Scandal Recap: The Truth About Jake


’Til Death Do Us Part
Season 5 Episode 18
Editor’s Rating *****
Kerry Washington as Olivia. Photo: Nicole Wilder/ABC

#Gladiators, greetings from sunny Los Angeles! Mama has been traveling and when this episode of Scandal aired, I was in Austin for a comedy festival, eating my weight in barbecue until I got the itis. Suffice it to say, there’s a good possibility I might not fit into my bridesmaid’s dress this upcoming weekend, but who cares? Brisket tastes better than a powder-pink-colored dress looks on anybody, so with my BBQ-stained fingers, I’m giving zero damns.

You know what else I’m giving zero damns about? Olake. Yep, little Miss #TeamOlake of seasons past is officially done with their toxic relationship. Like, stick-a-fork-in-me done. My eggs are dying — I’m 31, hello! — so I’m really not in the mood for the same rehash of their ignorance, yet here we are.

He’s like:

And she’s like:

And her response is enough to make him want to put his peen in her vajeen, which he does. After that, they make a plan to be together forever. And by episode’s end, she’s like:

And they don’t end up together. This was sad the first 62 times we saw it, but now I just don’t care. Olivia and Jake will never be happy together. Enough already with this mess! He deserves better; she deserves better. Heck, we deserve better. Luckily, “Til Death Do Us Part” gets into Jake’s tragic backstory, so it’s not just lame stunted romance. Poor fella. No wonder he is the way he is.

We open to see a little white boy playing outside of a dilapidated house while his dad physically abuses the mom. Then we cut to the present, when grown-up Jake is pouring Liv some tea. Apparently, Liv has been staying at Rowan’s place for a few weeks, laying low in the aftermath of her intense murder of Andrew. Jake tries to cheer her up by saying that after everything Andrew had done to her, she should only be sad that she didn’t kill him sooner. Um, sure? Then Jake goes, “You gotta do something with your hair. It’s a mess.” Um, no, ya dumb heaux. That’s how a black woman’s hair looks when it’s not straightened. It’s just sexy bed hair right now, so Jake, go die in a fire. I’ll bring the marshmallows. After he bounces, Papa Pope comes into her room to say that they moved up Jake’s wedding to this weekend. She looks concerned, a.k.a. she wants him now that he’s unavailable. Girl, take your ass to a therapist. This is ignorant. You have a 401k plan. You use Olay Regenerist Cream from time to time to keep your skin looking fresh and youthful. You should not be acting this simple. Sigh. Moving on.

Liv tells Rowan she’s going to go for a run. He’s happy she’s finally getting out of the house, but “go for a run” really means “meet up with Huck and Quinn.” Apparently, all of this heavy moping is just a front so Liv can figure out with Jake and Rowan are planning. Speaking of Jake, we head to a flashback of Jake’s time in the Navy. And LOL. The makeup and wigs that Scandal uses to make Jake and Rowan look younger are I get it, though. ABC is on a budget and that budget is “Kerry Washington wears Prada and the rest of you fools have to fend for yourselves.” Anyway, we learn that Jake’s real name is Peter Harris — surprise, it’s real basic — and he has an anger issue that constantly gets him in trouble. Rowan tells him that he’s getting discharged because of his violent tendencies. (The last guy he attacked is a politician’s son.) His only options are joining B613 or going to jail for ten years. Jake initially resists, but agrees to join B613 after Rowan roughs him up.

Back to the present. Huck and Quinn are trying to find dirt on Vanessa, but she’s actually a decent person, so no luck. Liv realizes that she’s going to have to do some emotional manipulation to get to the bottom of the Ro-ake plan. On the night of the engagement party, she pretends she’s still devastated about killing Andrew. Jake is concerned about her, so he tells Vanessa he’s going to be late to their engagement party. Trifling. Vanessa is pissed and goes, “Why is this heifer here?” Uh, because Liv came from Rowan’s ball sack? This chick, who has been in the picture for 17 minutes, thinks she can start asking questions about why a child is chilling at her parent’s crib? Vanessa, please sit your goofy behind down. Anyway, she’s hella mad, then Rowan gets mad and tells Jake to get his act together.

