Characters: Scandal

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    Olivia Pope & Associates - Current Members 

Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington)

The leader of Olivia Pope & Associates, and the central character of the series.

Quinn Perkins AKA Lindsay Dwyer (Katie Lowes)

The newest addition to Olivia's team (and the one through whose eyes the series is introduced). Has a mysterious past which is gradually revealed throughout seasons one and two.

  • Action Girl - She's becoming one, via her new gig as a spy.
  • Badass Adorable
    • Badass Bookworm - She's become quite the hacker via Huck sharing his skills with her. Makes her quite useful to B6-13.
  • Beware the Nice Ones
  • Classical Anti-Hero - At first. she Took a Level in Badass courtesy of joining B6-13.
  • The Cutie
  • Dating Catwoman: With Gideon.
  • Face Monster Turn: From baby-faced newbie to torture-obsessed spy in less than three seasons!
  • Fake Defector: Maybe. She deliberately let herself be seen on one of Huck's security cameras taking the Daniel Douglas file. Whether she's faking or just wants to keep OPA "in the loop" remains to be seen.
  • Gut Feeling
  • The Heart
  • Hero-Worshipper: Which almost leads to Broken Pedestal.
    • As of Season 3, that pedestal is gone.
  • Hidden Depths: Her real name isn't Quinn, and she didn't exist in that identity until two years ago. Not only is her name falsified, but it's stated that agents from all corners of the US government have warrants for her real identity. As season two reveals: her real name is Lindsay Dwyer, she was framed for a bombing that killed seven people, and the conspiracy surrounding why stretches to not only Olivia, but the Supreme Court, the First Lady, the president's most trusted adviser, and the national security of the United States.
  • Honor Before Reason
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight - In "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang" Huck ambushes her in her home and tells her "There's still a gladiator in you." And then he kisses her.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Uses it in the Season Two finale when Huck freezes up. This may be one of the things that triggers Olivia to focus more on her employees, although it's not clear if she knows about it.
  • Mad Bomber: Allegedly...
  • The McCoy
  • The Mole: Briefly becomes this for B613 after a complicated series of events leads to her unknowingly murdering a watchman on video camera. However, Huck quickly finds her out. He apparently tortures her, but a series of flashbacks at the end of "YOLO" reveals that it's more complicated than that. It's not yet clear how this is going to play out.
    • Turns out, she didn't take Huck's torture well. She quits working with the team and finds new employment by joining B6-13 for real.
  • Mysterious Past
  • Naïve Newcomer
  • The Watson: In the first season.
  • We Used to Be Friends: As of mid-Season 3, she and Olivia Pope and Associates.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist
  • Your Cheating Heart: When she joined B6-13, she began a relationship with Charlie, only to end up being caught with her pants down with Huck by Abby and Harrison. She later tells Charlie, who didn't take it well and responds by tanking whatever chances she had with Huck by telling her where Huck's family is.

Huck (Guillermo Diaz)

You took in a wild monster and you groomed me and petted me and trained me to sit at your feet, but that doesn't make me puppy, Liv. That just makes me a very loyal monster.

A former marine and CIA official who now works as the technical support in Olivia's firm. He is extremely loyal to Olivia and, while his CIA training led him to enjoy hurting people (and made him very good at it), he tries to avoid doing so, and attends AA meetings to try to cope with this.

