It may not have been "Dog-Whistle Politics," but Scandal Season 5 Episode 5 changed the game for Fitz and Olivia. Now that Cyrus Beene is back in the White House, like there was ever any way he would never return, things are bound to get more interesting.
For one, Liz North is out, and she's not the kind of woman to take that sort of thing well. Secondly, Cyrus might have thrown himself on the grenade in the past, but his finger is still on the pin this time.
You can't just make a deal with the Devil, Fitz, but then again the Devil you know is better than the one you don't, so mazel tov.
Cyrus Beene, for all of his bravado and political maneuvering and manipulating, was genuinely scorned by Fitz' rebuffing last week. Tonight the idea that Cyrus sees Fitz as a child, his child, was continued.
Throughout their tenure together, Cyrus has watched and recorded Fitz' every move. He is able to anticipate Fitz' needs long before Fitz is able to know what he needs for himself. It was, admittedly, slightly obsessive. (Okay, a LOT obsessive.) But it's not outside the realm of possibility for someone as dedicated to Fitz as Cyrus Beene was and is.
It all goes back to the idea that Cyrus is not the man who gets elected. He's the man who stands beside the man who gets elected. He's power-adjacent, and he's happy that way. He's happy in the shadows, but he wants to be acknowledged by the man casting that shadow.
Fitz did that, and then some, by remembering one moment about Cyrus' life to rival the many, many moments Cy remembers about his. In doing so, Fitz earned himself a trusted adviser (more trusted than Liz North) and someone to help save his Presidency by lying with him about West Angola.
I'm glad these two have made up, even if I'm not entirely sold on the idea that Cyrus won't be secretly working for Mellie somehow. I know I'm often accused of having a soft spot for her, but people just keep bailing on her and she keeps getting fired from things, and most of what's happening to her right now isn't because of anything she's done directly.
Some could, and probably will, argue that she's brought all of this on herself because she married Fitz in the first place, but that's a little...whacky. She had no way to foresee that any of this would be her life any more than the rest of us.
That's why they say hindsight is 20/20, you know?
Olivia certainly recognized that tonight, and said as much to the entirety of the American people. The thing about hindsight is that even if we can see clearly where things went awry, we can't change what is.
Olivia's confession of love was less a confession of love for Fitz and more an admission of love for everyone else in her life. It was a smart move to say that she loves this man while simultaneously wishing she'd never met him because then so many people wouldn't be suffering.
Olivia is terrified by the prospect of getting married to Fitz and walking away from everything she's built. She doesn't know how to be Olivia Pope without her stuff, her business, her clients. Fixing other people's problems means never having to confront her own, which is what she's having to do at the moment.
Whether it was to Jake or a camera, it was all honest. It was her truth. She stood in the sun.
The question which must be asked and answered now is whether or not love is enough for Olivia. Can she and Fitz be together without the DC trappings? Will that be enough for her? (My money's on no, by the way, for whomever is taking bets. At least not right now.)
While this was overall a less exciting episode than the previous weeks have been, we got a lot of little moments tonight that made everything work.
We saw Olivia and Fitz just hanging out at home, kicked back in their lounge clothes. We saw Jake and Olivia as friends, with him tossing an extra sauce cup across the table while the two of them laughed about both having a type. That plate of brownies kept taunting me from the TV!
And then there was Marcus Walker fully committing to being part of the team by playing both sides. Excellent! I'm loving him.
"You Got Served" was a little slower than we've seen so far in Scandal Season 5, but that's okay. This is a marathon and not a sprint. (Judging from the looks of Scandal Season 5 Episode 6 teasers, we're sprinting straight to the altar.)
What did you think of "You Got Served"? Is Cyrus back on the team or might he still be working for Mellie? How did you feel about Olivia's love confession? Sound off below and remember to watch Scandal online!
Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.