If you would like to read my review of the last episode, click here.
Synopsis: Cyrus faces his ultimate challenge but continues to stop at nothing to prove his innocence. Meanwhile, Olivia and the gladiators uncover shocking new evidence about the night Frankie was shot. (Scandal Wiki)
Writer: Paul William Davies
Director: Tom Verica
Running Time: 43mins
The last episode ended with Cyrus going to prison and Mellie seemingly in line to become president but since this is Scandal, things don’t usually end up the way they seem. The episode started off with him being ushered into prison, going through the usual humiliating procedure. Despite his current predicament, Cyrus continued to maintain his innocence. A lot of this episode was spent with him getting used to prison and the way it operated but being who he was, some his skills were still applicable here.
People were calling for Cyrus’ blood for what he allegedly did which meant that the death penalty was on the table but that didn’t exactly sit well with Abby. She took it upon herself to speak to Angela Webster and David Rosen on the president’s behalf, without his knowledge or permission, about taking the death penalty off the table as she believed that it would have hurt Fitz politically. Or maybe that was just the excuse she used. Fitz heard about this eventually, obviously, and was not impressed with Abby for making a decision that she was not entitled to make. He then promptly forbade her to involve herself in the Cyrus case.
Mellie was seemingly in line to become president but there were still some hurdles to overcome first. The electoral college still had to vote and the Cyrus investigation wasn’t over. Huck took it upon himself to help out one of Jennifer Fields’ friends named Meg (Phoebe Neidhardt) protect her house and teach her how to defend herself. They became very close with him being unsure about their relationship. She also asked him about Fields and how they haven’t found who killed her. Everyone just assumed it was Tom as she was merely a loose end but there did not seem to be any evidence of it and he never confessed to killing her. In order to ensure Mellie becoming president, Olivia and the gladiators had to make sure that there were no loose ends in the investigation.
Cyrus’s time in prison was interesting. He was kept in an area separate from the general population because of his high profile crime. He spent most of his time with another prisoner named Ralph Greenwald (William Duffy) who happened to eat his family but not his dog. Being isolated did not make things easier for him as he couldn’t go outside or even talk to Tom who was in a different part of the prison. He desperately wanted to get him a message to tell him how he felt but he couldn’t have access to a pen and paper. To help himself, he learned the prison bartering system and also helped another officer named Gerald Stillman (Derek Phillips) get out of a precarious situation with some other prisoners.
Thanks to Elizabeth, Cyrus got a message to Tom not before Michael seeing it first (but we didn’t). To add insult to injury, as a result, Michael wanted a divorce and to take custody of their daughter and take their house. This came as a shock to Cyrus who Michael said he would never leave. Already beaten down by this, Cyrus gets a radio and listens to a press conference by Fitz saying that the death penalty was back on the table. Already beaten down, he gets beaten even more when he was finally allowed to go outside where some Vargas supporters were waiting. This led to a great fake-out where Cyrus hallucinated having the charges dropped against him, Michael not leaving, and him becoming president with Mellie as his vice-president.
The title of the episode was “The Belt” was because regardless of how strongly Cyrus believed he was innocent or if he would survive prison, he would eventually take a belt and hang himself. The episode had another fake-out when it had us believe that Cyrus would hang himself, it was just used as an implement for him to escape his cell and get to Tom. He had Greenwald choke him but as he was choking him, Tom was trying to say that he was innocent and when the guards came to break it up, Tom admitted that he was innocent and just confessed to make Cyrus suffer. The episode then cut to Olivia and the Gladiators finding evidence confirming Tom was innocent and was paid to confess, making Cyrus innocent. But after what just happened with Cyrus’s escape and the deaths a few guards, Cyrus wasn’t really innocent.
Overall, this was another good episode that didn’t advance the season that much but it was fun to watch Cyrus in prison. It was revealed that Cyrus had nothing to do with Vargas’ death but did not offer any leads as to who was responsible. I just hope they don’t stretch this out for much longer.