Scandal Jake NSA Director

Scandal Recap: Jake in the Grass

My, what a difference a six-month time jump can make.

When we left Olivia “Surprise Abortion” Pope in December, she was downing wine by the Christmas tree and dreaming of a brighter tomorrow. But Thursday’s midseason premiere of Scandal found the Gladiator slipping back into old habits: dinner with dad — and dessert with Jake.

At least things were looking up for Liv at work, as OPA agreed to help the first female NSA director figure out who hacked her top-secret files — but it wasn’t long before the other shoe dropped there, too. And it landed with a thud.

It turns out she wasn’t hacked by her programmer boyfriend, as initially believed, but by someone we all know and love tolerate. Need a hint? His name rhymes with Fake Mallard, and by the time OPA got to the bottom of his plot, he’d already been named the new Director of the NSA.

Think it can’t get worse? Man, you don’t know this show at all, do you? Upon arriving at Jake’s apartment-of-lies, where she planned to give him a piece of her mind, Liv was met by her father, who tried to convince her that “the world is a safer place” with Jake heading the NSA. He also went on a familiar tangent about power, and how Liv needs to figure out a way to get some — and then I’m pretty sure he compared her to a drunk suburban mom. (Remember when Rowan was behind bars? I miss those days.)

Elsewhere this week…

CODE ‘RED’ | Over at the White House, Abby struggled to find her place in her marriage with Fitz (a sentence I never thought I’d find myself typing, yet here we are). After a little coaching from Cyrus — who’s now apparently the Mickey to her Rocky in this twisted game of political boxing — “Red” finally found her words, telling Fitz to stop treating her like a “companion animal” and more like the semi-competent press secretary she is. (Now if only she could get him to answer Olivia’s phone call next time, we’d really be in business.)

BOOK CLUB | Are Liv and Mellie actual friends now? The next President of the United States of America (sorry, Trump!) paid OPA a visit this week looking for help… with her book. Despite the million other things going on in her life — including, but not limited to, her father helping her boyfriend kill an innocent man to usurp a major position within National Security — Liv found time to read Mellie’s book, which apparently sucked. “Write a real book,” Liv told her. “Tell the people who you are and what you’ve been through.” (Um, does anyone else think Liv will eat her words on that one?)

Odds and Ends:

* You might disagree, but this episode felt very Season 1 to me. There was a case of the week, a dash of “Olitz” drama and, of course, a little nugget about Jake to remind us what an attractive gentleman untrustworthy weasel he is.

* Did anyone else get an uh-oh feeling when Rowan referred to Jake as his “son”? I’m pretty sure siblings aren’t supposed to do… what he does with Liv. Let’s never call him that again.

* I titled this recap “Jake in the Grass,” but I almost went with “Cold-Hearted Jake.” Good luck getting that Paula Abdul jam out of your head. I know I never will.

OK, enough from me: Grade the midseason premiere below, then drop a comment with your full review of the episode.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Brian says:

    This show is never going to be great again. As I watch I just shrug my shoulders now. Just so boring. It just sucks because you really root for this show to find itself again.

  2. Al says:

    Very solid Epsiode

  3. MattySi says:

    Wasn’t the son reference in regards to Rowan being Command and Jake being one of his guys?

    • Andy Swift says:

      I realize that he didn’t *literally* mean Jake is his son, but it was still icky to hear him refer to them as siblings, even metaphorically.

      • MattySi says:

        Yeah, that is true.

      • Ari says:

        Hasn’t he been calling Jake ‘son’ for years though? I didn’t even think anything of it because I feel like I’ve heard it many times before.

      • Jbj says:

        Yeah, but if Jake and Olivia were married, he’d be Rowan’s “son-in-law,” which can be affectionately condensed to “son.” I’ve heard it in the real world and never raised an eyebrow.

      • Sissy says:

        Didn’t really pay attention the first time he said it, but the second time was a little creepy. I thought it was because Olivia was a “disappointment” to him so he’s pushing her out for a “son” who will “get the power back”.

