Good lord that was bad.
Last week, Olivia Pope killed a man in cold blood, and gave us an outstanding hour of Scandal in the process. This week? The show got boring.
It’s funny how the show pushed aside the incredible opportunity to explore Olivia’s damaged psyche after committing such a heinous act, and instead decided to give us an exploratory hour where Jake is concerned. It only took the show five seasons to delve into his character, and I find it so curious that it chose this point in time to do that. Is Shonda simply unsure how to tackle Olivia going forward? I guess that’s the best solution: sweep it all under the rug and hope for the best! Just bizarre.
There’s no denying that Jake’s backstory had its intriguing moments, but I found it hard to muster up too much sympathy for a character who time and again, has proven himself to be quite heartless (remember the way he just flat out murdered James (Cyrus’ husband)?) Still, the reveal that his father was physically abusive with his wife and sexually abusive with Jake’s sister proved to be tremendously disturbing and unsettling, making Jake’s eventual murder of the deranged man all the more satisfying. In addition, the script at least made a worthwhile case where Rowan is concerned: he broke Jake down at its most vulnerable, so it’s no wonder Jake has such loyalty to the man. The influx of Papa Pope monologues however, I could have done without (as always).
Also, Rowan threatening Liv and forcing her to break Jake’s heart was far too soapy and melodramatic even for Scandal. While Liv’s hurtful monologue to Jake was quite powerful (calling him a “lesser version” of Fitz and a booty call), the whole thing just reeked of cheap storytelling and contrived drama. Ugh. And did anyone even care about the wedding?
– So Jake’s real name is Peter Harris.
– The fact that Jake and Charlie were in class together made me laugh.
– So Rowan wants Jake to be Edison’s VP. Not a bad plan I must say!
– Scott Foley was terrific in the scene where Rowan berated him for not saving his sister (who eventually committed suicide) Foley didn’t utter a single word and still managed to convey so much. Impressive!
– Seriously Shonda, stop reusing the same songs over and over again.
– Visually arresting sight with blood all over Jake’s white Navy uniform. And the final shot with a little Jack in black and white was a good one too!
– No Abby. No Cyrus. No Liz. No Fitz. No Mellie. Not good!
Jake: You’re gonna want to do something with your hair. Have you looked in the mirror recently? It’s not pretty.
Rowan: I’ve been reading about you. For a screw-up, you are very bright.
Rowan: Option “A” makes you the bitch of the Federal Board of Corrections. Option “B” makes you my bitch. But here’s the good news. I can turn you into somebody. A real soldier with a real future. And there’s no one else on this planet who can promise you that without either being a fool or a liar. So what’s it gonna be? Pete Harris or Jake Ballard? Their bitch or mine?
Charlie: I’d tell you to toss him in the hole, but this one might be a lost cause. I took in a stray Maltese a few years back. I know… who leaves a Maltese on the street? Okay, maybe he was tied up outside of a coffee shop.
Rowan: I will do that because I love him. Because he is the talent in this family. And I would rather he be dead than mediocre.
Olivia: You’re a yo-yo. A booty call. A sidepiece. And frankly it’s embarrassing that you still haven’t realized, after all this time, that if we were together, actually together, I would tear right through you.
A messy and misplaced hour that sucked the narrative momentum right out of the season.