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Scandal - Fates Worse Than Death - Review: "Guilty By Past Deeds"

It’s another week with a new Scandal episode and this one was full of the kinds of twists and turns that you find only on Shondaland rollercoaster. Where last week gave us insight into what transpired during the campaign for Mellie Grant and how that past informed the present, “Fates Worse Than Death” uses the same storytelling technique but this time with Cyrus Beene as its focus.

The previous episode rounded out with Olivia presenting to Fitz (and Angela Webster) video that her team unearthed of a furious Francisco Vargas going off on Cyrus about something. Whatever the something was was unknown at the time, but it was serious enough for Vargas to promise throw Cyrus in jail over it. This current episode picks up at the very next morning and we see Cyrus soliciting the advice of his husband Michael on what tie he should wear. He is clearly nervous. With 76 days left until Inauguration Day, there is much to do and people to see. His cell phone, which is sitting atop the kitchen island, is ringing but Cyrus is not included to answer it just then. His main concern is deciding on the tie.

The phone gets to ringing again just as Michael is remarking that Cyrus seems to have come back to being more like himself since the election (and Vargas’s death). Out of frustration, Cyrus finally answers the phone. It is Abby and she is instructing him to close his windows, lock his doors, lawyer up and get himself a fixer who will speak on his behalf. She was giving him a head’s up without really giving him specifics of the shit storm that was heading his way, and she was sure to let him know that she was against the action that was on the brink.

Cyrus turns on his television right as Abby makes her way into the press briefing room. David Rosen takes to the podium with Angela close by, and he announces that the FBI is expanding their investigation into the death of Vargas. The press is perplexed by this development and want to know what this means. David says that this is merely an expansion of the ongoing investigation which will involve looking at “anyone and everyone.” When a reporter asks if that net includes Cyrus, David repeats: anyone and everyone.

At this pronouncement, Cyrus directs Michael to take Ella upstairs. (She had been sitting in the kitchen as Michael cooked.) No need for the child to hear that her father was a suspect in a murder investigation. Once Ella is out of the room, Cyrus listens to the briefing a few seconds more before grabbing his jacket to head out. Once he opens the door, he finds himself met by reporters armed with microphones and cameras.

Over at OPA, the team is supposed to be working on figuring out what it is that Vargas and Cyrus were arguing about, but they’re distracted thanks to Quinn and Charlie making googly eyes at each other. Recalling them to what it is that they are supposed to be doing, the three get back to work. Quinn had made a timeline of events and determined that Jennifer Field’s video footage doesn’t begin until October 4, which happens to be the day that Cyrus won the vice presidential debate.

Flashing back to that day, we get a very small glimpse into the debate in question and Cyrus has just scored a point on Jake who just stands there shaking his head. (BTW, this was the only scene that Jake was in in the entire episode and he said nothing. Not that you were wondering, but as as FYI, his portrayer Scott Foley directed this episode.)

Following the debate, Cyrus is heading back towards the campaign buses when he sights Vargas emerging from one of them with Jennifer in tow. They are laughing and looking mighty cozy. At least from Cyrus’s point of view. When Vargas escorts her over to introduce her and to congratulate Cyrus on a job well done, Cyrus ignores their praise to inquire as to who Jennifer is. Vargas informs him that “Jenny” is the newest member of their campaign who is fresh out of Harvard. Her area of expertise is film and visual. She will be joining them on the road as their videographer, Vargas says, and Jennifer adds that someone has to chronicle the historic run of the potential first Latino president in the nation’s history.

Cyrus looks less than enthused about the whole thing. You can already see the movie that was playing out in his head. You know the one. Olivia & Fitzgerald: The Trail.

Back to the present, Cyrus is pacing in his study with his phone to his ear, and he’s having a hard time getting someone to connect him to David Rosen. Unable to get anywhere with the person on the other line, he hangs up the phone and finds that Michael has joined him in the room. He professes to him that he is being set up by Olivia for Vargas’s murder and that she’s trying to steal the presidency from him. Cyrus says that he doesn’t intend to let that happen. He is set to make another phone call when he turns back to Michael and says that he did not kill Vargas. Michael says in response that he didn’t ask, but Michael did ask. He may not have uttered it, but it was written all over his face.

