Post Mortems
Scandal Recap

Scandal's Scott Foley on Jake's Next Move, That 'Great' Olivia/Fitz Moment and More Season Finale Twists

Thursday’s season finale of Scandal turned an already intense presidential race into a full-blown political war, complete with a casualty.

TVLine spoke with Scott Foley — soon to be known as Vice President Jake Ballard — about the episode’s biggest twists, but first, a quick recap:

In order to free him from Rowan’s clutches, Olivia got Jake to step in as Mellie’s vice president — but only after Rowan nearly put a bullet through Jake’s brain and, of course, after Jake murked Vanessa’s father for a few bucks. In the episode’s final moments, we learned that getting Jake on the Republican ticket has been Rowan’s plan this whole time… along with successfully transforming his daughter into Rowan 2.0.

Over in the Democratic corner, Cyrus somehow convinced Frankie to select him as his running mate, a decision which led Cyrus to end things with Tom and reunite with his picture-perfect family.

As if all that wasn’t enough, Fitz discovered Olivia’s medical records on Abby’s desk, and told her he approved of her decision. (She, of course, thought he was talking about the decision to name Jake as Mellie’s running mate. But a nice moment is a nice moment, right?)

OK, time to start grilling Foley…

TVLINE | For the record, when I found out I’d be talking to you, I thought, ‘They’re totally killing him off.’
Right? I’m pretty happy about not being killed off. Three kids and private school? I’m happy to still have a job.

TVLINE | Are you at all surprised Jake has survived this long? He seems like he’s living on borrowed time.
On a show like Scandal, you’re grateful for every episode you get, but I’m not totally surprised. Between you and me, and I’m sure I’m going to piss a bunch of people off by saying this, I think Olivia has chosen him already. And she’s done so in such a way that actually saved his life. Olivia didn’t want to break Jake’s heart at his wedding a few weeks ago, but in doing that, we got to see that she really does love him. He’s the one that she’s chosen. That’s not to say that things won’t be different once Fitz is out of the White House; there’s always going to be an interest there. But I think there’s still room for her to grow with Jake.

TVLINE | Given everything he’s done, you still see Jake’s happy ending with Olivia as a possibility?
Yes, it’s absolutely something I see. I’ve always said that Jake does these bad things with the Republic’s best interest in mind, but now I’m starting to think he’s also doing a lot of this to find a way for he and Liv to be together. He’s gotten sucked up in the past few episodes in being vice president, in Rowan’s plan to make him a viable candidate — whether it’s marrying Vanessa or killing her father for the money. He’s been doing that because he’s been forced to, but in the back of his mind, he’ll do whatever he can to stay around to make sure Olivia knows he’s still there.

TVLINE | Is it possible that Jake is still working with Rowan?
I mean, there’s always a possibility we’re going to find out that Jake knew about Rowan’s plan all along, but I don’t think so. I think Jake knew about the plan with Vargas, but that was before he broke free. … Meanwhile, Cyrus is kind of an island unto himself right now. Everybody else — Jake, Olivia, Fitz and the Gladiators — are all behind Jake and Mellie. It looks like that’s the campaign to beat.

TVLINE | When he does find out what Rowan is up to, might Jake throw the election to avoid handing Rowan more power?
Oh man, to blow the whole thing up? That’s an interesting idea. I think it would be something that, once they’ve figured out this was part of Rowan’s plan, and that he might still have control over them if they win, that’s a very viable option. But even that’s terrifying, because that puts Cyrus in the White House — and nobody wants that.

TVLINE | It feels like the presidential candidates are the friendly faces, while the VPs are the ones doing the dirty work. In your mind, what is that Jake/Cyrus showdown going to look like?
At this point, Jake doesn’t want to be there. He even said that to Olivia: “I’ve gone from being his bitch to being yours.” If Jake embraces his role here, then there will be a Cyrus/Jake showdown, and there would be a lot of questions coming into play there. Once this episode airs, I don’t know when we’re going to come back on, but it’s going to be a while. Even though the United States is embroiled in its own political campaign right now, are people going to be tired of elections? Do they want to watch more elections on Scandal? That’s something the writers have to wrestle with. Maybe it’ll blow up in the first episode back, or maybe there will be a time jump.

TVLINE | As you said, he’s gone from Rowan’s bitch to Liv’s bitch. Do you think there’s a part of him that enjoys being someone’s bitch?
I don’t know if he enjoys it, but it’s definitely comfortable for him. It’s a place he’s been for a long, long time. We saw that a few weeks back in that Jake-centric episode. … We all fall into these roles in life, and that’s the role Jake has: to serve. I’m totally replacing “to serve” with “being a bitch,” right? It’s the same thing. I think he’s having a hard time breaking out of it. He’s so good at it.

