As ratings begin to drop to an all time low, gladiators are mixed by how this episode should be rated. Part of the viewers are loving the Jake , while others are mourning the fact that there was no Fitz in the episode. While there was no Olitz in this episode , there was some hot stuff between Mr and Mrs Ballard. But Vanessa is tiring of the little act that she has to play as a political wife. She drowns her sorrows in bottles of booze (. Hey who else on this show uses liquor as a crutch? Answer everyone!)
Vanessa is getting more nervous as Jake is closer to the White House and Vice President. Olivia is doing her job as fixer and getting America to love the Ballards. In the beginning , her and Jake are love birds and she considers herself Jackie Kennedy. She continues to lose it as she realizes its all for Jake and she is losing her personality. Enter one Mellie Grant, who has become the self proclaimed expert on being an ex political wife. She advises Vanessa to use her hubby and then spend some time trying to find out what she wants. She tells her she has never been happier because she is her own woman. Vanessa cancels on Sally causing Olivia to lie about her latest “illness.” Nice to know that Sally always gets her flu shot.
But Vanessa(Jessalyn Gilsig) has her own problem, she can’t help remembering that Jake and Olivia were once lovers. Or are they brother and sister? Nobody really knows the deep dark past of Jacob Hamilton Ballard or is it Pete Harris? Vanessa wants to know and Jake can’t answer her.
The new evil on “Scandal” comes from a familiar place. Poppa Pope isn’t the boss anymore . He is being manipulated by the “Lady in Red” who is being played by Zoey Perry. She should know evil because her father is the resident “monster” of the White House , Cyrus Beene aka Jeff Perry
Vanessa is all messed up and has resorted to picking up strange men. She can’t deal with the weird relationships that her hubby has with his family. She knows she was groomed to be a political wife, but she can’t deal with Jake’s former lover and Mellie’s campaign manager who is calling the shots, Olivia. We also find out that Jennifer is not dead. While Vanessa has been thinking that Jake’s disappearances have been due to him sneaking off with Olivia, he hides another secret. He has been keeping the “dead” Jennifer alive after he pretended to blow her up in that cabin. We are one step closer to solving the murder of Antonio Vargas, as well as finding out who will succeed Fitzgerald Grant as President. Cyrus has been cleared by Tom’s confession that he didn’t do it. There was also a red trail of funds that were deposited in Olivia’s account claiming to frame Cyrus. The “Lady in Red” comes to Rowan’s office and claims that it was her job to get Mellie in the Oval. Olivia feels that she has a purpose for winning this election, she has to prove to herself that she can actually get someone elected. (For those of you who don’t know the history, Fitz didn’t win either election, First term Defiance and the second term was a sympathy vote after Jerry was murdered.) It isn’t about the power, it’s about proving to herself she can actually get a candidate to win the Oval.
It is painfully obvious who is MVG for this episode and that is Scott Foley’s Jake Ballard. If we go back to his beginnings, Jake was originally brought on as competition in the Olivia/Fitz triangle. We were only told that Jake and Fitz were Navy buddies and obsessive Fitz wanted Olivia watched while they were apart. The best man for the job was Jake and then Jake fell in love with Olivia, further confusing her. It wasn’t until last season in an episode called “Till Death Do Us Part,” that we finally learned about the sick alliance between Rowan and Jake Ballard (Pete). It was also the wedding of Jake and Vanessa as a power couple. Olivia couldn’t handle it and ran out of the ceremony but not before the best man( Fitz) comforted her. He probably wanted to make sure that Ballard was out of the way for him to start back at trying to get Olivia again. Foley shines in these episodes where he has usually acted as that third wheel , a role that he has played before. Foley was part of triangle in the shows “Felicity” and “Scrubs.” But in this episode and a few, Foley has truly shown his acting chops as more than a pretty boy. He has taken Ballard and peeled him just like an onion showing us the layers, peeling them away to show new facets of the character. If Mellie does make it to the Oval, we will get to see the Jake that is only a shallow view of who he is. Or perhaps Vanessa will be the one person who can bring us a true picture of who Pete is.
Foley began his run on the show as the ex Navy man that Fitz hired to spy on Olivia. Ballard has his own agenda as an agent of B613, keep these two apart. On the way , he ended up falling in love with Olivia. He also asks her to save him and she does. Fans of the show can go either way Team Olake or Team Olitz. You are looking at a loyal Olitzer. I haven’t given up hope and am still watching the show.
But now Jake is in a whole other ball game. He is poised to become the Vice President under Mellie Grant. Jake wasn’t born to politics, he wanted a simple life because of his Midwest upbringing. Is he prepared to step into the spotlight and work his way all the way to 1600 Pennsylvania one day. With Olivia guiding him, there is no stopping him and his political wife.