Scandal unearthed a new layer to the mystery of Jake Ballard this season with the introduction of Elise, a bad-ass spy who happens to be Jake’s ex-wife. Elise, played by Mia Maestro, was introduced in the fourth episode of season 5, but can she be trusted?

Jake seems to think so, inviting his old, presumed dead flame back to the U.S. with him. But is it possible that she’s Papa Pope’s accomplice in enacting Lazarus 1?

The backstory is that Elise missed an extraction meeting with Jake for unknown reasons and he assumed she was killed, moving on. However, they reconnected in Paris when Jake and Charlie investigated Lazarus 1, Papa Pope’s plan to rebuild B-613 by setting fire to the Louvre and stealing the paintings to sell on the black market.

Is ti a coincidence that Elise was in Paris at the time, posing as an art dealer? When Jake recruited her to help find out who stole the paintings, she arranged a meeting with a seller, but the cameras observing the meeting were grainy and cut out just as shots were fired. The seller was dead and Elise was shot, eliciting sympathy from Jake.

The timing of the camera blackout should be suspicious to anyone who’s ever seen a spy movie or TV show. We should trust Elise’s account of the events, nor should Jake. Heck, there was an episode of the animated comedy Archer where Mallory staged a break-in and assassination, even shooting herself in the shoulder to sell the story. What happened to Elise seems eerily similar.

Seeing as how we know that Papa Pope has no problem using people’s wives in his plans (like Mellie at the end of season 4), and that Jake was personally recruited by Rowan, it’s not a stretch to think that Elise is involved in Lazarus 1. Perhaps Papa Pope is the reason she missed the rendezvous with Jake in the first place and she’s been in his back pocket the entire time in case he needed to use her against Jake.

Whatever happens, Scandal fans would be foolish to think that Jake’s ex-wife is exactly what she seems. In the world of spies, there’s also something else going on and even if it turns out she isn’t evil and has nothing to do with Lazarus 1, I suspect Elise has something up her sleeve when it comes to Jake’s future.

Scandal season 5 airs Thursdays at 9pm on ABC.

(Image courtesy of ABC)

John Kubicek

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

John watches nearly every show on TV, but he specializes in sci-fi/fantasy like The Vampire DiariesSupernatural and True Blood. However, he can also be found writing about everything from Survivor and Glee to One Tree Hill and Smallville.