Gladiators! After a brief, albeit painful hiatus Scandal Season 6 has returned (again). When Scandal last aired, the revelation Tom and Cyrus didn’t kill Senator Vargas left us captivated. Let’s unravel the mystery!
Sally Langston Returns
Scandal Season 6 Episode 5 returns with our dear friend Sally Langston. In flashbacks, Sally lambasts America about the upcoming election between Senator Vargas and Senator Mellie Grant. Flash forward to 73 days before inauguration and her tune has changed. Her questioning of whether or not Mellie is a great candidate for POTUS leads us into another flashback.
Behind Closed Doors
Jake and his “perfect” wife Vanessa are front and center this episode of Scandal. Little do we know that appearances can be fooling. Consequently, Vanessa launches on a rant about how perfect their lives are, how she feels like Jackie O; however Jake is not responsive in the least bit. Ironically, he’s extremely unhappy that he’s back on Olivia Pope’s proverbial leash. Lucky for us, Vanessa delivers quite a monologue.
Vanessa argues that America is not electing Olivia Pope, they’re electing Jake Ballard. Furthermore, she reminds Jake that Olivia Pope is “America’s Mistress” and Olivia will be a minor footnote in Jake’s history. Lastly, in one of the most chilling moments, Vanessa turns into Olivia and delivers the best line: “once you have the power, they all bow down”. Unfortunately, this leads into them reconciling and the whole argument was a form of foreplay.
Vanessa Gone Wild
Back at Sally Langston’s show, Pope & Associates is feverishly searching for Vanessa. She and Jake are scheduled to appear on the show but unfortunately the team found her elsewhere. A swift lie to Sally about Vanessa’s disappearance saves them from further scandal. Unfortunately, the name of the show is Scandal and Vanessa crashed her Mercedes into a tree in the middle of the day.
As a result of Vanessa’s disdain towards Jake, her accident includes a local bartender she picked up and quite possibly engaged in sexual activity with. As a consequence of Vanessa’s actions, Pope & Associates launch into action. They incinerate her crashed car, pay off the bartender and act like nothing happened.
Before Jake leaves he lets Vanessa know that she’s disgusting and storms off. This marriage is definitely on shaky ground.
Olivia Pope: Villian
In a turn of events, Jake and Olivia face off once again. However, Jake points out that Olivia feels like a villain. It’s not that Olivia wants to do the right thing, it’s because she’s part of the “family”. She too has fallen into Eli/Rowan’s desperation and attempt to control everything. Unfortunately, Olivia’s attempts at explaining she only wants to win the right way, as pennance for Defiance.
Secrets Always Come Out
People’s secrets always come out when they’re at their lowest. Unfortunately for Jake, Vanessa spills some information about his actions on election night. However, it takes Liv and Vanessa verbally sparring with one another to get to the good stuff. At one point Liv bosses up and gets in Vanessa’s face. In return, Vanessa shouts at Liv that “my husband’s whore is in my face now”. Not a good idea Vanessa. Olivia pushes her right back and pleads with her she only wants to help.
The craziest part of the entire scene is Vanessa frantically pacing and letting Olivia know that Jake is cheating on both of them. Strangely enough, it’s this train of thought that unravels Jake’s truth. Vanessa informs Olivia that Jake disappeared on election night after the election was called. He receives a text message, which she assumes is from another woman. The timing is questionable but potentially links him to Vargas’ shooting.
Dealing With The Devil
As it turns out, the mystery person Jake engaged in text with was none other than Eli Pope. The night of the assassination, he tasked Jake with a mission, much to Jake’s chagrin. At first Jake is combative with Eli, telling him he should have killed him when he had a chance. Consequently, Papa Pope lets Jake know “the world is about to turn upside down” and Jake has an opportunity to be on the right side. What Jake’s mission is not yet revealed in that moment, but Jake puts himself back in bed with the devil.
The Cabin In The Woods
Meanwhile, Pope & Assosciates are diligently searching for Jake’s whereabouts election night and the subsequent hours that followed. They track him to a hotel room, but Jake is always one step ahead of them. He is a former B613 member and head of the NSA.
Regrettably, it’s revealed that Jake was the one who planted the bomb in the cabin in the woods that took out Jennifer Fields. How will Jake’s actions affect the election and the group going forward. Why is Papa Pope trying to take out the Democratic Party?
Mellie: Leader of the Free World
Scandal Season 6 has done a tremendous job lifting Mellie up as an independent and motivated woman. No longer is she propped up by a man or “yes” people. She still has her flaws, but she’s truly free. This is ever present during her conversation with Vanessa. First, she tells Vanessa that Vanessa is asleep at the wheel. Not literally, but figuratively. Vanessa doesn’t know what she wants, and until she “wakes up” she’s not going to be happy. Through a passionate speech, she tells Vanessa that Vanessa has a job to do. Not for Jake, but for America. She will not find happiness until she does her job.
Regrettably, Jake and Olivia’s relationship is damaged once again. He knows that Pope & Associates looked into him and he is always one step ahead of them. He hands Olivia a piece of paper after their argument.
Cut to Olivia showing up at Eli’s place of work screaming at him. She’s flabbergasted that he framed her for Tom & Cyrus. Apparently, there is a Swiss bank account with her name on it that shows her paying Tom Larsen. It is to be assumed the money paid to Tom is for assassinating Senator Vargas. It’s a form of leverage and unfortunately he needs to keep Olivia in line. Isn’t electing Mellie Grant what she wants after all?
Their father/daughter relationship is beyond screwed up. Blackmail and assassination attempts, kidnapping, the likes of it all is extremely twisted and there is no amount of therapy to help repair the damage.
All Is Not As It Seems
Jake appears and tells Olivia to come with him. It’s not so much him asking but him forcing her. Into the car they go, Olivia talking a million miles a minute. She’s asking question after question, Jake not answering a single question. He urges her to stay quite. At one point, he takes her phone. He keeps telling Olivia he has as confession, yet chooses to keep it hidden.
Jake utters repeatedly that “Jennifer had to die” after Olivia figures out that Jake is behind Jennifer Field’s murder. They pull up in the middle of the woods and arrive at another mysterious cabin in the woods.
Bombshell: Jennifer Fields is alive. He has been keeping her hidden in the woods. On paper she is dead, but for whatever reason, she is kept alive by Jake and whoever else.
Cut to black and episode 5 of Scandal Season 6 ends.
Come back next week for Scandal Season 6, airing on ABC Thursdays at 9pm EST.
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