Scandal will not air a new episode in the TGIT lineup. Does that mean Jake Ballard has more time to unleash his villainous or heroic plan?

No new Scandal means even more time without Jake Ballard. The D.C. drama takes the night off to allow for How to Get Away With Murder‘s two hour season finale. Scandal returns with the new TGIT lineup starting March 9 following Grey’s Anatomy in its normal time slot. The Catch kicks off its second season in the 10:00 hour.

So, where is Jake Ballard? Aside from his quick report following the assassination of Frankie Vargas and interrogation of a framed victim, the head-honcho of the NSA is MIA. This means one of two things — either he is plotting a revenge tactic against Papa Pope, or working to get back in Olivia’s good graces.

The scenes where Jake is not a pawn in someone’s game can be counted on one hand. He is a chess piece for Rowan or Olivia. Jake is Command. Everything from his placement in the NSA to his nomination for the Mellie Grant ticket is the product of manipulation. And although Olivia tries to save him and Rowan tries to treat him like his son, that is not the life Jake wants.

scandal season 6 jake ballard

It makes sense that by the time we see him in season 6, Jake resembles a robot. He provides information, delivers interrogations, and serves at the pleasure of the President. Is he tired of fighting?

‘Scandal’ 6×05 preview

Expect answers when Scandal returns. The preview primarily features Jake’s wife Vanessa unraveling at the seams. Let’s hope that there is more to the story than two women fighting over Jake’s affection.

Scott Foley may be off screen, but he still has a hand in the execution of the episodes. Episode 3, “Fate Worse Than Death,” sees Foley behind the camera directing an incredibly well-executed display of Cyrus’ last moments as a free man.

Scandal season 6, episode 5, “They All Bow Down,” airs Thursday, March 9 at 9:00 p.m. ET on ABC.

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