This Scandal review contains spoilers.
Scandal: Season 6, Episode 3
It was another flashback ridden episode, but this time, each moment we dove back into the trying weeks before the election so as to decide whether or not Cyrus was Vargas’ killer. However, we were graced with a softer side of Cyrus—one so rarely seen as he gets so wrapped up in other people’s problems. We learned more about Cyrus’ suffocating devotion and how it may be his demise.
I definitely thought I would never enjoy a Cyrus centered episode. But by the end of the show, I found myself finally understanding Cyrus’ motives all these years.
During the entirety of the brief first season of Scandal, Shonda Rhimes set up this romantic idea of Washington DC and the allure of politics and being surrounded by intelligence and constant mystery and intrigue. (Oh, how I wish parts of it were true.) But the image was quickly tainted by the death of Amanda Tanner (Lisa Weil)—a one-time White House intern who was speculated to be having an affair with President Grant.
It was a devastating truth after immediately falling for Olitz and their forbidden love. But Shonda Rhimes quickly tainted the fantasies she had conjured up in audiences’ minds. And just who was the catalyst for such a quick and sickening diversion?
Yes, it was Cyrus’ doing that Amanda was killed (hiring good ‘ol Charlie to do his dirty work…remember that?) claiming she was a threat to Fitz’s presidency. That’s how he would justify it. That’s how he would justify it every time he did something like that, whether it was being responsible for a murder or having a woman beaten up to give her a scare.
That’s right. A majority of last night’s flashbacks explained the enlightening video we saw last week that made Cyrus’ guilt look certain. Well, the video actually showed that Vargas had just discovered Cyrus had convinced his old buddy Tom Larson (who was probably the creepiest he has ever been in last night’s episode) to rough up Vargas’ videographer, Jennifer Fields, after thinking they were having an affair.
We saw the whole of the scene in a flashback with Vargas condemning Cyrus’ actions and announcing he would fire him the moment they took office.
Once again, Cyrus’ chance at the White House was iffy and the chance of ever getting back there looking more improbable than ever. By the end of the episode, we saw Tom confessing to his crime of killing Vargas and that it was at the hands of Cyrus Beene. While it seemed for a moment that is what Cy wanted, in the end he told Tom not to harm Frankie. But obsessive Tom disobeyed his orders, tired of playing Cyrus’ “bitch” (clearly, after he started barking in a very unsettling confrontation with Cyrus in a dark park).
Cyrus clearly understood his fate and that there was finally no getting out of the mistakes he has made, even if Vargas’ death wasn’t truly his fault. When David Rosen came to arrest him at the end of the episode, Cyrus was ready for them after a rather touching goodbye with his daughter and husband.
Where you may find the most sympathy you have ever felt for this character is in the final flashback where Vargas tells Cyrus he wants him to be vice president. Cyrus’ shock and appreciation is true and he takes a moment to himself before Vargas announces the news to their campaign office. The smile and joy across Cyrus’ face—an image of true satisfaction and happiness when something you have been seeking your whole life has been granted:
A desire to be loved.
Cyrus had never felt so appreciated. Not by Fitz, Olivia, Mellie— any of these people who he tried to help in some way whether it was covering up an affair or making you a leader everyone loves, even though his methods were usually disgusting and cruel. That look on his face when he was being arrested…I finally saw a bit of hope for his character.
This is not the end of Cyrus just yet, though.
While it looks like Mellie will now be the next president of the United States, we see in a preview for next week, Cyrus on the phone with Liv telling her it wasn’t his fault.
But with Olivia’s victory with Mellie…will she care?
Until next time!