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‘Scandal’: What Was Jake Ballard Doing When Frankie Was Shot? And Who’s Actually Alive? (SPOILERS)

SPOILER ALERT: Do not read ahead if you have not seen the March 9 episode of “Scandal,” titled, “They All Bow Down.”

The night of Frankie Vargas’ assassination is becoming a bit more clear week after week on “Scandal,” and although tonight’s episode cleared up what Jake Ballard (Scott Foley) was doing on election night when Frankie was shot, many more mysteries presented themselves…

In present day, Jake is with his wife Vanessa (Jessalyn Gilsig) who is celebrating her husband becoming the vice president, alongside the assumed president, Mellie (Bellamy Young). Jake isn’t nearly as happy as Vanessa, and through a series of scenes, we learn that their fake marriage is far from perfect — Jake hides practically everything from Vanessa, who is concealing her sadness by drinking. Plus, Vanessa thinks Jake is sleeping with someone else.

Vanessa tells Olivia (Kerry Washington) that she’s suspicious of Jake cheating because the night of the election, moments before Frankie was shot, he was texting someone and then left the Oval Office. Immediately, Olivia knows something isn’t right.

In a flashback, it’s revealed that Jake left the Oval, right after Frankie won the election, to meet up with none other than Rowan (Joe Morton). Turns out, Papa Pope gave him a mission to kill Jennifer Fields (Chelsea Kurtz), a.k.a. the girl who was burnt to a crisp in the cabin explosion, leaving nothing behind but her charred hand.

Olivia demands that the Gladiators investigate Jake. Without knowing that he was responsible for blowing up the cabin and killing Jennifer, she believes he has something to do with shooting Frankie.

Meanwhile, Mellie has a pep-talk with Vanessa, telling her to suck it up and reap the benefits of being wife to the vice president. So, Vanessa and Jake go on Sally Langston’s (Kate Burton) show and fake to the world being a perfect power couple.

Jake has been going to a random motel, but the Gladiators can’t find anything there. So Olivia takes matters into her own hands and confronts Jake backstage at Sally Langston’s show — and Jake serves her paperwork. He hands her papers that say money was transferred from an account in Olivia’s name to Tom Larsen (Brian Letscher), basically proving that he was paid off to frame Cyrus (Jeff Perry) for Frankie’s death.

Remember, Cyrus is still in jail for killing Frankie…

Olivia is shocked by the paperwork and goes to her father, demanding to know what Rowan would put in an account in her name overseas. Rowan shoos her off, not giving her any answers. But then, in the next scene, a random woman (new recurring character Zoe Perry) comes into Rowan’s presence, and we learn that she was behind the paperwork — and she’s actually Rowan’s, or shall we say Eli Pope’s, puppet-master.

After meeting with her father, Olivia tells Jake that she didn’t know anything about the paperwork. Jake brings Olivia in his car and takes her on a creepy drive far into the darkness, ultimately ending up at what looks like an abandoned house. “I have a confession,” Jake says.

He confesses that he killed Jennifer Fields and blew up the cabin. “Jennifer had to die, so I killed her,” he says, explaining that Olivia’s father asked him to do so. “I obeyed your father’s order to the letter…Jennifer had to disappear…that was the mission,” Jake says. “She no longer exists…on paper at least.”

And then, none other than Jennifer Fields reveals herself in the cabin. She’s alive!

Here, Scott Foley talks to Variety about his big episode and explains that shocking cliffhanger…

Why is Jennifer Fields still alive? Why did Jake want to keep her alive?

That’s the big question. There were some who watched the episode where the victory was announced for Frankie Vargas and a few people noticed that Jake got up, so many people were curious and asked what part Jake played in this assassination. We find out that Rowan told Jake that he needs him to take out Jennifer Fields. This is the one time that Jake went rogue and went against Rowan’s wishes.

So if Jennifer Fields is alive, whose hand was in the cabin?

