NSA Director Jacob Hamilton “Jake” Ballard
Every woman has fantasized about dating a spy. Olivia Pope has had the privilege to both work beside and bed both the leader of the free world and his super spy frenemy Jake Ballard. We all remember his inception into our lives, originally sent to spy on Liv by none other than president Fitzgerald Grant. Kidnapped, tortured and held captive by her father, Rowan Pope a.k.a. Command. Slave to her womanly prowess. Ballard has been in the center of the romantic drama since his very first scene, so often is he portrayed as the puppy dog pining for Liv that we forget he’s a CIA black OPS hitman for the now debunked B-613.
Behind those dreamy baby blues, lies the soul a genuine serial killer and Shonda made sure we remembered that with Season 5’s return episode “It’s Hard Out Here For A General”.
Liv and Fitz split during the winter finale, I’m sure we all have our reasons for why but none was more prevalent than the “secret abortion” they tried slipping by us towards the end of the show. Fast forward six month’s and you’ll notice that Jake has weaved his way back into her bed. Though it seems he still wants to be there for her emotionally, she seems content to only call him when she requires his physical presence.
We learn during dinner with Papa Pope, that he and Jake are now BFF’s. Though strange, remember, that someone other than Jake, Liv, Fitz and Huck is trying to kill Rowan for his many shady dealings while command.
Liv’s new client, head of the NSA Lt. Diane Peters has become aware that someone hacked into her home computer, the content they stole was about a NSA op called Project Mercury, which details how the NSA had spied on world leaders.It clearly seems that her new boy-toy is responsible and Pope and Friends start the search for where he could’ve gone with her flash files.
When the story leaks to the press about Project Mercury, the White House also joins the hunt for the whistleblower “Billy” and Fitz enlists the aid of none other than Capt. Jake Ballard. They briefly discuss Liv in which Fitz admits they hadn’t spoken and Jake denies that he’s actively poking her.
The hunt for Billy ends at his apartment where Pope and Associates arrive just in time to find Jake who though not in possession of Billy does have access to his cell phone. With no clue of Billy’s location and proof the file was stolen from her home computer, (a place it should never be) Diane is under investigation and a spot at the top conveniently opens for the new NSA Director.
As the episode comes to a close we come to a few realizations. The episode was all about power and the struggle for it. Liv’s break up cost her more than just Fitz, but also, without those connections Diane will certainly be replaced. This becomes more obvious as Fitz announces that Jake Ballard will be taking over as head of the NSA.
We think back to his reunion at “Billy’s” apartment and note that they found him not tracking Billy but hiding his body in a fridge. The inside hack job, any B-613 operative could’ve easily pulled off, but what was most important from this episode is that Jake is not one to underestimate.
Tonight’s show reminded all of us, that Jake was a force to be reckoned with and his robotic behavior in the presence of Eli”Rowan” Pope is nothing short is spooky. His climb to the top as head of NSA in last night’s episode is what makes him our #ShowsWeLove Scandal character of the night.
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