Where has Jake been on season six of Scandal? This has been a burning question for probably a lot of viewers since episode one, when he mysteriously leaves shortly before Frankie Vargas is killed on election night. Well, wait no more, “They All Bow Down,” not only explains where Jake has been, but also what he is up to now. Except, in true Scandal fashion, we’re left with more questions than answers.

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Spiral Down

Vanessa and Jake are a happy couple as he is announced as Mellie Grant’s running mate on the campaign trail. She is over the moon at the possibility of being the vice president’s wife, but he has concerns about being Olivia’s puppet. She assures him that he’s nobody’s puppet, and that once he’s in power, everyone will bow down to him.

That bliss is short-lived though. Along the campaign trail, Jake has a conversation with Olivia about what her end-game is. She reveals that she wants a clean campaign, her chance at redemption is with Mellie. Suddenly, Jake’s tune changes and he and Olivia are besties again, which concerns Vanessa, who turns to drinking to ease her misery. She confronts Jake about cheating on her, but he assures her he’s not. However, he’s dismissive and keeps pouring her more wine. When she asks him about his past, he shuts down and leaves.

By the time present day rolls around, the pair is miserable. Or perhaps just Vanessa is miserable. The day she and Jake are set to appear on The Liberty Report, she gets drunk, runs off with a 23-year-old bartender and wrecks her car. It’s a cry for help. Jake is obviously pissed, so he leaves her with Olivia.

Snap Out of It

Olivia takes care of Vanessa, who lashes out at her. Olivia quickly turns the tables and scares the crap out of Vanessa, who quickly reveals that she thinks Jake is cheating on her. She tells Olivia that ever since election night, he’s been getting texts from what she thinks is another woman. She says he’s been out every night. This gets Olivia’s wheels turning, but not about Jake cheating.

At home, Vanessa begs for Jake’s forgiveness for her behavior. She tells him, she feels like she’s a failure at their marriage and wants him to open up to her. Just as he seems like he’s about to, though, he clams up, looks like he’s about to strangle her and then just tells her that he can’t reveal his past.

As a way to distract Jake for a bit, Olivia brings Mellie over to convince Vanessa to go on The Liberty Report. After some cheerleading and a pep talk, Vanessa is convinced, and the pair go on TV.

What’s Jake Been Up To?

After Olivia hears about Jake going missing on election night, after Vargas won, but before he was killed, she goes into investigation mode. Pope and Associates realize that Jake was at the cabin where Jennifer was killed, and that he was behind her death and explosion.

Olivia confronts Jake before The Liberty Report appearance, but he doesn’t reveal a thing. The team then finds out that Jake as been visiting a motel every night. Quinn and Charlie head there during the appearance, but find nothing. After the show, Jake tells Olivia that she won’t find anything and then hands her a letter and says, so much for a clean election.

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Papa Pope Strikes Again … Or Has He?

Olivia runs to Eli with the letter, which has her name linked to the account that paid Tom to lie about Cyrus killing Vargas. He looks surprised by the letter, but tells her to just be happy that Mellie will be in the Oval and stop asking questions. Later on, he’s visited by a woman, who’s name we don’t know. He asks her why Olivia’s name is on the account. She says it is basically an insurance policy. They, whoever they are, used Olivia to get Mellie in office, and now Olivia is expendable. She threatens to kill Olivia if Eli keeps asking questions. This is the first time I’ve seen Eli actually scared and worried, so it turns out there is someone more evil than Papa Pope, we just don’t know who.

Meanwhile, Jake goes to see Olivia. He mysteriously drives her into the woods, getting rid of her cellphone. Once they stop, he orders her to get out and says he has a confession to make. Then he leads her to a locked cabin in the woods. He says that Eli ordered him to kill Jennifer. Make her disappear and no longer exist. And then he introduces Olivia to Jennifer, who is very much alive.

What Is Going On?

What the heck is going on on season six of Scandal? All the time jumps make it very confusing to follow the complicated storyline. What we do know is that Cyrus didn’t kill Vargas, but Tom lied about it. Someone paid Tom to lie and linked Olivia’s name to the account as a way to keep her from talking. Jake accepted orders from Eli, but for some reason, I don’t think Eli wanted Jennifer dead. He probably told Jake to keep her hidden from this new higher group giving orders. Or maybe Eli did want her dead. Either way, Jake kept her alive for a reason, but we don’t know why. Did Jake just not want to kill anymore? Does he not like this new group? Or Eli? Or both? And why is getting Mellie in office so important to whoever this higher-up is?

What did you think of “They All Bow Down?” Were you surprised Jennifer is alive? What do you think is going on with Jake and Eli? Who do you think this new group is? Let us know in the comments below.

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Contributing Writer, BuddyTV