Kelsey McNeal/ABC


S6 E5
TV Show
Drama ,
S6 E5
March 09, 2017 at 10:26 PM EST

Remember when Frankie Vargas won the election and then he was shot and Cyrus was president and then Jennifer left that voicemail and then Cyrus was arrested and then he was (mostly) proven innocent? It’s been a busy first four episodes, and we’ve approached it a little bit like a character study: Olivia, Mellie, and Cyrus. But tonight we turn to Jake Ballard (read Scott Foley’s thoughts here) and the poor wife who ended up caught in the crossfire. We see their present, their past, and everything in between — and yes, it’s just as jumbled as the rest of the season.

Of course, Vanessa (Glee‘s Jessalyn Gilsig, if you couldn’t place that face) doesn’t have the intel about Jake and Olivia’s past, so she has her work cut out for her. And it’s probably best that she doesn’t figure out what’s going on before Jake and Vanessa appear on Sally Langston’s The Liberty Report to talk about the current cluster that is the American political system. And this is all following Tom’s confession that leaves Cyrus’ murder charge all but overturned.

But outside of Cyrus’ current state, it appears that Vanessa is posing her own set of problems. The afternoon leading up to The Liberty Report, our girl Vanessa is out crashing SUVs. In short, she’s not doing so hot. Actually, she’s full-on wasted and has no issue chatting about her drunken mess or her 23-year-old “friend.” It launches quite the argument between Jake and Vanessa that Olivia has to shut down.

That leads us to a flashback to the campaign again, with VP Jake on debate prep for a job that he never wanted. Jake just wants to do what he is required to do to get by, but Olivia wants more. That’s when Jake calls her out for joining the family business and says that she’s nothing more than his boss. It leads Olivia to launch into why she has to win, Reese Witherspoon-Election style. It wins Jake over and sends up all kinds of red flags for Vanessa. She wants to know about his and Olivia’s relationship, but Jake shuts her down. Vanessa makes a point that Olivia is kind of a famous mistress, and you have to feel bad for the poor girl because we’ve all chugged the last of a bottle of white wine in frustration, am I right?

In the present, Olivia catches up with a hungover Vanessa, but even sporting an oversized shirt and a serious headache, Vanessa goes after Olivia pretty hard and calls her out for her sexcapades. It causes Olivia to slam her against the wall and say, “You are not going to come for me. Not today.” Yikes, got it, girl. Huck steps in to make sure everything is okay, and that gives Vanessa a chance to reveal everything she knows. Jake left the room on election night as soon as the election was called, well before Vargas was shot.

Of course, Rowan was on the other end of that text that Jake received on election night. And it’s revealed that Rowan did know that Vargas would die, and that if he played his part, Jake would be vice president and “come home.” So, for all you who said that Rowan’s involvement in Vargas’ assassination was too easy… there you have it. The Devil was always behind Vargas’ death. Olivia accompanies Vanessa home, letting Jake know the interview with Sally was postponed. She follows up to see if Jake is holding anything back from her, but he rebuffs it entirely.

NEXT: What happened to Jennifer Fields?

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Shonda Rhimes’ political drama: Sex! Murder! Olivia’s suits!
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