Jake and Papa Pope are up to something on Scandal. Despite their protests, Olivia knows that they have an endgame. We’ve already seen Jake kill someone to become director of the NSA and now he’s already getting engaged to his human rights lawyer girlfriend, Vanessa Moss.

So what is their master plan? Is Vanessa connected to someone or something important? Is she pregnant? Given Jake’s late-night trysts with Olivia, it’s safe to assume that the upcoming wedding has nothing to do with true love. Given all of the campaigning going on with all of the other plotlines, one conclusion seems most obvious: Jake is running for office.

The new NSA job turns Jake into a high-profile political figure and getting married to a woman whose pedigree goes back to the Founding Fathers helps make him a more serious political contender. Seeing as how everyone is after power, trying to take the Oval, it would only make sense that it would be Papa Pope’s goal as well.

There are two obvious paths for Jake right now. He could theoretically get into the Republican primary race, hoping that Susan and Mellie will split the women’s vote, making him a spoiler. Or, given all of the talk about brokered conventions in the real world, maybe the plan is to ensure that neither Mellie nor Susan gets enough delegates before the convention so Papa Pope can use his blackmail skills to get Jake drafted out of nowhere.

But jumping straight into the presidential race without ever running for office seems like a stretch (even though it’s exactly what Donald Trump has done in the real world). More realistically, maybe all of these moves are designed to make Jake Ballard an appealing vice presidential candidate, especially if Mellie becomes the nominee.

After all, Papa Pope has plenty of dirt on Mellie, from her assistance in getting the jurors killed to her helping him get out of prison. Blackmailing her to get Jake chosen as her V.P. pick is more than plausible. And it would help get all of the show’s major characters involved in the campaign storyline that is probably going to dominate the next season and a half.

All of this speculation assumes that Vanessa is just window dressing, a prop to help make Jake more electable. However, she is an accomplished human rights lawyer and those connections might be useful on their own. Whatever happens, we’ve learned never to trust a wedding. And never to trust Papa Pope.

Scandal 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.