  4. Cena Gomez says:

    I don’t need to watch to know Jake is a snake in the grass. He always has been. Olivia is a fool to keep sleeping with the guy her dad hired to sex her anyway.

  5. Matt C. says:

    Almost nothing in this episode made any sense to me. Why would Olivia be having dinners with her dad again? Why would she be screwing Jake again? Why would she be surprised when Jake (and her dad) turn out to be screwing her over? I spent the whole episode rolling my eyes at the stupidity I was witnessing on my TV screen. I miss the days when Olivia Pope wasn’t a moron.

    • Brian says:

      Olivia Pope has to be the worst written lead character on TV. It’s just mind boggling how badly written her character is. I do think a huge reason why her character is so badly written is because Rowan & Jake are being kept around. Them around means no growth for her character. I just miss seeing earlier non broken dumbed down Olivia Pope.

    • Andy Swift says:

      I’d also like to know what happened in that six months between then and now. It would probably answer all of our questions.

    • ? says:

      I watched the first five minutes after swearing I was done with the show forever because of endlessly recycling the same drama and all the illogic behind the characters’ actions. In those five minutes, Papa Pope showed up to speechify and Olivia slept with Jake. Nope, done.

    • flowerduh says:

      Thank you! This whOle episode made no sense to me! And it does seem like she keeps going around in circles! Can we please find her a new love interest! Can we please get Olivia back to being a REAL gladiator for people that REALLY need her. Can we be done with Command. That story line is played out!

      The only part that was good in this episode was when the President refused to take Olivia’s call. That is a step in the right direction. I just hope that ShOnda isn’t going to put Red and the President together, because I don’t see any chemistry there.

    • Kendall says:

      Olivia Pope has become the worst character on TV thanks to Shonda trying to write her in her own image. The day that Sandra Oh and Cristina Yang left Greys was the day that Shonda started putting all her messed up personal issues onto Olivia Pope. Don’t believe me? Read her book The Year of Yes.

      I cry for who Olivia Pope used to be. I love flawed heroines and anti-heroes as much as the next person, but Olivia Pope isn’t either, she’s just stupid, and that has to be the worst thing to be as a lead character. Oh and she’s no longer a credible character, just merely a walking/talking plot device who’s at the mercy of writers who are only interested in OMG shocking plots and don’t give a crap about character consistency.

      • jamey says:

        Sadly, I have to agree with you. I too miss strong, smart Olivia. When I first saw her having dinner with the “Father” , that had the President’s son killed… I thought this was going to be a dream…it wasn’t and that made no logical sense.

        I feel betrayed as a viewer and especially as a female viewer. The general was correct, her sex became an issue. I understand that issue is front and center in the election and maybe Shonda is giving some sort of lip service to it, but unless things change, quickly with this show, I am done.

      • Ella Jasper says:

        Well said. Hope Shonda reads this.

    • Mara says:

      This!! Yes!!

  6. Yep! says:

    Jake is owned by Papa Pope again…..he was drinking wine, not his beloved beer. Damn, way to get back at the woman who broke your heart. That was cold!

  7. Para says:

    I loved this episode, Find a little grossed out when Daddy Pope called Jake his son… He is screw his daughter!!!

    I actually think this is a great setup for new combination and dynamic.

  8. Tracy says:

    Shonda turned Olivia Pope to Olivia Nope.

  9. Judith says:

    I used to have a lot of admiration for Olivia Pope because in the earlier seasons she was a smart, confident woman who got things done! Sure she had a messed up personal life, she was sleeping with a married man after all, the president at that, while simultaneously telling everyone else around her to be honest with themselves when she couldn’t do the same. Still it was Olivia Pope, the woman was smart and her dress sense sharp as a whip. Now I see a broken woman tumbling from bed to bed with no idea what she wants for herself, trying to fill the emptiness in her life with meaningless sex, bland exploits and sad wine.

