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:

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37 Comments
  1. valezza says:

    I knew it!

  2. bryceradick says:

    You guys and Shonda liked this scene much more than I did, but hey, that’s fine. Scandal deserves one of these!

  3. 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!

    • Cathy says:

      Agreed. It would have been better if that had already happened, but hopefully at some point…

      • wordsmith says:

        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.

        • Russ says:

          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.

        • Amanda says:

          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.

  4. Kresh says:

    I remember when he was on Prison Break, now that’s what I call performer of the week ^^

  5. Johoallen says:

    Well deserved! Jeff Perry was mesmerizing!

  6. Bella says:

    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

  7. Lauren says:

    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.

    • Little Mama says:

      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.

  8. Danyelle says:

    Perfection. Glad to see Scandal get recognized for the acting as well as the crazy! LOL

  9. Sara says:

    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!

  10. Bitsy says:

    He will forever be Mr. Katimski to me. I can’t help but think Ricki Vasquez is hanging out somewhere in that house.

  11. MGL says:

    So well deserved. Absolutely love this show!

  12. amazing says:

    Jeff Perry is God.

  13. Jenny says:

    If Homeland was on, Claire Danes or Damien Lewis would win each week.

  14. JohnL says:

    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!!

  15. twilight123 says:

    He deserves this and more!! That was some of the finest acting on network televsision that I have seen in a long time.

  16. Mel says:

    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.”

  17. Crabapple Ct says:

    Best performance: The POTUS killing Verna, that blow my mind!
    Worst performance: The Fitz pulling the Mistress Card.

  18. theOtherMonique says:

    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.

  19. TomTom says:

    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!

  20. Bark Star says:

    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.

  21. Josh says:

    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.

  22. Diane says:

    I discovered that I had been holding my breath thru his whole monologue. Wow!

  23. Craig says:

    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

  24. GeekGirl13 says:

    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.’

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