Scandal Season 3, Episode 10 Watch: The Door Marked Exit
Scandal takes an interesting approach to how it deals with its winter finales. While some series will save its massive cliffhanger for that last episode in December and leave fans to wait weeks or longer for the series to take its next breath. Scandal takes a slightly different approach. Last year, the penultimate episode of the half-way point of the series delivered the cliffhanger. I am, of course, referring to the sight of Huck standing near a smoking gun moments after the president was nearly shot to death on his birthday. The winter finale picked up in the aftermath of that, taking the series to a more manageable tension before breaking for the hiatus. Tonightís episode, ďThe Door Marked ExitĒ was the exhale after last Thursday nightís gasping shocker. Sally killed her husband!
She really killed him too. This isnít one of those times when weíre made to think she did it and then, surprise, he was stabbed to death by a knife operated by remote control, while Sallyís being set up. No, Sally totally killed her husband. We saw the scene play out through a spattering of clips showing Kate Burtonís scary side as Sally tore into her husband. Daniel made things worse when he tried to take credit for her success. She passed a lot of judgment, lost her mind and stabbed him in the back with a letter opener. Horrible.
It was interesting to see the difference in reaction between Cyrus and Mellie. Granted, Mellie never had to see Danielís body on the floor of Sallyís office. She wasnít the one to call in B-613 to clean up the mess and get Daniel in his bed where they could make it look like a heart attack. She wasnít the one to talk Sally out of turning herself in. That was all Cyrus. But thatís Cyrus. He and Mellie are both take-charge kind of people, but iím not sure Mellie would have been as quick to find the necessary words to get Sally to hand over her sin, confess her misdeeds to God instead of the police and stay the course. He even got her to keep the medical examiner from looking too closely at Danielís body. I guess a good once-over will suffice for that doctor. Had he gotten Daniel's shirt off and flipped him over, he wouldíve seen the stitched-closed stab wounds.
Cyrus took care of business, but not before vomiting the toilet. And he spent most of the episode looking like heíd aged a year each second that passed. Cyrus thinks he's lost his soul. But if he really was soulless, I donít think he would feel nearly as remorseful as he does for his indirect involvement in Danielís death. He didnít kill the guy, nor did he sanction it, but he set the course for it. He played a part in the chain of events that led to Danielís death, both when he set James up to be hit on and then when he showed Sally the photos. Now, I donít think Cyrus should shoulder the blame for what Sally did. She did that. But the fact that he feels responsible for it shows his humanity, much more than say, Mellie, whose major concern was using the situation to get Sally to back off her campaign ambitions.
Speaking of which, it was looking like Sally was going to back off and forget her goals. But then she went off about Daniel to Leo, tipping him off that she killed her husband, and tipping us off that sheís still just as enraged over what Daniel did as she was before she stabbed him. And if sheís really that mad, is she really all that remorseful? Or is the shock of what sheís done wearing off? Iím thinking it is, or it will, and now that Leo knows, he can proceed to lure Sally back toward the political race. He knows her deep dark secret, and Iím less inclined to think that heíll try to use it against her as I am to think that heíll figure out a way around the situation for Sally. Maybe heíll get something on Mellie or Fitz that he can keep in Sallyís pocket to protect her against any threat that Mellie or Cyrus might use to leak the truth in an effort to wreck her campaign. Whatever the case, I feel like Leo knowing is a big part of whatever happens for Sally's political future.
Meanwhile, one of the twists in tonightís episode came in the form of a woman who showed up at Davidís office with a recording of Sallyís phone call to Cyrus saying she committed a sin. That by itself probably isnít all that incriminating but it's much worse when combined with the conversation David had with James earlier, during which James urged David to look into Danielís death, believing the man was murdered. Because it was just too coincidental that Daniel would die of a heart attack so soon after Cyrus confronted James with photos. Of course James would suspect. David brushed James' words off, still angry over what James did to his career to want to hear him out, but now that he's heard Sally's phone call, Iím thinking heíll start sniffing around.
James seems prepared to stay with Cyrus. Their marriage is a mess, but he asked Cyrus to let him be White House Press Secretary, and I think Cyrus will make that happen to keep his husband from walking out on him for good.
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