'Scandal' Case Study: Scott Foley on Jake and Olivia's Romance, Uncovering the 'Mole'
"Within the next two episodes, huge secrets will be revealed," the actor tells THR in our weekly postmortem.
[Warning: This story contains spoilers from Thursday's "Snake in the Garden" episode of Scandal.]
The "mole" has been exposed on ABC's Scandal.
During Thursday's episode of the political thriller, President Fitzgerald Grant (Tony Goldwyn) instructed his trusted Navy buddy Jake Ballard (Scott Foley) to uncover the mole in the CIA. Ballard, who is already spying on Olivia (Kerry Washington) for the president, watches as the head of the CIA Osborne (Kurt Fuller) demands to know why she's had her people following him and just who hired him. With that knowledge, Jake breaks into Olivia's apartment and copies the flash drive and all the data she had been collecting from David (Josh Malina) and takes it straight to the president -- who had offered to find him a spot with his administration should he come up helpful. After Cyrus (Jeff Perry) learns from Fitz that Osborne is the mole, he's removed from his position with the CIA -- even after the devoted patriot vehemently denies he's the leak.
In the meantime, Olivia has second thoughts about going on another date with Jake, who doesn't take no for an answer and plants a steamy kiss on her -- which she confesses helps her forget about her former flame (sorry, Fitz!). The big reveal, however, comes in the closing moments when Osborne is reportedly found dead of an apparent suicide -- an event that Jake admits to staging when he reveals the fact to his presumed other boss -- played by Terminator 2's Joe Morton.
So if Osborne isn't the mole, who is? Who's Jake really working for? How soon until Olivia -- and Fitz -- learn just who he is? And what about that kiss? The Hollywood Reporter caught up with Foley to get the scoop on what's next on Shonda Rhimes' addicting drama.
The Hollywood Reporter: Why would Jake frame the director of the CIA as the mole?
Scott Foley: Jake has an agenda that we're not necessarily privy to yet. Fitz needs a mole and he came to Jake to ask him to help with this and it seems to Jake that Osborne was the right person to frame. I don't know if we're going to find out if he was the mole or not but for right now it puts Fitz's mind at ease and puts Jake even more so in Fitz's good graces.
THR: Whom is Jake really working for?
Foley: We don't really know just who Jake is working for. At first it seems like he's a Naval officer and the president has him spying on Olivia and doing these dastardly deeds. Then we find out there's a whole other side to Jake and the intrigue goes even deeper. Cyrus in this episode has his henchman Charlie digging into Jake and trying to find what he can. Then we see Jake and Joe Morton's character together and it's an interesting twist. There's more to the story than meets the eye, as there always is in Shonda-land.
THR: If Osborne isn't the mole, could Jake be?
Foley: There's a possibly that Jake is the mole. There's a lot of things at work here. If Osborne isn't the mole, Jake could be, Cyrus could be and maybe the president could be -- it sounds ridiculous but nobody is above suspicion at this point.
THR: Might Jake be framing Osborne in an attempt to gain a position in Fitz's Cabinet and infiltrate the White House?
Foley: There was that offer from Fitz when he says, "Maybe we can find a more permanent place in this administration for you." That's very intriguing to Jake, and something that anybody -- especially a career Navy and military man like Jake -- aspires to.
THR: Does Jake know who the mole is?
Foley: I don't think so. Right now he's doing his best to serve two masters, to appease Fitz and do the best he can with the information he has. Jake and Joe's character have separate agendas that we're going to be privy to in later episodes. He's delicately balancing his responsibilities and place in both Fitz's life and this other life we're not privy to yet.
THR: How soon will we find out more about Jake's secret life?
Foley: By the end of the season we'll know! (Laughs.) We all want it to be the next episode. But as each episode goes -- we're shooting episode 20 now -- I'm not 100 percent sure what's happening with the depth of the deception and these different factions that Shonda has created that are alive in this story line. Whether it's the Fitz-Jake dynamic or the Fitz and the director [Joe's character] dynamic, there's a lot we're going to find out and a lot that's still left on the table.
THR: Osborne vehemently denied being the mole to Cyrus. Will anyone believe his death wasn't a suicide? Could Olivia, who was already tailing Osborne, get involved?
Foley: Yes! Questions will arise regarding Osborne's death and possible mistakes with regards to finger pointing (laughs). I think everything is a case for Olivia, don't you? (Laughs.)
THR: Let's talk about that steamy kiss: How will Olivia respond to Jake planting one on her?
Foley: Jake knows she has a case of cold feet, and he has prepared himself to talk her into what she really wants -- and that's a chance, a possibility. We're all looking for, if we haven't found it yet, the opportunity to find someone. Olivia, even though she said in that speech to Edison that she doesn't want the normal relationship, she wants something and Jake is something. The fact that he has the willpower to kiss her and then leave her there is such a great move and such a strong play because it only works in his favor. Intentionally, it leaves Olivia wanting more. Whether or not we'll see that is a question for next week. There's a possibility that the steamy smooching you saw tonight is just the beginning.
THR: When will Olivia find out about who Jake really is?
Foley: It will be a while before Olivia finds out who Jake really is. A lot of what the audience wants her to find out -- the questions that are out already -- will be answered within the next two episodes. Jake can't keep every secret from her. Within the next two episodes, huge secrets will be revealed. There was a table read for episode 218 or 219 where everybody gasped at a certain point in this story line. There's an amazing moment coming where some major questions are answered for Olivia about Jake and she has the same reaction that the audience has had when they found out.
THR: How soon will Fitz find out about Jake and Olivia?
Foley: I can only imagine what that would look like. Hypothetically, it would be ugly. Anytime you trust somebody and they betray your trust, the spiral you go through and the questions that you have -- not only about the reality of what's happening but also about yourself and the trust you put in someone -- is catastrophic. Should Fitz find out about Jake and Olivia, the outcome would be explosive. That being said, I have no idea what happens when Fitz finds out about Jake! (Laughs.)
Whom do you think Jake is working for? What did you think of Jake and Olivia's kiss? Hit the comments below with your thoughts. Scandal airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. on ABC.