Performer of the Week: Jeff Perry

scandal_0207_cyrusA new feature in which we spotlight the past week’s shining star

THE PERFORMER | Jeff Perry

THE SHOW | Scandal (ABC)

THE EPISODE | “Nobody Likes Babies”

THE AIRDATE | February 7, 2013

RELATED | Scandal Post Mortem: Shonda Rhimes Defends Killer Twist, Weighs In on Fitz’s Shocking Decision

THE PERFORMANCE | It was the roar of a political lion as much as it was a confession. Having worked so hard to cover his tracks, yet compelled to lie not once more to the husband who loves him, chief of staff Cyrus Rutherford Beene bared all after having bared all: “I stole… the White House!”

The way those five words came out of his mouth were half-eruption, half-escape. Mostly pride, but maybe for the first time laced with shame. As James began to process the truth he feared confirmed, Cyrus sat down, no longer able to stand quite as tall. “I wasn’t made to be chief of staff… I was made to be the President of the United States. I was made to lead the nation,” he started his defense. “I would have been great at that! I have stones, I have the backbone, I have the will.” And we, having seen all that Cyrus is capable of (RIP, Amanda), can attest to that. However: “I’m fairly short, and I’m not so pretty,” he acknowledged. “And I really like having sex with men.”

As such, Cyrus settled to “be the guy behind the President of the United States,” where his work will never get his name on a library but instead earn him a nice, “respectful” life and a gig at the Ivy League school of his choice. “Fitzgerald Grant was my shot” to breathe “the rarest of air,” Cyrus explained, his eyes wetting as his mind raced up and down the path he took, the sordid steps taken, “and when your shot comes, you either take it or you lose. And I already lost enough…. I took my shot.”

And given the thrilling TV ride that ensued, we’re glad he did. (Rewatch the scene above at Hulu, starting at the 15:14 mark.)

Which performance knocked your socks off this past week?

In this week’s Spoiler Alert!, we discuss Scandal‘s rousing climax to the Defiance story:



Comments (37)

  • I knew it!

    Comment by valezza – February 9, 2013 06:02 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Yep, when I watched it I knew that would be your pick for performer of the week.

      Comment by The Beach – February 9, 2013 11:50 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • You guys and Shonda liked this scene much more than I did, but hey, that’s fine. Scandal deserves one of these!

    Comment by bryceradick – February 9, 2013 06:03 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Agreed all the way. Jeff Perry was great but this wasn’t even close to the best thing she’s ever done.

      Comment by Daisy – February 9, 2013 07:03 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I know this is off topic, but I really wish Jeff Perry would come back to Grey’s Anatomy some point this season, because I could really see a lot of raw emotion and potentially wonderful scenes with Thatcher and Meredith over Lexie’s death. Now THAT would a performance of the week!

    Comment by Jarrod Mitchell – February 9, 2013 06:04 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Agreed. It would have been better if that had already happened, but hopefully at some point…

      Comment by Cathy – February 9, 2013 08:42 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • It seems a little late chronologically to go there at this point. Presumably there was a funeral where they got to sit down and have it out (or just avoid dealing with it, in true Grey Family fashion).
        Maybe in flashbacks, but I think the show has moved on. Not that I personally will ever be over Lexie’s death, but forward momentum is better than dwelling on something great but done. See: Ghost Denny.

        Comment by wordsmith – February 9, 2013 03:23 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • No, they could do something like him going off the wagon after Lexie’s death and now he has sobered up or have him still be off the wagon.

          Comment by Russ – February 9, 2013 06:29 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • I think that ship has sailed too unfortunately. Its not like its Addison who can move back and forth. He is playing too completely different characters and I’m not sure fans would accept seeing GA with Thatcher and then Cyrus in the next hour. But if written well, it would show Emmy voters how great this actor is.

          Comment by Amanda – February 11, 2013 09:25 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I remember when he was on Prison Break, now that’s what I call performer of the week ^^

    Comment by Kresh – February 9, 2013 06:14 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Well deserved! Jeff Perry was mesmerizing!

    Comment by Johoallen – February 9, 2013 06:32 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Joseph Morgan (Klaus) has been knocking it out of the park this season over on Vampire Diaries but these past 2 weeks he’s been quite phenomenal. I see why they’re giving him is own show now next season

    Comment by Bella – February 9, 2013 07:07 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • You are right, I am really impressed with his acting skills, hope to see more of him! :)

      Comment by Kresh – February 9, 2013 03:07 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • That scene was incredible, I almost – almost – felt bad for him. It sort of reminded me of The American President when Michael Douglas asked Martin Sheen why he never ran for White House.

    Comment by Lauren – February 9, 2013 07:23 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Excellent comparison. My heart broke for AJ in that moment in American President and, as much as I’m having a hard time rooting for these Scandal anti-heroes (poor David Rosen, good Lord!), this was a pretty good scene.