Michael exits the room and Cyrus gets back to his phone when he hears a commotion outside. Opening a side door, he finds Elizabeth North being held by two Secret Service agents. Cyrus is confused as to why she is even there. She tells him to tell them that she and he are friends. When he doesn’t immediately react, she tells him that she crawled across the lawn to get to him. The least he could do is to let her inside.

Pause. She crawled across the lawn? Whyever for?

Now inside the house, Cyrus wants to know why it is that Elizabeth is there. Ever the opportunist, Liz says that she is there to help, but Cyrus doesn’t believe that to be her real motive. Elizabeth isn’t the helping kind, he tells her. She’s a literal “snake in the grass.” He says this to her while pointing out that she has leaves in her hair. Hell, she’s even got a streak of dirt down the front of her blouse. (LOL!) Again, why was this woman slithering up to Cyrus’s back door?

Elizabeth points out that Cyrus is in some serious hot water and there is no way that he’ll be able to make his way out of it unless he has someone in his corner. Cyrus wants to know what it is that she intends to get out of this and she says that she wants to be his chief of staff. (Of course, Elizabeth wants something. When has she ever been altruistic?) Cyrus agrees to this, and then Elizabeth gets right down to the business of trying to figure out how all of this came to pass.

Flashing back to the night of the VP debates, we see Cyrus call out to Olivia who is standing outside by some vehicles. She congratulates him on his performance, and he remarks about how Jake didn’t make it easy for him, but Olivia can smell a humblebrag from a mile away. Jake wasn’t really competition. Olivia tells Cyrus that he was impressive. This leads to Cyrus telling Olivia that he misses her, a statement that lightens the mood a bit and has Olivia inviting Cyrus for a drink once the campaign is over.

They are set to part ways when something Olivia said nags at Cyrus. He turns back towards her and points out the surprise that was in her voice when she told him that he had been impressive in the debate as if she didn’t expect him to do well. Olivia replies that she meant what she said as a compliment, but Cyrus doesn’t see it that way and he wants her to explain herself. After a moment, Olivia tells him that he has changed, evolved. Cyrus registers that as meaning that Olivia no longer sees him as the “troll under the bridge.”

Olivia finally brings herself to admit that he was indeed surprised. She didn’t believe that Cyrus as a vice presidential candidate would work, but she can see now that she was wrong. Olivia adds that Cyrus has “bloomed” and then she goes on to say something about how Cyrus putting himself on the ticket may not have been a bad call after all, but Cyrus has to cut her off right there. Put himself on Frankie’s ticket?!

Pause for the cause. Stepping back to tail end of the season 5 finale, we were left with the impression that Cyrus did in fact put himself on the Vargas ticket. I even remember thinking that the move was rather brilliant after Cyrus managed to get Olivia to handle his Rowan problem for him, but Cyrus’s offense at Olivia’s statement indicates that this was a wrong assumption to had drawn, and Olivia looks as perplexed by this as I am. He didn’t put himself on the ticket? Then what in tarnation did happen?

Cyrus really is upset over this and Olivia can’t figure out what is going on at that moment. Cyrus launches into a rant about how it was that he was the one who guarded the secrets and ran the country and crafted the policies of Fitzgerald Grant while Olivia and Fitz went about “groping each other like a cheap porno” and all the while they failed to see HIM. He tells her that she can believe whatever it is that she wants about him. After all, he has his own opinions about Olivia Pope, but she should never state out loud that he placed himself on the ticket to be the vice president of the United States.

Well then. Point taken. There really was no need for the shiv to the side with the cheap porno comment though, but do carry on. The shade force was strong with that one.

