9:54am PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Scandal': Have Jake and Fitz Met Before? Scott Foley Weighs in
Scandal's Olivia Pope has a new fan in Jake Ballard, a handsome Navy captain who already knows more about her than he's letting on.
In the closing moments of last week's episode, the member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff assigned to military intelligence had not one but two run-ins with Kerry Washington's political fixer, ultimately asking her out on a date. But it was the final frame of the episode -- when poor Liv finally succumbs to Jake's (Scott Foley) wily charms -- that we see his true colors: He has cameras in every room of her apartment and has been spying on her.
So who hired him to keep tabs on the top Gladiator and why? The Hollywood Reporter turned to Foley to get the scoop on Jake's motivations, if President Fitzgerald Grant (Tony Goldwyn) and Captain Ballard have more than the Navy in common and what else is ahead for him on the ABC drama.
THR: How long has Jake been spying on Olivia?
Scott Foley: We're fairly early on in the process. I wish I had an exact number of days or weeks for you, but I wasn't given that information. It's a fairly new situation between Jake and Olivia.
THR: Their first "meet cute" in the coffee shop -- did he plan to bump into her?
Foley: Now that we know he's been spying on her, it's safe to assume that it was all a set up; it was definitely intentional. It was a good move on his part. Anytime you're watching someone from afar -- anytime you can get within the range that he was, there's an additional thrill there. He was looking for that.
THR: Is he attempting to get as close to her as possible? What are his limits?
Foley: It's apparent that someone has asked Jake to do this, to keep an eye on Olivia to find out something about her. Just what or who, I'm not quite sure. I'm not sure if this person in this group -- who has hired him to do this -- has said, "You can betray the lines by meeting personally." But I think it's interesting if they have.
THR: There seem to be a lot of people who are interested in getting to know Olivia's secrets, ranging from David all the way up to President Grant, who still doesn't know whom he can trust. Who do you think is a likely candidate to have hired Jake?
Foley: I think you named a couple. David has such an interesting history with her with what he believes she has done to his life. His altruistic ideas as to what happened with the president -- the election rigging and if Olivia's a part of that -- and then the last episode, when David woke up with the woman in his bed -- he thinks that Olivia had something to do with that. So, he would definitely be a candidate. But just because she has been in this political circle for so long, there are so many people -- including all the Gladiators at Olivia Pope & Associates -- who could want to know more about her. It's an open-ended question. It could be anybody.
THR: Jake is a Navy captain. Fitz was in the Navy. What's the nature of their relationship? Could they have met before he was elected?
Foley: Jake now works for the Joint Chiefs of Staff in military intelligence. There's a possibility they met before, though -- I hate to say this about Tony -- the age difference might separate them a bit, but I could be wrong. If there is a tie [between Jake and Fitz], it would probably be through an intermediary. There might be someone that links them -- like a friend of a friend.
THR: Sounds like a job for Cyrus (Jeff Perry).
Foley: Jake and Cyrus -- we come to find out that Cyrus is … let's go to the next question.
THR: How will we see Olivia and Jake's relationship develop?
Foley: The next time we see them they're going to be out on a date. I know Jake is looking for something, but Olivia is keeping it much more professional than he is. Even though he is watching her professionally, there is a personal interest in her and I don't blame him for that. She's doing her best to work him off, however, even after agreeing to go on a date with him.
THR: So then why did she agree to go out with him?
Foley: There's an appealing quality to Olivia about Jake. She's out of her relationship with Edison. Ten months have past now since they ended things and she gave him back the ring. There's a spark there between Jake and Olivia, and she's trying to deny it.
THR: Considering Olivia's interest in Jake, could we see the Gladiators look into who this guy is?
Foley: That would be a smart play on her part and on the Gladiators' part. Although she just thinks he's a guy she ran into in a coffee shop, it happened to be that the woman who died was doing some work for him. She looks at that as a coincidence. However, should she in the future have certain suspicions about him? I wouldn't doubt that she would put Huck (Guillermo Diaz) on the case.
THR: Might Jake be connected to leak in White House?
Foley: Were I a viewer to the show, and not privy to the scripts -- even though I am privy to the scripts -- I would think there is a very good chance that Jake has something to do with the mole in the White House.
THR: Your name was trending worldwide a week before you joined the show. Then you just had your first #AskScandal live tweet. What do you think of the show's weekly social media routine?
Foley: It's insane! I've never really done live tweeting before, but it's so much fun. You get a chance to interact with fans in a way that you could only do so on a talk show, or in the street or in an airport. To hear what people have to say -- their opinions, compliments, likes and dislikes -- is really amazing. I love connecting with everyone. I was trending. How cool is that?!
Scandal airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. on ABC. Hit the comments below with your theories about whom Jake is working for.