    My grievance is that she had everything she supposedly wanted, minus the house in Vermont, and she threw it away. I know Fitz wasn’t innocent, but they could have made it work! Words can’t describe how badly I felt as they gave up on their relationship last season, although after that undisclosed abortion it wasn’t much of a surprise. It looked as though they didn’t even want to try, and even though I know Shonda will bring them back together again the back and forth gives me a severe case of whiplash. I have no more respect for Olivia Pope.

    For the record I think Fitz did rightly by not picking up that phone. Who is she to demand favors? Olivia picks and chooses when she wants to care about people and I was so relieved that Fitz didn’t play into her hand yet again.

  10. Darcel says:

    I hate what has happened to my once favorite show. Scandal was so good in seasons 1 and 2. Scandal has gone downhill ever since the day Olivia met Jake Ballard in that coffee shop. Oh if only she had not gone in there that day. I hate how corny it has become and I hate how slutty Olivia has become. Jake and Papa Pope in my opinion are forced characters. It is like they just write any old thing to keep them on the show. They really serve no purpose at all.

  11. Mona says:

    What a load of bull. This is so not what Shonda sold to the fans Season 1 and some parts of season 2. Am so glad I am done with the show. Shonda has no respect for the female lead. She had an abortion! when is she going to deal with STI’s with all this back and forth. Kerry and Tony deserve better.

  12. Jooshua says:

    Loved the episode. It’s funny how fans can ignore the terrible things their favorite characters have done while vilifying characters they hate for similar, or sometimes lesser, transgressions.

  13. Mak says:

    Olivia & Mellie trying to work together…win
    Olivia not with Fitz anymore….win
    I love it all…even though I think this might be it for Jake..I don’t see his character surviving past this season…I hope I’m wrong.
    I love Jake but I think Liv needs a new LI someone removed from all this & who is not B613.
    Now if Shonda can try not to pander to the masses and cool it with Olitz for the rest of the season, that will be the biggest win….

  14. Imzadi says:

    I find I don’t give a damn about Liv any more. And Jake? He’s the Jonathan Papelbon of the show (Nationals fans will know what I mean!). I still like Quinn (and Charlie!), David Rosen, Mellie, and Susan (the vice president), but that’s about it. Is it always about power? Can’t it ever be about joy? Happiness? Love? I’m hanging on to Scandal by a thread.

  15. Datya says:

    It wasn’t “Jake’s apartment of lies” – it was Rowan’s house where Jake has been living for the past 6 months.

  16. Tennisnsun says:

    Who cares if the story makes no sense? I got me a surprise ton of Jake time with this episode and loved every minute of it. I find it amusing that I can totally block out that he is a cold blooded killer and just enjoy his physicality. I did like it when Fitz was called out as no power figure but just another guy who hates to be alone and wants a woman around to tell him what to do. I’ve met soooo many of those guys in my lifetime!

  17. herman1959 says:

    SHABAM! The show is actually moving again! Plus, I’m pretty sure that this episode set up the exit of Jake as a major character. Scott Foley will be busy producing his new show.

    • Cheyenne says:

      Moving where? From this recap, all that is happening is Rowan speechifying and Jake and Olivia hate-humping each other. This is what you want to watch? This show has gone so far down the tubes there is no place left for it to go except straight into the crapper. Just flush it and be done with it.

  18. AJ says:

    Was it just me or did anyone else find it extremely odd that Olivia was having dinner with Rowan? I thought those days were long gone, where she could even be civil with her father. I was sure it was going to wind up being a dream, because it just seemed so far fetched. I could barely focus on the rest of the episode because I couldn’t get past that dinner. Are we really supposed to believe that at this point Olivia could even be in the same room with Rowan, let alone enjoy a meal with him?