TVLINE | I spoke with Bellamy Young about the table read for this finale, and how everyone lost their minds. Which moments surprised you the most?
Jake becoming Mellie’s running mate was a shock; I thought he was going to be Vargas’. I also want to see the scene where Cyrus convinces Vargas that he’s the right guy — how did he manage to do that? The biggest shocker for me, though, came after Fitz read the file Abby had on Liv. It was a great scene between the two of them in the Oval Office. … Without being too preachy, to hear the President of the United States say to a woman who aborted his child, “I respect your choice, not that you need my support” was a really surprising moment to me. You don’t expect to see something like that, especially done that well, on network television.

Your thoughts on Scandal’s big finish? Grade the episode below, then drop a comment with your full review.

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. niloofar says:


  2. Ian says:

    There’s nothing going on in this show that I enjoy anymore.
    Besides Sally Langston.

  3. Stacey says:

    Meh. I’m going to rewind and forget this season ever happened and watch the season finale of season 4 instead.
    At least it ended as consistently as it went all season – grade C at best

  4. Al says:

    Great finale

  5. Mackey says:

    Sorry but I can’t stand Jake. I threw up a little in my mouth when he said he thinks Jake and Liv could have a future. Please god, no. Was so hoping Rowan would end our misery and shoot him. He’s done so many bad things, I don’t know how he could be redeemable at this point.

    • Pamela says:

      Totally agree.

    • Lee says:

      He just murders people regularly like it’s nothing. Why should we care about him? What about the poor woman he lied to, married and whose father he just killed? Does she just not matter?
      Jake really is a horrible creature.

      • I feel you might not be actually watching the show. Jake is a damaged, broken human being who has been conditioned that he owes everything to command.(Command did save him by turning him into what he is, but at a cost)
        Everything he has done is to please his father (command) and the woman he’s with is because command needed her. (her father, really)

    • Bahbah says:

      I love Jake. He’s my favorite character. I’m looking forward to how he and Mellie will get along. It wasn’t really clear where Lizzie Bear, David, Abby and Fitz will land after the election. Great S5 finale. It tied so many pieces together from previous seasons. Shonda is a genius.

  6. Cena Gomez says:

    Terrible episode and Scott Foley is delusional. Olivia didn’t want him to die. Big difference from not wanting someone to die to choosing them. Jake should have died season 2.

  7. Brian says:

    I’m sorry but both Scott Foley and Joe Morton have really wrecked this show. You always know they’re going to prevail. And both are so unlikable who wants to constantly see that?

    • Lee says:

      I agree.
      Watching awful people triumph over others constantly isn’t fun it’s just depressing.
      Sweet, plucky Susan loses to spoilt, malicious Mellie who freed her child’s killer.
      The upstanding VP choice loses to Jake a professional user who’s killed 2 or 3 innocent people this back half of season 5 alone.
      And everyone loses to Rowan, professional psycho killer extraordinaire who sics killers and part time hookers like Jake and Russell on his daughter and traffics sex tapes of his own child.
      It’s just not fun. at all. Worse yet, it’s predictable.
      Jake, Mellie and Rowan will always win, Olivia will always be outsmarted, Cyrus will always scheme and Fitz will always be blamed for everything by everyone.
      Wash, rinse repeat.
      A real OMG moment would have been Mellie actually taking responsibility for her choices, or Rowan, Jake or both dying, but this show will die before that happens.

      ( and to anyone who intends to inform me that I don’t have to watch the show, may I inform you that you don’t have to read my comment, and you’d have wasted a lot less time, skimming past than I wasted investing in this show.)

      • Bahbah says:

        Find another show.

        • Respect says:

          What’s ur problem? Everyone has a right to there opinions some people liked the season finale n some hated it. I personally did not like it but I’m not replying negative remarks on everyone post who did like the finale. Telling people to stop watching bcause they don’t agree with u is a bit middle school

  8. Sasha says:

    Mellie for president!!!!! Can’t wait for her and Marcus

  9. Kate says:

    Poor Tom!! Michael showed up a little too quickly given he had gone through the trouble to go into hiding. How did Cyrus get him to agree to all this? I was more interested in seeing Tom try to parent. I also would have preferred to see David be VP. It was a huge disappointment after all this time to find out that Olivia is still getting played by all the men in her life. Not much of a journey if her “power moves” are really just things Cyrus or her dad set into motion for their own purposes.

    • Jbj says:

      Unless Michael adopted Ella (and probably even if he didn’t), Cyrus could have blackmailed him for kidnapping. Tom’s effort to induce Cyrus to choose him was so funny my viewing party broke out in laughter.

