Thursday’s Scandal cordially invited viewers to the event literally no one was waiting for: Jake Ballard’s wedding to Vanessa Moss. So why did Jake spend the entire hour reflecting on his relationship with Rowan?
The answer is simple: Jake has daddy issues like whoa. Through a series of twisted flashbacks, we learned that young Jake stood idly by as his father beat his mother and raped his sister, a volatile cycle that ended with his sister’s suicide — following the abortion of his nephew/brother. And when Jake, formerly known as “Pete Harris,” found himself in B613 boot camp, Rowan made sure to exploit every last demon on the road to breaking him.
“I’m not him,” we saw Rowan tell a shivering Jake, fresh from a stint in the hole. “I will not hurt you. I will protect you. I’m here for you, son.” (Gee, I wonder how Rowan would feel about his “son” sleeping with his [actual] daughter on the night before his wedding, even if marrying Vanessa is merely part of the duo’s plan to turn Jake into Edison’s running mate.)
When the big day finally arrived, Jake was all set to jilt his basic bride — that is, until Rowan whispered these sweet nothings in Liv’s ear: “If this wedding does not go forward, I will slit his throat. … He’s the talent in this family, and I’d rather he be dead than mediocre. I’ve already lost a daughter. Like hell if I’m going to let what happened to you happen to my son.”
Unfortunately — or fortunately, depending on how you were hoping this scenario would play out — Liv is a much better actress than she gives herself credit for. Her impromptu speech about loving Fitz, about how Jake is merely the “lesser version of him, a sad reminder of the man [she] truly deserves,” did the trick. Jake and Vanessa swapped “I do”s, and he lived to see another day. (But will he see the Oval Office?)
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