Scene from Scandal, Oct. 24 (ABC)

(The Root) — There's nothing like a nice, juicy Cyrus Beene quote. Pretty much everything the cheeky chief of staff says can be applied to any real-life situation if you try hard enough. To wit, if someone cuts you in line at the coffee shop, just stick them with a snarling, "You might be animal, but I am a monster," and watch how quickly they skedaddle.

And let's not forget when Cy asked Olivia Pope, "Is your vagina apolitical?" Pull that one out and immediately bring those exhausting debates about whether your best friend should get back with her ex to a complete shutdown, Tea Party-style. Cyrus gives great sound bite. But in last night's episode of Scandal, Cyrus took a backseat and let the rest of the politicos hit us with some great headlines.


1. "Olivia, he would hurt you. Your father? He would slit your throat and drink your blood if it served the Republic." —Jake Ballard when Olivia tries to kick him out

Word, Jake? You're just going to put Olivia's pops out there on Front Street like that? Whether or not Rowan Pope is, in fact, a civil vampire remains to be seen, but it's clear that Jake will do and say pretty much anything to stay on Olivia's couch.


2. "I won't let the world hang him for something he didn't do. You of all people should know how wrong that is." —The senator's wife when she meets Olivia for the first time

In the recurring role of the ubiquitous politician's wife who stands blindly by her man, The Office's Melora Hardin echoes a very Olivia-like sentiment when her husband is accused of murdering the girl he exchanged some racy sexts with.


3. "Give any piece of trailer trash a push-up bra and a microphone, and the stupid flyovers will eat it up like fried Twinkies." —Mellie Grant when she's asked about a potential Sarah Palin wannabe stealing her husband's shine

The first lady is increasingly becoming the most " 'bout it" character on the show. No matter how polished or sleek she might seem on the outside, on the inside Mellie is a scandal waiting to happen. In just one sentence she managed to insult a potential political rival, about 90 percent of the country and delicious snacks.


4. "If you're worried about the money, then we can all work for free at least for a few months." —Abby Whelan when Olivia has to decide whether to keep a lying client

Record scratch! Although noble in some circles, Abby's announcement takes the cake as the craziest thing I've heard said in Scandal history. Work? For free? Since when did OPA become the federal government?


5. "Take your files and your conspiracies and leave my office now!" —Olivia when Jake bursts into her sanctum with scandal on his brain

What is happening to our precious little, gut-checking 'Liv? Her father, head of the CIA's murder department, has got Olivia so shook that she can't think straight. Never once has this woman ever turned down a good conspiracy. Jake has his work cut out for him.


6. "I'm done waiting for a decision. You won't give me a straight answer, in or out? I'll give you one. I'm out." —David Rosen when Abby refuses to define their relationship

David has grown some major U.S. attorney cojones since season 1. Like their bosses Fitz and Olivia, David and Abby have a relationship that's always off. But in last night's episode he took the competition to a whole other level.


7. "And he has made me look like the weakest, most backwards anti-feminist this world has ever known, and that is not the poster child I am supposed to be."  —The senator's wife when she finds out her husband is a total pervert

You better tell 'em, Huma Abedin! Oh, wait.

8. "Do you think we can leave the past in the past, sir?"  —Cyrus when the president shows up at a funeral for a man he can't be connected to


Is Cy not watching the show?! There is no leaving the past behind in Scandal land. The past always comes back to bite you. The question is, how hard?

9. "You're not worried about me; you're interested! You want to know what it feels like to do the things that I do!" —Huck when Quinn Perkins won't stop badgering him about where he's been


In her long-running audition for the 14th season of Snapped: Scandal Edition, Quinn has become way too obsessed with Huck's "alcoholism" (read: killing addiction). Huck called it. Quinn's curiosity goes well beyond friendly concern. The girl wants to get into the assassin racket.

10. "More wine!" —Jake when Liv tries to have a private phone conversation with the president


If the leader of the free world could ever get big-boyed, then that just happened. In two words — probably Olivia's favorite two, in fact — Jake manages to let both Liv and Fitz know that he's not going anywhere. It would be sorta creepy if it weren't so cute.

Helena Andrews is a contributing editor at The Root and author of Bitch Is the New Black, a memoir in essays. Follow her on Twitter. 


Helena Andrews is a contributing editor at The Root and author of Bitch Is the New Black, a memoir in essays. Follow her on Twitter.

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