I’m tardy for the pordee posting this Scandal episode recap but better later than never, right? Also, you could have read my Vulture one by now. This episode was directed by the awesome Regina King. Let’s talk about it!
Michael Mischief – The Gladiators are summoned in the middle of the night, and so is Cyrus Beene. Everyone rolls into the Olivia Pope and Associates Office when Huck drags Michael (Cyrus’ paid gigolo boo) in. Dude is drunk as a skunk and Cy flips out and reminds him that the reason he is a Kept Man is to avoid all these shenanigans. Michael’s been partying like he ain’t got a fake fiancé at home, licking other men’s faces and just acting all the way up. Bad part is that it’s been caught by the press, who already have more than enough reasons to question the realness of his relationship with the White House Chief of Staff.
Cyrus is feeling awful about the idea of marrying the hoe he has tried unsuccessfully to turn into a housefiance and he already pushed back their wedding 4 times. “I can’t bother the President with my hooker troubles, Liv.” Olivia tells him that now he has to go through it for real, so she gets Mellie to stand up for him and marriage equality in the press. This is cuz it will look good for her run for Senate.
Beene thinks about the first time he got married decades before. Young Cyrus, in a bad white suit and a wig that was so bad it made me cuss. He proposed to a woman named Janet, who he told was his soulmate, and she said yes! Seriously, doe. That wig was like a chia pet chilling on his scalp. Bless that mess.
Wedding plans – Mellie is all excited to be helping Cy plan the wedding and he is not impressed. She tells him she’s just trying to help and being the King of Shade that he is, he replies with “I cannot tell the difference between you and Mother Teresa.” HA! Michael is there looking all lost and Mellie says they’ll be inviting his parents to the wedding and he lowkey panics. He doesn’t want them there but no one is tryna hear him. We flashback to the day he married Janet. One of his groomsmen asks him for the next time they’ll play “racquetball” and Cy is mad because he is gonna be a changed married man.
As if the ring was gonna turn him allaway straight. Chile…
Reward for tea – VP Sally gets on her TV show (Lawd, who gave her one?) and says she heard from a good source that Cyrus and Diamond (aka Michael. Make that money, don’t let it make you) are fraudulent dinnamug. She offers $10,000 to anyone willing to come forward with receipts so she can spill all their tea. But wayment. Did VP Sally forget that she killed her husband and Cyrus knows?
Lashing for Lizzie – Liz North is officially Mellie’s campaign manager so she tells her that she should have run the “stand up for marriage equality” thing by her first. FLOTUS reads her for poetry and lets her know that there’s only ONE boss in their relationship and her last name is Grant. OOP.
Hole in Condom – Abby’s pissed that Leo went and told Sally that Cyrus and Michael are a sham and he flips it back to her and says it’s her fault. She knows they’re on opposing sides work-wise even though they go together so why did she even give him the tea to begin with? He tells her: “You poked the hole in the condom. NOT ME.” Fact.
Up in the Closet – Back to the past, we see Wiggy Cyrus come home to find Janet sitting in their closet, drunker than spring break in Cancun. He is excited because he wants to make a run for Congress and he feels he’s finally in the place for it. However, she wants a divorce after 16 years being married to him because “I will admit about having an affair if you admit that you are gay.” AW SHIT. He can’t even reply either because truth is truth. I just love that this conversation happened while they were both in a literal closet.
Flashback to Cyrus’ wedding day to James (may he rest), the men have a heart-to-heart before their vows. James is worried that getting married to the powerful man will dwarf him and his career. “I don’t wanna be Cyrus Beene’s husband the journalist.” They share a sweet moment when Beene promises him that he will never make him compromise his integrity. HAAAAAAAAAA!!! By sweet, I mean “a gahtdamb lie.”
Doux Bébé – That day, Liv is in Cy and James’ bedroom placing rose petals on their bed when President Ghost comes in. She’s not pleased by it but he’s staying like Effie White. He asks why she quit her job at the White House and she says it’s because she cannot stand to see his tall ass everyday. I hear you, Liv. This is why I unfollow my exes on social media. EHHEHWEIGH, he puts a ring box on the bed as has the Vermont instrumental plays.
He tells her that it’s his Great-Grandmother’s ring, and he was supposed to give it to someone special but Mellie wasn’t that. WELL SHIT. Ouch. The ring is called “doux bébé” aka “Sweet Baby, and he wants her to wear it so that he knows they will be ok, no matter what situations they go through.
It’s a silent symbol of their connection to each other. Liv accepts it and they make out.
So this explains a lot of things. This is the ring that Olivia wears all the time, and is the one she took off her finger and left in Lois’ apartment when she was kidnapped. It’s the one she’s thrown at him before when she did some Ain’t Shit thing. And this ring is called Sweet Baby is a callback to the first ever episode of Scandal. It was titled “Sweet Baby” and in it, Amanda Tanner accused the President of sleeping with her. Olivia didn’t want to believe it but when Amanda told her she fell for him because he called her Sweet Baby, she had no other choice. It also explained how hurt she was by it for him to use such a sacred title they shared for his… second… mistress. Fitz REALLY ain’t shit, y’all. GOSH.
