“Scandal” exploded back to the screen with the all-new episode “Boom Goes the Dynamite” on Feb. 21.
In the latest installment of the thrill ride that never stops, we learn Jake (Scott Foley) is watching Olivia (Kerry Washington) per Fitz’s (Tony Goldwyn) orders. This is great news because watching him watch her on all those video screens at the end of last week’s episode was just plain creepy …
Plus, it turns out David (Joshua Malina) is being followed by Wendy’s best friend because she knows who Wendy had the dirt on – and she fears for her own life. We’re shocked to find out the guy is the head of the CIA and all things point to him being the White House mole.
BUT this is “Scandal,” and things can and do turn on a dime. After these two big reveals, we are left with some burning questions:
Can Olivia trust Jake? Does he really want to date her? Or, does Jake have an ulterior motive for wanting to get close to Olivia? Is the head of the CIA really the mole? Or, is Jake actually the mole and is working his way toward Olivia in some horrible scheme or to somehow get back at Fitz for something in their shared past?
A Perfect Gentleman
Jake seems to have it all—looks, power, money. Olivia agrees to meet with him and he considers it a date. Jake nixes her fancy restaurant idea and takes her to sip champagne on the steps of a DC landmark. It’s all so charming and very romantic. He assures her there will be kissing involved at the end of the “date” and she cuts off the romantic suggestion by asking him about Albatross.
Jake tells her very smoothly that Albatross was the name given to a mole somewhere in the intelligence community, who was never proven to be real. Olivia seems to accept his answer and continues to resist the idea that their meeting is a date.
A call from the office prompts Olivia to leave and Jake promises he’s not giving up. We’re still suspicious of Jake and his intentions until he goes to visit Fitz and we discover he’s watching Olivia because Fitz asked him to.
We’re relieved Jake is not a creepy serial killer and it’s really nice to see him turn off the cameras when he knows she’s getting undressed.
It’s obvious Jake is attracted to Olivia. But, he also knows who she is and what she does for a living. Is it possible he has an ulterior motive for wooing Olivia and earning her trust? Dating Olivia is also a professional breach of the president’s orders. Is it just a matter of lust defying logic for Jake? Or, is he really the mole, instead of the head of the CIA? Does Jake know about Olivia’s tie to Fitz? If so, is he planning to get close to Olivia to spite Fitz somehow?
We don’t know a lot about Fitz and Jake’s past. Sometimes it’s the people who've known you the longest and the best that know how to hurt you the most. Just sayin'!
Jake doesn't tell Fitz he asked Olivia out and of course, doesn't reveal that he was the one Olivia was smiling at on the phone. Jake is walking a very thin and dangerous line – especially after his supposed trusted friend, who happens to be the president, warns him that Olivia is not who she seems.
Scott Foley is a brilliant and charming actor and he’s doing an excellent job pulling us in and holding us within the very suave and sexy Jake’s radar. For Olivia’s sake, we’re hoping his attraction is simply just that – a handsome and powerful guy being drawn to a beautiful and powerful woman.
Why is Fitz Watching Olivia?
We can’t help but flinch when Fitz warns Jake that Olivia’s not who she seems to be and she’s a threat to the country. Bitter seems like such an understatement, Fitz!
Part of the appeal of Fitz and Olivia’s connection is how tortured and tormented they are, and how much passion sparks when they allow themselves to be together. Who can erase the image of the two of them locked together with all that passion at the christening? We see them in the scene in flashback in this episode and it’s just so hot and intense.
But then we remember how Fitz cuts Olivia off, with such a kind of vicious tone, telling her, “We’re done!” She is shocked and stricken and we are tormented with her.
Now it seems like Fitz is spinning out of control, drinking too much, shutting Cyrus (Jeff Perry) out and commanding an old friend and Pentagon officer to spy on Olivia. Even though he assures Jake repeatedly the surveillance isn't personal, we know, and he knows, deep down, that it is.
As doomed as they are together, Fitz needs some sort of connection to Olivia in order to breathe and we can't help but feel sorry for him, even though he is so obviously messed up and needs help on so many levels.
We’re cringing a little, still, because we don’t know enough about Fitz and Jake’s past connection to know if Fitz can even really trust Jake. What if Jake's main goal is to take Fitz down?
Overall, we want Jake to be a good guy for Fitz and for Olivia’s sake. They both need some sort of anchor in the storm of turmoil they've created for themselves. One thing is certain, though, if Fitz finds out about Jake dating Olivia, it’ll likely drive him to an even more reckless emotional edge.
Plus, we’re glad to see Cyrus back in Fitz’s good graces (for now) and Mellie (Bellamy Young) put in her place. However, if Fitz stays on the outs with Mellie, it’s going to be even harder to forget Olivia and keep himself away from her.
Let’s not forget that Fitz killed the Justice and knows about the rigged election and is carrying these secrets around. They are huge, horribly guilty, terrible burdens to bear. Fitz is in a truly fragile mental and emotional place right now and we can only hope that Cyrus can keep him from doing anything else rash to harm himself or compromise his position in any further way.
With Power Comes Pain
Olivia Pope is one of the most brilliant, powerful women in Washington, DC. However, when it comes to love she is tortured and emotionally despondent.
Kerry Washington delivers some brilliant scenes in this episode as we see Olivia, at home, struggling with her sorrow and the emptiness she feels without Fitz. She especially shines when Olivia urges a client who is having an affair to end it, immediately. She tell hims stolen moments are not a life. The whole scene is just so heartbreaking, as we watch her trying to convince the client and herself in her impassioned speech.
As always, we’re left sitting on the edge of our seats, waiting to see what turn this never-ending twister is going to take next. The only thing we know for sure is that with “Scandal” anything can happen, so we’re poised to expect nothing less than the unexpected.
What do you think? Can Olivia and Fitz trust Jake, or should they fear him? Sound off in the comments below.
Catch up on past episodes of "Scandal" on ABC's official website.
“Scandal” airs Thursdays in Flint on WJRT ABC12 at 10 p.m. EST. Click here for a Flint area channel guide.