'Scandal's Scott Foley Says Felicity & Olivia Pope Are Similar, Which Means He's Still Noel Crane

Good news, Felicity die-hards: Noel Crane lives, Scott Foley says so. (Or says enough to allow to extrapolate the wonderful truth ourselves.) Jake Ballard may still be in a hole in the ground in some underground bunker for all we Scandal fans may know, but Jake will return at some point because we do know Foley was upped to series regular for Season 3. That's wonderful for longtime fans of Foley's Felicity character Noel Crane, because in case you've missed the signs, Ballard is clearly the second coming of everyone's favorite good guy.

Foley recently compared Felicity, beloved heroine of the now classic J.J. Abrams WB series, to his more recent onscreen love interest Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington). Speaking to the Huffington Post, Foley describes Felicity as "this other girl, Keri Russell, who you just wanted to look at and want to be around the same way you do with Kerry Washington." And he's right. No one seems to be able to resist Liv, the way the men in Felicity's life eventually came to revolve around her. But that got us thinking: Doesn't that make Jake Ballard the Noel Crane in Scandal's love triangle?

SIMILAR LOVE TRIANGLES

On Scandal, we've got Olivia (already established as the Felicity), who's in deep, painful (her own admission, folks) love with President Fitzgerald Grant, who as no right to be sneaking off with her since he's very publicly married to, you know, the First Lady. That right there, is our Ben Covington of middle age, ladies and gents. The problem with middle aged Ben Covington is that he's married, which kind of changes things a bit.

That makes Jake the Noel of this equation. The very single Noel to Fitz's very married Ben. Of course, it's easy to be single when your home is a dark hole in the ground.

ONE SHARED AND VERY TINY WORLD

Noel, Felicity, and Ben shared a college campus — a tight little community within the giant world of New York City. Fitz, Olivia, and Jake share the upper echelon of government secrets — a tight and completely dangerous community in the greater world of Washington D.C. Sensing a pattern yet?

HER MIND IS ALWAYS WANDERING

Poor Scott Foley. When Noel first got together with Felicity, she was thinking of Ben. When Jake first got together with Olivia, it wasn't long before Fitz was kissing her in a hospital room and promising to leave Mellie for her (again). The first great loves (or obsessions, depending on your perspective) of the objects of his affection are constantly in Noel/Jake's way.

NOEL 2.0: MAYBE HE'S FINALLY GOT A SHOT

The upside to this new world order is that our new Noel might actually stand a chance. If Scandal chooses to keep him around as the other guy, he would be the perfect alternative to Olivia's impossible relationship with Fitz. The Ben Covington of the Washington D.C. is just as self-absorbed as early Ben, but his job (and the fact that he's not a 22-year-old finding himself in New York) might not allow him to change enough to earn Olivia as she so often demands.

And I'm aware of the sacrilegious commentary I'm making here. I stand by it. Come at me, Olitz shippers. I've got a list of reasons I'm right and it's about three miles long — even if half of those reasons may or may not be variations on "Fitz is never going to get divorced."

Noel Crane (and by association Jake Ballard) forever.