  • Anti-Hero
  • Beware the Nice Ones
  • Bunny Ears Techie
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Just one of the many skills "the Agency" (presumably the CIA) taught him. The Agency also taught him to enjoy it, a fact which horrifies him.
    • Is the victim of it when he is thought to be the shooter that tried to kill the president. And we learn that he was kept in a dark hole for two months in order to make him forget about his wife and baby.
  • The Cutie
  • Good Is Not Soft
  • Hidden Depths: Huck's dossier is apparently thicker than most spy novels, most of it is redacted, but he has CIA/espionage/military training as an assassin and Olivia trusts him to break a dictator's wife and children out of the embassy with only five minutes' leeway. He's also spent time homeless and suffering from PTSD, begging on the DC subway, which is when Olivia found him. He also falls for a woman he thinks is a fellow addict, but she turns out to be a spy and assassin like him.
  • Madness Mantra : "Seven fifty two". The hour at which he met his son again, while he was homeless in the metro.
  • Mysterious Past
  • The Quiet One
  • Retired Badass: He does not want to hurt people anymore. This does not mean he does not still enjoy doing so.
  • Retired Monster: According to him, especially considering B6-13 trained him to effectively and thoroughly torture people and very much enjoy it. He says as much to Olivia during a somewhat What the Hell, Hero? speech that informs Olivia that she is his Kid with the Leash.
    Huck: “No, you went too far.”
    Olivia: “Excuse me?”
    Huck: “You took in a wild monster, and you groomed me and petted me and trained me to sit at your feet. But that doesn’t make me a puppy, Liv, that just makes me a very loyal monster. So I didn't go too far, I went exactly as far as my leash allows. And you hold the leash."
  • Secret Secret Keeper: In "Blown Away" he says to Olivia, "Do I tell you who to love? No! So don't tell me!" This strongly implies he knows about Olivia and Fitz, and never told Olivia.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran
  • The Smart Guy
  • Token Evil Teammate

    OPA - Former Members 

Abby Whelan (Darby Stanchfield)

I would gladly follow you over a cliff, but you gotta show up.

Current White House Press Secretary, formerly an investigator for OPA and Olivia's Number Two. BetaCoupled with David Rosen.

  • Brutal Honesty
  • The Chick
  • The Confidant: to Olivia
  • Dating Catwoman: In season two, she sleeps with David Rosen mainly to distract him from his investigation into Pope and Associates. Then she starts falling for him - before Harrison fakes her into believing David is an abuser, triggering her into leaving him. The truth is revealed, but they do not reunite until season 3, becoming the show's Beta Couple.
  • Domestic Abuse: The victim thereof, and what brings her to Olivia's attention (and eventually team).
  • Fiery Redhead
  • Guile Heroine
  • The Heart
  • Hidden Depths: Abby likes Stephen, and was married to a famous U.S. politician until she ran away. Their marriage had a history of domestic abuse and he's still searching for her.
  • Housewife: A dead ringer for Bree van de Kamp before Olivia gets her out of her situation.
  • The Kirk
  • Not So Stoic
  • The Resenter: "Seven Fifty-Two" reveals Abby is starting to resent Olivia for the debt she owes her, regarding her divorce from Charles. Abby wonders if that debt cost her a chance to be genuinely happy with David.
  • Rousing Speech: Gives a great one to Olivia.
  • Secret Keeper
  • Woman in Black

Harrison Wright (Columbus Short)

A lawyer who works for OPA and Gladiator to the core.

Stephen Finch (Henry Ian Cusick)

A Scottish-born litigator who worked for Olivia during season one. Between seasons one and two he was Put on a Bus.

    The White House 

President Fitzgerald Grant (Tony Goldwyn)

You must really hate me for falling in love with you.

The President of the United States of America and Olivia's lover. He is a popular president overall, in large part due to Olivia's work in his campaign and presidency. Currently serving his second term in office.

Mellie Grant (Bellamy Young)

So cheers, baby. Drink up. I live to fight another day.

The First Lady of the United States.

