‘Scandal’ Postmortem: Scott Foley on Jake’s Big Secret: ‘He Went Around the Rules’

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Kerry Washington and Scott Foley (Credit: Kelsey McNeal/ABC)
Kerry Washington and Scott Foley (Credit: Kelsey McNeal/ABC)

Warning: This post contains spoilers for the “They All Bow Down” episode of Scandal.

Where in the world of Scandal was Jake Ballard on the night of the presidential election?

Tonight’s episode finally put the spotlight on the VP candidate, who was suspiciously missing when his ticket’s opponent, Francisco Vargas, was assassinated. Was Jake — a killer trained by B-613 and the manipulative Rowan Pope — involved? Did he pull the trigger?

SPOILERS AHEAD!

The short answer: No. But for part of the episode, it looked like Jake killed Jennifer Fields (the Vargas campaign aide who pointed a finger at Cyrus Beene) by blowing up her cabin. Instead, as Jake shows Olivia, he saved Jennifer by making her disappear. He was ordered to get rid of her, by Rowan, but ended up defying his former boss and surrogate father.

Looks like Jake hasn’t thrown away the white hat just yet.

Scott Foley (Credit: Kelsey McNeal/ABC)
Scott Foley (Credit: Kelsey McNeal/ABC)

“I was so relieved,” star Scott Foley tells Yahoo TV of the revelation. “I truly believe Jake does things, even bad things, with the best of intentions, believing that it’s the right thing for the country, believing it’s the right thing for Olivia. I don’t think he has ever done something out of malice, just for his own purpose.

Related: Catch Up on ‘Scandal’ With Our Recaps

“But I was so relieved to find out, when ordered to get rid of Jennifer Fields, he did not. And he went around the rules and has protected her and is working towards the truth in this whole assassination plot.”

And in an episode that was all about Jake keeping secrets from his wife, Vanessa, he opened up to Olivia.

“Olivia Pope’s the fixer, right? She’s the one who needs to know and by keeping Jennifer Fields alive and giving Olivia this information, it gives Olivia that much more power to work and do her magic,” Foley explains.

Scott Foley, Guillermo Diaz, Jessalyn Gilsig, Kerry Washington, Katie Lowes, and George Newbern (Credit: Kelsey McNeal/ABC)
Scott Foley, Guillermo Diaz, Jessalyn Gilsig, Kerry Washington, Katie Lowes, and George Newbern (Credit: Kelsey McNeal/ABC)

She may need some extra magic, since the episode also revealed the involvement of a mysterious woman who is capable of intimidating the puppetmaster himself, Rowan. Turns out, there is somebody above his pay grade who’s pulling the strings — and who has set up Olivia as complicit in the assassination.

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“We always saw Rowan as the deepest, darkest — the pinnacle of evil, the person pulling the strings. To learn that there is someone or something that he fears, that has his number is a really interesting dynamic,” Foley notes. “Not just for his character, but for the show. There are many more levels of deception and espionage that are in play here. It just adds another playing field.”

So, now the audience knows Jake isn’t Vargas’s killer, providing one more piece of the puzzle. Foley believes fans will be shocked by the final reveal.

“The reveal will be really interesting and something that the writers have put a lot of time into and is complicated enough that everyone will say, ‘Oh my god, I didn’t see that, that’s amazing!’”

Scandal airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on ABC.

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