Scandal fans were left stunned at the ending of Thursday night's episode. Olivia's father, Rowan, is back, and he warned her that there could be severe repercussions if she didn't get the investigation into B613 killed. Given the way this last episode ended, fans are dying for some Scandal spoilers about what comes next. Is Jake Ballard really dead?
Viewers went wild when Olivia's latest love interest, Russell, ended up being a bad guy who stabbed Jake Ballard. Some anticipated that perhaps Russell wasn't quite who he seemed, but nobody saw that brutal attack coming. Though Rowan had warned Olivia, things got uglier than most expected. Social media exploded with the Jake stabbing, with everybody dying to know whether Jake Ballard is really dead. Some Scandal spoilers indicate that fans may not need to mourn quite yet.
The next episode of the show is titled "First Lady Sings the Blues." According to TV Guide, Mellie won't get quite the reception from the public regarding her run for Senate that she may have expected. Cyrus will have to step up to lend his support, it seems.
The Season 4, Episode 20 synopsis adds, "Meanwhile, those taking down B613 get into a precarious situation and must go to great lengths to safeguard themselves."
Obviously, that is fairly vague and doesn't confirm Jake's status one way or the other. However, photos ABC posted early for "First Lady Sings the Blues" may well have revealed one big Scandal spoiler. As fans chatted online in the comment sections of various recap articles, some noted that there were photos on the ABC press site showing that Jake Ballard was still alive.
Indeed, late Thursday night, the ABC press site had several photos for an upcoming episode showing Jake injured, covered in bandages, laying in Olivia's bed, recuperating. Olivia was with him in one of the shots. As most would expect, by Friday morning, those photos had been removed from the press site.
The photos for the next episode also included shots of Mellie, Elizabeth, and Abby, and many would guess that once the network reposts stills for the Season 4, Episode 20 show, the ones with Jake will be gone and those that will remain will be these others.
Though the cast listings at IMDb aren't always a reliable indicator of these things, some have also noted that Scott Foley is listed as being in the last three episodes of this season. The press releases available for the next two episodes never reference anything specific about Jake or his apparent death, just references to the battle to get answers about B613.
For his part, Foley definitely made it seem as if he was bidding farewell to the role of Ballard in a Twitter post after the show aired.
"So, there it is. Thank you Twitter for tonight and all of the Thursday nights. It's such an honor. #Scandal"
Some have been expecting news of Foley's departure from Scandal so he can fully focus on the new comedy, but until now, there hadn't been any further news. However, given that the new project is still under the Rhimes umbrella, it's also entirely plausible that Shonda and Scott can make it work for him to stay involved in both shows should the comedy be picked up.
Could the Scandal spoiler photos initially posted on ABC's press site showing Jake injured but still alive have been a creative misdirection, or were they posted by mistake? Will Jake Ballard survive the stabbing by Russell? Fans of the show can't wait to see what comes next. Just three episodes of Season 4 remain, and it's all playing out every Thursday night with new episodes of Scandal airing on ABC.
[Image by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images]