So, Harry Reid didn't go down the path of the "nuclear option" in order to get Richard Cordray appointed as director of the CFPB.
But this wasn't a cave by Reid. Reid got what he wanted; the Republicans stopped blocking Cordray's nomination, as well as several of President Obama's nominees to the NLRB, and they'll be confirmed by Senate vote.
See, it wasn't necessary to actually vote to do away with the filibuster. This happened because now, Republicans know that Reid actually WILL do away with the filibuster if they continue their path of obstruction, and now they know as well that Reid will have the votes in the Democratic caucus to do just that.
In other words -- Reid did away with the filibuster, without actually doing away with the filibuster. At least for executive branch nominations, and possibly in the near future for judicial nominations, the filibuster is essentially gone.
Republicans can still technically use the filibuster to obstruct the business of the Senate, but now Democrats can take the privilege away at any time. "Stop the filibuster, or we'll change the rules so that you can't filibuster" is basically the same thing as... well, changing the rules so that you can't filibuster.
Well, I guess there is ONE difference. That is that the media will not treat this as ending the filibuster. They're treating this as though Reid managed to work out a compromise with the Republicans. Now, imagine the firestorm if he actually HAD ended the filibuster.
Instead, we all know that as soon as Republicans take control of the Senate, they're going to do away with the filibuster. Now, Mitch McConnell (or whoever the Republican leader is at that time) will be the one who has to answer for it. Not Harry Reid.