Believe it or not, that will be answered. But it was not Jennifer’s. It is just a hand! It’s not hard to come by a hand, if you’re in the line of work that Jake is in. [Laughing]

Why did Rowan want Jennifer Fields dead?

It’s to tie up loose ends. Rowan knows who killed Frankie Vargas, as does Jennifer Fields, at this point, so he wants that loose end tied up and Jake is the one who’s going to take care of that for him, but Jake, on his own, decides that Olivia Pope needs to know the truth, and the truth about the assassination needs to come out.

What has Jake been doing at the motel with Jennifer?

It’s funny because Vanessa is sure that he’s been sleeping with someone else. But I think Jake was tasked with going to kill Jennifer but he decided not to do so, so he’s been devising a plan. I don’t think there’s a sexual relationship going on with them.

Did Jake have something to do with killing Frankie Vargas, or should we believe he’s not guilty, at this point?

I think he is definitely not guilty of that. I think we learned in this episode that he did not have a hand in killing Frankie Vargas. I think he knew that it was going to happen, but doing it himself I don’t think is possible.

What about Rowan? Could he have killed Frankie Vargas?

It’s definitely possible to think Rowan did it, but we know at the end of the episode that this mystery woman comes in and she plays a huge part in this.

Speaking of Rowan, who is this new character — played by Zoe Perry — who seems to be in charge of him?

Kinda crazy, right? It’s the first time in “Scandal” history that we see Rowan is truly afraid of someone. He’s always been the boss who’s been pulling the strings, but now, someone is pulling his strings. We don’t know who she is yet, but we know that she’s got something on Rowan — she’s got enough on him that he’s willing to do whatever it is that she wants him to do. It’s really interesting story-wise for the show because we always thought B6-13 was the end-all-be-all, but it looks like there’s someone else who’s pulling the strings right now, whether it’s a government agency or not, and that’s a terrifying thing for Rowan.

Does Jake know this woman?

No, not yet. Jake has no idea.

She did say that the bank account was to take care of Olivia, so should we be worried that she would hurt Olivia?

Absolutely. I think that could possibly be why Rowan is so afraid — they know who his daughter is, they have Olivia in their sights and that they may do something with her. They’ve already done something by making it seem like this payment came from her account. There’s always the possibility that she’s a danger.

Speaking of other women, should Jake be worried about Vanessa at all? She’s not very happy with him…

I think there’s always the worry that Jake is playing a part here being married to her and she’s going to find out. Hopefully the idea behind Mellie talking to her and also seeing them together on Sally Langston’s show is that maybe she’s realized the benefit to her of being in this marriage, whether she’s happy or not. But being in crazy relationships myself, you’re never safe. Right? It’s just never safe. But for the moment, it seems that everything is okay.

Will we see Cyrus get out of jail?

It depends. If Olivia can take this information and can prove that Cyrus had nothing to do with Frankie’s death, I think there’s a possibility. But that’s going to be a hard thing to prove, even with Jennifer Fields as a witness and knowing what she knows. There are a lot of steps to go through. And we know that Fitz says it’s okay to proceed with the death penalty, so there are wheels in motion that will have to stop fairly quickly if we want to see Cyrus out of prison.

So then if Cyrus is in jail, should we really believe that Mellie will be president and Jake will be vice president?

At this point, it looks like that’s the most inevitable possibility with Cyrus in prison. With Olivia Pope having this information and finding out that this payment was made from her account — it looks like because of all of that that she’s going to get her wish that Mellie will be president and Jake, in turn, will be vice president, even though it turns out to be the wrong thing.

Now that Olivia knows the truth about Jennifer Fields, will she go on a mission with Jake to figure out the truth of Frankie Vargas’ death?

That’s an interesting question, and I think an interesting dilemma with Olivia. She has the man in prison that everyone thinks did it and also has this information that says he didn’t do it — what does she do? Does she wear the white hat and sink her own election and tell Mellie she’s not going to be the president to get Cyrus out of prison? Or is she so hamstrung that she’s going to take the White House illegally again? She did it for Fitz!

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