What Exactly Is Jake Ballard's Job on Scandal?

We are three episodes into season four of Scandal and Scott Foley’s Jake Ballard is all over the place. After playing tropical house with Olivia on a remote island for the past few months, he’s back living in a DC hotel room, puttering around trying to solve problems that nobody asked him to fix.

My dad called me after the second episode and asked: “What does Jake do? Because hotel rooms in DC are like $500 a night.” Excellent point, sir.

Jake Ballard is a layered mystery of a man. He went from the President’s old Navy buddy, to stalking the President’s girlfriend, to banging the President’s girlfriend, to having family dinners with the father of the President’s girlfriend. All of this is made even more curious by the fact that he knows well and good that the President’s girlfriend is still in love with the President. But oh, those eyes.

As far as I can tell, Jake’s employment history is as follows: he spent his days doing whatever the hell he did at the Pentagon. Then he stalked Olivia on the President’s behalf. Then he became the head of B613 and now his only real job is as Olivia Pope’s on-demand booty call.

Olivia even called him out on his unemployment on last night’s episode after he told her he was busy “working”.

Maybe Olivia is footing what is sure to be an astronomical hotel bill, or perhaps his brief stint as the head of the nation’s most top secret spy agency paid incredibly well and had an amazing early retirement package. What Jake is doing is trying to take down Papa Pope, which is legit because the man did murder the President’s son.

I am super impatient, so I secretly love when real life news helps us figure out what’s going to happen in the fictional world of a television show. Is Jake’s questionable job status and growing obsession with taking down Olivia’s father perhaps a setup for his ultimate exit?

Shondaland is working in its first comedy series, To Max & Paige, which will be written and executive produced by Scott Foley. There was no mention of whether or not Foley will stick around on Scandal or be written off. Although, Tom Verica who plays, Annalise Keating’s husband on How to Get Away with Murder is also the co-executive producer of Scandal, so double duty in Shondaland is possible. What I do know is that Shonda Rhimes rarely lets her characters depart the easy way—meaning, job or not: Jake Ballard is definitely going to die, right?

Image via ABC.

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