It seems the whole world has gone on spring break lately and our Scandal expert, Phil has broken free of the radiator to join the crowd. That means you are stuck with me to recap Scandal and I stopped doing it previously because I really need someone to explain the show to me! So I will do my best, and Phil will be back next week, baring any “How Stella Got Her Groove Back” situations.
Because Shonda Rimes just adores flashbacks, we are going to have a lot of them tonight that will shed some light on Jake’s background. We open on a scene of him as a filthy kid playing outside with army trucks and toy soldiers while is father beats the crap out of his mother. His name then was Pete Harris.
Next we see Papa Pope recruiting a young Pete and changing his name to Jake Ballard. He was in the navy jail for a fight where he broke some guys hand. He thought he had two weeks left to serve, but Eli says that he is being discharged because the guy whose hand he broke is a congressman’s son. He’s looking at ten years in prison. Pete had beaten up several different people and is looking at ten years in jail, or ten years with Eli. Clearly, he ultimately chooses Eli.
We see Charlie and Jake have a little bit of a pissing match during a machine gun training exercise. Jake smarts off to Eli about him being a weird guy who keeps telling him he is his dad. Eli points out all the negative qualities of his real father in detail which I’ll skip right over. Jake tries to get the jump on Eli but no one gets the upperhand on Papa Pope. He beats the shit out of Jake and tells him, “Nobody takes Command” Jake smarts off again and he gives him a swift kick to the head and knocks him out.
Next we see Charlie beating the living crap out of a handcuffed Jake while Papa Pope watched. Charlie says they should just take him out back and shoot him like a dog. After some sort of “good boy” praise, Papa Pope puts Jake in the hole for a month. Once he is out of the hole, Eli wants to know where Jake’s mind went in the hole. Was it an idyllic beach or a dark place? More graphic reminds of Jake’s childhood are shouted in his face by Eli. The he tells Jake he is his family and he will not hurt him, he will take care of him. He hugs Jake and Jake cries (riveting scent actually, I just would have normally fast forwarded over this stuff) and hugs him back. He is now officially in the service of a new Satan.
Jake graduates into B613. Eli gives Jake a choice he can bail on B613 or live a normal life. He can use all the training and fatherly guidance he has been given to be a black ops killer or just an average Jake at the bar after a 9 to 5. Jake has to want B613, and he does.
Still in his graduation whites, Jake drives to his childhood home and murders his father, his blood splattering his white uniform. He picks up a toy soldier on the way out. He returns immediately to his new father, Eli. Papa Pope pours them a drink and toasts, “Welcome to B613.”
It’s been two weeks since Andrew was murdered. Olivia appears to be in her old bedroom at Papa Pope’s house which makes no sense because I don’t think Papa Pope lives in the house where she grew up. I get we are supposed to believe that now, but I think it’s a plot hole. I dunno. Did I mention I am not good at this? Jake, who also lives there, comes in with a breakfast tray to make her eat. There has been a weird connection between Jake and eating in the past several episodes. Apparently, Olivia took to the bed after killing the former Vice President of the United States. Jake and Fitz have made sure there is no investigation into Andrew’s death.
Papa Pope wants Olivia to get up and play games with him, literally. He also tells her that Jake’s wedding has been moved up to Saturday. Olivia gets up, and goes out for a jog where she secretly hooks up with Huck and Quinn to tell them that Jake and Vanessa have moved the wedding up to Saturday and she wants to find out whatever she can about that. Then she jogs back into the lions den.
This is one of those episodes where everyone talks super fast. I thought Shonda had stopped doing that as much. I don’t want to think that fast. Eli has invited 600 attendees mostly political donors and celebrities. What is the motive for that?
Olivia for some unknown reason was supposed to go with Jake and the fiancée to a an enagement hoe down at the White House. No one has an engagement party on the week of their wedding. No. One. Olivia stages a fake breakdown to get his sympathy and attention. Jake tells Vanessa to go without him and he will meet her there. She has the expected reaction. Well a mild version. I’d cancel the wedding right there, but my patience with fucktards is nonexistent. She has a civilized meltdown while not even clutching her pearls. Mostly because the much needed pearls are absent from her neck. One should always wear pearls to one’s engagement party at the White House. If not then, when for fucksake???
Olivia listens at the door where Jake tells Eli that moving up the wedding was not a good idea. Eli basically says it’s not up to him. Jake yes sirs him and promises to fix things.
Jake and Fitz share a drink alone on the balcony. Fitz asks why he is getting married. There is no answer. Just a brief practically wordless moment where they are both thinking about Olivia.
Jake comes home to a “drunk” Olivia lying in wait. She claims to have polished off a shit ton of bourbon. She tells Jake she knows this is all her fathers idea. She tells him to admit he doesn’t really love her. He admits that is true.
Jake catches on to the fact she is not really drunk. Olivia stops playing drunk and screams at him to tell her what is going on. Jake admits he will be the VP under the Eli’s presidential pony, Edison. Jake says that all Papa Pope has ever wanted is what is best for them (Jake and Olivia). Jake says she will always be the only woman he loves. I forsee a fingerbang!
Olivia goes back to her twin bead….then some banging happens that we don’t see. The next morning the three inhabitants of the house all sit down for a lovely breakfast. Why doesn’t Olivia just go home? Doesn’t she need clothes and cosmetics? Once again, Eli sets them up to be alone together. We seem to have a war going on between Liv and Eli over who actually controls Jake. Can she stop him from getting married? Or will Eli win again?
Jake comes in Olivia’s room and says he does not want to marry Vanessa. He wants to be with her. She runs into his arms.
Jake, Olivia, Huck and Quinn get together to develop a plan to avoid the wedding. Olivia says the best way to make him useless to Eli in his current political game is to jilt Vanessa at the altar. This would insure that he would not be a viable candidate for the VP slot. Jake agrees. He dashes off to get ready for the wedding. Olivia has a smug look of satisfaction. She is beating Eli at his own game. Huck is not sold on the plan. He asks Olivia if she is sure. She gives a speech about wanting to be happy and knowing what she is doing. He reluctantly says, “Okay.” I don’t think Olivia plans to be with Jake at all. I think this whole situation is about fucking up Eli and his plans for Edison. Olivia is doing this for Mellie’s campaign.
The flower budget for the wedding is underwhelming. Olivia comes early to sit in the back row. Eli joins her and tells her that he knows what she is up to and she needs to tell Jake she has changed her mind or he will slit Jake’s throat. If she tells Jake he is the reason for her change of heart, he will slit his throat. I’ve thought as soon as I saw the title of this episode that someone is going to die. I am counting on Huck killing Vanessa at this point. It’s the only out I see to keep Jake alive. Eli tells Liv, “A wedding or a funeral,the choice is yours.” I’d say based on the flowers alone, a funeral is more in order. I mean purple and green at a wedding? Only if Barney is taking a Martian bride would that be acceptable.
Olivia dumps Jake going into the wedding. She tries to be as mean as possible. She calls him weak and pathetic and easily manipulated. She tells him she is in love with Fitz and all she thinks about is Fitz. It’s cruel and convincing. Jake is devastated.
Jake stands at the altar waiting for his bride, and looks out to see Eli, who appears to be shedding a tear after telling Olivia early that this was his son, and he would sooner kill him than let him live a mediocre existence. Clearly, the plan is to get Edison elected and then off Edison making Jake the new president.
Jake marries Vanessa.
Next Week: It’s Abby versus Olivia in the political battle for the oval.