"The Trail"
~ Flashback Episode ~
Ep 6
Season One
Season 01, Episode 06
Episode Information
Air Date: May 10, 2012
Viewers: 6.43 million
Written by: Jenna Bans
Directed by: Tom Verica
Episode Chronology
Previous Episode: "Crash and Burn"
Next Episode: "Grant: For the People"
Character Information
Character Backstories:

The Trail is the sixth episode of the first season of Scandal.


As Gideon investigates Amanda Tanner's past, a series of events from the past reveal the contentious primary race between Fitzgerald Grant and Sally Langston, Olivia's first meeting with Grant on the campaign trail and the formation of the Pope & Associates team.

Meanwhile, David and his assistant Alissa look into Amanda's death and who could've killed her.


White House:
  • Fitz shows up at Olivia's apartment and shares the sex audiotape with her once he's realized that it's the two of them, not him and Amanda.
U.S. Attorney's Office:
  • David investigates the murder of Amanda Tanner with the assistance of his assistant who helps him come up with new theories.
  • The beginning of Olivia & Fitz's relationship is revealed
  • Fitz & Mellie come off as cold and distant to the voters
  • Sally & Fitz face off in the primary election


Fitz is at Olivia's door because he wants her to listen to the sex tape that was sent to Cyrus. There is then a two year jump back to the day Olivia joined Fitz's presidential campaign. She makes quite the first impression, as Fitz wants to fire her for her candor but Cyrus convinces him to keep her around. It's during Fitz's genuine apology to Olivia that he stares into her eyes and we know these two are irresistibly drawn to each other.


Olivia lets Fitz and Mellie know that the only way they have a shot at the White House is if they start acting like a real lovey-dovey couple. So, after a yelling match, they begin doing just that. The surge in popularity that follows is distressing to his opponent, Sally Langston, and her right-hand man, Billy Chambers. The momentum in the Fitzgerald campaign stalls once rumors surface that Mellie is having an affair. Billy tries to get Olivia to switch teams, but she refuses and quashes the extramarital rumors with the help of a few of the friends who would eventually become her associates. In the debates later, Fitz admits that he's a man in love with an incredible woman, and the voters have no idea that he isn't talking about his wife!

Olivia at the debate

Olivia and Cyrus know they can't win the White House without the female vote but Fitz doesn't want to use any underhanded tactics to solve this problem. A short time later, Mellie breaks down at a campaign event. She tells the press that she recently had a miscarriage. She says her husband wanted to quit the campaign after they found out, but she wouldn't let him. Fitz is shocked that Mellie would go public with this information because everything his wife said is a lie. Fitz lets Olivia know about Mellie's deception. They hold each other's hand in the darkness of a campaign bus. When they arrive at their next hotel destination, Olivia joins Fitz in his room where the two of them finally give in to their passion. They have no idea that someone is creating an audio recording of them from a van parked outside. The recording is later delivered to Billy Chambers. The person who innocently hands him the incriminating flash drive is a young volunteer in the Langston campaign. Her name: Amanda Tanner.

Campaign debate

Billy wants Sally Langston to use the audio recording to win the election but his boss won't even listen to the flash drive or even ask what's on it because she's already accepted a job as Fitz's running mate. Back in the present day, Olivia listens to the recording that was sent to Cyrus and she knows she's the woman on it.

U.S. Attorney David Rosen is looking hard into the death of Amanda Tanner. His assistant, Alissa, agrees with the coroner that she committed suicide. David, however, believes this was murder. Gideon Wallace the reporter then learns that Amanda had a boyfriend. Billy Chambers shows up at Gideon's apartment to address the reporter's allegations that he was Amanda Tanner's boyfriend. The VP's right-hand man admits that he's the one who leaked info to incriminate the president. Gideon realizes this is the man who sent Amanda in to sleep with Fitz. He then lets Billy know that Amanda was 13 weeks pregnant with a baby that wasn't the president's.

Billy loses it and grabs a pair of scissors to stab Gideon in the neck. Blood pours onto the floor as Gideon gasps for his life!


Main Cast

Recurring Cast

Guest Cast


For a full list of cast/character credits in order as they appeared click here: The Trail Credits


Notes & Trivia

Appearance Notes


Promotional Photos

→ See and enjoy 16 pictures from The Trail at Images from The Trail.


Promotional Video

Scandal 1x06 "The Trail" Promo (1)

Scandal 1x06 "The Trail" Promo (1)