The Plot Of ‘Scandal,’ As Explained By Someone Who Has Never Watched It


Okay, so. Kerry Washington is some kind of marketing executive from Club Monaco or Banana Republic, and is required as part of her job to only wear the nicest clothes from the current collection. Basically half the show is Olivia, the executive, swanning around in a fabulous cream wrap coat, walking places and looking for the perfect cashmere mock-turtleneck to go with her new pencil skirt.

When she’s not deciding high-level campaign strategy for neutral-colored business casual clothes, she’s talking severely into her cellphone while walking.

She’s a big fan of talking and walking, walking and talking. She has a lot of Really Important Business to deal with, so she’s usually on a sidewalk while some flustered assistant man is following her. I assume she’s going to another big Club Monaco/Banana Republic meeting. I assume she’s often talking about how J.Crew has the right cuts, but is “way too liberal with color.”

Anyway, the big plot is that she’s in love with the President. This much I’m aware of. Basically the President is the hot guy that voiced Tarzan, and he’s in a Big Conflict because his sassy southern wife (? I’m judging by her outfit/hair that I’ve seen on Twitter a few times?) is not about this affair. She’s not some wilting flower who’s going to sit by while her husband is swept off his feet by this mega-hot Club Monaco executive.

There’s also this other guy whose role I don’t fully understand, but when you look him up on Google Images, literally every picture of him is looking angry and brooding and sporting at least a five o’clock shadow, so we’re going to assume he’s her bodyguard. He’s there to make sure no one spills anything on her perfect white shift dresses, and to get her new phones when she smashes hers by throwing them down on the sidewalk in frustration with others’ incompetence. (Side note: her conversations always seem like they could benefit from a flip phone, because she always looks like she’s saying something mic drop-worthy, and needs something to slam shut.)

Anyway, bodyguard man is jealous of her love of the President, because only bodyguard man truly understands her and he spends all of his time toiling away to make sure that she has a pristine #lewk, but she is in love with the President because she believes she can fix him.

She is enticed by the challenge of getting with the most powerful man in the world, and even the threatening outfits and Designing Women hair of his terrifying wife will not stop her. In fact, you could argue that having such an imposing woman in the equation makes this more appealing to Olivia. While the angry-looking bodyguard is a great guy, and will always be there for her, he’s just not enough of a challenge.

All of this is taking place against a backdrop of a political scandal, where Olivia – who, through her textile manufacturing connections with her high-end business casual retailer, has connections with China – must help the President broker an important diplomacy deal to save both countries from an all-out ground war. This is all very romantic and heated, and leads to lots of hot limo hookups while the driver ~rolls up the partition~ so Olivia and President Tarzan can get it on while on the way from one high-level meeting to another.

At the end of the show, the scary southern First Lady ends up hooking up with the brooding bodyguard, because they both feel cast aside by their loves and embarrassed by the very public humiliation.

Meanwhile, the President and Olivia decide to get married because he’s now out of office and it’s less of a ScAnDal~, and they live happily ever after, adopting several children to become little power babies wielding impeccable outfits and brilliant diplomatic skills.

Also the last scene is Olivia acquiring a competing company of women’s suits, ending with her throwing her phone into a nearby bush and shattering it into several pieces while saying “It’s handled.”