      Comment by Little Mama – February 9, 2013 10:58 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Perfection. Glad to see Scandal get recognized for the acting as well as the crazy! LOL

    Comment by Danyelle – February 9, 2013 07:26 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Love Jeff Perry and I simply ADORED this scene. He is such a powerhouse actor and yet can be so subtle at times that when he has an explosive scene like this, it makes it all the more impactful. His range is amazing. Well deserved recognition!

    Comment by Sara – February 9, 2013 08:03 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • He will forever be Mr. Katimski to me. I can’t help but think Ricki Vasquez is hanging out somewhere in that house.

    Comment by Bitsy – February 9, 2013 08:09 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Mr. Katimsky is the greatest ever. Also, Enrique.

      Comment by Roni – February 9, 2013 05:24 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • So well deserved. Absolutely love this show!

    Comment by MGL – February 9, 2013 08:24 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Emmy reel!

    Comment by Karen (@ldylkngb) – February 9, 2013 08:34 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Jeff Perry is God.

    Comment by amazing – February 9, 2013 08:59 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • If Homeland was on, Claire Danes or Damien Lewis would win each week.

    Comment by Jenny – February 9, 2013 09:02 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I’m pretty sure Homeland won this at _least_ once during last season. So your point is……?

      Comment by Danyelle – February 9, 2013 10:34 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Jayma Mays on Glee this week was phenomenal. The beginning diva dialogue was hilarious and the comedic timing when ticking off her ‘wedding list’ was spot on. And at the end, her breakdown about the wedding (before it was ruined by Finn) was some of her best work on Glee!! Emma Pillsbury really showed us the OCD side of her brilliantly!!

    Comment by JohnL – February 9, 2013 10:33 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • He deserves this and more!! That was some of the finest acting on network televsision that I have seen in a long time.

    Comment by twilight123 – February 9, 2013 12:06 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Jeff’s performance was pretty spectacular. I really loved the scene. The fact that they were both naked, both physically and emotionally, made it just that much more mesmerizing. And surprisingly, he was looking pretty buff for a “gentleman of his age.”

    Comment by Mel – February 9, 2013 12:10 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Best performance: The POTUS killing Verna, that blow my mind!
    Worst performance: The Fitz pulling the Mistress Card.

    Comment by Crabapple Ct – February 9, 2013 01:17 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I agree. I thought he would be upset with Olivia but I didn’t expect him to be so cruel.

      Comment by JT – February 9, 2013 01:27 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Jeff Perry is so great. This was not my FAVORITE scene, simply because I thought the camera work was hampered by their nudity especially when JP was sitting on the bed (I was hoping for different choices by the director) but the speech was so revealing and beautiful. He truly deserves to be recognized for his STELLAR work.

    Comment by theOtherMonique – February 9, 2013 06:27 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Funny, it’s from the same episode of Scandal, but I was thinking that this week’s MVP would be Debra Mooney for Verna Thornton’s death-bed scene with Fitz. The adoration and accusation in her voice when she said “You made us love you…” Damn, but that’s acting!

    Comment by TomTom – February 10, 2013 01:11 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • You know, instead of retelling a scene with a thousand words, it would be more interesting to read a bit of backround about the given actor and maybe even some personal stuff.
    I have first seen Jeff Perry in NASH BRIDGES and liked him even then. Would ahve been interesting to hear a little more about him.

    Comment by Bark Star – February 10, 2013 04:43 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Jeff Perry is one fine actor. He deserves this and more. He brings so much to Scandal. Love him and love all actors in Scandal. Such a smart show, brilliant writers, actors and directors. The writing in this show is out of this world.

    Comment by Josh – February 10, 2013 05:17 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I discovered that I had been holding my breath thru his whole monologue. Wow!

    Comment by Diane – February 11, 2013 08:26 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • This show is amazing on all levels. The writing is brilliant and the entire cast is amazing! I’m always on the edge of my seat excited at what will happen next.

    The scene between Cyrus and James had moved me. It was provocative, intense, and left me breathless. And YES, they were both sexy!

    Kudos to everyone on this show. I can’t wait to buy the DVD! XD

    Comment by Craig – February 13, 2013 06:47 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I just got to watch this episdoe last night and this scene, the way it was intercut with the Huck & Quin exchange, just killed me. My four favorite characters on the show, my two favorite pairings, even if one is just in my head, and the kicker, my grown, army-dude nephew who was forced to watch with me saying in a impressed tone, ‘That’s a stout old dude.’

    Comment by GeekGirl13 – February 15, 2013 05:05 AM PDT  Reply To This Post

Leave a Reply

Comments on TVLine.com are monitored. So don't go off topic, don't frakkin' curse, and be gone with your offers of discount leather goods. Talk smart about TV!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s