Cyrus has always been a political mastermind on Scandal, but now he's playing for a team other than President Grant's. Cyrus is interested in making Governor Vargas his presidential candidate. More specifically, a presidential candidate to rival Mellie Grant, First Lady turned presidential hopeful. On Thursday's episode, we saw that Cyrus is ruthless in getting what he wants — not that we don't know that already, given his history. This time around, Cyrus told Vargas his brother was in paralyzing accident on Scandal to connect with the governor — but was it even true?
On the previous episode of Scandal, Cyrus' plan to make Vargas a hero completely derailed. He and Tom, the same secret service agent behind the murder of President Grant's son Jerry, formulated a plan to have Vargas involved in a fake hostage situation — of course, to make him appear like a national hero.
What actually happened, however, was that the man they hired went rogue and not only actually held him hostage, but shot Vargas. The governor tackled his attacker, a move subsequently called "the tackle" by the media, and thus became the hero Cyrus was hoping for.
Vargas unknowingly played into Cyrus' twisted plan. On Thursday's episode, he continued to fall for Cyrus' schemes.
Partway through the episode, Cyrus told the story about his brother, Oliver. When Cyrus was a teenager, Oliver supposedly got into a car accident and was subsequently paralyzed. Shortly after, Cyrus received an acceptance letter from Harvard but chose to decline admission and enroll in community college so he could stay home and help out his family. It turns out, however, that Oliver secretly sent in letters that Cyrus would attend Harvard and not attend the community college. Oliver said this was because Cyrus had to live his life, so that he can be president, someday.
Was the story real? Was Oliver even real, or just another way Cyrus can manipulate people? Scandal fans on Twitter were immediately torn over whether this was a true story or not. Some staunchly believed Cyrus was lying, given his track history:
Others had faith that Oliver could be real:
Cyrus seemed pretty sincere, but then again he always does, so there was also some ambivalence:
It was pretty much confirmed at the end of the episode, however, that the story was fake. Vargas met Cyrus' husband Michael (remember him?) and mentioned Oliver. When Vargas exited, Michael commented that Cyrus did not have a brother. As usual, Cyrus brushed it off.
Cyrus fooled not only Vargas — whom he just met, so we can't fault him for falling into Cyrus' lies — but he also fooled longtime Scandal fans. Hopefully it's only a matter of time before Vargas picks up that Cyrus is not trustworthy. We'll have to keep watching to see, and to see if he cares more about sincerity or the possibility of the presidency, although I think we know the answer.