If you would like to read my review of the last episode, click here.
Synopsis: Jake and Vanessa’s messy relationship poses a threat to the campaign, forcing Olivia to take action. Meanwhile, a game-changing revelation about the conspiracy surrounding Francisco Vargas’s assassination is revealed. (Scandal Wiki)
Writer: Zahir McGhee
Director: Millicent Shelton
Running Time: 43mins
So we’re still talking about the election and election night. We almost know what everyone was up to but we haven’t really seen much of Jake yet. This episode helped to fill some gaps. With Vargas killed and Mellie the incumbent President, it was up to Jake and his wife Vanessa (Jessalyn Gilsig) on the frontlines to support her on Sally Langston’s show. Unfortunately for them, Vanessa was no where to be found as she decided to go to a bar to drink and spend time with another man while intentionally crashing her car into a tree. Her and Jake’s relationship has gone downhill very quickly and this episode chronicled their decline via a series of flashbacks.
They seemed to be very happy near the beginning of the campaign with Jake unsure what to do and Vanessa encouraging him to accept the Vice-Presidency because it would be a once in a lifetime opportunity. Jake had been used to following orders all his life, either from Rowan or Olivia, so this would mean that he would get to be his own man. Even though they appeared to be in love, it wasn’t the same behind the scenes. Over time, the two would drift further and further apart with Jake working all the time while also spending a lot of time with Olivia. They just wouldn’t really talk to one another where Jake didn’t share much about him and his past. Vanessa became lonely and started to drink.
Jake and Olivia may have been spending time together but they were far from being romantically involved. She didn’t like the way he was treating her but he told her that it was what it took to win. Olivia wanted to win so desperately since she wanted to prove to herself that she could run a clean campaign and get some redemption in the process (unlike what happened in Defiance which got Fitz elected).
We also learned that on election night, before Vargas was shot, Jake had to leave the room for whatever reason. In a corridor, he met Rowan who gave him another assignment, wanting Jake to come back home to him. Vanessa confronted Olivia and asked if she was with Jake and she said no so Olivia went to confront Jake and ask him if there was anything else going on that she didn’t know about. He of course denied it. She got sad because she just wanted to feel something. He tried to console her but he had his hands too close to her neck. She just wanted to hear about him and his past and he kept refusing. Not knowing the truth about her husband, she got upset and left.
Olivia and the Gladiators started to retrace Jake’s steps from after he left the room on election night and they learned that he was near Jennifer Fields’ cabin before it exploded. We are then given a flashback that confirms Jake killed her and blew up her cabin. They were also able to trace his satellite phone to a motel where he appeared to be spending time at.
To try and convince Vanessa to do the interview, she brought in Mellie who gave her a pep talk. She reminded her of who she was and how alike they were. She also reminded her of her responsibilities. She wanted Vanessa to make sure she knew what she wanted out of all of it. She told her that she could be free. Jake and Vanessa completed the interview not too long afterwards and they voiced their support for Mellie and her Presidency.
While they were doing the interview, they were looking into his hotel room and found nothing. That was because he caught wind of their plan and he cleared out the room. He then handed her a bank statement from a Swiss bank account that was set up in her name that made it look like she payed Tom to confess to killing Vargas for Cyrus. She confronted Rowan with it and wanted to know what his endgame was and he told to stop asking questions that she didn’t want to hear the answers to.
Rowan is then confronted by a mysterious woman who seems to be part of larger group responsible for everything. He asked her about the bank statement and she said that it was just an insurance policy on Olivia. She was close to Cyrus and they wanted to keep her in check. Rowan was defending her since they considered her a liability. If he didn’t show gratitude to them for letting her live, he would be considered a liability as well and she wouldn’t let him forget it.
While walking back in a parking garage, Olivia ran into Jake and he wanted to take her somewhere to confess to something. He ended up taking her to some secluded cabin which happened to have Jennifer Fields inside who isn’t dead. Jake looked to have been playing both sides, still following orders to avoid suspicion.
Overall, this wasn’t a very exciting episode for the most part with Jake and Vanessa’s relationship not being the most interesting. The episode got partially saved by the revelation that Jake was responsible for just about everything that’s happened so what has he been doing? Jennifer Fields is still alive so how will she fit in to what is happening?