Scandal: Season 1 (2012)


Season 1

Critics Consensus

Scandal is a soapy show about work and love that's over the top but never boring.



Critic Ratings: 31


Audience Score

User Ratings: 268

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Air date: Apr 5, 2012

Series premiere: A former White House communications director opens a Washington, D.C., crisis-management firm. On the opener, new hire Quinn Perkins is awed by her boss, whose own former boss—the president—is a client. He's accused of having an affair.

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Air date: Apr 12, 2012

When a D.C. madam comes under investigation, the team must keep her client list—a who's who of movers and shakers—from being made public. Meanwhile, Quinn has difficulties with the president's former intern, Amanda Tanner.

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Air date: Apr 19, 2012

The team reluctantly helps a millionaire's son accused of rape. It's a tough case, to say the least, and public perception could easily outweigh facts. Meanwhile, Olivia still insists on taking Amanda Tanner as a client, but she can't put her own past with President Grant behind her when Amanda asks to meet with him.

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Air date: Apr 26, 2012

Following a surprising development in the Amanda Tanner case, former friends Olivia and Cyrus disagree—heatedly—and Cyrus tries to help in a probe of the personal lives of Olivia and her team. Meanwhile, the team helps a dictator find his missing family, who have allegedly been kidnapped; and Quinn dates a reporter who's seeking information.

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Air date: May 3, 2012

The disappearance of Amanda Tanner gives Huck an opportunity to dust off his uncanny espionage skills to find out where she is. Meanwhile, the firm defends a pilot's reputation from accusations after a commercial plane crashes with no survivors; and the president tries to bridge the considerable gap between him and the vice president to pass key legislation.

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Air date: May 10, 2012

As Gideon investigates Amanda's past, flashbacks recall the contentious primary race between Fitz and Sally Langston, who's now vice president; how Olivia and Fitz first met, on the campaign trail; and how each of Olivia's associates joined the team.

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Air date: May 17, 2012

Season 1 finale: When Quinn finds herself in a fix that's both tragic and compromising, Olivia and the team rush to help. Meanwhile, Cyrus turns reluctantly to Olivia when Billy Chambers makes an announcement that shakes Fitz's presidency to its core.

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Scandal: Season 1 Photos

Tv Season Info

In the first series of this political drama, Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington), the owner of a successful Washington, D.C., crisis-management firm, adds Quinn Perkins (Katie Lowes), a young attorney with a mysterious past, to her staff. Quinn's first assignment involves Amanda Tanner (Liza Weil), a somewhat reluctant client who claims she's been having an affair with the president of the Unites States (Tony Goldwyn). Olivia's unsure if Amanda's telling the truth, but she takes the case, and she knows that the married president does indeed have a mistress, because that mistress is none other than herself.


Kerry Washington
as Olivia Pope
Henry Ian Cusick
as Stephen Finch
Columbus Short
as Harrison Wright
Darby Stanchfield
as Abby Whelan
Katie Lowes
as Quinn Perkins
Tony Goldwyn
as President Fitzgerald "Fitz" Grant
Jeff Perry
as Cyrus Beene
Bellamy Young
as Mellie Grant
Matt Letscher
as Billy Chambers
Liza Weil
as Amanda Tanner
Brendan Hines
as Gideon Wallace
Brendan P. Hines
as Gideon Wallace
Kate Burton
as Vice President Sally Langston
JoBeth Williams
as Sandra Harding
Mimi Kennedy
as Sharon Marquette
Wes Brown
as Sully St. James
Graham Beckel
as Hank Tanner
John Getz
as Patrick Keating
Megan Gallagher
as Claire Keating
Michael Cassidy
as Travis Harding
José Zúñiga
as Gen. Florez
Troy Winbush
as Morris Elcott
Ellen Woglom
as Helen Fisher
Darren Pettie
as Andrew Mackleson
Lenora May
as Phyllis
Scott Foley
as Jacob "Jake" Ballard
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Scandal Season 1

All Critics (31) | Top Critics (20)

It's regularly preachy and far-fetched, with the key characters tending to speed-talk as though they're all in a Go-Kart race.

Apr 5, 2012 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…
Top Critic

Scandal, on the other hand, shows potential in spite of a rather dreary pilot.

Apr 5, 2012 | Full Review…

Scandal could become a habit worth forming.

Apr 5, 2012 | Full Review…

Maybe Rhimes should bring in a fixer to deal with the scripts.

Apr 5, 2012 | Full Review…

Clear away the soap bubbles, and you'll find ... more soap bubbles. But you won't be bored.

Apr 5, 2012 | Rating: B- | Full Review…
Top Critic

It's a satisfying, fast-paced, well-acted hour with flashes of humor.

Apr 5, 2012 | Full Review…

[It's] awful and contrived, and it really leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

Feb 13, 2020 | Rating: F | Full Review…

Instead it mixes zippy plotting and colourful characters with a whiff of covert-ops murk and hints of hi-tech science fiction.

Jul 22, 2018 | Full Review…

ABC's newest Shonda Rhimes hit, Scandal, is set in Washington, D.C., an area rife with scandals both fictional and factual, which gives this show enough reality to hook people who love it when strangers' lives are on the verge of unraveling.

