06x03 - Fates Worse Than Death

[Cellphone rings]

Cyrus! White House Switchboard!

[Sighs] Blue or red?

You gonna get that?

It can wait. In 20 minutes, I'll be at the White House.

19 if you'll tell me which tie to wear.

[Ringing stops]


[Laughing] What?

Do I seem nervous?

You seem... you.


For the first time since election night, you seem you.

I like it.

[Sighs deeply]

Mr. President.

[Cellphone rings]


Cyrus Beene.

Are your shades closed?

What? Shades? I don't have shades.

I have handmade Venetian blinds.


Close them and lock your door.


Shut down your Wi-Fi, lawyer up, get a handler, a fixer, someone to talk for you, because in 30 seconds, you no longer talk to anyone.

I voted against it.

[Chatter, camera shutters clicking]

Good morning.

The FBI is expanding the investigation into the death of Governor Francisco Vargas.

Are you saying that Nelson McClintock didn't shoot Frankie Vargas?

Is he...

Not at all.

We're simply opening the scope of the investigation.

To include who?

Anyone and everyone.

Even Cyrus Beene?

Anyone and everyone.

[Reporters shouting]

Get Ella. Take her upstairs.

Woman: So Cyrus Beene is a suspect in the murder of his running mate?

Ella, away, now!

Anyone and everyone.

That's all I have to say at this time, and now I'd like to introduce our FBI Director, Angela Webster, who will be heading the investigation.

Man: Are you investigating Cyrus Beene?

Angela: I can't comment on that at this time.

Mr. Beene!

[Reporters shouting]

Now we have no VP.

I know the perfect guy.

[Cheers and applause]


Woman: Cyrus Beene!

Man: Fire! Fire!


My name is Jennifer Fields.

It was Cyrus Beene. He killed Frankie Vargas.

The moment I'm elected President of the United States, my first order of business will be to put you in the coldest jail cell possible.

300 hours of Jennifer's footage, 2,200 hours of the security feed from Vargas headquarters...

And 27 billion Instagram videos from the campaign.

Now every idiot with a smartphone thinks he's Ken Burns.

You know, I've got a little film project in mind myself.


You, me, Barbados, and a camcorder.

I was in Barbados once.

Charlie, we are not making a s*x tape.

We were trying to weaponize Dengue Fever.

Who said anything about a s*x tape?

This is a romance film, Robin.

Bubble baths, walks down on the beach, firing rounds at the gun range...

I mean, if s*x comes up...

You're crazy.

Uh, we need to focus!

We still don't know what Cyrus and Frankie's fight was about.


So, I started putting together a timeline.

Jennifer's footage starts on October 4th.

October 4th? Wait.

October 4th, October 4th... was the day Cyrus won the vice presidential debates.

Admiral Ballard didn't have a problem with free college when it was his college.

He just doesn't want other Americans to have the same opportunities he had.

Admiral Ballard, given your roots, I expected a little more from you.

[Cheers and applause]

[Camera shutters clicking]

All of you, celebrate fast.

5:00 a.m., on the bus.

[Woman laughs]



My man!

Every network is calling it for you. TKO.

Brilliant stuff.

Who is this?

You really hammered Ballard on NAFTA.

Made him sweat like Nixon in '60.

[Both laugh]

Who are you?

Jennifer Fields.

Jenny's the newest member of our team.

Fresh out of Harvard, top of her class.

I studied film and visual studies at Harvard.

Harvard, yes, got it.

She's joining us on the road.

We have a videographer now.

Jennifer: Someone has to document this historic run.

We're electing the first Latino President in our nation's history.

I'm gonna get Jenny... Uh, Jennifer...

Set up with our medoliaks.

Come on.

Wonderful meeting you.

David Rosen!

The Attorney General of the United States.

No! I will not...



I am being set up by Olivia Pope.

She is trying to frame me for murdering Frankie.

She is trying to steal the presidency.

That is what is going on here, and I am not going to let it happen, okay?

Now, I just need to take a minute and make some calls.

I will get this figured out.

And to answer your question... no, I didn't do it.

I didn't ask you that.


You did.


Man: What are you doing back here, ma'am?

Woman: Let go of me!

I know him! I know him!

Oh, thank God.

Tell them... We're friends.


I crawled across the lawn to get here.

My hands touched the ground.

Let me in.

What do you want, Liz?

What do I want? [Sighs]

I want to help.

No. No, you don't. I know you.

You're not the helping kind.

You're a snake.

You are literally... a snake in the grass.

