Scandal Season 6 Episode 5 Review: They All Bow Down

After a brief hiatus, Scandal came back with a twist and a character switch no one could see coming in our favorite episode of the season.

This Scandal review contains spoilers.

Scandal Season 6 Episode 5

It has definitely been a minute since we have had some serious Jake screen time since the start of the season. Perhaps to suggest that he, too, has been absent from his own life on the show. We got to learn about what Jake has been up to from a series of flashbacks during the election, to continuous mysterious disappearances into the present.

We get to see Jake near the beginning of the election. His relationship with his wife actually seemed to be doing good. But really, it was only a façade. No shock there. Almost a defense mechanism, even, due to his hatred and anger with Olivia. He actually seemed rattled at first with Olivia’s hunger for power and clearly hated her for it until she broke down those barriers and called him out on it. Once again Jake and Olivia were on the same page which Vanessa did not like.

Vanessa, in the present, seems to be spiraling out of control involving herself in a drunk driving accident and refusing to stand by Jake’s side any longer after his coldness and distance from her, as he continues to lean on Olivia for guidance.

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One of my favorite scenes of the night was when Mellie came in and gave Vanessa a talking to after she claimed she wanted out from her marriage with Jake. Mellie told her it is too late for that and she has to use his position of power to get what she wants.

Can I just say I am loving the parallels here? I mean, Jake is clearly the new Fitz. Vanessa is Mellie and Olivia is…well, Olivia.

When Olivia confessed that her drive to get Mellie to be president is her redemption for Defiance when she played dirty to get Fitz elected, I felt a bit more relieved that her recent behavior had some sort of function and purpose other than she just wants to be on top. Olivia is carrying around so much guilt from what happened around eight years ago.

It has been a struggle for me to get on board with anything that Olivia does ever since she killed Andrew Nichols, the man responsible for her kidnapping. While he was a pretty horrible person, Olivia was actually one character to really hold out from committing a murder like most of the other leading Scandal characters. The barbaric, horrific nature of how she killed Nichols put me in shock and though I appreciate her remorse for defiance…it baffles me that she still hasn’t expressed much remorse form when she killed a man…

Another strange happening of the night was Papa Pope’s comeback to the storyline. When it seemed like Olivia may be getting set up to make it look like she was involved in Vargas’ murder, she approaches her father, claiming it was him who did this. However, we are treated to something we have never been treated to before…

Fear in the eyes of Eli Pope.

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That’s right. We finally see the twisted, murderer’s face fall after Olivia accuses him of setting up some account in her name that made it look like she paid someone to kill Vargas.

Yes, it is clear by this point that both Eli and Jake may have been involved somehow, but it looks like there is a new puppet master in town.

We are unaware of who this woman is, but someone who makes Eli shake in his boots is a welcome sight no matter what. This mysterious woman has some sort of hold on Eli and it was refreshing to see such a fearless man…afraid.

By the end of the episode, we have been pushed and pulled in every which direction to what Jake is up to and who he really is. A Jake centered episode has been long needed and it was acutally enjoyable being taken on this ride, once again, on Jake’s true nature and motives.

When he forces Olivia to drive with him way out in the middle of nowhere, his anger and coolness oozing from his skin, it feels that he may just be about to kill her.

But wait!

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It looks to me like a bigger plan is cooking up and that Eli is not the only one capable of total deceit and espionage. Who is involved in it…it is unclear to say at this point. But Jennifer Fields, the Vargas campaign worker who claimed she had proof that Cyrus killed Frankie, is actually alive. Jake is the one protecting her, even though we learned tonight Eli is the one who ordered Jake to kill her.

So, does that mean Jake may be lying to Papa Pope?

Well, we end with a very shocked and confused Olivia perhaps on the brink of a revelation that will lead us to find out who killed Frankie Vargas.

Next week should be a nail biter.


3.5 out of 5