“Scandal” Recap: “Fates Worse Than Death”
On Thursday’s “Scandal,” Olivia continued her war with Cyrus as flashbacks revealed Frankie’s murderer. Here are the most important things to know about “Fates Worse Than Death,” the third episode of season 6.
The show began 76 days before the presidential inauguration, with David announcing the FBI was expanding the investigation into Frankie’s death, without admitting Cyrus was their focus. Cyrus told Michael, “I’m being set up by Olivia Pope. She’s trying to frame me for murdering Frankie” to steal the presidency. He insisted, however, he “didn’t do it.” Liz offered to help him, in exchange for being named chief of staff.
A flashback showed Cyrus meeting Jennifer, who had joined the campaign as a videographer. A second flashback showed Olivia telling Cyrus he was “impressive” in the vice presidential debate, saying he’s “changed.” But he took her surprise as an insult, and they had a harsh exchange with Liv vowing to “dig” to find out how he got on the ticket. In the present, Abby told Fitz he was “wrong” for pursuing the investigation, accusing him of being “brainwashed” and “played” by Olivia.
Meeting with Cyrus, Fitz told him he could step down and in exchange get his name cleared, or the investigation can continue with him going to prison. Cyrus said he’d only withdraw if Mellie does, and ripped Fitz for Olivia’s influence over him. But then, Tom called Cyrus, blasting him for “using” him and threatening to “take everything away” from him by talking.
Looking at Jennifer’s footage, Liv concluded she and Frankie had been sleeping together, which was confirmed by one of Jennifer’s friends, who revealed she had been physically attacked over the affair. A flashback indicated Cyrus thought she would cost them the election, and Tom offered to “take care” of her. Back in the present, a panicked Cyrus told Michael, “I screwed up… I made a horrible mistake.”
The next flashback had Tom telling Cyrus, “Jennifer Fields will no longer be a problem.” He then told Cyrus that *he* should be president, not Frankie, and offered to help “take what’s yours.” Asked if he wants to be president, Cyrus confirmed he did and they hooked up. After, upon seeing an injured Jennifer, Cyrus told Frankie she was a “threat.” Frankie swore nothing happened between them, and told Cyrus, “You disgust me. The two of us are done.”
And that’s when he vowed to imprison Cyrus, saying “over my dead body will you get away with what you did,” unaware they were being filmed. Cyrus then confronted Tom for “almost killing” Jennifer, and Tom said it was part of the plot to make him president. But Cyrus warned, “You’re not to touch a hair on Frankie Vargas’ head.” Flipping out on him, he further told Tom, “You’re dead to me… It’s over.”
Back in the present, Huck tied Tom to Jennifer’s attack, and Liv wanted to see if there was evidence linking him to the assassination. Secretly armed with a gun, Cyrus met Tom in a park, apologizing for treating him badly and saying he still loves him, but needs him to keep quiet. But Tom told him, “I’m done being your bitch… Time to switch positions. I’m on top now.”
Tom snatched the gun and told him he “deserved” to die. That prompted Cyrus to conclude he killed Frankie and he admitted, “You loved me and I used you.” But Tom wouldn’t pull the trigger, saying, “There are fates much worse than death. You should know. You handed one to me, and now I get to hand it back.” And then he cold-clocked him.
The next day, a bruised Cyrus told Michael how he had grand plans for his presidency, but they were “delusions of grandeur.” In the final minutes, Liz told Fitz that Cyrus wanted to accept the offer to step down in exchange for clemency. Tom confessed to killing Frankie under Cyrus’ orders. Olivia told Mellie that the electoral college would have no choice now but to vote for her. “You are the next president of the United States,” she told her.
The episode ended with David arresting Cyrus before a flashback showed Cyrus urging Frankie to make David his running mate. And that’s when Frankie asked Cyrus to join the ticket. After accepting, he broke down in tears of joy.