Whatever it is that you want, no!

How many times have you called David Rosen this morning?

Uh, let me guess... 2, 3, 6? Did he take your call?

Has anyone taken your call?

Here's what I know.

I know that you are absolutely screwed right now.

I know the press is ready to hang you, and without someone in your corner, you will never be President.

So what do I want?

I want to help you.

[Sighs] And?

And what?

And how do you want to help you?

Chief of Staff.



Let's get you a meeting with the president.

Now, how did this happen and why?




Nice work tonight.


Well, your guy didn't make it easy for me, that's for sure. Yeah, he did.


We have some work to do, but still, that was impressive.

You were impressive.

Thank you.

I miss you.

[Inhales sharply]

When all of this is over, let's get a bottle of Du Bellay, meet at the Lincoln Memorial, and drink about this, because...

[Both laugh]

I know.

You're surprised?


You're surprised that I'm impressive.

"You were impressive"... You were surprised.

It was a compliment, Cy.

Was it?




How was it a compliment?

I'm saying you've changed, you've evolved, you've grown.

You've gotten good at this.

So I'm no longer the troll under the bridge who grunts and snorts, there's lipstick on this pig now, and look at the monkey dance?

That doesn't even make sense.

Yes, it does.

It does.

Okay. I'm surprised.

I didn't think it would work.

I was wrong.

I'm saying I was wrong.

Look at you.

You've bloomed.

So maybe putting yourself on Frankie's ticket wasn't the worst...

Putting myself on the ticket?

I put myself on the ticket?

That's what you think?


[Laughs] Come on, Cyrus.

I put myself on the ticket?

Are we going to pretend that...?

It's me.

I know you. We both know.

I made his policies, I hid his secrets, I ran his country.

Watched the two of you grope each other like a cheap porno.

And none of you ever saw me.

And that's fine.

You think what you want to think of me.

I certainly have all kinds of opinions about Olivia Pope.

So you believe whatever you want.

But this?

Me putting myself on the Democratic ticket for Vice President of these United States... don't you ever say that out loud... ever... again.

I don't know what you did to manipulate Frankie, what angle you used, what you blackmailed him with to put yourself on that ticket and I don't care, but America will care.

So I'm gonna dig until I find something.

You better watch yourself.

Goodbye, Olivia.


Fine. You're wrong.

I'm not wrong.

You're wrong!

Sir, opening up this investigation into Cyrus Beene based on some random voicemail and 20 seconds of video footage that's clearly been taken out of context...

I made a decision.

This news is less than a day old, and already the Dow has dropped 400 points.

Our global markets are in a freefall.

The world is clamoring to know what the hell is going on, and we can't tell them.

We can't tell them that the President of the United States has allowed his ex-mistress to brainwash him into thinking his former Chief of Staff is a murderer...

Watch yourself.

You are being played.

[Door opens, closes]

This election is all about you.

It's all about what your future's gonna look like.

So this November, stay woke. Vote.

How was that, Jenny?

Jennifer: [Laughing] "Woke"?

Pretty good, huh? My daughter taught it to me.

Please don't. For her sake.


All right, how about...

My free-college program is on fleek.


[Scoffs] Okay, okay.

"How about," Greetings, youths, this is prehistoric talking fossil Frankie Vargas... "

They were sleeping together.

Totally. Only explanation. Because that wasn't funny.

Man, must've been real annoying for their co-workers.

Talk to her friends.I want to know if and when Cyrus found out about Frankie and Jennifer and what he did about it.

Thank you for coming.

This can now go either one of two ways.

We can finish the investigation and you will be arrested, tried, convicted, and executed for the assassination of Frankie Vargas.

Or you can step down.


Health, grief, whatever... It doesn't matter.

In exchange for which... For the good of the country...

I'll make the investigation go away and you'll be cleared, and you can live out the rest of your days in whatever peace you can find.

Those are the options.



You... really think I killed Frankie?

It doesn't matter what I think.

It matters to me.

It's time to make a deal, Cyrus.

It's a simple yes or no question.

You are not in a position to be asking me questions.

You want to make a deal?


How about this?

Ll withdraw right now if Mellie does.

We'll put this all behind us, let the country pick a new president.

Call Liv.

See what she says.

I don't need to call Liv.

No, you don't.

Be... Because you-you know what she's going to say.

She'd never give up her chance at the Oval.

She's not interested in justice or truth.

She's not interested in doing what's best for the country.

She just wants to win.

This isn't about Liv.