Unable to accept that Cyrus didn’t do as she has for months believed of him, Olivia tells him that she is going to dig until she finds whatever it is that he used to convince Vargas to place him on the ticket. She then warns him to watch himself.

I guess that means that the invite for du Bellay’s been rescinded?

Investigating for the Good of the Country

Back to the present, we see Abby in the Oval with Fitz where she is handing him various documents that require his signature. With each one that he is done with, Abby snatches that one up and replaces it with another. She is obviously upset about something. With the very last document, she takes up that sheet with such swiftness that I’d be surprised if Fitzgerald’s signature didn’t run straight off the bottom of that page.

Abby starts a stomp towards the exit when Fitz calls out to her. Facing him now, he just waits until she says what it is that she has been obviously holding in. Abby tells him that he is wrong for opening up this investigation into Cyrus based off of some voicemail and 20 seconds of video that has been taken out of context. Fitz says that he isn’t wrong, but Abby insists that he is. His decision has already had negative effects on the stock market and caused uncertainty in the country and the world. Abby also tells him that he has allowed Olivia to convince him that his ex-Chief of Staff is a murderer. She concludes by telling him that he is being played before she finally exits.

I can understand where Abby is coming from. She isn’t wrong about the evidence against Cyrus being weak as hell. At the very least, the FBI could have investigated the new leads further without announcing it to the media. Matter of fact, they should have gone through everything with a fine tooth comb and not have rushed to bring the case to a close by forcing a confession out of McClintock. Yes Fitzgerald wanted closure to the case, but it was Abby who went about getting it and did so unethically. So I kind of roll my eyes at her for being upset about Cyrus possible railroading. Sure Olivia is running about with nothing but a dust mite as evidence, but her assertions warranted something of a real look see at minimum. What exactly did Angela and her FBI investigate outside of McClintock?

And then there is Fitzgerald. Dude doesn’t know which way is up. No matter what he does, he seems to be left holding the short end of the stick. He was doing so well with staying objective with all of this, but then Olivia happened. As usual. She tends to happen. A lot. She’s like a hurricane that you expected to be a category 2 but ends up being off the charts, leaving death and destruction in her wake.

Later that evening at OPA, the crew is watching one of the videos that Jennifer recorded of Vargas trying to come up with a message for voters, and he’s trying to sound hip by dropping “woke” and “on fleek” into his message and Jennifer is asking him to please stop.

Yes, do stop.

The banter between Vargas and Jennifer shows that they were very comfortable with each other. Olivia soon draws the same conclusion that Cyrus had during the campaign, which was that Vargas and Jennifer were sleeping together. Olivia instructs the gladiators to find out if and when Cyrus found out about the affair and what it is that he did about it.

Next day, we see Cyrus meeting up with Fitz in the presidential limo. This scene here was rather annoying because the discussion from Fitzgerald’s end is premised on the belief that Cyrus is guilty of the crime for which he is being investigated and of which he has yet to be charged. Fitz tells Cyrus that his options are thus: allow the investigation to continue to completion and then be found guilty by trial and executed for murder OR he can withdraw as the president-elect and Fitz will make the investigation go away “for the good of the country” and Cyrus will be cleared.

Cyrus can’t believe what he has just heard. Everyone thinks him to be a monster. (I mean…) The man is legitimately offended. Again! He wants Fitz to affirm his belief that it is he who killed Vargas, but Fitz says that it doesn’t matter what he thinks, but Cyrus says that it matters to him. (I think it’s safe to say that we know what Fitzgerald thinks, yeah?)

Cyrus goes on to say that if Fitz wants to make a deal, here is the deal that is on the table: if he is to pull out, Mellie is to pull out as well and the country be allowed to pick a new president. He then tells Fitz to call Olivia to see what she says to that, but Fitz says that he doesn’t need to call her. Of course not, Cyrus replies. Fitz already knows what Olivia’s answer is going to be because Olivia isn’t interested in the truth or justice or even in doing what’s right for the country. She just wants to get back into the Oval.

