No One's Been Wondering What Jake's Deal Is On Scandal
And yet, we're going to spend an hour on it anyway.
We've All Been Waiting for Jake's Backstory, Right?
Jake's backstory is sprinkled through the episode, but let's deal with it all right here because honestly? There's not much to it. His dad was an asshole who beat Jake's mom and raped Jake's sister, and then committed suicide. Jake joined the Navy to get away, but kept getting into fights until Rowan "rescued" him and trained him (with Charlie!) for B613. Rowan broke Jake down (lots of time in the hole!) and then assured Jake that Rowan would always be there for him, unlike his father. When Jake finally graduated, Rowan gave him a choice to join B613 or go live a normal life. Jake walked out, drove home, shot his father, and then joined up with B613 forever. The only part of that we didn't already know was the family stuff, and it didn't really add much to his character. We already know he's broken. Look, there was a point (before this season) that Jake was my favorite character on the show, and I STILL don't give a shit about his boring, predictable backstory.
Diamonds And Pearls
Alert Type: Taken To Her Bed Alert.
Issue: After murdering the former Vice-President in the most gruesome way possible, Liv has taken to her bed in her childhood bedroom, which is all pinks and purples. (I know that's a Dead Poets Society poster to the left above her bed, but is that a Prince poster to the right?)
Complicating Factors: Jake and Rowan are trying to coax Liv out of bed, telling her to eat something and fix her hair. Rowan adds that no one is investigating Andrew's death, so she's in the clear. That is one massive cover-up. Does Andrew have no family? No one who would want to see the body?
Resolution: Jake leaves for an appointment or work or something (do these people have the most flexible work schedules ever?), and Rowan tries to lure Liv out of bed with a walk or a jigsaw puzzle like she's in a nursing home.
Spoiler: The only thing that gets a reaction from Liv is the news that Jake and Vanessa's wedding has been moved up; they're getting married on Saturday.
Faker Faker Bellyacher
Who called the meeting? Liv.
What's it about? Turns out she's been faking that whole "catatonic in bed" thing in an attempt to figure out what Jake and Rowan are up to, and she needs Huck and Quinn's help.
How'd it go? Well, Huck and Quinn still can't find anything on Vanessa. They do find out that Jake and Vanessa's wedding is getting a ton of publicity, and that over six hundred guests have been invited.
Fake The Freak Out
The night of Jake and Vanessa's engagement party at the White House, Liv fakes a panic attack and claims she can't go to the party. Why would she be invited anyway? To the White House? When she's running Mellie's campaign? And she's Jake's ex and also Fitz's ex? Anyway, Jake tries to reassure her, and then vows that he will also skip the party to help her out, but Rowan comes in and tells Jake that he made a commitment to the party and he needs to go. At the party, Jake and Fitz have a chitchat about their love lives as if anyone cares. I guess we're supposed to learn that Jake is pretty ambivalent about Vanessa but by this point, I think that's been made pretty clear.
Plot Lightning Round
Jake comes home from the party and finds Liv "drunk" on the living room floor. After yelling at him for a while, Liv gets Jake to admit that he doesn't love Vanessa. Liv immediately drops her drunk act and tries to get Jake to explain why he's marrying her, then. Are we supposed to think Jake is the world's worst spy, or that he has a blind spot when it comes to Liv?
Jake admits that Rowan wants him to run for VP on Edison's ticket. And to do that, he needs a higher profile (thus the wedding) and a wife (thus the marriage). Vanessa presumably is not in on this arrangement.
Liv reminds Jake that he doesn't actually have to do everything Rowan says, but Jake says he's never been able to get away from Rowan completely. He adds that he doesn't love Vanessa, but he does love Liv, even though they've done terrible things to each other. Jake wants Liv to tell him what to do now, but Liv just walks away.
"Midnight Train To Georgia" plays. This song is my jam. My pinned tweet tells the tale of the time I was jamming out to it at the grocery store and a dude in frozen foods totally busted me making the "whoo whoo" train whistle motion. Not my finest moment. Anyway, Liv mulls things over in her room, and then leaves, finding Jake waiting in the hall. They kiss tenderly. Liv starts to get violent as per their recent encounters, but Jake stops her and tries to keep things tender and loving, as they head into the bedroom together.
The next morning at breakfast, Liv and Jake pretend for Rowan's sake that nothing happened. Once Rowan leaves, Liv and Jake discuss their next move. Liv doesn't know if she can get Jake away from Rowan or protect him if she could. Jake says they should just eat breakfast together. Does anyone really believe that Rowan doesn't have his own house wired for surveillance and thus knows exactly what's going on?
Left At The Altar
Who called the meeting? Liv, as usual.
What's it about? As she prepared to leave Rowan's home, Jake stopped Liv and said he wanted to be with her, not Vanessa, Liv was all in, so they hopped to OPA to plan how to make that happen with Quinn and Huck. I guess Marcus is on vacation this week? Or on the campaign trail with Mellie? Who's running Mellie's campaign right now, anyway?
How'd it go? Well, they can't just run away, because Rowan has their phones and bank accounts tapped. Seems like there would be ways around that for spies with Huck's magic powers, but whatever. Liv realizes that Jake needs to jilt Vanessa at the altar. Jake worries that it's too cruel, but quickly understands that it would torpedo his reputation, after which Rowan will want nothing to do with him. In case you were still doubting Liv's true feelings, after Jake is gone, Liv tells Quinn that she's ready to be happy. So she really does have feelings for Jake.
Wrap It Up
Time for the wedding! Liv sits in a pew. Rowan sits next to her and quickly lets her know that he's totally on to her plan to have Jake leave Vanessa at the altar. And, he adds, if Jake goes through with it, Rowan will slit Jake's throat, because he would rather see Jake dead than mediocre. Boy, Rowan is the original Tiger Mom. Remember Tiger Mom? That was a thing that happened. Anyway, why haven't they killed Rowan yet? There are so many people with motivation to kill him and yet they all seem to have a crisis of conscience when it comes time to pull the trigger.
So then Liv and Jake have a HUGE fight out in the foyer. Anyway, Liv throws everything she can at Jake to get him to go through with the wedding, including that Jake isn't good enough for her, and that he's too needy. When Jake still isn't buying it, she claims that she's still in love with Fitz and that she's always been in love with Fitz, and that Jake was just a poor substitute -- a sidepiece. She concludes that Jake isn't enough for her, and that she would tear right through him.
Whether Jake believes her or not, Liv stomps out, and starts breaking down as she nears the exit. Given no other options, Jake up and marries Vanessa. I'm not sure what the point of this episode was. I kept waiting for the shocking twist but it just seemed to reiterate information we already knew. It felt like a budget-saver, since there were few locations and even fewer of the regular actors. My guess -- no spoilers! pure speculation! -- is that Scott Foley is leaving the show at the end of the season and they wanted to give him an acting showcase...and wrap up his storyline.