Flashbacks And Meetings
To avoid scandal (ha!), Cyrus and Michael need to get married, like immediately.
A Gay Old Time
Who called the meeting? Olivia.
What's it about? Cyrus's erstwhile fiancé, Cousin Brian (who I would have called Michael from the jump if I thought he'd still be around at this point), has been making out with other dudes in public, and the media has caught on.
How'd it go? Olivia declares that the only way to push the scandal out of the news cycle is for Cyrus and Michael to finally get married, and to do it in a splashy way, which means a White House wedding hosted by Mellie! Mellie's not so sure until Olivia lays out all of the ways this will help Mellie's Senate campaign, including breaking from Fitz's lack of statement on gay marriage policy, which will help position her as her own person to the public.
Back in the day, Cyrus was dating a lady named Janet (played by Emily Bergl), and he impulsively proposed. She accepted, despite Cyrus's horrible wig, and on their wedding day, Cyrus's best man hinted broadly at the fact that he and Cyrus were hooking up on the down low. Cyrus vows that he won't be gay anymore, because AIDS. And also, shame. So Cyrus tends to lie to himself and others right before getting married. Check. Also, what man or woman would find Cyrus attractive with that dead possum on his head? Seriously, it looks like my preschooler used his safety scissors on a hairball that my cat horked up. This show gets good ratings; can't they up the wig budget?
Making A Statement
Abby needs a statement from Fitz, since he has taken no position on gay marriage and yet one will be taking place in the White House. Fitz says calmly that his feelings on gay marriage remain unchanged (Why? Wouldn't this be a great opportunity to say your feelings have evolved?), and gets Abby to admit that the whole thing was Olivia's idea.
Who called the meeting? Olivia.
What's it about? Lots of meetings this week, as Olivia sets up a war room in the White House both to plan the wedding and deal with the media fallout.
How'd it go? Cyrus is being a total bitch about the wedding planning. Michael is shocked to learn that they've invited his parents since he apparently hasn't spoken to them since coming out. So they must be real peaches. Way to go, parents. Olivia says his parents will be there because they need the optics. I kind of hate that we've reached a point in our society where we all know what "optics" means. Michael begs Cyrus to intervene, because he REALLY doesn't want to involve his parents, and Cyrus snaps at him to stop whining.
Religious Zealotry And the Right Wing
Alert Type: Not Fox News Alert.
Issue: Former Veep (and former presidential candidate) Sally Langston has landed on her feet as a commentator on a cable news network that is right-wing but definitely not Fox News.
Complicating Factors: Sally has decided to use her bully pulpit to take on Cyrus by claiming that his marriage is a sham.
Resolution: Sally offers a reward to anyone who comes forward with evidence supporting her claims, because why should she do her homework?
Spoiler: I feel like this group of people might have a few things on Sally, so maybe she should lay off.
Plot Lightning Round
Leaks and Lies
Lizzie scolds Mellie for agreeing to host this wedding without consulting Lizzie, her campaign manager. Mellie gets shirty and dresses Lizzie down for presuming that she has anything to do with Mellie's decision-making process. Lizzie is weirdly submissive to Mellie, which is disappointing. I was looking forward to these two acting as equals. Also, what's Mellie's problem?
Liv goes into fixer mode and demands to know what else in Michael's past could come back to haunt them, you know, besides being a former sex worker. Michael insists he's clean, and you'd think Liv would know that means he's totally not clean. Is she new? Meanwhile, Huck and Quinn wonder who is feeding Sally incredibly accurate dirt.
Her source is Mr. Leo Bergen, and Abby confronts him when she finds out. Leo doesn't bother denying it, and despite Abby's insistence that they separate "church and state," he says Abby would use information from him if she could. Abby insists he's wrong but snoops in his phone when he leaves the room. Also, I'm getting a little tired of these two fighting and then having sex. Boring.
The night Fitz won the governorship of California, Cyrus returned home to celebrate with his wife, only to find her drunk in the closet. She wants a divorce; Cyrus begs her to stay so that he can run for Congress. She tells Cyrus and his increasingly ludicrous wig selection that she's having an affair and she knows he's gay. I would think she was rejecting him due to his wig, but her wig is no great shakes either. It looks like the Barbie head I had as a kid, where you could do her hair and makeup, but I took it in the tub and washed it with Ivory soap and it was never the same.
Who called the meeting? Olivia, again.
What's it about? Michael has been having an affair, and Sally is having the object of his affection on her show for an interview.
How'd it go? Everyone else is just like, "Let's just cancel the wedding." Olivia throws a tantrum and insists that they aren't cancelling anything until she has exhausted all possibilities. Why does she care so much? Last we saw, she was kind of over Cyrus and his black heart, when he offered her the money to buy Lena Dunham's book.