That’s an indictment that is difficult to argue with. It’s been a hot minute since Olivia has shown any care about what is good, let alone what is best for the country.

When Fitz tells Cyrus that the situation at hand has nothing to do with Olivia, Cyrus scoffs and asks Fitz not to insult his intelligence. He goes on to tell him that he’s not withdrawing “for the good of the country”, especially not after Fitz so generously offered it to him. Cyrus adds that he isn’t giving the country back because in Fitz’s hands, America is not safe.

Fitz has made some boneheaded decisions in his nearly 8 years in office. Why expect that to change now?

The Return of the Killer Agent

Back home, Cyrus is ranting to Michael about his meeting with Fitz and predicts that the investigation will be over by the end of the week. Soon, Michael must depart for Ella has come to get him for book time. Once they are gone, Cyrus’s phone rings and it is crazy ass Tom Larsen on the other end. Dun, dun, dun!!!

Y’all remember how the two of them left off? Cyrus ended their affair and said that he was returning to his husband. Now Tom was back and threatening to destroy Cyrus’s life. He tells Cyrus that he had been used, abused and discarded like trash. Cyrus makes a weak effort to deny that this was the case, but who the hell is he trying to fool? Tom tells him that he’s got this pain in his chest that is only relieved by the knowledge that he could blow up Cyrus’s world simply by opening his mouth.

Ut oh. And here Cyrus thought that his biggest problem was Olivia Pope.

Elsewhere in a parking garage, Huck is approaching a young woman from behind. Hearing his approach, the woman freaks out and yells at Huck to stop. Immediately does and says to her that he only wants to talk. The woman then behaves as if she is calming down but then she whips out some mace and starts to spray Huck with it while verbalizing some self-defense commands. I don’t even know why she bothers. Her movements are as coordinated as me trying to do the Riverdance.

Huck is finally able to get through to her that he isn’t there to hurt her. He knows that she was friend to Jennifer Fields. Now in her car, the woman is sharing with Huck that she had told Jennifer to never get involved with her boss, especially one who is running for president, but she said that Jennifer really liked Vargas. Everything was going well until…. Huck assumed that she was going to say until Jennifer got fired, but the friend instead pulled up a picture of a battered Jennifer on her phone. When Huck asks if Cyrus was responsible for the beating, the friend says no, that the man who did it was “much more terrifying.”

Only one guess as to who that man could possibly be.

Flashing back, we see Cyrus meeting up with Tom in some diner. Once Tom claims the seat across from him, Cyrus tells him that he is only in town for 36 hours before telling him that he misses him. Tom counters by saying that Cyrus abandoned him as soon as Cyrus was put on the ticket. At this moment, Cyrus briefly takes Tom’s hand and they stare at each other in silent communication before he pulls his hand away.

Tom tells Cyrus that he watched the debate and shares that he thought Cyrus was brilliant. He then asks if the Vargas-Beene ticket is winning and Cyrus says that they are, to which Tom says that this is good. Cyrus remarks that it’s good maybe, but that he has been here before with these candidates. Tom says that Vargas seems different and Cyrus says that Vargas is more like Fitz than he could have ever imagined. He goes on to give Tom a brief synopsis of the situation without going into details. The details, after all, are unnecessary. Tom had a front row seat to the drama that was Olivia and Fitz.

Cyrus laments that they are thisclose to a win and Jennifer is set to derail all that he has worked hard to attain. Tom is listening closely and then he volunteers to take care of the girl for Cyrus. He says that he can make her back away from the campaign, and Cyrus waves him off and says that that isn’t the reason why he called Tom there. Tom wants the girl’s name, but Cyrus stalls as he wonders if maybe there really isn’t anything there, that maybe it is merely him being paranoid. Tom silences his ramblings and again asks for the girls’ name. Cyrus eventually relents and provides him with Jennifer’s name.

Having received that bit of information, Tom shifts to another topic. He asks if they can leave the diner now for he is “pretty sure that this place is not serving what I’ve been craving for a long, long time.”

