"They All Bow Down"
6x05 - Olivia Pope and Vanessa Moss 01
Season Six
Season 06, Episode 05
Episode Information
Air Date: March 9, 2017
Viewers: 5.26 million
Written by: Zahir McGhee
Directed by: Millicent Shelton
Character Information
Relationship Stories:
Episode Chronology
Previous Episode: "The Belt"
Next Episode: "Extinction"

"They All Bow Down" is the fifth episode of the sixth season of Scandal, and is the ninety-fifth overall.


Jake and Vanessa’s messy relationship poses a threat to the campaign, forcing Olivia to take action. Meanwhile, a game-changing revelation about the conspiracy surrounding Francisco Vargas’s assassination is revealed.


In the past, Jake Ballard and his wife Vanessa Moss are talking about the campaign. Jake says he doesn't want to be a puppet. His wife says that he won't be a puppet and that Olivia Pope will be a footnote in his biography. Presently, Jake is set to go on the air on the Sally Langston show. They're just waiting on Vanessa to arrive. Unfortunately, Vanessa was in a car crash and Olivia has to cancel the interview. Vanessa had left a bar with a twenty-three-year-old and had ditched her secret service. Olivia gets Vanessa back to her office where they try to clean up this mess. Jake is furious and he says that Vanessa is Olivia's problem.

In the past, Olivia and Jake talk about why Jake is angry with Olivia. He says that it's because she went into the family business and went Team Pope. She tells him that this is her chance for redemption for Defiance and that she has to win. Vanessa gets mad because all he does is talk to Olivia while on the campaign trail. She wants him to talk to her because she wants to know everything about him. Jake says that he doesn't want to talk to her. She tells him that she's not going to move until he talks to her so he leaves.

Vanessa accuses Olivia of sleeping with Jake. Olivia tells her to keep talking to give her a reason to lay her out. Huck walks in and asks if she's okay. Olivia says yes and Vanessa says that all she wants is her husband back. That he's been texting someone so he must be sleeping with someone else. That he left before Vargas was shot. He went to meet Eli. Jake tells him that he will come after Eli Pope for whatever he's trying to do here. Eli tells him that he has to be prepared for the world being turned upside down and that Jake has to play his part.

Olivia asks Jake if there is anything else going on. Jake says no. Jake and Vanessa have a fight. He blames all his problems on her because she's the only one who cares. She tells him that she drove the car into the tree on purpose because she wanted to feel something. Jake tells her that it wasn't her fault and that she deserves answers. But he tells her that he can't tell her the answers because they will change the way she looks at him. He says that if she can be okay with that then they can be a team. She says that she can't do that.

Olivia investigates where Jake went when he disappeared during election night. They realize that he'd gone to the forest to kill Jennifer Fields and blow up the cabin she was in. Olivia says that they have to put the pieces together and they have to track Jake so that they know what he's doing. Mellie Grant goes to visit Vanessa to convince her to do the interview with Sally. She succeeds and Jake and Vanessa do the interview with Sally. The interview is a success. While at the interview, Charlie and Quinn Perkins go to the motel that Jake has been frequenting.

There is nothing there and Jake confronts her about putting surveillance on him. He also shows her that apparently, she is the one who paid Tom 2 million dollars to confess that he shot Francisco Vargas for Cyrus Beene. She goes to confront Eli and yells at him that she trusted him. He tells her to stop talking and to stop asking questions that she doesn't want the answers to. He tells her to leave. He calls Samantha Ruland and asks her what this is all about. She tells him that it's insurance so that Olivia doesn't go blabbing about the Cyrus setup.

Jake takes Olivia to the middle of nowhere. Olivia tells him that it was Eli who set her up but he doesn't listen. He takes her to a lone cabin where he tells her that Jennifer had to die because that's what Eli wanted. So she is dead on paper but in reality is still very much alive.


Main Cast

Recurring Cast

Guest Cast


  • This episode was produced as the fourth episode of the season, but aired as the fifth instead.

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