Of every offensive thing you've ever said to me, that might be the worst because that insults my intelligence.

I'm not withdrawing.

For the good of the country.

Remember what you so generously handed me the night that Frankie was shot, what you called the most beautiful thing in the world?


I'm keeping it.

It's not safe with you.


"For the good of the country."

I'll tell you what's good for the country, Fitz...

You resigning from office.

My guess?

We're out of the woods by the end of the week.

No way he can keep this investigation going with that kind of press out there.

Michael: Wha...

You don't think I forgot. It's book time!

See? I told you everything will work out...

Mr. President.



[Cellphone rings]


[Cellphone beeps]


Tom: Hey, Cy.


You do remember my name.

I thought since maybe I hadn't heard from you, you might have forgotten.

You shouldn't be calling me.

You didn't think I'd just stay in my hole, did you?

Maybe you did.

Maybe you think so little of me that it never occurred to you that I might have my own stakes in all of this.

Listen to me, Tom...

You used me, Cy.

I didn't use you.

You used me, and you hurt me.


And now I have this tightness in my chest, and the only thing that makes me feel any better, the only thought that gives me a shred of comfort, is the knowledge that at any moment, I can take everything away from you simply by opening my mouth.

I'm gonna make this right, Tom.

I promise.


[Cellphone slams]


Back off!

911! I just want to talk.

Oh. [Chuckles]

Why didn't you say so?

In that case... Eyes! Elbow!

Hey, hey!

I'm not here to hurt you.



Hey, hey, hey!

I'm here to help you.

You were friends with Jennifer Fields.

I told Jenny you never, ever get involved with your boss, especially when your boss is running for President.

But she really liked him.

She used to tell me how much she enjoyed being around him, how much he used to make her laugh.

And, then...

Then she got fired.


Does this look like fired to you?

[Camera shutter clicking]

So, the man who beat up Jennifer...

Was it Cyrus Beene?

This guy was much more terrifying.

[Inhales sharply]

I'm only in D.C. for 36 hours and...

I missed you, Tom.

You abandoned me.

As soon as they put you on the ticket.

I watched your debate.

You were brilliant.


You guys are winning?


That's good.



I've been here before.

[Laughing] These people... the candidates...

Frankie seems different.


He's more like Fitz than I ever could have imagined.

One adoring glance from some Harvard twit with a camera... and he's under a spell.

I've tried to separate him from this woman, but... no.

We're this...

We're this close.

You hear me? Do you realize?

I am this close to the Vice Presidency, and this girl is going to cost me what I have earned, what I have... bled out for, what I have literally killed for.

I could.

You could what?

Take care of the girl.

Make her back away from the campaign.

That's not... why I called you here.


What's her name?


Maybe... there's something I'm not seeing.

Another angle?

What's her name?

Maybe... there's nothing going on, and I'm just being paranoid...


Just give me her name.

Jennifer Fields.

Can we get out of here now?

Because I'm pretty sure this place is not serving what I've been craving for a long, long time, Cyrus.


We're lucky she didn't understand what it meant!

I mean, who tells a 6-year-old that she doesn't have what it takes to be a scientist?

I'm in trouble.

A racist, that's who.

Ella's smart...

Smarter than most of the kids in her class.

[Breathing heavily]

And that teacher of hers, I let her have it.


When you are president...

I'm in trouble, Michael.

You're gonna do something about the pervasive bias towards children of color in the educational system.

Michael, I'm in trouble.

I mean, what if... what if Ella was at public school?

That... That teacher would've gotten away with j...


What is it?


Honey, what's wrong?


Please, would you just... just...

No, no, no. When you... When you begged me...

Begged me... to come back, you... you said no more Tom.

No more Tom!

You're disgusting.

I screwed up. I didn't mean to.


I believed you.

I love you.

You are mad and you have every right, but you can't be mad... Not right now.

Not now. Tom is back.

And Tom is not a regular person, Michael.

He's back, and he's not going to go away.

No, I... I-I can't do this.

Mi-Michael, wait, please!


I know...

I've hurt you in unimaginable ways.

I am sorry.

I am so, so sorry.

I don't want... Want to be a bad person.

I... I am not... Not a bad person.

I've just made mistakes.

This... This whole thing, it's all because I made a mistake.

I made a horrible mistake.

Cyrus, what did you do?

Did you kill Frankie Vargas?


Don't tell me.

I don't want to know.

I don't ever want to know.

[Knock on door]

Is it done?

Jennifer Fields will no longer be a problem.

[Door closes]

Tom, she's a civilian.

