That Insane Wrist-Eating Scene From ‘Scandal’ Was Originally Twice As Long

There was a scene in an episode of Scandal from a few weeks ago that has stayed with me ever since I watched it, partially because it was one of the most ridiculous plot devices I’ve ever seen, and partially because it was one of the most graphic network television scenes I’ve ever seen. I’ll explain it in brief for non-viewers: The main character, Olivia, has been looking into the disappearance/death of her mother, who her father — the head of a very clandestine spy agency that operates outside the government — has locked away in a secluded wing of a top secret prison for… well, for reasons. To prevent Olivia from figuring this out, her father decides to move her mother under the cover of night and spirit her away to another, even more top secret (topper secret?) location somewhere far away.

Before she can be moved, however, she decides to attempt suicide. (Or, more accurately, make it look like she attempted suicide so she can orchestrate her escape.) But, because they don’t usually leave sharp tools or things that can be fashioned into weapons laying around secret maximum security prisons, she has to think outside the box. And when I say “think outside the box,” I mean “try to chew through the veins in her wrist like some sort of cannibal vampire rodent.”

The scene lasted a long, long time, and was really tough to watch. It was full of blood splattering everywhere and awful slurping sounds, and even just typing it all out now is making me a little queasy again. And, according to Scandal showrunner Shonda Rhimes, the original cut of the scene was twice as long.

Originally, by the way, that scene was twice as long. Yeah. It was twice as long. Even I couldn’t watch it. Khandi Alexander, who is an amazing actress, just went for it. The effects were amazing, and the way it was shot was incredible. There were so many wonderful things about it, but it was stomach-turning. So we ended up cutting it in half. Even then, I felt like, Boy, is that graphic. Boy, is that huge. I tweeted before it came on, “Don’t be eating before you see it.” I happen to have been eating before I saw it — the long version — and it was unfortunate. [Vulture]

Even with all of that, the craziest thing about this scene — which, again, features a woman attempting to commit suicide by gnawing through a significant chunk of her own forearm — is that I can’t find a GIF of it ANYWHERE. Jesus, Internet. I thought I knew you.