Sally Langston (Kate Burton) is a redeemed villainess from Season Three of Scandal.
Backstory & Seasons 1-2
As revealed via flashbacks in the first season's penultimate episode, "The Trail," Sally Langston was a Conservative Republican Senator from Georgia before running against then-Governor Fitz Grant in the Republican Primaries. She ended up losing the Republican Presidential nod to Fitz, but later became Fitz's running mate in the Presidential Election, resulting in Sally becoming Vice President due to Fitz's victory. After Fitz was shot in Season Two's "Happy Birthday, Mr. President," Sally became the acting President during Fitz's hospitalization, and made attempts to hold on to the position even in the event that Fitz woke up from his coma. After Fitz proved his ability to continue his duty, Sally had no choice to resign.
Sally is also the husband of Daniel Douglas Langston, who has a wandering eye, as revealed by Sally herself. Season Three featured Sally's ambitions to run for President against Fitz, as his affair with Olivia Pope went against her immensely religious and conservative beliefs, and it was during this that Mellie Grant and Cyrus Beene attempted to use Daniel's wandering eye to destroy Sally's campaign. Their attempt to send a woman to entice Daniel failed due to a shocking discovery: Daniel was a closet homosexual. This led to Cyrus resorting to surreptitiously enlisting his own husband, James Novak, to entice Daniel; which works, the pair engaged in a sexual tryst.
Sally briefly turned heel in the end of episode 3.09, "YOLO," when she called Cyrus while standing over Daniel's dead body, under the suggestion that she murdered her husband. A flashback in the beginning of the following episode, "A Door Marked Exit," confirmed the suspicion, as Sally was lashing out at Daniel over his tryst with James, accusing him of ruining her political aspirations. Daniel responded by telling Sally that despite her rampant homophobia, she knew he was gay but didn't care because she had problems finding a husband and married him because he could put up with her ambition, while he married her to keep his family from disowning him. The enraged villainess snarled that Daniel was her cross to bear, after which Daniel (who stated that he made Sally) responded by telling his wife that he was leaving her, along with threatening to talk about Sally publicly to the media. In response, the evil Sally grabbed a knife and stabbed Daniel multiple times in the back, killing him instantly.
Redemption and Aftermath
After the murder, Sally called Cyrus and told her what she had done, after which Sally--a religious fanatic--made claims that the Devil got into her and made her kill her husband, while also stating that she'll burn in flames for what she did. Cyrus helped cover up the murder, but during the process of the election, Sally planned to come clean about killing Daniel in order to fix her relationship with God. She planned to confess during the debate between herself, Fitz, and Samuel Reston, but Fitz (as suggested by Olivia) decided to divert attention to another topic to allow Sally to respond and put her confession in the back of her mind.
Season Three ended with Sally losing the election, as the murder of Fitz's son, Jerry Grant, Jr, ended up resulting in Fitz retaining his seat. From Season Four onward, Sally left the White House and hosted her own political talk show, The Liberty Report, which served as a forum for Sally to criticize not only Fitz's term, but Mellie's as well. However, in the final episodes of the series, Sally spoke in full support of Mellie during Cyrus' attempt to frame her for the attack on Air Force Two.
- Before her run on Scandal, Kate Burton played evil businesswoman Annette Cole on Law & Order: SVU.