In PRESENT day, Liv goes to the Oval Office and tells Fitz she needs a favor for Cyrus. She makes her hands visible and he immediately peeps that she isn’t wearing Sweet Baby. Her petty was in full display and it works because he got that butthurt look on his face
Dinner Downer – Cyrus and Michael are at dinner with Michael’s parents and Pops is NOT pleased about the impending nuptials cuz he knows it’s a sham. He rips into his son when the cameras present start taking their pics talmbout “They’re not paying us enough to have our pics taken.” DAMB. He tells his son how much of a disgrace he is, because they tried to “fix” him when he was young but it didn’t take. Him and Papa Pope must golf together on weekends because they know how to break their children down! Michael sits there looking all dejected, and even Cy feels bad for his faux partner.
When they get back home, Michael drops some things he’s holding and when Cy tries to help him pick them up, he pushes him. Aawwww. He’s all hurt and acting out.
It’s Handled – The plan is to throw Michael under the bus so Cyrus can keep his head above water but when Liv enters the room everyone is in, she sees Cy’s face. He clearly can’t stand to put the man in anymore pain and Liv reads that instantly and calls off the plan.
Liv goes to see VP Sally, who is getting ready to interview a guest with proof of the Sham-ship of Cy and Michael. She brings some receipts herself and reminds Langston that her dead husband was actually an old client of Diamond and if she outs Beene’s relationship, she will be outing him too. AW SHIT. Sally takes this more than strong hit and has a proverbial seat on her witch hunt. She cancels the interview, and Liv, in an all white jacket, actually handles something without hurting someone else. She has not rocked all white anything all season so this was definitely a change that was good to see.
Put a Ring On It – The day of the wedding arrives and the White House lawn has been transformed. Cyrus finds Michael sitting in a room by himself, with their marriage license in front of him. The poor dude is so downtrodden, and tells Cy that this is a day he thought would be a dream but he realizes that he really has nothing to show for himself and really, no one.
“You’re wondering what this is going to look like, our life. And I could lie to you right now. That’s how both of my other marriages began: with lies. So I could lie to you right now. I could tell you there’s a chance we will warm to one another. Maybe fall in love and live happily ever after. I could lie but I won’t. We’re not going to fall in love. And… that is a relief to me because I cannot disappoint you. I cannot hurt you more than I already have. I cannot destroy your image of me or break your heart of damage your soul. You don’t believe in me so I have nothing in you to break I am on no pedestals so you see me for what I am: a filthy monster desperately trying to hold on to the last shreds of humanity. YOU are a good person. I know that. Ella could use a good person in her life. I’m nit promising much but I will promise this. I may not do it well but I will do my best to be your someone. So you’re not alone. Okay? You’re not alone.”
Stevie Wonder’s “All in Love is Fair” plays as Michael buries his head in Cyrus’ shoulder and for the first time in the entire episode, I felt feels. That moment of brutal honesty and vulnerability by Cyrus was enough to redeem the episode. Just adorable.
Michael signs the license, and the ceremony happens as the President watches and Leo and Abby giggle. Liv is in the audience, rocking light gray (ok den!) and Baby Ella makes an appearance (finally! Where has she been all this time)? After they are pronounced Husband and Husband, and everyone starts mingling, Fitz sees Liv across the garden, wearing Sweet Baby.
I appreciate that this episode definitely clarified some background things, and the Sweet Baby callback was for original Gladiators to recall. Shondaland trusts us with this stuff and I appreciate that. We find out about Cyrus’ relationship with love, which seems to always be built on lies. However, we realize that he isn’t ALL beast and there is still a heart where his ice box resides.
Maybe I’m a hopeless romantic myself, but I’m actually rooting for him and Michael to fall in love. I wonder if we’ll see his ex-wife again. What is she up to presently? Most importantly, why is Cyrus’ wig life always in shambles?
For me, this was my least favorite Scandal episode ever. It didn’t have real conflict I cared about until the end. Plus, it felt like an episode that lived in a vacuum, not necessarily tied to anything else happening. It’s a like a filler, maybe to give us a break before shit really hits the fan since Huck don snitched on B613.
Apparently on the next episode, Jake loses his mind. I really believe he’s going to die this season of the show. Let me explain. Someone major-ish has died on every season of Scandal, though. Season 1: Amanda Tanner. Season 2: Verna. Season 3: Harrison, James, Jerry. Season 4 = Jake, in my opinion. Huck can’t die because if he does, Liv loses MOST of her power (that isn’t based on talking slick). He’s too important. David will NEVER die because he is Lemony Snicket and he’d be too lucky to die. He’s also the conscience of the show a little bit, with his white hat. It ain’t gon be Quinn so it just makes sense that it’ll be Jake. Also, I don’t see where his story can go.
We shall see, doe.
Gladiators ROAR in the comments!