Apr 5, 2012 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

It doesn't come off as a show that exists in reality - it's a middle-of-the-road drama with a fakey-fake TV gloss on a real-world profession - but it is fun in its energy.

Apr 5, 2012 | Full Review…

The show's set in Washington, where the crises that need managing are unending, so there's bound to be material, some of it all too familiar.

Apr 5, 2012 | Full Review…

You'll be asked to absorb a lot of slick montages and melodramatic contrivances, not to mention a preponderance of shallow focus shots and synthy beats. But the formulaic business is at least partly alleviated by a couple of things.

Apr 5, 2012 | Rating: 6/10 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Scandal: Season 1

  • Dec 03, 2018
    Scandal is one of my all- time favorite drama television shows. Everything is fast paced, so you cant miss an episode, after watching you wouldn't want to miss an episode.the actors and actress play their role so good that it makes you think these things that are happening on the show are real. Scandal has so much power, ambition, love, lust and action. There is no perfect person in the world of scandal. The married United States president Fitz Gerald Grant is willing to throw away his marriage and power in the big oval office to run away to Vermont to be with his mistress Olivia. Scandal cant be predicted you will never know whats happening next which is a good thing.
  • Feb 01, 2017
    A predictable but well acted and over the top show that delivers the thrills
  • Apr 10, 2016
    It's a good show considering that it's cable TV. Given the shows that Netflix, HBO, etc have given us, cable shows now seem rather mundane and repetitive. Scandal does a decent job of building plot lines that can keep you tuned in if you're willing to invest in it, but therein lies the problem, bc in the end it's still a cable TV show and hence bound by the unwritten rules of CableTV Land. So it's not easy to invest in that, knowing the plot will never venture too far off into the abyss. So even though it's slightly provocative given it's network, it's not interesting enough to make you want to truly invest. Hopefully season 2 surprises and there's a new benchmark for cable tv.
  • Jan 17, 2016
    for 2012: from the creator of 'Grey's Anatomy' comes a new political drama that takes the whole scandal subject to dangerous territory smart, sexy, intelligent, and stylish Kerry Washington is the ultimate gladiator woman refusing to lose a case she and her team take on the show takes on the most risqué subjects from homosexuality to prostitution to rape the biggest scandal throughout this first season's storyline involves the President and his illustrious affair with Olivia Pope, although it may not be the only secret that's dying to get out like the clients she helps Olivia and her team also have dangerous secrets of their own that could leak at any moment and destroy them it's a lot of politics and political jargon but it's fast, delivered with wit, sass, and so much emotion and I have to say that the finale is gruesome but really well pulled off it's true too that when you are the most powerful man in the world your freedoms and your choices are limited to what you can do and enjoy; a normal person can have a life, fall in love, and not worry about consequences of his actions affecting so many citizens the American public votes for someone they like that is flawless, perfect, full of promises, in this day and age nobody is safe from the media's search for the truth along with the endless gossip secrets are bound to reveal themselves no matter what this is a great starring vehicle for Kerry Washington
  • Sep 29, 2015
    Advertised as a political Thriller, this is more like a Political Soap Opera. Annoyingly verbose, almost all characters speak exactly the same, the President of the US rarely stops behaving like an infatuated teenager (Literally, at some point I had to fastforward the redundant pseudo-love scenes between Olivia and Fitz)... There is an interesting story or corruption and intrigue running behind the heavy melodrama, but it remains behind from beginning to end. Oh, and the patriotism...! Don't you hate any narrative which repeats over and over that the US president is the leader of the 'free world'? Obnoxious!
  • Apr 01, 2015
    Mr. President Fitzgerald is soo hot and cute XD The chemistry between Tony Goldwyn and Kerry Washington is no kidding, very intense!..hmmm ;)
  • Mar 05, 2015
    Good, however to many store lines making it a bit confusing
  • Nov 15, 2014
    Olivia Pope is a “fixer” in all ways, shapes and forms. If a scandal needs to be hidden by the financially well off or politically elite, her and her team of gladiators cover up the mess and keep it out of the media. Her biggest client is the president, who she also has a personal relationship with. Olivia’s team is both strengthened and weakened by a new colleague that joins the team. She has an obvious place, but what and who is she? Their time ramping her up, while Olivia continues to be distracted by the White House, causes cracks to form in the team. Olivia Pope is really tight and well thought out and put together this season (I’m caught up through the current season). I think the sub characters make this series very entertaining. Huck has always been my favorite character, and the way they bring him out mysteriously is very well written. The entire series is well thought out and mapped. It’s a very smart series. I do recommend Scandal and it’s worth starting from the beginning and watching all the way through. Grade: B+ (8.5)
  • Oct 10, 2014
    Denna ligger på gränsen till för jobbig för mig att kolla på. Väldigt välgjord och spännande men massor av starka mer eller mindre återhållna känslor.
  • Aug 01, 2014
    I don't see why people are comparing House of Cards to THIS. It's a soapy mess with a weak premise, just like everything Shonda has ever written. The cast is great, but bad is bad writing.

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