delivers the shock and awe that it had been teasing all week in "No Sun on the Horizon," and leaves a cliffhanger which raises many questions. The action's all in the second half, and it might take awhile to fully comprehend what happened.
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Sally's About to Break
The first presidential debate is coming up, and Sally's off her rocker, ranting about "crispy piggy" and generally spewing about bacon. She's forced to find God again, and what she realizes she needs to do is tell the truth -- and what better platform than the presidential debate?
This gets Cyrus scrambling, and it shouldn't be surprising that his answer is to kill. He's rudely (but awesomely) turned down by Jake (who called Cyrus a mouse) to kill Sally because he doesn't want to get in the way of petty White House drama. And Charlie has received orders from his boss (Jake of course) that he can no longer freelance.
On top of that, David Rosen tells Olivia everything. Cyrus' admittance shakes her because it's going down the rabbit hole again, after wanting to do it differently this time. There's a funny moment for Olivia when she bursts out laughing when nicknaming the presidential debate "murderer's row."
Olivia tells Fitz what she knows, since they promised not to keep things from each other again. Also, she wants him to throw the debate so Sally gets the momentum, thus not spilling the beans.
The Moment of Truth
Fitz isn't willing to just purposefully lose a debate, especially since he's been on a roll during mock debates.
After first, unwilling to want to kill Sally for the good of the republic, Jake has a change of heart and orders the Secret Service guy, Tom, who seems to be everywhere now, to assassinate Sally during the debate if she goes off script.
This is serious craziness going on. Sally is gulping down her water, fidgeting and seeming unsure and unable to be coherent the way she should be in front of America. Tom is at the ready, with finger on the trigger when it looks like Sally is going to admit her mortal sin.
But Fitz saves the day! He makes a joke involving Sally and the Bible, and it's like the veil/haze lifts off the vice president, and she throws it back to Fitz: his infidelity, the economy, the dismal job report.
And everyone watching backstage breathes a sigh of relief. Welcome back, Sally.
The Act is Up
With Leo in Cyrus' office talking about his political woody during the debate over what had been pulled off, he says he doesn't know how Cyrus can stand the buzzing in his office. And that predictably leads to Cyrus finding the bug in his family photo, and thus the true identity of the White House mole.
Enraged and betrayed, he confronts James about it, and at this point, I'm really expecting Cyrus to kill his husband. Instead, Cyrus gives himself up. He admits to using his husband and apologizes for it. He's not going to hide behind his actions. He loves James -- and that's all that James needed to hear as he meets with David Rosen, who invited him out to go over the case he's putting together against Sally.
James tells David he doesn't want to be involved anymore because he realizes that all he wanted from Cyrus was an apology. Cue eye roll. Seriously, James?
This Changes Everything
While this is happening, we get glimpses what appears to be Jake bringing someone into B613, only we never see the person he's talking to. Who is it? Who's been recruited?
While James, David, the reporter and the woman who leaked the Cyrus-Sally call come together in an outdoor meeting at night, they realize they were falsely led to believe the other person had called this meeting, not knowing that they were lured.
Immediately, the women are shot, and the shooter comes into focus, holding the gun and aiming it at James and David.
Jake! Jake is carrying out the killings, and before the screen fades to black, one final shot is taken. Who was shot? Was it Rosen or James? Will they both be shot? Neither? Why is Jake doing the killings when he's command? What happened to Olivia's mom, who was shown still in Washington at the end of the last episode?
All episode long, we were led to sympathize for Jake with his scenes with Olivia and the feel the sense of aloneness he expressed in the B613 recruiting scene, and now he does this?
Scandal airs at 10pm Thursdays on ABC.
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