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The Paley Center For Media's PaleyFest 2016 Honoring 'Scandal'

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Rowan Pope rules everything around Olivia and Jake, and that is a fact that will remain undisputed…

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The episode opens with Olivia in bed at her dad’s house, still sulking and traumatized about killing Andrew. Jake is trying to force her to eat, since she hasn’t eaten in days, and tells her to chin up because she’s in the clear for the murder plus, it’s surprising she didn’t snap and kill Andrew sooner, so she did better than she’s giving herself credit for (file that under ish sociopaths say). He also tells her that his wedding to Vanessa has been moved up to the weekend.

A lot of this episode features flashbacks about Jake’s life from his troubled childhood to when he met Rowan. His real name is Pete Harris, and his dad molested his sister and physically abused his mom. He got kicked out of the navy for assaulting the son of a congressman and Papa Pope recruited him for the then fledgling program, B613. Jake used to be a rebel, so he resisted heavily, even after learning that he could face 10 years in prison if he didn’t join B613. After some literal arm twisting, and psychological mind games played, Jake caved and went through the program where he endured more torture and an actual beat down from Papa Pope (who surprisingly has hands). Papa Pope even threw it in Jake’s face that he did nothing to save his sister, who eventually killed herself after aborting a baby by their father (he was a kid, though, geez). It helps you put into perspective why Jake became such a puppy dog. All he ever really wanted in life was to be loved. All Rowan Pope ever did was recruit broken souls to turn into B613 slaves.

On the night of Jake’s engagement party, it became clear that Vanessa doesn’t trust Jake and Olivia’s relationship, but she can’t get anything out of him during her interrogation. However, Olivia managed to get out of him that Rowan wants Jake on Edison’s ticket as vice president and he believes that marrying Vanessa will raise his profile enough to get him there. He’s right. At the moment, Jake and Vanessa’s wedding is seen as the wedding of the century. After the engagement party, Olivia confronts Jake and tells him what we all know–he doesn’t really love Vanessa and he should just tell Rowan that he’s not going to marry Vanessa (like anything is that simple with Rowan). Basically, Olivia is the only woman for Jake and he wants her to help him get out of this situation. Liv didn’t have any solutions at that moment, but they did have some hot angry sex.

Fast forward to when Jake and Olivia finally develop a plan. Jake tells Olivia that he’s prepared to defy Rowan by any means necessary. The plan is that Jake will jilt Vanessa at the altar, that way no one in their right mind would entertain the idea of putting Jake in any kind of political office.

However, on the day of the wedding, Papa Pope makes it clear to Olivia that he’s aware of their plan. He gives her an ultimatum, either she tells Jake that he’s going to marry Vanessa or he slits Jake’s throat. Basically, it’s either gonna be a wedding or some slow sangin’ and flower brangin.’ Rowan says that he already lost a daughter and he refuses to lose his son. Ouch. (Side note: How many insults is Olivia gonna take from her dad? Geez.)

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Olivia, instead of telling Jake the truth, basically just starts berating him. She tells him he’s nothing but her toy and that he’s weak and pathetic. It gets really ugly—like Liv’s rant is definitely along the lines of one of Papa Pope’s typically epic speeches but [insert all the terrible things you can think of that Olivia would say to Jake here]. You can even see in Jake’s face how hurt he is and that he’s struggling to hold back tears. At first he doesn’t believe that she’d just flip the script on him like that and tries to get her to explain why she’s all of a sudden acting like this, but then Liv says that it’s Fitz that she has always wanted and that’s what sends Jake over the edge. He moves forward with the wedding, and Papa Pope wins again. Jake is a puppy dog, but he’s smart. Maybe at some point he’ll realize that Rowan put her up to it. Jake and Olivia are both Rowan Pope’s pets, and it’s really pathetic to watch. They should have stayed their butts in the sun in the Maldives, or wherever they were back before Liv got kidnapped and things really went further downhill from there.

As sad as this is, Olivia and Jake wouldn’t have been able to be together anyway. How would it look that Jake jilted his lover at the altar only to end up with Olivia Pope, the president’s mistress. Ugh, love sucks.

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