  10. Cheyenne says:

    That was the “epic season finale”? THAT?!
    That was the biggest fizzle in the history of network television. Sixty minutes of nothing. Zero. Zip. Nada.
    Thank you, Shonda, for curing my Scandal addiction. I’ve got a pile of unread books waiting for me. Adios, guys,

    • Lee says:

      I believe I shall follow your example.

    • Marie says:

      I too was very underwhelmed by this season finale. I hate how they have changed liv’s character to be so much like her dad. It’s ruining the show for me.

    • leash10 says:

      Agreed. I kept waiting for a big twist & Cyrus as a running mate was it? Big deal. I hate Rowan’s pretentious monologues in every episode. Jake’s so good at killing, I wish he could kill Rowan, lol.

      • Ani says:

        Leash10–I wish Jake would kill off Rowan too (and without a lol…) why is that pompous fool still alive?

    • Erin B says:

      Yeah, for most of this season I’ve been considering being done with the show. I kept hoping they would redeem Olivia & that she had a plan all along. That is the only way I could reconcile her spending time with two horrible people–Rowan & Jake. I cannot comprehend how she’s a good guy yet chooses to be with Jake. No sex is that good to stay with a murderer especially when he killed one of your friends (RIP James). I am officially done. There are too many other good shows out there to keep wasting my time with this one.

  11. Lala.. says:

    Phew Jake is not dead…I was so worried for him. Came here to check if he was still alive,

  12. Jackie says:

    Ugh. Sorry, but Jake and Rowan need to go. They were ok in the beginning, but they’ve outstayed their welcome and are killing the show, imo.

  13. Geo says:

    The front page asks “Scandal Cliffhanger: Did It Shock You?”

    Only if I was shocked that there wasn’t any cliffhanger.

    • Cheyenne says:

      It didn’t shock me, it bored the living bejesus out of me. The “epic finale” was an epic fail. Shonda has become a stale, tired joke.

  14. jessicalulu says:

    They are giving Olivia the Alicia Florick treatment from the Good Wife and making her a cold, totally unlikeable character. The whole reason people liked this show was because she was smart and at the end of the day, her morals won out and centered her. Now, she is a puppet, a shell of a person. I saw Roman’s manipulation coming from a mile away and she would have, too. Mellie and the gladiators were always the team to hitch his wagon to. And Cyrus being VP is asinine. He had Amanda Tanner killed in season one and orchestrated the shootings to get Vargas running, he was going to kill his husband but only barely changed his mind. He did use his husband to push Sally Langston into killing hers. He is a vile human being and there is no way he would stand up under the scrutiny that comes with that kind of spotlight and reporting.

    And Scott Foley believes that he and Liv have a future together? The original Liv and he never would have. She would have drop-kicked his arse into David’s office and let him package him up into prison somewhere. But with the way that Shonda and her staff have written this season and are ruining Liv, Scott is probably right and they probably do have a chance. Half my friends have already quit watching this show and I think I may have to follow suit if they don’t turn it around fast!

    This show used to be smart and creative and now it is so boring and predictible. It would have been such a better twist if Liv wasn’t becoming her father. But was better and smarter than him.
    I told everyone that i heard that the finale was supposed to have a great twist at the end and be so good and it was terrible! i got texts all night saying, “really?” “this is why you told us to watch?” My cred is shot and so is this show’s!

    • Brian says:

      And it’s surprising that they would choose to have such a weak finale and not give us something to look forward to (ex. Who wants to watch the Mellie & Jake show??) when the show is going on a long break.

    • Tony says:

      Why would your cred be shot over a TV show? And are these people new to Scandal that they needed someone else’s ringing endorsement to watch?

  15. Steph says:

    I don’t enjoy this show anymore. It very little left of what I loved. I watched he finale waiting for something big to happen. What a let down. I don’t like walking away from shows but this is the 4th one I am dropping this year.

    • Lerbert says:

      Yes, this exactly. Not a single moment was “jaw-dropping” because all those cards have been played. Mellie and Olivia freeing Rowan for their own personal and political gain was the last gasp. That choice killed both of those characters.

      Olivia set Jake up for the White House just as she facilitated Fitz. This show isn’t about her or any of the “gladiators” anymore. Every time I hear one of the characters refer to being a “gladiator” I roll my eyes. Remember those characters?

      The focus on Jake and Rowan this year has been such a mistake. When have supporting characters so totally taken over a network show like this? I understand that Washington’s pregnancy may have shifted the plot-line, but there are lots of other characters to develop. Ultimately, I don’t think these plot decisions are recoverable.