Cyrus must have the good-good in his pants with the way these mens be tripping over themselves for him. One hit and they're gone. It’s like these dudes after they’ve been with Olivia. A session has them losing what little minds they have. Teach me your ways, folks.

Flash forward to the present and Cyrus is contemplating the shit he’s in while Michael is obliviously going off in the bedroom about something offensive Ella’s teacher said to her at school about her not having what it takes to be a scientist. While he is going on, Cyrus is on the verge of a panic attack as he repeatedly says between heavy breaths that he is in trouble. Cyrus eventually makes his way out of the closet and grabs on to Michael.

When asked what the problem was, Cyrus simply utters “Tom.” Michael pulls away from Cyrus then and reminds him that when Cyrus begged him to return, he promised that there would be no more Tom. Michael is upset and Cyrus tells him that he has every right to be, but this is not the time for it. Tom is back and he isn’t going away. Michael isn’t up for dealing with this nonsense, but Cyrus won’t let him leave. He apologizes for the times that he has hurt Michael, and states that he himself isn’t a bad person. He’s just someone who has made mistakes. Cyrus then says that all that is going on now with Tom is because he made a horrible mistake.

Michael then asks of what it is that Cyrus did, but Cyrus remains mum. Michael asks if Cyrus has killed Vargas and when Cyrus is set to answer, Michael decides that he doesn’t want to know the answer.

Flashing back, Cyrus gets a knock at his hotel room door and he opens it to find Tom on the other side. The deed has been done. Jennifer won’t be a problem anymore. For a moment there, Cyrus thought that Tom had killed the poor child, but it turns out that Tom hadn’t. Relieved, Cyrus instructs Tom to take off his coat so that they can celebrate. He then says to Tom that they make an amazing team before he goes to pour them some drinks. Turned on by it all, Tom seizes Cyrus from behind and is set to make dinner out of Cyrus. (He’s a horny bastard.)

Tom proceeds to tell Cyrus that Vargas is weak, “a normal” in comparison to Cyrus who Tom considers to be exceptional. He tells Cyrus that it is Cyrus who belongs at the top of the ticket. The expression of Cyrus’s face is that of mild confusion as he says to Tom that Vargas would make a great president. That would be so only because Vargas has Cyrus, Tom says. He goes on to add that it should be Cyrus who is on top of the ticket, that he is the one who belongs on the throne. He then goes on to say that he can help Cyrus take what is his.

Okay, um, Tom? Let’s calm all that down, okay?

Cyrus laughs the whole thing off, but then he quiets down as if what Tom was saying was finally registering. Tom asks him if he wants the throne and it takes Cyrus quite some time to allow what Tom is proposing to marinate before he finally answers that he wants to be POTUS.

It All Goes Downhill From Here

Back to the present, Huck was able to lift an image of Tom from security footage in Jennifer’s neighborhood the night that she was beaten up. Charlie remarks that he matches the description that Jennifer’s friend gave, but Quinn says that Cyrus using Tom as his thug doesn’t prove that he killed Vargas. Olivia says that it does if they can prove that Tom was in Philadelphia the night that Vargas was shot, and she instructs the team to track down where Tom was that night.

Flashing to the past, Cyrus has been summoned by Vargas. When he walks into Vargas’s hotel room, he finds that he is there with Jennifer and she has been severely beaten. Upon seeing Cyrus, she says to him that she merely came to pick up her camera and nothing more. Vargas excuses her from the room and as she makes for the door, she does her best to not come in contact with Cyrus at all.

Once she is gone, Vargas turns to Cyrus with a mask of anger on his face. Cyrus begins to explain himself by stating that Jennifer was a threat to Vargas’s candidacy and everything that they had worked for. Cyrus says that he saw the two of them together and knew how the story was going to end, but Vargas has no idea what it is that Cyrus is talking about. Vargas tells Cyrus that he is a man who is happily married and who is in love with his wife. Nothing was happening and never was going to happen between himself and Jennifer. Shocked by how wrong he was, Cyrus stands there dumbfounded. He has screwed this one up big time.