  • Affably Evil
  • Aloof Dark-Haired Girl
  • Ambition Is Evil: She will do anything to stay in the White House and clearly has designs on building her own political career when Fitz's term ends.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing
  • Brainy Brunette: When she says she is smart enough to run a war or the CIA, she might not be exaggerating.
  • Broken Bird
  • The Conspiracy: Is a member of one. See the trope entry on the main page for details.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Fairly common coping mechanism in Season 3, escalates to constant inebriation in the months after Jerry's death.
  • Even Bitches Loves Their Children: She may be a professed Child Hater and recognizes that she isn't the most maternal woman, but she clearly does love her kids going all Mama Bear when protecting her daughter's reputation and honor to Fitz in spite of her slip up, and is absolutely destroyed by the death of Jerry
  • Guile Heroine
  • Hero Antagonist: She floats in and out of this role.
  • Stepford Smiler: Mellie believes EVERYONE is a Stepford Smiler to one extent or another.
    Mellie: Pretending is what's real.
    Fitz: What?
    Mellie: Every married couple alive pretends. They pretend they don't hate their in-laws or their husband's stupid jokes or their wife's laugh or that they don't actually love one of their children more than the others. Marriage is, well, it's almost all pretend. For everyone. That's the reality. That's what's real. Buying into the delusion that there's any other way to live together, to get through an entire life together, that's, well that's the fantasy. That's pretending.
    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.
  • Sympathetic Adulterer: Or not. She had chances with Andrew Nichols, Fitz's former lieutenant governor, but turned him down.
    • Until she started having an affair with him, that is.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Once she finds out about Fitz and Olivia, she beings handing these out from time to time to her husband. She hands out a blistering one in the first of Season 4, regarding her husband's attempted suicide in the wake of their murdered son.
  • Troubled, but Cute
  • The Woobie: The layers of bitch fall away every now and then, especially once it was revealed she was raped by Fitz's father. And she attempted suicide over it a year later. She was saved by Andrew Nichols, Fitz's lieutenant governor at the time. At the start of Season 4, the death of her son has absolutely shattered her. She can keep it together for the State of the Union, but not for long.

Cyrus Beene (Jeff Perry)

President Grant's Chief of Staff.

  • Ambiguously Jewish: He sarcastically mentions sitting shiva for Amanda Tanner.
  • Anti-Villain: May be shaping up to be one of these, but it's still not entirely clear what his motivations are. Compared to Hollis Doyle, though, he's downright heroic.
  • The Chessmaster
  • Cool Old Guy
  • The Conspiracy: Is a member of one. See the trope entry on the main page for details.
  • Gay Conservative: And a married one at that.
  • Happily Married: They have their problems, but Cyrus and James love each other.
    • Pretty safe to say this is no longer the case by the time Season 3 roles around. Their marriage exists at this point pretty much only on the basis of career benefits and emotional blackmail.
  • Heel Realization: Happens to him in "A Door Marked Exit." A little odd, given the other nasty stuff he's done.
  • Kill the Ones You Love - Cyrus orders a hit on his husband to prevent him from testifying against him in regards to Defiance. He calls it off at the very last second.
    • And now his husband is dead via Cyrus calling in a favor from B6-13. But Jame's death was unintentional this time.
  • Knight in Sour Armor
  • Manipulative Bastard
  • My God, What Have I Done?: For all of "A Door Marked Exit."
  • Poisonous Friend: To both Olivia and Fitz at times.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Cyrus gives these to Fitz pretty often when he gets into a sulky mood over Olivia or Mellie.
  • Straight Gay
  • Trauma Conga Line: By "YOLO" and "A Door Marked Exit," it's clear the show is trying to break him as much as it's trying to break Olivia. He now seems to believe he is literally the devil. having his husband cheat on him, then realizing he was indirectly responsible for murder can do that to a man.
    • And now his husband is dead, unintentionally via a favor that Cyrus himself called in.
  • Treacherous Advisor
  • True Companions: With Olivia and Fitz. At the end of the day he will be there for them.
  • Undying Loyalty: To President Grant. In "State of the Union," he Lampshades that his loyalty is to unhealthy extremes.

Vice President Andrew Nichols (Jon Tenney)

Fitz's former Lieutenant Governor and current Vice President of the United States

    DC Professionals 

David Rosen (Joshua Malina)

Assistant U.S. attorney who has a friendly rivalry with Olivia. Becomes Attorney General in Season 4.

