character traits that remain, those that are lost, and see all the great hair and wardrobe choices when budgets were low!

Season 2, Episode 14, “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot”:

Why you should rewatch: A timejump positions Scandal in an area free from the dust that built up over the first half of the season. But, of course, that cannot last for long as the team deals with David being framed for murder. This episode also serves as the introduction of special character — Jake Ballard.

Season 3, Episode 2, “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?”:

Why you should rewatch: Remember when Fitz and Olivia’s relationship being leaked was the biggest scandal this show had to deal with? In the aftermath of this, we get to meet Rowan at the height of his career — Command. He reconnects with Liv, gets his Sunday night dinners back and we get a taste of what Liv and Jake have been working to break free from for many, many years.

scandal mellie

Season 3, Episode 7, “Everything’s Coming Up Mellie”:

Why you should rewatch: Season 3 does a ton of unpacking in addition to setting characters on the paths that we are currently watching them complete. Mellie’s past with Fitz’s father, Big Jerry, reveals the sacrifices she has made. This episode also reveals a connection between Jake and Fitz, the Remington Operation, and the cover-up of Olivia’s mother’s death.

Season 3, Episode 13, “No Sun on the Horizon”:

Why you should rewatch: The ending is a bit of a cliffhanger, but if you’re still watching the series, you know the ghost of David Rosen isn’t sitting in the White House. Or is he? Either way, this episode shows how deep David was embedded in the old “scandals” of OPA and how far he has progressed (or regressed depending on how you view them using him as a pimp for Susan and a sex toy for Elizabeth). This episode also gives us great work from Sally Langston and agent Jake “no mercy” Ballard.

Season 4, Episode 1, “Randy, Red, Superfreak and Julia”:

Why you should rewatch: Season 3 is a great, fast-paced, whirlwind season, but wouldn’t you like the opportunity to see a rare glimpse of the completely relaxed Olivia Pope? Granted, this only lasts a minute or two, but the remainder of the episode highlights what Olivia has lost sight of this season. She abandoned ship before and everything fell apart. Now, not even her best friend’s kidnapping and possible murder can get her through the door for longer than a day. The conclusion of this episode, where the team comes back together, is a great moment in the series.

Scandal 5x14 olivia jake

Season 5, Episode 17, “Thwack!”:

Why you should rewatch: Olivia murdering the former Vice President with a chair may or may not have sent her down her current path. Right?

Season 6, Episode 8, “A Stomach for Blood”:

Why you should rewatch: Season 6’s retelling of the night of the election gave the series a much-needed lift after an election heavy season 5. One particular telling, the night from Abby’s perspective, gave Red a return to the spotlight that she deserved. This season has Abby back at QPA, but she hasn’t gotten much time to blossom. In case that moment never arrives, we can at least enjoy seeing her kick ass and take names in season 6.

Scandal season 6 abby

Season 6, Episode 13, “The Box”:

Why you should rewatch: “The Box” tacks on an extra bit of pain that Rowan experiences when his only daughter has a gun pointed to her head at all times. And while he still has his bones, Rowan fears losing Liv much more than his hobby. The threat of Peus and Samantha finally disappears, but a new leader rises out of their shadow — Olivia Pope.

Season 7, Episode 1, “Watch Me”:

Why you should rewatch: Is it weird to recommend an episode from the current season? Well, this one is worth another look. The premiere of season 7 sets the stage for the final installment. One where Olivia’s rise in power begins to set her apart from everyone she once held in high esteem. A season where we see Mellie trying to make a name for herself. And one where every person in the District must reevaluate who they were and who they are now.

Scandal returns January 18 to TGIT.

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