Next, Liv goes to tell Cyrus that there's been an arrest and confession in James's carjacking case. Cyrus asks if they're sure now that this was a carjacking and Liv affirms it. She goes on to add that they will be doing a press briefing and she'll go over it with Sheila. Why can't Liv just do it? Why are they even bothering with terrible Sheila? Cyrus must feel the same way because he grabs the papers from Liv and heads for the briefing room.
Cyrus walks to the briefing room in kind of a trance as he flashes back to the rest of his relationship with James: the fights, the kisses, more fights. He takes his place at the podium and begins his statement, but after he says James's name, he goes into a flashback of the first Grant State Dinner. Mellie and Fitz waltz with other couples on the dance floor while Cyrus stands alone, watching. He gets up and walks out to the press area, where James is waiting. And "You're The Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me" by Gladys Night starts playing. Cyrus lets James through the velvet rope and grabs his hand, dragging him back into the dinner and out on the dance floor. James asks, "Are you sure?" and Cyrus just says, "Dance with me, James." And they dance. And Fitz and Mellie (among others) smile at them.
Back in present day, Cyrus's face just crumbles. And then you can see him try to pull himself together, but the enormity of what just happened hits him, and he's just a broken man. He lets out two strangled sobs, and Jesus what an acting job. Fitz walks out to the podium and tries to get Cyrus off, but Cyrus keeps saying, "Let me do my job!" until he lets Fitz lead him away. Olivia steps up, clears her throat, and continue the statement as we see a montage of the Gladiators, David, and Jake watching her on television.
Before I go on to the last scene, let me say something. This episode is the FIRST time I have cared about James and Cyrus's relationship in the history of the show. I could never figure out why James stayed, and why he kept taking Cyrus back when Cyrus was such a monster. I just wish the writers had shown us some of this back story earlier, so I could have cared a little more before the relationship ended. And that last flashback leading into Cyrus's breakdown? Amazing.
Anyway, then Jake has his own flashback. He finishes bundling Vanessa and Shelby into his car trunk and then heads back to where James is lying on the ground, dying. Jake tells him that he's sorry, but he had to make his death look sloppy, like an amateur did it, which means it will take him some time to die. James can't speak, but he looks terrified. Jake promises to stay until it's over, and he won't let James did alone. He also vows that James's daughter is okay, and safe, and nothing will happen to her. And finally, James stops struggling and the light goes from his eyes. Jake sighs. Goodbye, James. You were never my favorite character, but I'm still sorry you had to go, but what a great death scene for Dan Bucatinski. And it's nice to see that the show isn't shying away from killing off main characters, because it raises the stakes, for sure.