Scandal – The Belt
By: Jamie Steinberg
Cyrus Beene (Jeff Perry) has finally fallen. He is being fingerprinted and having his mugshot taken. “Bend over. Spread ‘em,” the guard tells him. His husband (Matthew Del Negro) comes to visit and says he is filing for divorce and sole custody of their daughter. Yikes! Meanwhile, as Cyrus is facing his worst fears, Mellie (Bellamy Young) and Olivia (Kerry Washington) are having a dance party to celebrate the possible presidential victory. “I didn’t know the leader of the free world was supposed to twerk,” Quinn (Katie Lowes) remarks. Hey, she’s earned it after this election!
At the White House, David Rosen (Joshua Malina) is arguing with Abby (Darby Stanchfield) over the death penalty. Rosen thinks Cyrus deserves to meet his maker while Abby thinks the President would not want to see his former Chief of Staff being tried and executed. Come on, Abby! If he killed the President-Elect don’t you think the entire world would want to see the death penalty on the table?!
Back at the prison, Cyrus is trying to convince the prison guard (Danny Belford) to get him paper and pen. Cyrus saw Tom (Brian Letscher) in the prison and thinks sending him a message will help save his life. Oh Cy! Your powers of persuasion don’t work behind bars. In fact, Cyrus draws attention from another prisoner who offers to get him a belt – to hang himself!
Elizabeth (Portia de Rossi) meets with Abby to talk strategy, but Lizzie isn’t here for it. “I worked for him, back when he wasn’t John Wilkes Booth.” So, it seems she isn’t going to help Abby with her mission. In fact, when she goes to see Cyrus in prison she too isn’t willing to pass along a love note to Tom on his behalf.
Huck (Guillermo Diaz) has an epiphany at Pope and Associates. He realizes that Tom confessed to killing shooting Vargas, but not to the murder of Jennifer Fields. If he confessed to killing the President Elect, then what would have gain by not confessing to Jennifer’s death? Hmm.
While Cyrus is fighting for his life, Fitz (Tony Goldwyn) is rolling around in the sheets with the new head of the FBI – an African American woman named Angela. Clearly, Fitz has a type. Their romantic rendezvous is interrupted by the news that Cyrus might not get the death penalty after all. Fitz leaves the sheets to meet with Abby. He wants the death penalty for Cyrus and isn’t pleased that Abby tried to fight on his behalf, without consulting him, against it.
Back at the prison, Cyrus is lead outside at night by his new favorite guard. The guard locks the door on a confused Cyrus who quickly learns that he is about to get beat down by Vargas supporters on the inside. As you would imagine, things don’t go well and Cyrus gets what has been coming to him. So much so that we begin to cut to a scene of Cyrus in the hospital where Olivia has visited to tell him that he has been found innocent and is actually officially the new President. Huh? We see him being sworn in and finally he gets the coveted title of President of the United States. Wait a minute…Yep, it is a hallucination. We see Cyrus laying on his back in the prison yard while sirens announce an issue.
Cyrus is back in his cell and uses the phone to make a collect call to Olivia to plead his innocence. “I told him not to hurt a hair on his head,” Cyrus pleads. “You know me, Liv. I’m a monster. I’m your monster,” he whines. “Stop being a monster and be a man – a man you can be proud of,” Olivia retorts. A resigned Cyrus asks his new favorite guard for his belt.
Huck has spent all episode with a woman who worked on the Vargas campaign. He is helping to protect her and begins to teach her how to defend herself should someone approach her. The two have seemed to share some chemistry the whole time when she finally asks Huck if this is just a job for him or if they have something between them. The two then begin to kiss.
We return to Cyrus in his cell who distracts his guard pal so that a nearby inmate can take his belt and strangle the guard. Cyrus uses the guard’s keys to enter Tom’s cell. Cyrus’ new friend uses the belt to also strangle Tom. “You were a good boy, but it’s time for me to handle my mistakes. Time to pay my bill. Time to be a man,” Cyrus quips. It turns out though that just as this as happening, Olivia learns that Tom couldn’t have been the person who shot Vargas! In fact, Tom even remarks, “If I die, nobody will hear the truth. I just wanted to see you suffer.” He’s innocent! So, if Tom is innocent does that mean Cyrus is absolutely innocent?