      • Erin B says:

        I agree! No more gladiators except for Marcus, & he really hasn’t gotten much of a chance to do it. And if I hear the phrase, “I run the Oval” ever again I may puke.

  16. Eran says:

    Oh wow…I’ve actually quit Scandal, something I never thought I’d do, even well into this current season but I am now four behind, and reading the recaps, I’ve absolutely zero inclination to catch up. Am flabbergasted by the character assassination Olivia’s been subjected to by the writers, not to mention the deeply disturbed love the show seems to have for one of television’s blood thirstiest, biggest sociopaths I’ve seen onscreen in years – Jake Ballard.
    This was appointment television for me for years. What went wrong in there? Seriously though, what possible vision or end game could there be here to justify keeping onscreen this iredeemable assortment of murderers?

  17. JC says:

    It’s so funny coming here and seeing all the negative comments on this show when the vast majority of the social media content I see raves about it. NONE of these characters have a great moral compass. But that’s kind of the point. There is no light. There never really has been. The White Hat was an idea that was never really realized or worn by ANYONE on this show. If you think otherwise, you must have watched a different show all these years. And all the Jake bashing… Enough already. He’s no less redeemable than any of the other slime on this show. This and HTGAWM are Shonda’s shows where she gets to play around with the concept of villains and “redefine” it. Anti-heros and bad people you root for are in fashion and they take advantage of that. If you want “light” and easy and a story strictly about romance/friendships/self-discovery watch Grey’s….. Liv is going through an incredibly rough transformation. She is seeking the power she’s always wanted/thinks she deserves, and it’s because of her father she’s able to do it. It’s just that simple.

    • Cal says:

      There is also a significant social media presence that has protested/boycotted the show in its current state. Look at the Twitter “sneak peek” from a few days ago that featured Jake – the comments were all negative and #DieJakeDie took off. I also don’t necessarily agree that ALL of the characters have ALWAYS been awful. They used to be more well-rounded, more empathetic, more human (and Jake murdered the only truly “good” character, James). Any character complexity has been sacrificed at the altar of the Mellie/Jake/B613 show. Since there are people who like Mellie/Jake/B613, they might “rave” about it on social media. But the substantive critical reviews and viewer commentary (e.g. here and other entertainment sites) reflect the general discontent and disappointment with the show. Social media use to break records with respect to the show (such as live-tweeting) but the numbers are nowhere close to what they once were. Ratings have also nosedived. I think the comments here more accurately reflect that vs. the nonsense tweets of “OMG so edgy much cool so real!”

    • Cheyenne says:

      The “vast majority” of the comments you read on Twitter and FB are coming from the ride-or-die fans who would follow Shonda blindly over a cliff no matter what idiocy she spewed. All the other viewers, who probably have an average IQ level 20 to 30 points higher than these last-gasp gladiators, bailed on the show a long time ago.

      • Bahbah says:

        We’re waiting for you to go crap on another show. Why are you still whinning all over the Internet about a show you hate? Are you really that needy? that stupid?

  18. K says:

    I kept thinking someone was going to shoot Jake at the rally. That would’ve been a cliffhanger.

  19. dman6015 says:

    That’s “TV’s Scott Foley” to you.

  20. Dave says:

    Maybe its a good thing that this show is not coming back to mid season. Maybe Shonda should take some time off to think of how to make scandal what it once was. It is starting to feel stale and repetitive IMO.

  21. JohnK says:

    “Great decision to kill our baby without even telling me first.” But at least the scene wasn’t “too preachy” according to Scott Foley. Get out of here. What a joke and a wreck of a show.

  22. Amy says:

    It didn’t feel very series finale-ish. It seemed like an episode that would air any other time during the season. Nobody died, nobody was shot, it was just a little twist at the end with Cyrus running and Olivia’s father seemingly getting his way.

  23. Penny says:

    You all Jake haters remember fitz took down the plane of civilians Olivias mom was supposed to be on right? Killing a lot of people, everyone in this show is a terrible person, they all bat an eye at murder.

    • Eran says:

      Well I didn’t witness that onscreen now did I? Unlike James’s harrowing murder…

    • Erin B says:

      Yes, but Fitz was in the military & received an order to shoot it down. Supposedly there was a bomb on board. I thought it was revealed he did not know there wasn’t really a bomb until later.

  24. Mailer says:

    I was hoping the finale would give me a reason to tune in next season but it didn’t. I’ve been half-heartedly watching for a while now. It’s all just so blah. Time to find something new to watch on Thursday nights. Farewell!

