When we last saw Cyrus Beene (Jeff Perry) on “Scandal,” things weren’t looking too good for the beleaguered Chief of Staff. His plans to destroy Sally Langston by dangling husband James in front of her secretly gay husband Daniel Douglas like a piece of meat backfired spectacularly, threatening not only his work life, but his cherished home life, as well.
Zap2it had the opportunity to speak with Perry, who shed some light on just what’s going through Cy’s head. “You know, in hind sight, it’s a grave miscalculation and a rather giant blind spot for Cyrus. He just, as a man built for always contingency plan Bs and Cs and Ds, never saw this coming,” he tells us. “[He] never saw any scenario other than that James would refuse the pass. I kind of got the feeling that, after we cut away from Cyrus and the anguished look at those photos, that led to a sleepless night with this absolutely horrifying growing dread of doing the math in his head and in great fear that he has screwed everything up … [that] these pictures are useless because they represent consensual adultery. That I’ve screwed our re-election chances and that I’ve simultaneously got Mellie’s warning in my head that I’ve just pooh-poohed when I was talking to her, that I’ve screwed my marriage up to. So Cyrus is in disorienting levels of fear.”
For a man who, in two-and-a-half seasons, has had a woman killed and nearly had his husband whacked as well, Perry admits that this latest bit of political treachery may be Cyrus’ worst moment. “I think this is a new benchmark,” he says. “I think Cyrus really learned, most recently, two fundamental things in his life: That James is the love of his life. That the man who heretofore had been closeted has fallen in love deeply for the first time. And his love for the presidency, the Republic — a deep, idealistic romanticized belief in Fitz. And he’s screwed both at the same time, royally. Someone who’s put all fingers in all dikes, like a whirling dervish…that it would be his doing that screwed things up is unfathomable, I think, to him. It’s horrible.”
As for where Cyrus goes from here? It’s nowhere good, Perry reveals. “It’s gonna lead us — I can only speak generally, as you can imagine — in the next two episodes…there are ‘Come to Jesus’ moments everywhere for Cyrus. And how does he possibly rebound? Where is the fix? And all I can say is Shonda [Rhimes] kind of exclusively keeps him in hell, in a very interesting, twisting kind of hell in the next two episodes that you can’t miss.”
Though his world may be crumbling around him, Cy’s relationship with Mellie (Bellamy Young) has been flourishing — something Perry’s found to be of note. “There’s been a real interesting thaw in the cold war between Mellie and Cyrus,” he says. “It gives new meaning to ‘politics makes strange bedfellows,’ clearly, right? They’re in league, all of their crazy skill set has kind of aligned together because of [the drive they share] to keep this man in power and sacrifice pretty much anything you can think of to do so. So Cyrus is in a chapter of ‘It’s me and you, girl,’ which is interesting.”
When asked whether anyone in the world of “Scandal” could ever possibly be truly happy, or if that would lead to the end of the series, Perry laughs, heartily. “We have moments. We have moments that touch the hand of contentment,” he jokes. “That’s funny. Yeah, that might be the end of the fuel for ‘Scandal’ as we know it if people get to happy.”
“Scandal” airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.