[Warning: This story contains major spoilers from Thursday's episode of Scandal. Read at your own risk!]
Jake is finally back!
On Thursday's Scandal, Jake Ballard (Scott Foley) was returned to Olivia (Kerry Washington) in the episode's closing moments, dropped on her front doorstep bloodied and bruised. And it turns out that major sacrifices had to be made to get him there.
In flashbacks, we learned that Huck (Guillermo Diaz) once saved Olivia from a mugging, after which he tells her about B613. But when Olivia tells her dad Rowan (Joe Morton) about it, he angrily tells her to drop it — and Huck mysteriously disappears. Olivia, with the help of a young David Rosen (Josh Malina) is able to deduce that her father is the head of B613.
In present day, Rowan threatens Olivia by saying that if she doesn't back off helping White House staffer Jeanine Locke, who was falsely named as the First Mistress, then she'll never see Jake again. Olivia begs Fitz (Tony Goldwyn) to look into Jake's disappearance, but even POTUS can't save him. Instead, it's Mellie (Bellamy Young) who saves the day when she gets Jeanine to agree to admit to the affair in exchange for $2 million. But Jeanine is beaten to the punch by Fitz, who admits to the affair to the press in exchange for Jake's release, and later, Olivia is forced to agree to Sunday night dinner with daddy again after his generous act.
TVGuide.com talked to Scott Foley about the return of Jake and what's coming next:
Fans got a little nervous when you weren't in the premiere episode.
Scott Foley: But I was. There was only one scene where you see sort of Jake's condition in the hole. Rowan is looking down at him, and he says, "Why haven't you killed me?" And he says, "Because you're still useful." That [wasn't] there because [executive producer] Shonda Rhimes had a good reason. Although my wife was like, "What do you mean you're not in the first one?"
The last we saw, Jake was in the hole. What can you tease about his state when he returns?
Foley: Fans of the show are very familiar with that hole. The Huck hole. They know what it did to Huck. We don't know how long it's been since we left Jake, but I think that we can say that the effects of the hole, regardless of the amount of time, are pretty drastic. Anybody physically and mentally getting thrown into a deep dark spot like that has to be fairly tortured; the things that goes through your head when you're down there.
They threw Jake in the hole and then made you a series regular. Which came first: The chicken or the egg?
Foley: I wish there was a chicken or an egg. There had been talks last season about it. Everything's so complicated now. When you sign a deal, there's an option and series options. I was thrown into the hole prior to knowing if that option was going to be exercised. Although, at the last table read, Shonda told me to grow a beard. At the upfront, I wasn't there. When the show was announced that it got picked up, I wasn't there, so fans didn't know. I was thrown in the hole prior to being a series regular. I'm happy.
How do you think Jake will change post-hole?
Foley: I got to say this arc they've taken with Jake, the transformation of who he was and who he is becoming now is so interesting. It's a little different from what everyone else is going through. Huck's gone through it, and we've seen the flashbacks, but not in the same aspect with regards to the Olivia relationship. I think it's really interesting. Huck was reprogrammed more than Jake. Jake was more punished than reprogrammed. Because of Olivia, because of her relationship with the President, they were able to get him out on time. Any real long-term damage maybe they'll deal with something down the road. Like dirt! He can't be around dirt. [Laughs] No, we don't see any repercussions from that other than wounds and battle scars from the physical trauma they would constantly put him through on a daily basis.
Speaking of Huck, do you think Jake will lean on him since they've both been through a similar experience?
Foley: I think that's a really interesting question, because they already have somewhat of a kinship. We've seen them dance around each other in Pope and Associates once before. There's a familiarity because of where they've been and where they are now because of the hole. It's also someone else who has been doing what Jake does, but on the outside for so long now.
How will Jake feel once he finds out Rowan is Olivia's father?
Foley: Jake finds out pretty quickly. It doesn't change his feelings for Olivia at all. It doesn't change his focus and his feelings with regards to the organization.
What is the state of Jake and Olivia's relationship?
Foley: I wasn't sure what the climate was when they ended things. He is returned to her and to her apartment in this horrendous condition. She cleans him up and nurtures him and gets him back to health. Unfortunately, Jake is always dealing with Fitz.
What can you tease about Operation Remington?
Foley: Operation Remington had been talked about the first few scripts, and we bring it up and we don't quite know what it is. Remember the live table read? The moment when she said, "Dad," and the crowd screamed? When we realized what Operation Remington consisted of, what happened when we read it the table read, there was the same reaction. It is such a "no-f---ing-way" reaction. Jake was a part of it, the President was a part of it, Rowan was a part of it, B613 played a large part in it. It is the "Dad" of this season.
How do you think the show is creatively different this season?
Foley: I hope it's not that different. I thought Season 2 was awesome. I'm a big fan of the show. Prior to being on the show as an actor, I was a Gladiator. Good God, I can't believe I said that. I was. I have strong opinions that are obviously influenced by my character about the end game and should they be together? Are they the right couple? And are they really the ones for each other? Things can always get better, but the show is still there. It's still at that height. And I'm sure it's going to peak. I look at some of the episodes we've done this year, and it's just fantastic. Has it gotten better? Yeah. But I think it was fantastic already.
Are you happy that Jake is back? Hit the comments!
Scandal airs Thursdays at 10/9c on ABC.