This Scandal review contains spoilers.
Scandal Season 5 Episode 18
The moment dreamy eyed Jake Ballard bumped into Liv back in season two, viewers fell for the adorable meet-cute and the instantaneous connection between Liv and Jake. Here our favorite, super sleuthing gladiator was finally eyeing a man other than Fitz and it was so refreshing! A smart choice by Shonda Rhimes to pull Scott Foley back on another Shondaland favorite (viewers first falling in love with him as Henry on Grey’s Anatomy). But, it didn’t take too long for us to realize Jake wasn’t at all who he appeared to be and in fact, was working for B-613, the corrupt agency that consumed Huck.
After that revelation, I always considered Huck and Jake to have been the same. But, in last night’s Scandal, we come to realize that their susceptibility to the B-613 lifestyle were for two completely different reasons. Huck was just a naive young marine, presented with the grand opportunity to work for the CIA. However, it was too late when he realized how corrupt it was and was too far in to back out.
Jake, however, was not so easily claimed by B-613 and was only eventually broken down by Rowan who used Jake’s horrible past with his father to brainwash him.
I have to say, in a lot of television and movies it feels as though flashbacks are unnecessary and distracting from the current plot. Shonda Rhimes, however, gives so much purpose to the flashbacks and weaves them in often and in short segments that add more background to the storylines, as well as suspense. Tonight was a night I truly appreciated Rhimes’ mastery of the flashback. Seeing Jake’s damaging past and his induction into B-613 was truly beautiful and long awaited ever since we learned there was more to Jake than just a dream Pentagon employee.
Turning a blind eye…
Once again we are asked to move on from yet another character becoming a murderer and move to other storylines. All the remorse and sadness Liv had in last night’s episode, was all an act to get out of Jake why he was marrying Vanessa. It’s unclear if she really does feel regret or pain from her first kill…so, do we just forget that she did that? With this show…it wouldn’t be too surprising.
Did Olivia Choose Jake?
So Rowan wanted Jake to marry Vanessa because she is the perfect wife to have on his arm when Edison would put Jake on the ballot as his Vice President. Jake fell for Olivia’s, “I’m sad and drunk” act and fessed up to her. He wasn’t in love with Vanessa…he would always be in love with Liv.
What was completely unexpected was not so much Jake telling Liv he wants to leave Vanessa and asking her if she wanted to be with him too. No, it was that Liv said yes. She said yes! And if Rowan hadn’t butted in per usual, threatening to kill Jake unless Liv convinced him she didn’t want to be with him…would they still being going off into the sunset together like that always wanted?
Overall, tonight’s episode brought a new side to Jake we have never seen before which also encouraged that feeling of curiosity so many of us had when he first graced the Scandal screens. But, the question is no longer, ‘Where did this man come from?’, it’s ‘What the hell is he going to do next?’ Angry Jake may be ruthless, but broken hearted Jake may be a whole other breed of cold.
Until next time!