Vargas tells him that their partnership is over. Cyrus shakes out of his momentary stupor to plead his case, but no explanation will due for Vargas. He considers what Cyrus did to be vile and inexcusable. Vargas tells him that his first order of business once he is elected president is to toss Cyrus in jail. “Over my dead body will you get away with what you did.” Welp.

So now we know what it was that the two of them were arguing over. And we also see that Jennifer’s camera is recording the exchange. Why did she press record before leaving the room?

Later, Cyrus is seen chewing out Tom for how he had beat up Jennifer. Tom is unrepentant as he replies that the woman was a threat to Cyrus’s presidency. Cyrus is like, whah? (LOL!) He goes on to say that all Tom was supposed to do was scare her off, but Tom again repeats that the girl was a threat specifically to Cyrus and adds that Vargas is nothing but a vehicle. What was most important was getting Vargas to election night and then they can move on to the final part of their plan.

When Tom refers to Cyrus as “President Beene” and proceeds to caress his tie, Cyrus flips out and orders Tom to look at him before he tells his psycho henchman/lover that he is not to touch a hair on Vargas’s head. He asks Tom if he understands and Tom offers mock agreement in response, and then he says that he gets what Cyrus is trying to do.

The thing is, Tom actually isn’t getting it. He still thinks that Cyrus has some diabolical plan in store, and this sends Cyrus’s blood pressure skyrocketing as he yells about no one listening to him. Cyrus makes it clear to Tom that he isn’t pretending or conspiring. He really means that Tom is not to harm Vargas in any way. Tom at first appears flummoxed by this. Cyrus really doesn’t want his help. Worse yet, Cyrus tells him that he doesn’t even want HIM, that Tom is dead to him.

I don’t even know how it is that Cyrus didn’t foresee this alliance of his with the Price of Darkness going sideways. Tom is one fruit short of the basket and there is just no telling what he’ll do to exact revenge for being dumped yet again.

Can I just interject here for a second to state how absolutely brilliant both Jeff Perry (Cyrus) and Brian Letscher (Tom) are in these scenes? I don’t know what inspired Shonda to take this dark turn with the Tom character, but it really has allowed us to see what a talent Brian is as an actor. Bravo to them!

Desperate Times Call For Desperate Measures

In present day, Michael has made his way through a throng of reporters and into the house with a bag of groceries. In the kitchen, Cyrus is sitting at the island while Michael is unusually careful with the unpacking of the bag. We soon learn why that is when he sets a box of brown rice in front of Cyrus. From within it, Cyrus pulls out a gun! What in the samhill…

Later that evening, Cyrus is sitting at a table in the park at night. He has taped his newly acquired gun to the underside of the table and he is sitting in wait for his guest. Tom soon arrives and when he does, Cyrus has a hard time getting his words out as he invites Tom to have a seat with him. If ever there was a clear sign that Cyrus was up to something…

Tom holds back for a little bit before relenting and claiming the seat across from Cyrus. Cyrus starts off with stuff about how he knows he has done Tom wrong, but Tom doesn’t want to hear any of that. He wants to know what it is that Cyrus wants. Cyrus tries to coax Tom into keeping their relationship a secret by taking responsibility for the misunderstanding between them regarding Vargas. Cyrus says that he had been in love with Tom (LOL….lies!) and that he loves him still (total, everlasting lies!!), and then adds that despite Tom’s anger, he hopes that Tom can recognize this.

Tom doesn’t offer an immediate response, and when Cyrus asks if Tom knew that he had loved him throughout everything, Tom gets to barking. Like a gatdamn dog. Literally. Ruff, ruff.

Cyrus is startled by this behavior, but he remains seated. If it had been me, I’d have stopped, dropped and rolled TF out of that mickey flick with Tom woofing at me like a madman. No, ma’am.