  25. PrettyBirdisDead says:

    Had given up after season 4 finale, not an Olitz fan, I prefer Olivia alone and kicking ass! I’ll finally be be binging this season and I’ll be watching live again come season 5 premiere!

  26. Fan says:

    No matter which Presidential candidate wins, I’m taking money on how long before the new POTUS has an “accident”. Cyruus is just as capable of arranging the POTUS death in order for him too move up to the POTUS job. And Rowan? He’d order that death in the blink of an eye. I do, however, believe that will not happen until next season when Rowan or Cyrus decides he’s gotten all he’s gonna get from the Prez. Some major thing could cause that to happen earlier but it’s going to be so interesting to see what plays Rowan has in mind. He’s such a scum bag. It’s gonna take Liv a while too show us she’s really not Rowan 2.0. That make sure knows how to play the game, doesn’t he?

  27. Alexandre says:

    I was waiting for a bigger season 5 finale! Like Rowan or Cyrus dying [these 2 REALLY NEED TO GO!]
    I love Mellie and Jake. I just LOVE Mellie, she’s the best character.
    But seriously… CYRUS??? He’s the most annoying character of the show, and we’re all done with him, he needs to die like YESTERDAY! He’s time on the show is up. I hope Tom kills him. I seriously don’t know if i’m going to watch Season 6 because of Cyrus. I love Mellie and Olivia, but i can’t stand this stupid jerk anymore. We all hate him, but it’s an annoying hate, not an guilty pleasure hate like we have from good villains. He’s not a good villain, he’s terrible. His quotes are always the same and we can see what’s coming when he starts talking. PLEASE KILL CYRUS!!!
    Mellie for president <3
    I just wonder where Fitz will fit when he's not president lol

  28. Bahbah says:

    Loved the episode. It was so good I’m rewatching it like several times a day. And it has sparked my rewatch of episodes in previous seasons. I’m totally looking forward to Season 6.

  29. Tony says:

    I loved Mellie putting Fitz in his place.

    I also agree that Rowan and Jake need to go.

  30. Deidre Johnson says:

    The season as a whole was very subpar and non satisfying to say the least. The finale ever, with its intense moments, twists and turns came out ok..

  31. Della says:

    I picked at my fingers the whole episode anticipating which character would die and what scandalous thing would keep me on edge until Episode 1 of Season 6. I have to say the finale was the worst of the 5 seasons. What cliffhanger?

  32. Donna says:

    For Season 6, I really want to see Jake and Olivia in love and together. I think she has chosen him FINALLY! Please keep Fitz out of the way and let these two be together and grow their relationship. When the series comes to its end, would love to see them married and heading into the normal life Jake so desperately wants.

    • jJenner 1287 says:

      May he can keep all the people he has nurdered along with his wife under the bed – heaven help us!!!

  33. Kezia says:

    What’s the point of the show if liv and fitz aren’t together, I used to feel sorry for Jane now I can’t stand the sight of him. Olivia’s white hat coming off basically killed the show for me as well. Mellie needs to own up to her choices and stop blaming others as well. Season 5 has cured me of my borderline obsession with this show, the day live and fitz broke up I was done with this.

  34. amy says:

    Well, it is extremely sad the way season 5 ended, it wasn’t jaw dropping, it wasn’t a motivation to watch season 6.where has Olivia pope gone too. yes, I get they are trying to portray a strong, independent woman, but that woman went out the window after she was kidnapped. she needs therapy, she needs to talk to someone. yes, Jake is not right for her, he is destructive and dysfunctional, he has had so many opportunities to run and stay away from rowan but he always came back. he should also stop telling Olivia to save him, she is not his mother and he can save himself. yes none of them are thoroughly good but Olivia pope was good, everything she did up until the kidnapping was in the best interest of someone one else, now after the kidnapping she is hiding her weakness all behind her unfathomable quest for power. she needs to take a moment alone and gather her life back together, she is into too many toxic relationships and she needs to step back. yes, Fitz and Olivia are good for each other but they need to take that time apart, they need to become people and they need to be able to see past their faults and be able to accept each other mistakes. they need to forget their past mistakes, have a long talk about what went wrong and after Olivia is back then they can come back together. Jake was never supposed to be the one, he is a lower version of what she wants and he is a child and he is too toxic, too many things are wrong with him, now that b613 is over, why is he still with rowan, he needs to move out and think about what he wants. Fitz and Olivia are meant to be and it only makes sense that Shonda should put them back together, not necessarily in a relationship but in a friendship that is innocent and let them find their way back to each other. if they are not going to end up together, they should make Olivia alone, because she is taking out all those that love her, and they should bring OPA back. Mellie needs to I don’t know shut up…