Scandal S7 Ep13: Air Force Two

Thursday night’s episode of Scandal worked to ingrain an idea that we’ve been beaten over the head with for the past few seasons. Actually, since the start of the show- Cyrus Beene is not a good man. However, in light of Scandal being over forever in about a month and a half, perhaps Scandal is leaning headfirst into the dark places Cyrus will go for power. It leads me to speculate that Cyrus is our new Big Bad for the rest of the show. But I’m still wondering- is this where we are headed?

But here’s a quick summary:

Plot wise, this episode centered around an apparent terrorist hijacking of Air Force Two, or as Cyrus essentially describes it, the low rent version of Air Force One. The people we care about aboard this flying disaster are Cyrus and David Rosen- the latter of whom is suspected of wanting to propose to Abby later at a fancy dinner (spoiler alert: he’s not. Because he knows her. Aw). The episode starts with some obvious tension between Cyrus and Jake, as Jake takes Cyrus’ spot at a luncheon of what appears to be of some importance to Cyrus because it is his opportunity to tell some fire jokes and “inspire memes” while forging his path to the White House after Mellie. Cyrus is then sent to a different event of apparently less importance, which is what ends him up aboard the high jacked plane, headed back towards DC to act as a missile. In the end, QPA ends up stopping the plane at the very last second, and Mellie conveniently decides not to have her own missiles strike it down before it gets close.

Here’s what you are all thinking: But where is Olivia?

Olivia spends this day with her mother, Maya, for Maya’s “birthday”. Maya, as usual, emotionally decimates her daughter, and shames her for trying to spend time with her while Maya has been locked up in this honestly good-looking bunker. She begs Olivia to “get [her] one of those fancy coats” that Olivia wears, and get her a plane ticket to Paris. Later, Olivia grants Maya her wish, leaving Maya looking shocked and hurt. Apparently, this is not what Maya really wanted. But, Olivia does not send her mother away before figuring out that- surprise! – Cyrus set up the terrorist highjacking of the plane by himself in order to look like a hero and get to the White House, and therefore stop Jake in his journey to beat him there. The kicker? Cyrus creepily tells Liv that he’s never been much of a waiter- he’s not going to wait the four years until Mellie gets done with her first term. What does that mean? You’ve got me.

Here’s what you need to know:

This episode put Olivia in a place that we’ve never seen her before- the sidelines. Although the preview for next week’s shows Liv telling everyone she can think of to help about Cyrus’ sinister plans, it cannot come soon enough. Olivia works best when she is at the center of the action, not watching it unfold. This episode did well to set up that Cyrus has big plans to take down this White House, but I’m not sure if it was needed to this extent. We already know Cyrus is an awful human Beene (sorry). Here’s a very incomplete list of all of the vile shit he has done: In season one he got Amanda Tanner killed, later sent his husband in to sleep with Sally Langston’s husband without telling him, and essentially orchestrated the whole arc of Frankie Vargas getting killed by prompting his wife to do it, among other things. Clearly, he’s terrible. My point is, because I knew all of this, I knew right away that Cyrus was behind hijacking his own plane. It was clear to me as soon as the whole ordeal began, and became even clearer when he started spouting that patriotic bullshit, and I almost admired him when it became broadcasted live on news networks by a reporter. As I said earlier, I kind of hope this sets Cyrus up to be the main conflict for the next few episodes because otherwise, it was a complete waste of time. I’m all for showing how destroyed Olivia’s character had become, only because it shows development. Olivia was not always like this, but Cyrus has. Since the very beginning.

Stray Observations & Wonderings

  • How did Cyrus know that Jake was going to take his spot at the joke-telling luncheon?
  • And why does Jake always act like a freaking robot now? Such a waste of a great face. Hopefully he is redeemed by the end of the show.
  • Maya Pope (Khandi Alexander) always delivers amazing quotes and moments.
    • The previously mentioned coat quote- “Get me one of those fancy coats you be wearing”
    • When she tells Olivia she always acted surprised about her birthday because she actually had no idea when her birthday was because she’s a ~super spy~.
    • When she tells Olivia that – sike – it’s actually her birthday.
    • The heartbroken look on her face when Olivia gives her what she claimed she wanted. Looks like Mama Pope really might just have wanted to be with Olivia after all.

Forecast

Although the “Cyrus is a VERY bad person” trope has definitely been overused, I enjoyed this episode more than others this season. The confrontation between Olivia and Cyrus at the end made it all worth it, and I’m definitely curious as to what Cyrus will do to get rid of Mellie. Scandal? Murder? Who knows.

Next week looks better, as Olivia is finally integrated back into the fold, although definitely not in a welcoming fashion. But things are looking up. I’m seeing sun peeking through clouds in DC.

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