I wanted her gone, but not...

Barely had to raise my voice.





We... Get that coat off.

We're celebrating.

We really do make an amazing team... don't we, Tommy?





Frankie Vargas...


Is weak.

He's a normal.

You are an exceptional man.


You belong at the top of the ticket.

Frankie will make a great president...

Only because he has you.

You belong on the throne.

You're a king, Cyrus.

I can help you take what's yours.


[Breathing heavily]

Do you want it?


W-What are you saying?

You know what I'm saying.

Frankie's been good to me.

Then he has done his service.

Do you want to be President of the United States?

I want to be President of the United States.


[Camera shutter clicking] Olivia: Tom Larsen?

QR-24 facial recognition picked him up on a street cam in Jennifer's neighborhood the night she was beaten up.

And he matches the friend's description.

Okay, so he's Cyrus' thug.

It doesn't prove Cyrus used him to kill Frankie that night.

It does if we're able to put Tom in Philadelphia the night of Frankie's shooting.

Start tracking Tom's movements.

Find out where he was that night and find out fast, people.

Let's go!

Hey, you wanted to see me, sir.


I just came for my camera.

That's it.

Frankie: Jennifer... would you excuse us for a second?

[Door opens, closes]

She was a threat to you, sir.

To... To your candidacy, to everything that we've worked for.

A threat?

Are you serious right now?

I sa-saw two of you, Frankie.

I knew how that story was gonna end.

Look, what the hell are you talking about?!

I am a happily married man, Cyrus!

I love my wife!

Nothing happened between me and this girl!

Nothing was ever going to happen!

You disgust me.

The two of us are done.

Frankie, don't be ridiculous!

You know that I... would never do anything to hurt you.

Everything I do is to help you...

Help us, help the country.

What you did is vile!


Frankie, please, you don't understand...

No! What you don't understand is that the moment I'm elected President of the United States, my first order of business will be to throw you in the coldest jail cell possible!

Over my dead body will you get away with what you did.




Come on. Come on!

Frank... Frankie! [Door closes]

You almost killed that girl.

Jenny was a threat to your presidency.

My... what?

No, she was a threat to Frankie.

You were supposed to scare her off.

She was a threat to you.

Frankie doesn't matter. He's the vehicle.

We just need to get him to election night, and then we are onto the final piece of the puzzle.

President Beene...

No! Look at me.

Will you look at me?

You are not to touch a hair on Frankie Vargas' head.

Is that clear?

Yes, sir!


I get it.

I know what the plan is.

The scorpion and the frog.

This all began in Harrisburg, and it will end in that...


No one... No one is listening!


You're the one who needs to start listening.

I am not kidding or pretending or conspiring here.

I am telling you.

Do not touch him.

You got that?

I need you to understand!

You do... Y... You don't want my help.

I do not want your help!

I do not want you! You are dead to me!

You're dead to yourself!

You're ending this?

It's over, Tom!


I'm done.

This... is done!

[Reporters shouting]

[Lock clicks]


I'll be careful, okay?

[Crickets chirping]

President Beene.

Tom? [Chuckles]

Thank you f-for coming.


Why... Why don't you s-sit down?

I know that I... treated you badly.

This is about making up for that.

This is about making sure we both have a future.

P-Please... sit down.


[Breathing heavily]

We've been through a lot together, you and me.

And I know that we left things badly, but we've had a lot of good...

What do you want, Cyrus?

Going forward, I need you to stay quiet about me... about us.

The way I see it, we had a... misunderstanding about the plan, and I don't blame you for that.

I don't.

There was a lot going on with the campaign...

[Sighs] with us.

We were in love.


I loved you, at least.

I was in love... with you.

That's the one thing that I'm sure of.


I love you still.

And despite your anger... Rightful anger...

About what happened between us, I hope you can recognize that.


Do you, Tom?

Know... Know that throughout everything, I always loved you?

Ruff ruff!

Ruff ruff!


You think I'm a dog.

What? No...

Who comes when he's called.

And who can be sent to the doghouse when master wants to invite his fancy friends over.

Not at all...

My turn to talk, Cyrus.

This is about making up for that?



This is about putting me back on the leash.

I'm done being your bitch, Cyrus.

Time to switch positions.

I'm on top now.


You really thought you could outsmart me, old man?

A trained agent?

Further proof of your arrogance... your total disregard for anyone who didn't go to your schools or get into your clubs...

We can... [Stammers]

Tom, please, p-put down the gun.




