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* Amanda's clueless and horrified reaction to Olivia's HannibalLecture.
* Olivia getting that she was wrong and saying to Fitzgerald she knows everything.
* The girl accusing Olivia's client, in the third episode, reacting to the monetary offer not with joy, nor with caution.
* The revelation of Abby's backstory.
* Fitzgerald Grant's wife's DidYouThinkICantFeel, mostly the : "[[LoveMartyr There is not one thing I did not sacrifice for you]] [[AmbitionIsEvil to be president !]]", even though we later learn that she commited some acts many people may reprove.
* Gideon's situation in episode 6.
* Quinn and Gideon's [[spoiler: death.]] She's just so shaken and manic and terrified.
* Fitz [[spoiler: getting shot.]] The whole episode.
* When Huck gives a passionate speech to his fellow spies to get them not to kill another spy [[spoiler: and they do anyway.]]
* Mellie's intense, sincere apology to Olivia after she catches [[spoiler: Fitz basically drunkeningly feeling her up in an elevator.]] There's no plea to keep quiet or accusations of seduction--Mellie seems to really, truly feel bad for Olivia. [[spoiler:Doubles as unintentional guilt slinging.]]
* Several of the scenes involving Abby and/or David in Nobody Likes Babies, but the one where David charges in and accuses Abby of stealing an important piece of his evidence, his voice cracking as he says he trusted her because she said she loved him takes the cake. Especially when she insists she does, and he refuses to let her touch him.
** From the same episode. Fitz drunkeningly confesses that he is upset that his whole relationship with Mellie has been a lie, and Mellie calmly and [[StepfordSmiler sweetly says that all relationships are based on lies and falsehoods and any who believes otherwise is a fool.]] Compounded by Fitz's reaction.
-->Fitz: Did I do this to you? Or have you always been like this? Because if it was me, I'm sorry. I'm sorry.
* The woman Olivia tries to help in 3.03. Her son was shot by the FBI under suspicion of being a terrorist, and the investigation concluded that he was one. She was so ''desperate'' to find out what happened that she takes people hostage with a bomb strapped around her chest, as she refuses to believe her son was guilty and she wants to know what actually happened. [[spoiler: She was right the entire time. Her son was in deep cover infiltrating Al-Queda, and due to inter-departmental screwup the FBI didn't know that and killed him during a raid. Her son was actually a hero. But she can never know that, because there are other assets there too who would be killed if word got out.]] Olivia is informed of this by the president, and she has to [[spoiler: lie to the poor mother and tell her that her son was guilty of terrorism, in order to protect the other assets who had infiltrated Al-Queda with him. Her son was a hero, and nobody - not even his mother - would ever know he wasn't guilty.]] This ''breaks'' his mother. The result? [[spoiler: The woman allows her hostages to leave, before [[DespairEventHorizon slamming the door shut behind them]] and [[DrivenToSuicide detonating the suicide vest.]]]]
* In 3.03, when Olivia learns Huck is still trapped by his training, she comes home and goes off on Ballard, trying to find out why he's there. Her father and the president ring, but she throws both phones to the ground. The whole episode seemed designed to break her, and it works.
* "Big Jerry," Fitz's dad, [[spoiler: rapes Mellie.]] There's nothing to really add to that.
* Jake's monologue at the beginning and the end of "No Sun on the Horizon." He had a very unhappy childhood, has no family now, and being part of B6-13 might be slowly breaking him. His lack of family also explains why both Fitz and Olivia are so important to him.
* Seeing Cyrus [[spoiler: break down sobbing at the press conference announcing the capture of his husband's killer, or at least the person he thinks is his killer, to the point where he has to be hugged and escorted off by the president]] is heart-wrenching. [[spoiler: Even if he is severely morally ambiguous, we see through the episode he really did love James and is completely lost now.]]
* All of Fitz and Mellie's scenes in "Randy, Red, Superfreak and Julia." Mellie actually lies down at the grave of [[spoiler: her son.]] We also find out Fitz [[spoiler: attempted suicide]] at some point. The details are vague for now.
* Abby for most of "Baby Made a Mess." Seeing her abusive ex-husband in the Oval Office, about to be the next senator from Virginia, leaves Abby hiding under her desk with vomit on her dress. She lists some of her injuries to Leo Bergen later in the episode: she has two false teeth, a metal pin in her jaw, and her collarbone hurts before it is going to rain.
* Also in "Baby Made a Mess," Tom talks to Olivia, describing when Fitz went to her apartment during her two-month disappearance. Tom says that while there, Fitz made a noise that wasn't exactly a sob, but a noise that surprised him. Tom also reveals Fitz [[spoiler: attempted suicide]], but doesn't go into detail.
* Fitz and Jake are probably the oldest friends on the show. Making Jake's speech to Fitz in "The Last Supper" heartbreaking.
-->'''Fitz''': Look, Jake...
-->'''Jake''': Captain Ballard. [[FirstNameBasis Jake is what my friends call me.]] You're not my friend, Mr. President. Friends don't put you in prison for crimes you didn't commit. They don't refuse to hear you when you're telling them the truth. They don't hit you when you can't hit back. [[TheyCallMeMisterTibbs So when you refer to me from this point forward it will be as Captain Ballard, is that understood?]]
* Perhaps the entire episode "The Lawn Chair." The cast and crew live Tweeted the episode about how they were crying while watching it for the first time on ABC.
** Clarence Parker trying to protect his son's dead body, including using the titular lawn chair to cover Brandon "in case it rains." He also talks to Olivia about Brandon. He put a college bumper sticker on his truck, even though Brandon intended to go to trade school. Also, Clarence said his goal was to "Get him to 18." Clarence is also certain he's going to end up in jail or dead by the end.
** Olivia herself during the episode. Despite her PR skills, she does not think she can fix the situation. She's also still suffering from PTSD after her kidnapping, best seen by Olivia trying to hide her trembling hand. As she tells David...
-->'''Olivia:''' I thought I was going to die. For about a week straight I thought I was a goner. I lived in complete and total fear. Imagine feeling like that every single day of your life.
** The ending of "The Lawn Chair." Olivia takes Clarence Parker, whose determinism revealed his unarmed son was killed by a cop, to meet the president in the Oval Office. Clarence, who has been awake for about 36 hours, finally breaks down as he tells Fitz "My son's name was Brandon." Fitz hugs Clarence, as we cut to Brandon and ZippingUpTheBodyBag.