  19. Ambs says:

    The someone stole something from the NASA has been done…Season two when Arty stole Thorngate a program used to spy on Americans and Adversaries from the NASA …Everything seems so predictable and Olivia’s Im the best that did it credo is no longer believable. I hate the way she treats Jake and OPA doesnt seem like a family anymore.

  20. amy says:

    Who are we supposed to like? Anyone? Marcus is still nice and normal but I’m sure that won’t last.

  21. Mark says:

    You’re missing the point with the Olivia and Mellie plot line. Olivia isn’t friends with Mellie. Olivia is listening to her father’s advice. She is figuring out how to get power for herself. Her way to do that: Mellie’s presidency.

    • herman1959 says:

      Ditto. I loved the way Olivia broke it down when she explained why Mellie’s book wouldn’t work; it reminded me of season 1-2 Olivia.

  22. jazzyt2u says:

    A lot of people on here are complaining how they feel betrayed by the direction the Olivia Pope character is taking . Upset about how she used to be strong and get things done even though he had a flawed personal life by sleeping with a married man.

    Well Olivia has had to come to terms with a lot of betrayal in her life. Her whole world has been one lie after another. She finds out that the man in her life was sent there to spy on her (Jake). The man behind this secretive deadly group is her dad who is willing to do anything to maintain power under the guise of keeping America safe. Her dead mother is alive, a spy and a killer too. I’m surprised she still knows how to get dressed in the morning. She needs to see a shrink but I’m sure that won’t be acceptable in her line of work.

    Having said all of that I am sick of her with Jake and HATE his cocky side.

  23. Jen says:

    Olivia of Season one? Don’t think so, the white hatter is turning into her dad who wants power. So boring I fell asleep half way through.

  24. Jay says:

    I loved it. Everyone was great, loved Jake being the bad guy, moved Liv helping Millie, loved Huck telling Quinn they had to protect the new “normal” guy. Love that Liv is not with the Pres any more!! And of course Cyrus cracks me up!!!

  25. Nick says:

    Scandal is pretty close to losing this viewer

  26. shboogies says:

    I LOVE evil Jake. He’s a great character and he becomes more and more surprising. He’s extremely well written. I’m surprised hes so disliked, likely just because he bangs Olivia and you Olitz fans are just a touch of obsessed. Who cares that they bang, they clearly will not be end game or a real couple whatsoever. So just get over your Olitz obsession and appreciate the character!

  27. Juju says:

    I haaaaated this episode. Everything felt done and tired and wrong. Olivia and Jake having hate sex, him living with her dad and killing innocent people again, Fitz being pathetic and trying to turn Abby into his work wife, Mellie coming to Olivia for help with her stupid book… Like Mellie would write her own book! Like the publisher wouldn’t have given her a ghost writer from the get go! I found this episode SO not worth my time.

  28. niloofar22 says:

    evil Jake is at least better than the one we have seen , that was their first not boring sex scene.

  29. niloofar22 says:

    evil Jake is at least better than the one we have seen , that was their first not boring sex scene since s2.

  30. Jesibel says:

    Shonda and the cast are intentionally running the show into the ground. The want ratings to drop it will get cancelled.

    • surigirl says:

      That makes zero sense. This show is as entertaining as ever. Not sure why everyone is complaining so much. But I guess you can enjoy a television show more when you don’t have a horse in the race, nor idolize the lead. It’s everything I live in a show; beautifully written, well acted and flawed, but entertaining characters. Can’t wait to see what happens next.

  31. Bev says:

    I miss Liv and Fitz and their hot relationship. She and Jake will never compare. Why is Liv having dinner with her vicious father? I’m confused on that one. I get tired of Red looking so incompetent. Liked the first episode but not the nail biter I’m used to.

  32. I think Shonda’s end game is Olivia and Fritz together. The only way to do it now is for Jake to be the bad guy. Well she’s wrong! I’d rather see Olivia with evil Jake than with wimpy whiny Fitz. Or even better, Olivia being her own independently strong person without having a man in her life.