[[Use your imagination. I'm wearing a ten-gallon white hat. Just for the record.]]

James Novak (Dan Bucatinsky)

Cyrus Beene's journalist husband.

  • Camp Gay: While an exceptional journalist, James is also quite fixated on the idea of having a "fat, smushy baby" and, in a flashback to the early days after Fitz's election, excuses himself to make wedding plans after he and Cyrus are newly engaged.
  • Dating Catwoman: What counts more as a journalist's enemy than a politician behind a massive conspiracy and cover-up? Especially when he contemplates putting a hit out on you.
  • House Husband: James quit his job some time before the series began because his husband promised him a baby. Unfortunately for Cyrus, he didn't deliver, which led to James returning to his work.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Much to his husband Cyrus's annoyance at times.
  • Killed Off for Real: By Jake, after Cyrus asked Jake to assist in handling the coverup of the murder of Sally Langston's husband. And this is right after James decided he wasn't going to help David expose his husband.
  • Mistaken for Cheating: While investigating the vote-rigging Conspiracy, the lies about his location and the frequent calls from David Rosen make his husband think he's having an affair.
  • Sympathetic Adulterer - When he realizes that his husband Cyrus set him up to be an unwitting Honey Trap for Sally Langston's husband, he decides to actually go through with it and sleeps with him. Partially because he's learned how morally bankrupt his husband actually is and what he has done and also because he cannot believe that Cyrus set him up like that.
  • Really Gets Around: Before he dated his husband, James was (to quote his husband) "a bit of a slut". Which Cyrus found quite appealing.

Former Vice President Sally Langston (Kate Burton)

The former Vice President of the United States, a religious conservative. She and President Grant had a tenuous relationship, since he mostly offered her the VP spot to appeal to the religious right while she mostly accepted for the sake of his endorsements in future endeavors. Cyrus and Olivia both dislike her. Eventually split from the administration to run against Fitz.

  • Ambition Is Evil
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Much of her dislike of the main characters stem from her not getting the Supreme Court Justice she wanted in favor of Verna Thornton.
  • Mission from God: How she sees her political career.
  • Samus is a Girl: The fact she is a woman is a bit of a surprise after the way Cyrus described her in the episode before her first appearance.
  • Sympathetic Murderer: Becomes this after finding out her husband is gay and cheating on her.
    • Well, technically she already knew he was gay. It was the cheating on her part - and the fact that it was with the husband of her main rival at the White House, no less, who's a reporter and could bring it up in an article if he chose - that really upset her. That and the fact that he implied in their final argument that she never would have gotten anywhere in her political career without him.

Billy Chambers (Matt Letscher)

Initially chief of staff to Vice President Sally Langston.

Leo Bergen (Paul Adelstein)

Sally Langston's campaign manager

Gideon Wallace (Brendan Hines)

A reporter for the (fictional) tabloid newspaper The D.C. Sun who is investigating the Amanda Tanner scandal and begins dating Quinn Perkins.

Amanda Tanner (Liza Weil)

A former White House intern who had an affair with President Grant at the urging of Billy Chambers, whom she was dating and who hoped to use the resulting scandal to bring down the White House.

Alissa (Brenda Song)

David Rosen's assistant.

Justice Verna Thornton (Debra Mooney)

  • Armor-Piercing Question - When Olivia is berating her for hiring an assassin to kill the president, and implies that Verna did it to avoid implicating herself in the election rigging, Verna throws her argument back in her face.
    Verna: "Then turn me in. Go ahead. You're such a pillar of courage, go over to Justice and tell them I shot the president....except you can't, can you?"
  • The Conspiracy: Is a member of one. See the trope entry on the main page for details.
  • Killed Off for Real
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist - was part of the election rigging that put Fitz in the presidency, because she legitimately believed in him.
    • She also hires an assassin to kill him to put the election rigging genie back in the proverbial bottle.