So Jake goes to the party. He and Fitz talk about Liv the whole time, except for the moment when Jake says, “Yeah, I love Vanessa,” about as enthusiastically as when I say, “Yeah, I love eating Brussels sprouts when they’re not cooked with bacon.” This marriage is doomed y’all! So Jake arrives back at the crib and Liv is “drunk,” trying to press Jake for dirt. He falls for it at first, then realizes what she’s doing. They argue, then he finally admits that he doesn’t love Vanessa. He gives a speech about how he loves Liv and it’s actually cute. Of course, Liv doesn’t say she loves him, and we need to talk about this nonsense for a second. Scandal has been on the air for five seasons, and I can count on one hand the number of times Olivia has told Fitz and/or Jake that she loves them. Sorry boys, sex does not mean love. Kissing in an electrical closet does not mean love. Giving you the “V” when she senses you are trying to move on is not love. If the person you love never says “I love you” without hesitation, then you need to tell that person:

If you don’t, you are wasting your damn time. Life is too short to beg someone to give you something they are not capable of giving. Liv is not capable of love. Hell, no one on this show is capable of love — except for Ella and Susan — so everyone should just embrace singlehood and stop ruining each other’s lives. End of rant.

After Jake confesses his feelings for the umpteenth time, they make out and presumably more. The next morning, Rowan is none the wiser about this hookup and is just happy to truck along with the wedding. He leaves to get his tux fixed. Olake vow to call this wedding off and ruin Rowan’s plan of making Jake the perfect running mate on Edison’s presidential ticket. Wait. I’m confused. Is Edison even a factor at this point? I thought all the momentum was with Frankie Vargas. Edison is not ahead in any of the polls. Why does Rowan think an Edison/Ballard ticket is the key to the White House? Edison is as interesting as a used Bounty paper towel. Jake is severely damaged, both from his childhood and from Rowan. Who would vote for these two?

Through more flashbacks, Jake’s dad was also sexually abusing Jake’s sister. OMG! To make matters worse, his sister committed suicide after years of abuse, which is horrifying and incredibly sad. Jake has never forgiven himself, which Rowan uses to his advantage after attempts to break him — such as beating him to a pulp, or putting him in solitary confinement for a month — don’t work. Rowan makes Jake feel like trash about his sister’s death and then promises that he will protect him. He is Jake’s new dad. This is enough to make an emotionally vulnerable Jake hug him. Now that he’s Papa Pope’s son, he doesn’t need his old dad, so he kills him. Whew! What great acting.

Back in the present day, Rowan quickly figures out Olake’s plan — Jake is going to leave Vanessa at the altar, ensuring that he won’t be a viable running mate — and he confronts Liv on the day of the wedding.

He tells her that if Jake doesn’t marry Vanessa, Jake will be killed. If Jake finds out that Rowan is forcing her to break up with him, Jake will be killed. Damn. Olake is screwed. Liv knows what she has to do. Moments before the wedding, she finds Jake and says a litany of terrible things to him. Let’s just rattle a bunch of them off: He’s not good enough for her, he’s weak, she only ever wanted Fitz, Jake is just a poor substitute, and so on.

Jake tries to figure out what triggered all this hatred, but Liv just says she doesn’t love him and never will. He is heartbroken. She is heartbroken, too, I guess. Because she loves him? Because she likes him? Who the hell knows. Olivia never really expresses her feelings to him, or to anyone else. On with the wedding!

After a moment of brief hesitation, Jake says, “I do.” He’s officially married to Vanessa and Rowan wins again. Man, shouldn’t he be tired of winning? Isn’t that what Trump said would happen to people who win all the time? Quite honestly, I don’t know how Olake will ever defeat Rowan at this point. Oy.

Alrighty, what did you think of this episode? Are you also over Olake?

Scandal Recap: The Truth About Jake