"Survival of the Fittest"
6x01 - Olivia Pope and Fitz Grant 02
Season Six
Season 06, Episode 01
Episode Information
Air Date: January 26, 2017
Viewers: 7.62 million
Written by: Shonda Rhimes
Directed by: Tom Verica
Character Information
Episode Chronology
Previous Episode: "That's My Girl"
Next Episode: "Hardball"

Survival of the Fittest is the first episode of the sixth season of Scandal, and is the ninety-first overall.


The election results for the presidential race between Mellie Grant and Francisco Vargas are announced, and the shocking results lead to an explosive outcome


Huck and Quinn are in the forest when a cabin explodes. Olivia Pope, Mellie Grant, and Fitz Grant wait to hear the results of the election. They learn that Frankie Vargas has won California and will become the 45th president. Mellie calls and concedes at Olivia's urging. Afterwards, Mellie and Olivia proceed to get drunk in a bathtub. They talk about Cyrus Beene and how he gets to be Vice President. Suddenly, they hear a commotion coming from outside and learn that the President-elect has been shot.

6x01 - Abby Handles Secret Service Agent 08

Fitz and Jake Ballard get down to business trying to piece together who shot Vargas. Abby heads to the hospital and takes control of its operations until further notice. Olivia goes to Marcus to see what happened and to get the truth. She learns that he was shot in the arm, in the stomach, and in the brain. Abby visits the President as he flatlines. Frankie Vargas is dead. She steals his wife's phone. Fitz and David Rosen try to figure out who is going to be President. David says they have to wait until the electoral college votes---a month from now. That it could be anyone but he also tells Fitz that the president can be whoever Fitz says it is.

Olivia goes to Eli's to ask him if he's responsible for the shooting of the President. He says no but she doesn't believe him. He reveals that Cyrus is the one behind the shooting because Cyrus loves only Cyrus. Her father also reminds her that he offered her San Benito County but she turned it down. He tells her that she has a second chance now to make Mellie president. Olivia goes back to her office and reviews the tape of the shooting. She notices that Cyrus stepped away from Vargas right before he got shot. Olivia goes to see Mellie and reveals her suspicion that Cyrus was behind the shooting. She also tells Mellie that she has a duty to the American people and that she should start strategizing on how to become President. Mellie doesn't want any of it and instead says she wants to go on vacation.

Abby deals with President Vargas's wife. She wants to call her children and tell them that their father has died. Abby calls Fitz and tells him that he needs to announce his death soon. Fitz says that they have to wait because he has to figure out who's going to become President. Abby persists but Fitz says that Vargas isn't dead until he says he's dead. Olivia goes to see Fitz and tells him about Cyrus killing Vargas. He doesn't believe her. She has until morning to find evidence that it's true. Huck, Quinn, and Charlie try to find the evidence she needs. Fitz and Mellie talk. She tells him that he isn't weak but that he's just not power hungry. He tells her that he has to choose between her and Cyrus. That he doesn't know what he's going to do. She tells him that she wants to be President.

6x01 - Olivia Pope Warns Cyrus 05

Huck, Quinn and Charlie can't find evidence. Olivia is sure that he did it and she's pissed because they are doing nothing to stop him. She goes to see Cyrus to see how he's reacted but she finds him in shock. She realizes that he didn't do it. She tells Fitz who struggles to make a choice. He asks her what he's supposed to do but she can't answer the question because she's biased. Fitz goes to see Cyrus and tells him that he's going to support him. Marcus goes to tell Mellie that Fitz backed Cyrus. Huck, Quinn, and Charlie start to pack up when Huck realizes that there is one message they didn't listen to. Charlie proposes to Quinn. Huck looks at the call log and they go tell Olivia who sends them into the woods to find the person who left the message. Fitz announces to the world that President-elect Vargas is dead and nominates Cyrus to take his place. Charlie recovers the lost message and Quinn says yes to his proposal.

Olivia goes to talk to Cyrus and confronts him by telling him that she's going to prove that he killed Vargas.


Main Cast

Recurring Cast

Guest Cast


  • The table read for this episode took place on July 15, 2016.

Promotional Photos

→ See and enjoy 76 pictures from Survival of the Fittest at Images from Survival of the Fittest.

Behind the Scenes

Promotional Videos

Scandal Season 6 "Good Luck Surviving" Promo (HD)

Scandal Season 6 "Good Luck Surviving" Promo (HD)

Episode Clips

Deleted Scene

Scandal Deleted Scene Olivia Vs

Scandal Deleted Scene Olivia Vs. Jake