Tom accuses Cyrus of thinking him a dog who will just come running whenever called and who gets “sent to the doghouse whenever master wants to invite his fancy friends over.” Cyrus begins to offer a denial of this, but Tom cuts him off by saying that it is now his turn to talk. Tom saying that what Cyrus is doing now is attempting to put him back on a leash, and Tom tells him that he is done being his bitch. Boom.

“Time to switch positions. I’m on top now.” -- Tom Larsen

Double entendre much?

At that moment, Cyrus clumsily reaches for the gun, but Tom was faster. He knew that the gun was there. Tom asks Cyrus if he really believed that he could outsmart a trained B613 agent. He then adds that this is yet another display of Cyrus’s “arrogance and total disregard for anyone who didn’t go to [his] schools or get into [his] clubs.” (Dang. This sounds almost like something Jake could say to Olivia, but I digress.)

Cyrus pleads with Tom to put down the gun, but no dice. Tom tells Cyrus that he deserves to die more than anyone he has ever killed. He then cocks the gun and directs it right at Cyrus’s head! Eek!

Shaking somewhat now, Cyrus asks Tom if he is the one who killed Vargas for him. He goes on to say that he begged Tom not to do it, but that he should have known that Tom would do it anyway in order to get Cyrus into the Oval. Cyrus admits to Tom that he had loved Vargas, but that he never loved Tom. (Duh!) He admits to using Tom despite the fact that Tom loved him.

Tom at this point stands up with the gun pointed directly at Cyrus. He is instructs Cyrus to open and mouth, and why Cyrus does, Tom places the muzzle of the gun inside. Tom goes on to verbalize all the reasons why killing Cyrus in such a manner is not ideal and would likely not provide him with the desired outcome anyway. He then withdraws the gun and says to Cyrus that there are “fates worse than death”, adding that Cyrus handed one to him and now he gets to hand it back to Cyrus. Then Tom pistol whips him.

It’s All Over

The next morning, Cyrus is sitting on the floor in his study with one side of his face bruised from the gun to the face when Michael comes in to coax him into having some breakfast. Cyrus refuses the offer, citing that he doesn’t want their daughter to see him in his present state. Michael comes further into the room and takes a seat next to Cyrus on the floor and says to him that he doesn’t intend to leave him. (Awww.)

Cyrus starts to go on about how he had started envisioning what it is that he’d do once he became president. He saw himself as president who would have been transformational. He was going to tackle everything during his first 100 days and succeed in making FDR looking like amateur hour. Families would have his picture hung up in their homes and kids would look at him and say that they wanted to be just like him, and such aspirations wouldn’t be limited to the gay kids. Cyrus laughs at the absurdity of those visions and refers to them as “delusions of grandeur”. Michael tells him that they can still beat this, but you can tell that Cyrus knows better.

Over at the Oval, we see Charlotte announce Elizabeth North who has come to speak with the President. She has come to let Fitz know that Cyrus would like to take the deal offered of him stepping down as President-elect in exchange for clemency if the deal is still on the table. From Fitz’s body language, Elizabeth is able to decipher that something has taken that offer off of the table.

Oh boy.

Taking a few steps back, we see Fitz with Abby and Angela looking through a one way mirror. Someone has come forward to say that they received direct orders from Cyrus to kill Frankie Vargas. Who is this person? Thomas freakin’ Larsen. As I said, Cyrus should have anticipated this man’s level of crazy.

Next we see Olivia delivering the latest development to Mellie. Tom confessed to killing Vargas and will testify that Cyrus made him do it. She tells her that the FBI are on their way to pick up Cyrus as they speak, so with Cyrus out of the way, that means that the electoral college will have no choice but to vote for Mellie. And you know what that means, boys and girls. It means that Mellie will become the next president.

LMAO! Chile bye. I’ve watched enough Scandal to know that y’all are celebrating a little too soon and that something is going to come out down the line to turn this mess upside down AGAIN. Y’all just go’n and sit down by the side and cool your heels.

