ICYMI, last week on Scandal Season 6, Cyrus Bean finally got caught for all his dirty deeds. Cyrus’ arrest and subsequent fate play out in episode 4 of Scandal Season 6. Subsequently, drink up Gladiators!
In my opinion, Scandal Season 6 far surpasses past seasons. The heightened stakes for the characters paired with the very real emotions provide us with a ground story.
The show opens up with Cyrus arriving at the prison facility. No doubt this facility will serve as Cyrus’ home both during and after his trial. First and foremost, we must discuss the chilling and very real process inmates go through once on site. Arguably, the process serves to embarrass and humiliate the inmate. Further, it strips them of all their dignity and self preservation. Consequently Cyrus appears completely broken.
Ultimately, Cyrus finds himself caught up worrying about Tom, also in the prison facility. However, Tom is currently serving his term in general population. Cyrus is imprisoned in solitary confinement. The simple nature of Cyrus locked in a cage for a walk is profound. Continuously, it highlights the inhumane treatment of prison inmates.
Elsewhere, Mellie Grant & Olivia Pope are celebrating in Olivia’s office, sharing a bottle of wine and turning up. Mellie in that very moment is a giddy little girl on the verge of being the next President of the United States. She can’t help but to celebrate. Olivia indulges her in the celebration. Olivia’s delivers a threat to her team saying “we are not there, until we’re there.” The goal is to make Mellie president plain and simple.
Regrettably across town Abby is fighting with David Rosen & Director Webster regarding the death penalty. President Fitzgerald Grant declares the death penalty will be a punishment for Cyrus. However, that does not stop Abby from convincing Rosen and Webster otherwise. Abby invokes the president’s name to impose her own wishes for Cyrus. What will Cyrus’ fate be? Rosen believes that Cyrus is not above the law and he has a great point.
I must applaud Shonda Rhimes on the witty and boastful lines Abby delivered tonight. Women should not be afraid to use their voice or their position of power. They have to stand up and speak up, even if it is not the popular thing to do!
I can always count on Elizabeth North to cheer me up with her attitude and charm. There is something endearing about a woman who does not give up what she wants. My favorite line of the night is her telling Abby she had clout “back when he [Cyrus] was not John Wilkes Booth.” It is these moments of clarity that serve the character’s purpose. The satisfaction of watching two strong women fight for what they want is quite a turn on. Even if it is fictious. Moving on, Liz has a mission to complete.
Ironically that brings the audience back to the prison. Cyrus is as shocked by the audience to see Liz sitting at the visitor’s table. She informs him that the country has “turned against” Cyrus in a “blood thirsty way.” As the conversation continues, Cyrus makes it known Tom is also in the facility, to which Liz retorts “can’t you just go by.” Cyrus, the ever so quick minx that he is, tells Liz that the prison is not an apartment complex, but indeed a jail.” All Cyrus wants is Tom recanting his statement Cyrus did not kill Senator Vargas. Cyrus begs for his freedom to Liz.
The subplot of “Who Killed Jenny” is supported by the members of Pope & Associates. Huck creepily stares at video of dead girl Jenny’s friend. He goes so far as to befriend Jenny’s friend. Huck provides excellent commentary on why they aren’t looking in to who actually killed Jenny. The Pope & Associates team theories for a while remembering they need to protect Mellie’s fragile mental state.
Tonight’s episode of Scandal Season 6, titled “The Belt” finally reveals itself. As Cyrus sits in his prison cell, his cannibalistic cell block mate reveals the last two prisoners hanged themselves with a belt. There is the reference to Cyrus’ homosexuality when the cannibal man tells Cyrus he’ll break when he can’t “bottom” anymore. It’s implied that Cyrus is usually the dominant one on top.
Secondly, Cyrus receives a tip that he needs to leverage himself with the prison guard Gerald in order to get what he wants. As we come to find out, the guard is dirty, serving as a drug mule for a gang inside the jail. Cyrus plays his hand and threatens the guard’s job security and illegal activities, all for a pen and paper. In that moment, Cyrus proclaims that he “knows a thing or two about power.” That is the Cyrus the audience is used to.
Fitz engages in pillow talk with his latest fling, the Director of the FBI. I guess we now know Fitz has a type. Director Webster lets slip that Abby invoked his name to scare them off about the death penalty. This sends Fitz into a rage. I understand that Fitz is on his way out of the office, but he has a problem keeping things professional with women who work for him.
Luckily for us, Fitz chastises Abby in front of his new fling, as well as David Rosen, a point of contention between the two exes. Secondly, Fitz lays the law down and declares Abby must stay away from the investigation. The pain in Abby’s face due to David’s betrayal is real and she won’t be so forgiving.
As a matter of fact, another unforgiving character is Michael. He visits Cyrus in prison and says they’re divorcing and Cyrus won’t have rights to their daughter anymore. Lastly, Michael whips out the letter intended for Tom and begs Cyrus to explain why. He couldn’t fathom how Cyrus could say such things to Tom, but never to him [Michael]. All Cyrus cares about is Tom.
Cyrus’ fate in the prison continues to worsen. At first Gerald appears to help Cyrus, allowing him fresh air outside, but that is all a ruse. By and large, it is revenge for threatening his job and position. Cyrus suffers a brutal and bloody beating at the hands of four inmates who were Frankie Vargas supporters.
As Cyrus comes to from his beating, Michael is sitting in his bed worried about Cyrus’ condition. In a shocking twist, Olivia is right behind Michael and appears out of the shadows. As a matter of fact, Olivia revels to Cyrus that Tom has recanted his statement. Tom lied about the whole thing. Tom lied because he was angry at Cyrus. The look on Cyrus’ face is priceless when Olivia reveals the Attorney General is dropping the charges against Cyrus. All Cyrus has to do is make Mellie his Vice President. Flash forward to his inauguration and his first appearance in the Oval Office. He takes in a breathe of air and admires his surrounds.
It is in that moment Cyrus’ reality crashes down. Mellie appears, along with portraits of feminist political icons and photos of Mellie and her family. She tells Cyrus to leave because she doesn’t want him bleeding all over her carpet.
Like The Notorious B.I.G. says “it was all a dream.”
The audience finds Cyrus laying on his back staring up at the sky as he comes to after his beating. Later on, Cyrus places a call to Olivia. She is hesitant to listen to anything he says, but she owes it to him. Cyrus once again begs and pleads that he did not kill Senator Vargas. He insists it was all Tom. He even proclaims that he is Olivia’s monster. Furthermore, Olivia makes Cyrus understand that he must pay his bill for all the crimes he has committed in the past, and needs to “be a man he can be proud of.” Olivia is tormented by the conversation and she reluctantly tells Cyrus she will always be his friend, but she will never speak to him again.
In the first shocking twist, our friends at Shondaland make us think that Cyrus is going to off himself. Instead we find Gerald strangled by the cannibal. This allows the cannibal to free himself from the cell, free Cyrus from his cell and barge in on Tom. Tom’s fate hangs in the balance as well. The image of Tom struggling for air due to the cannibal choking him and Cyrus pleading for Tom to tell him the truth is both heartbreaking and sadistic. All Cyrus wants is answers. The cannibal murders the prison guard since he couldn’t murder Tom, and in Tom’s final moments, he reveals he didn’t kill Vargas.
This leads to Pope & Associates finding photos of Tom in Atlanta on the night of the assassination. Cut to the title screen and we are left guessing who killed Senator Vargas.
Thank you Shonda Rhimes for the cliffhanger, as Scandal Season 6 returns on March 9th at 9pm EST on ABC.