So you can pick it up and shoot me?

You deserve to die.

More than anyone else I have ever killed.

You killed Frankie for me, didn't... didn't you?

You did, didn't you?

I told... you not to, but...

I begged you not to, but I...I should have known that you would go to that extreme... that you would kill him to get me into the Oval.

And I loved him.

I loved Frankie.

I loved that man.

I never loved... Loved you.


I used you.

You loved me... and I used you.

Open up.


This is a much less efficient way of killing you.

Increased margin of error.

Increased likelihood of you living...

Severely impaired, of course.

[Breathing heavily]


There are fates worse than death.

Much worse.

And you should know.

You handed one to me.

And now...

I get to hand it back.



At least have some breakfast.

I don't want Ella to see me like this.

I'm not leaving you.

I had plans... for when I became President.

How ridiculous does that sound?

When I became President.

Me. I.



My first 100 days... would've rivaled... friggin' F.D.R.


I was gonna tackle everything, from... healthcare to energy reform... to education... to saving this precarious economy that Fitzgerald Grant never knew what to do with.

I w...

I would've been downright transformational.


I had... plans.

Families would have my picture... hanging in their dining rooms.

Little kids would tell their teachers they want to be me when they grow up... me...

And not just the gay ones.

I mean, every last little boy and girl in this country... would be looking up to me.


Me. I.


Fat mouth-breathing "last picked in gym class" Cyrus Beene.



De... Delusions of grandeur.

Like I said... ridiculous.

We can still beat this.

♪ God's a-gonna trouble the water ♪

[Camera shutter clicking]

Mr. President? Elizabeth North.


Elizabeth: Mr. President.

I understand you and Cyrus worked out a deal the other day for him to step down as President-Elect in exchange for clemency.

If the offer's still good, he'd like to accept.

♪ The water ♪

Is the offer still good?

♪ Wade in the water, children ♪


So, he's admitting to shooting Frankie Vargas?

Under direct orders from Cyrus Beene.

♪ God's a-gonna trouble the water ♪
♪ Wade in the water ♪

I'm sorry.

You're gonna have to repeat that.


Tom Larsen confessed to the murder of Frankie Vargas.

He will testify that Cyrus ordered him to do it.

The FBI is on their way to Cyrus' house as we speak.


And with Cyrus in jail, the Electoral College will have no choice but to vote for you.

Mellie, you are the next President of the United States.

♪ God's a-gonna trouble the water ♪

[Both chuckle]

♪ In the water, children ♪
♪ Wade in the water ♪
♪ God's a-gonna trouble the water ♪

Come on, Els.

Let Daddy go.

♪ See that band all dressed in red ♪
♪ God's a-gonna trouble the water ♪
♪ Looks like the band that Moses led ♪
♪ God's a-gonna trouble the water ♪

[Knock on door]

♪ Wade in the water ♪

David: You have the right to remain silent.

Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.

You have the right to an attorney.

If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you.

Do you understand?

I need a verbal confirmation.


♪ God's a-gonna trouble the water ♪
♪ God's a-gonna trouble the water ♪

David Rosen? I-I'm... I'm not convinced.

What is there to be convinced of, Frankie?

He'll make a hell of a running mate.

Not only a seasoned Democrat but an integral part of a Republican administration.

[Sighs] He's the best of both worlds!

Look, I don't know the guy.I don't trust the guy.

You know me.

You trust me, don't you?



Of course I trust you.

Then you know I would not steer you wrong!

Look, we're out of options.

There's no time to vet anyone else!

Maybe we don't have to.


Maybe we don't have to vet anyone else because maybe I already know all there is to know about the man that I want as my Vice President.

It's you, Cyrus.

I want you... to be my Vice President.

You're serious?


No! No, no, I can't.

I'm not... [Sighs]

I'm not a politician!


I'm not good!

That's the important thing.I 'm not a good guy.

That's why you're perfect.

We complement each other!

You see all the bad sides.

I only ever see the good.

Y-You're making that mistake right now.

[Chuckles] And you're honest.


I am not gonna let you say no, Cy.

I want you by my side.

I need you. America needs you.

So, what do you say, Cy?

Will you join me on the ticket?

You want me?

I want you.

Just say yes, Cy.


It'd be both my honor and my pleasure, Mr. President.

[Chuckles] Let's make it official, then.

Come on.

I'll be right there.

♪ God's a-gonna trouble the water ♪
♪ God's a-gonna trouble the water ♪
♪ God's a-gonna trouble the water ♪

[Camera shuttering]