Secondly, why would anyone want to win an election this way? A win because the competition was eliminated? Olivia and Fitzgerald of all people should really know better than to accept this confession at face value. Haven’t we been down this road before with Tom Larsen?

Someone among all of these people ought to stop and think about this for a second. Tom has confessed in the past to having killed an innocent at the behest of someone else before and that later turned out to be a lie. Remember that business where he claimed Jake ordered him to kill Fitz’s son Jerry when it had really been Rowan? How many want to bet that Rowan has his hands tangled all up and through this one, too?

From what we’ve been presented thus far, Cyrus did not order Vargas killed. Hell, we don’t even know if Tom actually had anything to do with it himself, but given his level of crazy, I wouldn’t put it past him.

In the closing scenes of the episode, Cyrus is seen kissing Michael and Ella goodbye before Michael proceeds to carry Ella upstairs. He is ready when David arrives with agents to come take him away. He is read his Miranda rights as he is being searched. Cyrus looks like someone who is having an outer body experience as he dazedly glances about his home.

Flashing back to the campaign once last time, we see Cyrus entering the campaign office with Vargas who is saying that he isn’t convinced about going with David Rosen as his running mate. Cyrus is trying his best to make Vargas see that David is a solid choice, but Vargas is uncomfortable with the choice despite whatever positives Cyrus presents to him about David. Vargas says that he doesn’t know the man and he doesn’t trust him. Cyrus then says that Vargas knows and trusts him, right? When Vargas agrees, Cyrus then says that Vargas should then know that he won’t steer him wrong.

It is in this moment that Vargas has an epiphany. A thought is rolling about in his head as Cyrus tells him that they are out of options and that there is no time to vet anybody else. Vargas then drops a bomb on Cyrus and says that they may not have to bother vetting anyone else because he knows all that he needs to about the man that he wants as his vice president and that that person is Cyrus. Whoa.

Cyrus looks at Vargas like he has lost his mind and wonders aloud if he is serious. When Vargas confirms that he is serious, Cyrus’s initial reaction is to reject it. He tells Vargas that he isn’t a politician and he’s not a good guy. Vargas feels that they balance each other out and he appreciates Cyrus’s honesty. No is not a response that he is going to accept from Cyrus. He and America needs Cyrus.

Eventually Cyrus relents and accepts the offer. Vargas wants them to go out and make the decision official, but Cyrus wishes to have a moment, and when Vargas proceeds out of the office, Cyrus sits and gives in to his emotions.

Recall Cyrus’s remarks to Olivia during their run-in after the VP debate about how no one on the Grant administration had bothered to see him. Now imagine how Cyrus must felt when Vargas asked him to be part of his ticket. Go back again to how incensed he was that Olivia believed that he had somehow manipulated his way onto the ticket. That accusation was essentially her telling him that she didn’t believe him worthy enough to be on any presidential ticket. Meanwhile, the man he was running with saw within Cyrus what the people he had toiled with for years did not. That mess had to have stung.

When you take all of that and place it within the context of what’s happening in the present with him, you can understand Cyrus’s disappointment in Olivia and in Fitz, but at the same time, he can’t blame them for the image that they have of him. He did earn that reputation. He has indeed changed (to an extent), but how can they know that when they’ve been MIA from each other’s lives for some time now?

Besides, this situation is an ugliness of Cyrus’s own making. No matter how well-intentioned, he did bring this upon himself. The question now is how is he going to get out of it? Will Olivia be willing to don the white hat once again in order to find out the truth? Will she prove him wrong and show that she is still all about truth and justice?

How in the world is this going to shake out for the White House when the real mastermind behind all of this is revealed? Is Fitzgerald’s legacy about to be blown to bits because of this?

What do you think is set to happen? Share your thoughts below in the comment section or @ me on Twitter.

This is it for the recap/review of Scandal episode 603. Thank you all for reading and see you next week!

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