Scandal recap: 'Pressing the Flesh'
Single female POTUS looking for, well, batteries
Tonight is good Scandal, you crazy Gladiators. Damn good Scandal. It seems that it’s dialing back to focus on the characters we love and seeing their stories start to come around full circle. Well, except for Fitz and Olivia, because for right now, Fitz and Olivia is actually Curtis and Olivia. Girl, girl, girl. What are you doing?
You can tell Curtis is trouble, and the last thing that Olivia needs is trouble. She’s planning the state dinner because the president of Bashran is in town, and I think we all remember how things were working out with Bashran last week. Tonight is all about talking him into giving up his nuclear capability, and I think we all can agree that hits a little too close to home right now. And while Olivia juggles that planning, Cyrus comes in to question…the seating arrangement. He’s been placed next to another gay man, and he feels it’s a slight because they “speak the same language or something.” But Olivia needs Cyrus to work it because this is a big donor.
Meanwhile, everyone wants to come to this super tense dinner! Abby chats with David about being his plus one because QPA needs clientele, and the best place to find political scandals is at cool state dinners. So Abby locks in invitations for everyone to go and they’re all so pumped (LOL, not Huck. Huck hates this). But let’s not forget, and I know I sound like belaboring the point, but tonight is about this nuclear arms race, and when Mellie alludes to the idea that Bashran should give up their nukes, the president launches into how America wants to overthrow him and maybe it’d be good if America gave up its weapons. So clearly that’s flying like a lead balloon.
It looks like the best hope for success tonight is the QPA team locking in some new clients, right? They just have to talk a little bit. But then Huck says, “The best way I know how to get people talking is…to hurt them.” So…um, maybe it’s not going to be the best. Huck can talk to people, though. He asks Abby if she misses the White House, and she says that she does even though at the end of the day, she prefers being a Gladiator. Us too, girl. Us too. But if there’s one person who isn’t missing the White House right now, it’s President Mellie Grant.
Yes, girl wanted the job. I’m sure she still does. But it’s a lonely job. It’s an important job. It’s a job full of pressures and not so much full of sex. Or vibrators. Or orgasms. Actually, per Mellie’s assessment, “There’s a famine in my lady bits. My vagina is beautiful, but she’s being treated like a murder house.” Somewhere, Ryan Murphy heard someone say Murder House, and he’s working on American Horror Story: Mellie’s Vagina as we speak. After a mini breakdown, Olivia starts laughing at Mellie because she’s thinking about how Ken Burns would immortalize this moment, and it’s nice. New Scandal is perfect when Olivia and Mellie have their little best friend moments. Mellie has earned this. She loves the job, but it doesn’t take away that sometimes she and her vagina and Olivia — well, they need a break. Anyway, put Single Female POTUS’ monologue on a mantle and shine a light on it; this might just be Bellamy Young’s best moment to date.
But we shift pretty quickly to that secret room in the White House, which doesn’t lead to a pool…it leads to the new control room/B613 suite, equipped with a mini fridge! How fun! And Olivia wants Jake to prep himself because if the president of Bashran isn’t going to sign their nuclear treaty, she’s going to need some dirt.
In the meantime, the QPA team has gotten into the state dinner, and Liv is not loving it. Actually, literally everyone made their way in, including Curtis. Essentially, this state dinner is a crapshoot, all the way down to Mellie speaking to the president of Bashran and alluding to the fact that he’s mansplaining to her. When they dive in, the president of Bashran says that if he signs a treaty, he’ll be exiled or killed. That’s not great, either way you cut it. But neither is the dirt Jake has found on him that could implicate him for sexual deviancy. So, looks like president of Bashran’s options are exiled, dead, or dead. Cool, great, wonderful.
On a much less important level, it’s okay that Mellie is flatlining because everyone is kind of flatlining. Huck is stumbling through all of his interactions, and Cyrus is practically bleeding from the mouth from biting his tongue. But this auxiliary gay man isn’t here by chance. He wants to sit with Cyrus because he wants to know how to run for governor. Our friend isn’t here to play.
As all those details are playing out, Olivia is alerted to a development: The girl who’s been stopping by to see the president of Bashran isn’t a prostitute. She’s his niece. At the end of the day, the president of Bashran isn’t a heartless dictator. He’s a man who just wants his niece to be able to study gender studies in the states. And he wants to protect her, right? Apparently not. He tells Olivia that he’s heard about her and knows she’s the devil. (Yikes.) So she can forget about her treaty because he knows her character, too. (Recap continues on page 2)
Cyrus is forced to take his babysitting project on a tour of the White House, and they finish at the Oval Office. The man runs over to the president’s desk and pops a squat before saying, “Screw governor. Maybe I should drop a few mil’ and run for president.” And Cyrus loses his business and screams, “GET UP, YOU, YOU, YOU BOOB.” Then he launches into a speech about how Mr. Glacklan could never be prepared for the presidency because it’s beyond his comprehension, and boy howdy, does Mr. Glacklan not like that.
As this awkward state dinner starts running toward its end, Huck has retreated outside of the East Room for his own work. He was speaking to this buff military guy, but Huck honed in on his medals. Something was up. When Abby asks what’s going on, he reveals that the medals were in the wrong order, and once he ran the guy’s face through the military database, it was clear: He’s not who he said he was. They run and grab Olivia, but while they’re doing that, Hottie McNotMilitary brings the president of Bashran into a room and pulls a gun with a silencer. Turns out he’s a Bashrani man, and he’s NOT pleased with how things have been going down in Bashran. Right before this guy pulls the trigger, Jake’s people jump in and tackle him. Man, this has been a tough night. Makes you understand why Mellie just wants a vibrator, you know?
So, post-attack, the president of Bashran sits down with our girl Mell to chat about treaties because no option is looking particularly awesome for him right now. He finally agrees that if they can bring his country’s enemy to the table, then he’d be willing to sign the treaty among all three countries. In that moment, he asks if she has something stronger to drink, and I scream, “GET THE HOOCH, GIRL. GO GET DADDY’S HOOCH,” but she just pulls out a classy container, because she’s a classy president! And then he admits that his niece deeply admires her, and they share a moment. No, a moment. And I worry that she’s about to kiss a dictator, but he excuses himself, so thank God for that.
Mellie is doing the thing, y’all. And outside the Oval, Abby and David are having their own moment, where David pushes the theory that maybe they are supposed to be together. It’s kind of a Scandal dream because those two need each other. And then back at QPA, Quinn and Charlie are having their own moment about marriage and the future, and Charlie suggests that maybe new Quinn of Quinn Perkins and Associates doesn’t need a Charlie. But that sends Quinn into a tailspin, admitting she loves Charlie and they shouldn’t have to wait any longer. It seems they’re getting married, guys!
When Cyrus gets back to his office, that multimillion dollar painting Mr. Glacklan spoke about is sitting there with a note saying it should go to someone who’ll appreciate it. And then there’s Curtis. I know this is all a lot, but this Curtis situation. Olivia gives him the scoop on Mellie’s deal, but she also wants a celebratory, um, handshake. So they take that handshake back to Olivia’s place, but they’re not alone. When they get off the elevator, Fitz is waiting there.
Take a breath. That was a lot, right? How pumped are you to see Fitz? And do you think that maybe, just maybe, Shonda is going to pull it off and wrap all these characters up the right way? I know it was easy to doubt, but y’all, I think…it’s handled.