Scandal recap: 'Fates Worse Than Death'
You know that classic love story: Boy meets boy. Boy kills a little bit for boy. Boy realizes that other boy also likes boy. Boy sleeps with other boy and then breaks up with him and then tries to kill people to win him… okay, maybe you don’t know the story. And if you do know the story, how in the world do you keep all the boys separate? It’s complicated, but that’s what Scandal does best, isn’t it? So tonight, let’s dive into Cyrus’ world, Tom’s inappropriate ways of showing affection, and how wonderful all of Michael’s outfits are. It’s recap time.
As we count down to Inauguration Day, time is running out for Olivia Pope to steal back the Oval, but honestly… who’s more qualified than Olivia Pope? And it seems like it could be pretty easy with Cyrus Beene practically incriminated by his clear motive to kill Frankie. But as Cyrus is being tackled by the CROOKED MEDIA, we flash back to Cyrus’ path to the vice presidency and a better explanation of what led to Frankie getting sniped on Election Night. We also get to meet Jennifer, who appears to be much closer to Frankie than just a Deep Throat calling in a Vargas assassination plot. Actually, she was probably sleeping with him. Damn it, Jennifer.
In the present day, we find Cyrus holed up in his house, trying to figure out what to do, when Elizabeth North appears, wearing a proud pair of high-waisted pants, which are dirty because she legitimately crawled on the ground to sneak to Cyrus’ house. Lizzy, girl. Naturally, she wants to help Cyrus for a price. She wants chief of staff, and she’ll nab it by helping Cyrus piece all this nonsense together. We go back to debate night, where Olivia and Cyrus exchange words about how he has come to rise to a true presidential contender. But when Olivia suggests that Cyrus put himself on the ticket, he flips out. And then Olivia flips out harder because as well all know, girlfriend has officially flipped every last marble she had. After she came out of that red-doored locker room, Olivia’s been a few sips shy of a full wine glass, if you get where I’m pouring from.
In the actual Oval, Abby makes a bold move by calling Fitz out on the reality that even though the voicemail and video footage look pretty rough, the true crime is that President Grant is being manipulated by Olivia. Instead of taking the logical road, he corners Cyrus in a presidential limo and gives him the ultimatum to step down or get charged. Cyrus, disgusted, agrees to step down if Mellie does, allowing America to choose a new leader, but that would mean Olivia is out too. For a minute, it would appear that Cyrus really is innocent, but that’s when Tom appears on a phone call. I get distracted because he walks past the Columbia Heights metro stop, which is marked orange and blue line when all locals know it’s the yellow and green line, but I do listen just closely enough to hear Tom threaten Cyrus with opening his mouth. End of the day, though, that could be about anything, because it’s not like Cyrus was an angel pre-assassination.
As Huck investigates these leads on Jennifer, he finds one of her friends who might simultaneously be the most prepared and unprepared woman for an assault who’s ever existed. After Huck manages to wrangle her down, she reveals that Jennifer wasn’t just fired from the campaign but beaten in the face, forcing her to quit. That’s when we flash back to a meeting between Cyrus and Tom, where Tom offers to take care of Jennifer. Cyrus disagrees, but as all one-time killers-turned-gay lovers know, no is not an answer. So he pulls the name out of Cyrus and proceeds to chase her down. Cyrus quickly figures out that this is bad news bears, but when he tries to talk to Sexy Husband Michael about it, Michael is pretty hurt by Cyrus’ new predicament. Cyrus admits to Michael that he made a pretty big mistake, but when Michael asks if Cyrus killed Frankie Vargas, he stops Cyrus from confessing because he never wants to know. Poor Sexy Husband Michael.
NEXT: From snuggles to pistol whips
In a flashback, Cyrus and Tom meet up after Tom deals with Jennifer. Ready to celebrate, Cyrus tells Tom to take his jacket off, but our favorite one-time killer-turned-gay lover goes in a different direction with it and grabs Cyrus from behind in a ~sexual~ way, asking Cyrus is he wants it. It’s a double entendre because he’s talking about “the easy D,” but also the complicated P… which stands for presidency. The excitement doesn’t last long after the assassin sex, because when Cyrus goes to visit Vargas, we find out what that video was in regard to: Frankie found out about Jennifer’s assault and told Cyrus that he’d pay for it as soon as he became president. Cyrus immediately goes to Tom and tells him to chill it on the killing and assaulting, but remember when I told you about how Tom doesn’t take no for an answer? He legitimately doesn’t take no for an answer because boyfriend loves a good kill. Cyrus tells Tom that he’s dead to him, and Tom doesn’t take it well.
Back in the present, Michael comes in from a grocery store run where he grabbed some milk, some orange juice, and a box of rice with a gun in it. I assume it was to help get the moisture out, but I could be wrong. That night, Cyrus meets Tom in the park to discuss their issues, but mostly he really needs Tom not to talk about what happened in regard to the election. Tom woofs at him, as one does, before telling Cyrus that he’s “done being his bitch.” It’s enough to make Cyrus reach for his gun, but Tom pulls his first and tells Cyrus that he deserves to die more than anyone he’s ever killed. In short, this was a bad breakup. But Cyrus, gun pointed in his face, asks Tom if he killed Frankie… because he loved Frankie, but he never loved Tom. It’s not what I would say if my jilted lover put a gun in my mouth, but hey, do you. Tom changes his mind, though, because death is too easy, so he pistol whips Cy.
The next day, Michael (looking more dapper than ever) finds Cyrus with a big ol’ boo boo on the side of his face. He promises Cyrus that he’s not leaving him. And that’s when Cyrus jumps into a monologue about why he wants to be president and how all the kids would look up to him. Michael says that maybe they can find a way around all of this, but with that, Elizabeth North heads to the White House to accept the plea deal that Fitz offered Cyrus. The problem with that is Tom has gone and admitted to the murder of Vargas, under the order of Cyrus Beene. In doing so, it’s almost certain that Mellie Grant, HBIC of Washington D.C., will become president. The police show up at Cyrus’ house to arrest him.
But in the episode’s final moments, as “Wade in the Water” plays, Cyrus’ fate is looking bleaker than it’s ever looked before. In the midst of all that, we do get a moment of Cyrus’ decency, though. It was Frankie who chose Cyrus to be his VP choice. And Cyrus actually tried to turn it down, but Frankie insisted that he join the ticket with him. So who knows? Is Cyrus the Devil? Sure. But does the Devil even have his good days? I guess so.
Shonda Rhimes’ political drama: Sex! Murder! Olivia’s suits!