With Olivia Pope M.I.A. on Scandal?, Jake, the Gladiators and President Fitz will hustle to save their kidnapped heroine. Scott Foley teases the trial ahead and considers Jake’s odds in the long game of winning Olivia’s heart from Fitz.
Last week, Olivia believed she was fighting her way to freedom on Scandal, only to play right into Ian’s mysterious hands. With the truth of her captivity just beginning to unfold, it’s clear she’s going to be used as a tool to control the president. Fitz’s allegiance will be tested, and Jake will go on the warpath because it’s Olivia who needs saving, this time.
“Olivia was taken, right from under Jake,” Scott Foley (Jake) teases of the Feb. 5 episode, aptly titled, “Where’s the Black Lady?” “He is going to work with the gladiators, with OPA, to try to get her back. Do everything he can. There might even be some communication with Fitz.”
It’s hard to imagine Fitz and Jake working together at this point. Fitz recently had his old war buddy locked up and tortured, and during their showdown, one might say Jake actually landed more punches. He took delicious pleasure in recounting his sexploits with Olivia to Fitz. During moments like that, it can feel like Fitz and Jake fighting over a prize, instead of a woman, but Foley believes in Jake’s intentions.
“I think Jake has the right motives,” Foley maintains. “He believes he and Olivia are meant to be together. He also believes himself to be the best candidate: Out of the two of them, he’s the available one, not being the president of The United States and not being married. It’s up to you to decide — or up to Olivia!”
Foley quips that his biggest obstacle isn’t actually the president, but the man who plays him. “Try being in a love triangle with Tony Goldwyn (Fitz),” he sighs. “He’s a unicorn. He is the most beautiful, handsomest, nicest, most talented person in the world. I have a big hill to climb.”
Thus far, Olivia has refused to make her choice. Before being kidnapped, she wouldn’t let go of her dream of being on the beach with Jake or sharing Vermont with Fitz. She just wanted to dance. In her rescue fantasy last week, she did end up with Fitz: But it was Jake who saved her. This love triangle is up in the air, still, yet Jake and his portrayer have faith.
“She sees the truth,” Foley insists. “Jake believes that she’ll figure it out, sooner rather than later, and I believe she’ll come around.”
As for why a hot, eligible man like Jake has been willing to play second fiddle to Fitz, Foley points to the nature of attraction. “She’s Olivia Pope: There’s something undeniable magnetic about her! She’s powerful and sexy, and there’s always something, I’ve learned as a man, when a woman says, ‘No, thanks.’ You just can’t stop yourself. He’s willing to take a little bit of grief and uncertainty, believing she will ultimately come to the right decision.”
Foley admits there may also be something to Jake’s relationship with the president. “Fitz was somewhat of a mentor to Jake and Jake thinks his time is now,” he explains. “What a comeuppance it would be!”
As viewers have seen, time and again, Jake is not the proverbial White Hat that Olivia believed him to be when he first broke onto the scene. He’s also not exactly a Black Hat. “Jake believes that everything he’s doing is for the benefit of the Republic,” Foley says. “His darkness is all for the greater good.”
For the record, that description could also easily apply to Olivia’s father. “Didn’t you all marry your fathers?” Foley shrugs. “Because I married my mother. It just happens.”
Quips aside, Foley maintains Scandal‘s shifting hats are central to the show’s success with viewers. “That’s the beauty of what Shonda [Rhimes] and the writers of Scandal do with these characters,” he marvels. “You think you can put them in a category and know exactly where they are, and then in the next episode, you can’t: They’re completely different.
“That’s the beauty in all of us, that we straddle those roles,” he adds. “I’m a very nice guy, most of the time. But then I’m not, sometimes. You can ask my wife.”
With the rules of Scandal constantly changing, there may yet be a chance for the guys to get past their feud.
“That would be nice,” Foley says with a chuckle. “It would be nice to see them rekindle the friendship they had to save the woman they love. Their relationship can only get better because it can’t get worse!”
Scandal airs on Thursdays at 9/8c on ABC.