Gladiators! Are you recovering from last week’s episode of Scandal Season 6? There are always more questions than answers and I’m ready to dive in! Whose “fates” are worse than death on tonight’s episode of Scandal Season 6.
When we last left off last week, Olivia had convinced President Fitzgerald Grant to go after Cyrus Bean for the murder of Senator Frankie Vargas. Would tonight prove to be Cyrus’ downfall?
The show opens with a countdown from 80 to 76 days left until the inauguration of President-Elect Cyrus. The camera pans out to Cyrus and his prostitute turned husband Michael playing house with their daughter basking in their happiness. Unfortunately for them, the ringing phone calls are from Abby Whelan, letting him know he needs to hide due to the bombshell news. Cut to the White House Press Room and a room filled of journalists and David Rosen at the podium. He is announcing that the investigation into the murder of Senator Vargas is being opened wider and Cyrus is a person of interest.
The audience is transported back to the night of October 4th, the night of the Vice Presidential Debates. This night finds Cyrus outperforming his opponent Jake Ballard. As Cyrus comes out from the debates, whether it be his paranoia or his deja vu feelings, he is not happy with what he sees. Cyrus spots Vargas with the yet to be murdered Jennifer Fields. She is introduced as the new campaign videographer, much to the chagrin of Cyrus. Nonetheless, Cyrus welcomes her to the team.
Meanwhile back at the home of Cyrus and his blissful doting prostitute husband, Cyrus is freaking out. He is professing his feelings that he is being set up by Olivia and that she is stealing the presidency. He is insistent that he did not kill Vargas when he is interupted by the presence of Elizabeth North and his security detail.
Liz is back and she wants in on Cyrus’ presidency. It was appropriate that Liz was caught in the grass and Cyrus called her a real life “snake in the grass.” She lets him know that only she can get him what he wants and advocate for him. Cyrus promises her the position of Chief of Staff as long as she holds up her end of the bargain.
The timeline jumps back to October 4th and Cyrus and Olivia meetface to face. As sweet as it was to see Cyrus genuinely share that he missed his old friend, it wasn’t received the same way. Olivia knows how to get under people’s skin. She compliments Cyrus and shares she is impressed with his performance at the debate. She uses the words “changed, evolved, grown” in a demanding context to describe present day Cyrus. Olivia sticks her foot in her mouth stating Cyrus put himself on the ticket. Cyrus gives an impassioned speech about his hard work, but it falls on deaf ears. Before they depart, Olivia warns him yet again that she will “dig until she finds something.”
Arguably one of the biggest divides this seasons is between those who believe Cyrus killed Vargas, and the few who don’t. Abby’s hostility towards Fitz is never more present than when she is fuming about his position on Cyrus. She can’t believe that Fitz “allowed is ex-mistress to brainwash him” into her plan to bring down Cyrus. Cut to Cyrus taking back alley (there is a lot of double entendre in this episode) meetings with Fitz. Fitz presents Cyrus with an ultimatum of either being prosecuted and executed for the murder, or stepping down, handing Mellie the presidency and the investigation to go away. Cyrus, the ever quick political machine that he is, is astonished by the offer and presents his own offer. He tells Fitz that he will step down as long as Mellie also steps down, allowing America to pick their new president.
The passionate and homoerotic scenes between Cyrus and his former henchman and lover Tom are front and center tonight on Scandal. The audience is accustomed to the romances of the straight characters, however tonight’s twisted love story was refreshing. Furthermore, the portrayal of Cyrus as a desperate, power hungry weasel is far more fascinating than his normal character beat. Tom expresses to Cyrus that he feels used, that Cyrus tossed him aside and he is going to end it. He tells Cyrus that he will take everything away from him.
At this point, Huck is stalking another random female in public, of course for the greater good. I don’t know how well the failure of the woman’s attempts at self defense helped women’s defense classes, but it was the thought that counted. It turns out she was friends with the dead girl, Jennifer Fields. She whips out a photo of Jennifer with bruises on her face. The camera pans in closer and she reveals it was a larger, more imposing man who did that to Jennifer.
Once again, we find Tom & Cyrus meeting, this time in a flashback. The gist of the conversation is Jennifer Fields is a problem, and he needs her handled. He sees that Fitz and Vargas are very similar in the sense they can’t stay away from attractive staffers. There is a very homoerotic undertone and innuendo when Tom comes on to Cyrus. “This place is not serving what I’ve been craving all this time.”
After watching Cyrus have a complete panic attack, he admits to Michael, a known prostitute and overall awful human being, that he is in trouble. He stares at Michael in silence when he’s asked if he murdered Vargas.
Once again the aggressive, sexually frustrated relationship between Tom & Cyrus is displayed. Their meeting in a private hotel room is both ego boosting for Cyrus, propping him up as a “king” while Tom is behind him. Tom is whispering to Cyrus asking him “do you want it” as they are both attempting to undress one another. Unfortunately for Tom & Cyrus, their love story comes to an end in a private meeting at a park at night. Back and forth they go about their past intentions and Tom pulls out the gun Cyrus had on him. Again, Tom very sexually shoves the gun in Cyrus’s mouth. He tells him that he could permanently damage him and make him suffer, instead of taking his life. Instead, he pulls out (wink wink) and pistol whips Cyrus before he leaves for good.
Side note, I thoroughly enjoyed the fact Michael brought home a gun in a box of rice. Let’s hope that in Trump’s America that is not how guns can be purchased legally. Only on Scandal.
As the audience comes to find out, the altercation between Vargas and Cyrus in the video is due to what happened to Jennifer Fields. Vargas exclaims he is a happily married man and that Cyrus disgusts him. He tells Cyrus he is disgusted by him and that he is done with him. Little do they know that the camera has been recording the whole time.
The show comes to a conclusion when Cyrus is at home with Michael after being pistol whipped by his former lover. Cyrus is sharing his plans for his first 100 days as President of the United States of America. Regrettably, these would all be illusions of grandeur because David Rosen and federal agents come to the house.
Elizabeth North pays President Grant a visit on behalf of Cyrus to ask if the clemency deal is on the table. Fitz does not answer because the camera pans to Tom in a facility having confessed to the murder. Furthemore, he shares that it was under direct orders of Cyrus Bean. Meanwhile, Olivia shares with Mellie that Cyrus is currently under arrest and she is going to be the next president.
Scandal ends with Vargas revealing that he knew all along that Cyrus would be his pick for Vice President.
How about that ending for a cliffhanger? What do we think will happen next week Gladiators? Come back next week to Gossip & Gab to find out!
Scandal Season 6 airs every Thursday at 9pm EST on ABC!