Hollis Doyle (Gregg Henry)

An oil man who made a major contribution to the Grant campaign and expects favours in return.

  • The Conspiracy: Is a member of one. See the trope entry on the main page for details.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Of the oil company variety.
  • Evil Virtues: He will stand up when the President of the United States enters the room.
  • Expy: Of J.R. Ewing. It is possible he thinks that is how Texas billionaires are supposed to act.
  • Not Me This Time: It turns out he didn't hire Becky to shoot the president.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: He repeatedly refers to both Cyrus and his husband, James Novak, as each being the other's "wife". Cyrus is not amused.

Elizabeth "Lizzie Bear" North (Portia De Rossi)

The head of the RNC.

  • The Conspiracy: Is part of one to start a war in West Angola for unknown reasons. It includes kidnapping Olivia to influence Fitz.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: She was only known as "Lizzie Bear" until "Inside the Bubble."
  • Power Hair: Bright blonde as well.
  • Slave to PR: She has concerns where President Grant's second term is taking the Republican Party.
  • Southern Belle: Based on her accent.
  • Strawman Political: Slightly subverted. She wants Fitz to act like a "Real Republican," but doesn't seem too hamfisted about it. Until we find out she's part of The Conspiracy to start a war in West Angola.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Maybe. She sent a sex worker named Michael to Cyrus as part of a plan to get him out of the way. When it fails, she uses her backup plan: kidnapping Olivia to influence Fitz.

     B 613 Affiliates 

Jake Ballard (Scott Foley)

A naval officer who seems to be particularly close to the President, he is also introduced as a romantic interest of Olivia's in the latter half of the second season. Grant assigns him to spy on and protect Olivia from various threats.

  • The Chains of Commanding: Starts to feel them after taking over B6-13.
  • Conveniently an Orphan: He monologues about this in "No Sun on the Horizon." It Josses a fan-theory that he and Fitz are half-brothers.
  • Deadly Euphemism - He uses this to threaten Olivia.
    Jake: " James Novak died in a car jacking. Accept that, and the world keeps spinning."
    Olivia: "And if I don't?"
    Jake: "Bad things happen to good people all the time."
  • Dogged Nice Guy
    • "Nice" doesn't really describe him anymore.
  • Hidden Depths: He was involved in something called "Operation Remington" with Fitz Grant during the first Gulf War. At the start of the third season, Cyrus had to get his security clearance raised to read about it. It horrified him.
  • Not So Different: Olivia calls him as much by comparing him to her father, who he inherited Command from.
  • Old Friend: Of Fitz.
  • Screw This, I'm Out of Here!: Ponders this at certain times.
  • Yanks with Tanks: Was in the Navy with Fitz.
  • Unexpected Successor: Takes Rowan/Eli's place as Command of B6-13.

"Control"/Rowan Pope (Joe Morton)

Jake Ballard's current and Huck's former boss, he is also implied to be the head of the CIA's classified B613 program. His actual name was not given for much of the series. However, the season two finale has Cyrus refer to him as "Roland" and reveals that he is Olivia Pope's father. Season Three gives him the nickname "Eli" and the complete name of "Rowan Pope". Not that this is a surprise, given B613 members tend to use assumed names.

