The first half of the second season of Scandal is what I like to call the "epitome of television and storytelling". Creatively, the first 13 episodes is genius, brilliant and beautiful and is now the standard for me.
Having said that, this season had 22 episodes (originally being picked up for 13 episodes, was then given a back-9 episode order) and you can tell that not as much thought/planning was put into it the last 9 episodes, although still good television.
Quinn's past is revealed, Abby finds love and heartbreak, Olivia starts dating other men, David explores a conspiracy theory, Harrison continues to demonstrate his loyalty, Mellie is expecting America's baby, Huck is tortured for a crime he didn't commit, Cyrus contemplates fatherhood and Fitz is rushed to the hospital twice.
New supporting characters include Hollis Doyle and Verna Thorton who both had a key role to play in how Fitz was elected and Jake Ballard, a friend of Fitz, catches the eye of Olivia.