True Love Waits
Cyrus remembers his wedding to James, where James got cold feet right before the ceremony and Cyrus promised him that he wouldn't use James's journalism career to further his own agenda. Another lie just before a wedding. Check. Olivia has her own flashback to the same day, where she's prepping the honeymoon suite and Fitz walks in, demanding to know why Olivia quit her job at the White House. Maybe it was because she couldn't afford a better wig? Anyway, Fitz gives Olivia a ring that belonged to his grandmother, and the ring has a name, like is that really a thing? It's called Sweet Baby in French. He claims that he doesn't care if she hates him or never sees him again, but if she wears the ring, he'll know she's out there. Does the ring have magical properties? This seems like a Fitz retcon in a big way, also.
Plot Lightning Round
Just Have Huck Kill Michael Already
As part of Olivia's last-ditch effort to save Cyrus's wedding, she visits Fitz's office and gets him to sign some papers. He notices that she's not wearing the Sweet Baby ring, and it makes him sad, so he barely glances at the papers before signing. Probably nothing important, right? He also compliments Olivia on going behind his back to help Mellie. Shut up, Fitz. No one wants to hear your condescending, patronizing ass.
Olivia visits Sally and offers her the Secretary of State position if she drops the interview with Michael's paramour. Seriously?!? That is a really important job, and Fitz is okay with using it as a bargaining chip? Sally explains that she doesn't want the job, because she can reach more hearts and minds in her current position.
Liv is forced to tell Cyrus that she's exhausted all other options, and their only play is to throw Michael under the bus and act as if Cyrus is the brokenhearted one after Michael cheated. Cyrus is all for it, but Liv carefully explains that it means Michael's life will be pretty much over, as the media will eviscerate him. Cyrus is like, "Good. How soon can we start? Can I do it in front of his garbage parents?" Liv is like, "Cool, whatever."
I Don't Love My Alive Gay Son
Who's causing a family crisis? Michael.
How? Michael takes his parents to dinner so they can meet Cyrus and provide a happy family media photo op.
Which relatives have a problem with it? Michael tries to make small talk with his parents, even though they haven't talked in decades, but his parents are terrible, terrible people who denigrate Michael to his face. They admit that they're only there because Lizzie paid them off, and their only obligation is to sit there and smile, not pretend like they approve of their son's life.
Who's an unlikely ally? Cyrus, who was originally planning on using this dinner to break up with Michael in front of the media, realizes that Michael's life has been pretty awful, and he's never going to get the parental approval he so desperately needs.
Spoiler: Cyrus is reconsidering a lot of things.
Vows? What Vows?
Cyrus remembers packing for his honeymoon with James, which was the first time Cyrus broke his pre-wedding vow and manipulated James into using his position to forward Cyrus's agenda. Cyrus has always been a rotten, awful person.
Wrap It Up
Liv returns to the war room, where everyone is trying to figure out how to throw Michael under the bus and minimize the blowback. Liv takes one look at Cyrus and somehow susses out that he no longer wants to sacrifice Michael, and the wedding will go ahead.
Liv does what I thought she should have done at the top of the hour; she goes to Sally and claims that Daniel Douglas, her late husband, was one of Michael's clients. Liv says she'll out him as gay if Sally continues with her interview, and Sally folds.
Just before their wedding, Cyrus meets with Michael, who looks like he wants to kill himself. Michael says that through all of the terrible times in his life (school bullies, reorientation camps his parents sent him to, turning tricks on the street), he always believed that one day he would fall in love and get married, and it kept him going. But now Cyrus hates him and would just as soon kill him as marry him.
Cyrus jokes that he wouldn't kill Michael with his bare hands, as that's a rookie move; he'd hire a killer. But then he goes on to say that Michael is a good person, and Ella (Cyrus's daughter that everyone forgot existed until just now) needs a good person in her life, since Cyrus knows he's "a filthy monster desperately trying to hold onto the last shreds of its humanity." Cyrus knowing he's a monster doesn't make him a less terrible person. I'd kind of prefer an unrepentant monster. Anyway, Cyrus says he and Michael will never be in love, but he can promise that he'll be Michael's next of kin so that Michael doesn't have to die alone. Romantic? Another Cyrus pre-wedding lie?
So they get married! Mazel. Don't those two look like the last of the red hot lovers?
At the wedding, Fitz notices that Liv is wearing the Sweet Baby ring again. Gross.
- Huck, because Quinn
- Jake, because Olivia
- Fitz, because Olivia
- Cyrus, because Michael
- Michael, because Cyrus