What. An. Episode.
All the secrets and lies that have bound the unlikely alliance of Olivia, Mellie, Cyrus and Verna together have come unraveled. And everyone got a little more truth than they could handle in last week's Scandal.
Time to come clean.
White House Chief of Staff Cyrus finds out that his husband, reporter James, has been called to testify to a Grand Jury—because he has secretly been researching how the presidential election may have been rigged. Considering the fact that Cyrus is neck deep in the election fraud quicksand, this is a problem. In a heated exchange that began with both checking the other for a wiretap, we see the usual rock solid Cyrus at his most vulnerable. And eventually he admits it all: He stole the White House.
That revelation forces both of them to make some hard, fast choices. James has to choose whether to perjure himself and risk going to jail or tell the truth about his husband and have him locked up instead. Cyrus, on the hand, struggled for an agonizingly long time with a final decision on whether or not he should give the okay for his contract killer to murder his husband in order to prevent him from testifying. Fortunately for all involved Cyrus called off his henchman at the absolute last second. Turns out, the assassin wasn't necessary anyway—James lied through his teeth on the stand, and likely saved the alliance from federal prison in the process.
A pair of murderers
We find out early in the episode that cancer stricken Supreme Court Justice Verna is the one behind the assassination attempt on President Fitzgerald Grant. So it's a bit of a surprise when we later see the President at her hospital bedside giving her comforting words as she struggled to get enough air to fill her lungs. It would appear that the Justice's rapidly deteriorating health gave her a conscience; since this was the time she decided to come clean to Fitz:
She felt guilty. She hired an assassin to kill Fitz. It was justified because his death would mean a legitimate president would be in office and her legacy as a Supreme Court Justice would remain intact. Why isn't his presidency legitimate, again? Oh yeah…they rigged the election and everyone was in on it—including his precious Olivia.
After taking it all in, Fitz shocked the Twitterverse, blogosphere and possibly the entire Western hemisphere, when he pinned Verna's weak hands to her chest, removed the oxygen mask from her face and essentially forced her into immediate suffocation. The next time we see Verna is in a casket with Fitz looking over her giving a touching eulogy.
So much for waiting.
Fitz took Verna's assassination admission much better than he did the info about Olivia agreeing to cheat the country out of its right to elect its president of choice. Because after spending the last two episodes telling anyone who would listen about his delusional divorce plans, our good President has a change of heart.
Fitz begins this episode practically begging Olivia not to enter into a sterile marriage with her Senator boyfriend and to wait for him to divorce his despicable wife. Olivia tells him she'll think about it but we all know that means: Yes. She promptly drops Senator Never Had A Chance and prepares herself to be First Mistress until there is a First Lady vacancy.
Fast forward to Verna's funeral where Olivia see's Fitz and tells him she ready to wait for him for as long as he needs. Fitz then punches her in the gut with the news that he's changed his mind because… mistresses are only good for one thing, and it isn't marriage. Ouch.
Post funeral we see Fitz back in the Oval Office drinking and it's clear he's pretty far gone. But when his wife Mellie appears and he asks her to be his life partner again and they kiss to seal the deal…it feels like Fitz past the point of no return.
Lots of questions answered, but so many new ones to ask! Do we have to get used to dark murderous Fitz or will nice Fitz make an appearance now and again? We already know Olivia can handle living without him, but can Fitz handle living without her? Will James ever find out he was about two seconds away from being taken out by his husband? Fully expecting at least one of these to be answered Thursday night. See you then!