  • The Chains of Commanding: He gives a speech to Olivia about this, saying that the number of people he's responsible for ordering the deaths of weighs on him every day.
    "183. That is the number of people I am responsible for killing... I always suffered a bit with each one. The responsibility of that - the gravity of that, the weight of it - It marks me, it stains me, it never leaves me. I am responsible."
  • The Chessmaster: Implied before, but proven as of Season 4 episode 8. He utterly dismantles the protagonists' plans to take him down. Jake Ballard's files were replaced with blank pages and had been long before Jake even gave them to David Rosen. He also reveals that he knew Olivia was leading him into a trap the entire time, that the tactical team waiting outside to kill or capture him are already dead, and that the only reason he came to that restaurant was to give Olivia a "The Reason You Suck" Speech and to inform her that she is entirely on her own from this point forward. He then exits the restaurant, gets in his car and leaves, completely unmolested.
  • Deadly Euphemism: He is quite fond of these.
    "When I say the word 'fire,' I am employing a euphemism."
  • Good All Along: Or at least not completely evil. It turns out at the end of "YOLO" that the case against Olivia's mother was not fabricated.
  • Disc One Final Boss: Of season 4. Much of the season's first half is Jake, Fitz, and Olivia trying to bring him down, and he ultimately leaves during the mid-season finale after it becomes clear that Olivia is willing to kill him. The true Big Bad turns out to be Andrew.
    • Evil Versus Evil - Jake outright tells Olivia that just because her mother was the true villain does not mean that her father is good; he is still a bad guy, and is still the man who did horrible things to him and Huck.
  • Fake Guest Star: After his first episode, he appeared in an unbroken string of 25 episodes that included the entire third season. In fact, disregarding one absence, the string lasted an additional eight episodes. For anyone keeping track at home, that's a better attendance record than several members of the main cast.
  • Large Ham
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: To Olivia.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: He gives a vicious one to Fitz in "A Door Marked Exit," calling him a "boy" who never had to work for anything.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: No matter what deplorable deeds he's done, he remains convinced that it's for the good of the Republic. At least as far as Olivia's mother goes, he was right.
  • You Have Failed Me: Not yet, but when helping to sabotage Fitz and employ Sally Langston against him, he outright threatens Sally's political adviser with this, complete with Deadly Euphemism.
    "If you fail me, then you are fired."

Becky Flynn/Kate (Susan Pourfar)

  • Complexity Addiction: She was careful to set up Lindsay Dwyer as a suspect for the Cytron bombing. She could have set up Huck for shooting President Grant, but didn't.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: when Huck turns against her, she responds by murdering every member of the family that Huck had taken a liking to, including their dog. And they would've had absolutely no idea why.
  • Distaff Counterpart/Not So Different: Both she and Huck are professional killers, which she sees as making them perfect for each other.
  • Hidden Depths: Formerly a member of B613 before going freelance. Set up the Cytron bombing for Hollis Doyle and shooting President Grant for Verna Thornton.
  • Name's the Same: "Like Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farms."
  • Shoot the Dog: Literally, in her case.
  • Stalking Is Love: First took a "professional curiosity" in Huck, which later turned to love the more she learned about him.

Charlie (George Newbern)

A former co-worker of Huck's in B6-13.

    And the Rest 

Maya Pope (Khandi Alexander)

  • Affably Evil / Faux Affably Evil: Can be quite charming with both the good guys and the bad guys. And she will flat-out murder you if she thinks you are disrespecting her.
  • Boxed Crook: Becomes this in season four after being "rescued" from Eli and held in a real prison.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: She has a genuine concern for Olivia's well-being. She sees Unfortunate Implications in how, politically speaking, Olivia is "the help." In season four, she agrees to help David, Huck and Quinn in return for a television with basic cable, so she can see Olivia on various news shows.
  • Not Quite Dead: She's alive, and has been kept in prison for 22 years.
    • Twice now! Once again presumed dead in-between three and four, only to be revealed to be alive, and kept in prison again by Eli.
  • Only in It for the Money: She tells Adnan Salif, "I don't make bombs, I make money."
  • The Unfettered: According to Khandi Alexander, Maya has become this after 22 years locked up by Eli.
  • Walking Spoiler: Will definitely become this.

Adnan Salif (Nazanin Boniadi)

Harrison's former boss

  • The Dreaded: Harrison is utterly terrified of her.
  • Samus is a Girl: Mentioned a few times before being revealed as a woman. And Harrison's former and current lover.