Scandal & why Jake deserved better! By Lola Louise

January 2, 2024

Scandal is an amazing political drama written and produced by Shonda Rhimes. You know it’s going to be great when her name’s attached to a show. She has a great proven record for intense and complexe dramas with characters you can fall in love with or just generally hate.

I was very late to the party and started watching in 2017, near when the show was ending. I remember having to binge watch fast to catch up with the series and finish in time for the newest series airing. It was a thrill.

This was the first political drama I’d ever watched and I fell in love. Still in love years later. Particularly with one character who was introduced late: Jake Ballard, he was mysterious and complicated. In the beginning, it looked like he was the newest villain of the series. From his first episode, it looked like he wanted to kill main character Olivia but I was wrong. Once his character developed slowly, we realise that despite some of the dark things he’d done, he’s actually a great character who just wanted happiness but was expected to put everyone else above himself. He was basically like the modern day bodyguard and was ultimately a hero multiple times. He wanted to stand in the sun and was dragged to the darkness every time. He was done dirty over and over, especially with the ending in the series. I bawled my eyes out. The least he deserved was to smile, not to be trapped in a cell. In the 6 years since I watched it last, I forgot how it ended and it’s like that angst I had back then has returned. I’d do anything to see Jake genuinely happy.

Obviously, having watched numerous Shondaland shows, I should have known that nobody gets a happy ending.

Jake had so much character development, he was protective of Olivia and cared for her so much, he’d kill for her, literally and she just threw it back in his face every time. The most heartbreaking scene of the entire show was Olivia telling Jake that he basically meant nothing to her after everything that they’d been through. Despite them hooking up many, many times, they never got together in the end. We were teased and deprived. That hurts. It still hurts.

Compliments to Scott Foley though, his performance was amazing. He is great at playing complex characters whether they’re good or bad or both. He’s a talent.

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