Mellie and Liv host their first State Dinner of the presidency, and it’s eventful. Plus, Fitz is baaaaaack! Full recap of Scandal, “Pressing the Flesh” (first aired Thursday, October 12 at 9pm ET|PT on ABC).
“Pressing the Flesh” picks up with Liv finishing a sexy times rendesvous with Curtis Price. Apparently, they’ve had several romps across DC’s 5-star hotels. (Push it real good… 😉 ) She’s getting dressed and about to leave the hotel, but he’s trying to encourage her to consider taking their relationship outside of hotel rooms. Curtis actually goes as far as to try to fanagle a date to Mellie’s first Presidential State Dinner, where she will be hosting the President of Bashran. But you know Liv doesn’t have any time for that.
Liv returns to the West Wing and comes upon a White House tour. The tour group is pretty excited to see Olivia Pope and even flash some pictures. Everyone is buzzing about the upcoming State Dinner with 120 guests expected for a five course meal. Interestingly, the tour group (and we) notice a giant tarp in the hallway. Apparently there’s some construction going on in the pool…
Liv slips by into her office where Cyrus is waiting for her. She’s concerned because the Bashrani government knows that the U.S. is spying on them, which makes for an awkward dinner. There’s added stress because Mellie wants to use this opportunity to broker a nuclear disarmament treatyl with Bashran. Liv is tired of dealing with conversations about china patterns and seating arrangements (she’s essentially Mellie’s First Lady). Of course, Cy wants to talk about where he’s sitting. He hates the fact that he has to sit by Fenton Glackland. He’s a major campaign donor and made a special request to be seated next to Cy. Apparently, what Fenton wants, Fenton gets. Besides, this could be an opportunity for Cyrus to court a donor for his own campaign later on.
Mellie has a brief meeting with President Rashad (of Bashran), but he makes it clear that he has no intention to play ball. In fact, Rashad reads Mellie the riot act, by claiming it’s actually the U.S. that’s responsble for the nuclear arms race in the Middle East. Plus, the CIA arming rebels in Bashran and promoting godlessness. Nope, Rashad has no intention of talking about nuclear disarmament… unless the U.S. plans to get rid of theirs first…
That night as Mellie is getting ready, Liv asserts that the nuclear deal is crucial. Apparently, Mellie has other concerns though. It’s been a long time since she’s had a man, or a vibrator. The famine in her lady bits is strong. Who can help her with those needs?! (Perfect scene is SO perfect! We know for a fact that Abby was bringing women into the White House for Fitz. Double-standards man…) But then Mellie and Liz share a laugh and commiserate over the lonliness. But this is the job: “If I can’t get laid, I’ll at least do something about nuclear proliferation…” The love I have for POTUS Mellie!
— Scandal (@ScandalABC) October 14, 2017
Liv realizes she has to approach this nuclear deal from another direction. She slips right under that construction tarp and we see that Jake is actually setting up her new B613 command center right in the heart of the White House. SAVAGE. Liv assigns Jake to search from some dirt on President Rashad.
At QPA, Abby and Quinn are trying to get into the State Dinner so they can acquire some high profile clients. Abby is able to bribe David into scoring her those invitations (those must have been some tasty eggrolls!). Quinn, Charlie, Abby, and Huck all get dressed and they’re looking good. They’ve even identified the people who will be attending the dinner that are most prone to scandal *SNORT* Abby notices that Huck is reticent. He doesn’t feel that he’s capable of small talk. Abby advises him to get people talking about themselves and Huck will be fine. He asks if Abby misses the White House and she does miss being a big dog. But damn it, she’s a gladiator!
The State Dinner seem to be going nicely. President Rashad is being friendly in public. Interestingly, Mellie and Rashad share some laughs over his attempts to mansplain why a nuclear deal wouldn’t be a good idea. Politically, it’s suicide for Rashad who would be exiled or maybe even assassinated. There’s also a concern about Basharan’s neighbor, Dakal, who is also in the process of acquiring weapons.
QPA is trying to court clients (by embracing their false IDs). Charlie is clearly awkward about having to pretend he’s a Stanford grad who plays polo and drinks his tea with a pinky in the air. Huck is able to make some headway during a conversation with an Army soldier about weapons. Although Huck is distracted by the man’s medals (and maybe has a strong desire for baklava).
Cyrus also meets Fenton Glakland, who’s interested in all the apps he can eat. During dinner, Cyrus is pretty grossed out by Fenton’s antics (licking up his plate with his finger…). Apparently, Fenton just bought a Cezanne painting for $105 million (“The Boy in the Red Vest”). Now this kind of wealth… Cy can get excited about that. Things take a turn when Fenton asks for Cy’s advice about running for Governor. Cy gives Fenton a private tour that brings them to the Oval Office. Fenton sits in the big chair and speclates that he might want to run for president. This pushes Cy off the edge… the idea that some ignorant boob might just drop a few million out of boredom and win president is ridiculous. Fenton leaves the room and Cyrus snaps back to himself: “I’m so sorry…The Oval, it’s very close to my heart…” UNDERSTATEMENT.
Jake works quickly and finds that dirt: he has photos of what looks like Rashad meeting with a potentially underage prostitute in his hotel room. Sexual deviance is very frowned upon in Bashran, so this might be the leverage Liv can use to convince Rashad to sign the treaty. Later, Jake actually learns that the girl is Rashad’s niece.
Liv corners Rashad in the men’s room with this information. The Bashrani public will not happy to learn that Rashad has sent his niece to study in the U.S., but he’s done it anyone, to give her opportunities she wouldn’t have in Bashran. Liv encourages Rashad to do for his country what he’s done for his niece. Rashad is scandalized… this level of espionage has crossed a line. He was warned by Ambassador Mashrani that Liv isn’t the type of person to do business with. So Rashad decides that he won’t be signing the treaty and that he’s leaving early.
During the musical performance (Denise Janae covering Summer Soft), Abby is distracted by some weird feelings for David (are we really about to do David/Abby again?! Where is Leo Bergan???!!!). She finds Huck sitting in the hallway doing some research. The Army guy he was talking to before had his service medals in the wrong order. It turns out this man has never been in the Army.
Also, Curtis is at the State Dinner with a date (someone who works in Defense). This sends Liv into a little pique, though she’d never admit it. Curtis pushes Liv for a story about why President Rashad would leave early. The conversation transitions into Curtis asking Liv to try something real between them instead of all the spin. They’re interrupted by Abby and Huck…
As Rashad and his group are leaving, they’re intercepted by the Army guy who claims that Mellie has sent him to bring Rashad for a private conversation. Once they arrive in the room, it turns out the Army guy is a Bashrani rebel and he’s angry that Rashad would be grovelling for American approval. Before he can shoot Rashad, Jake and the Secret Service burst in.
In the end:
–Rashad agrees to nuclear disarmament talks, as long as Mellie will bring Dakal to the table too. In fact, Rashad seems quite taken with Mellie, who admits that his niece views her as an inspiration. They share a drink and perhaps there will be more later. YAS MELLIE!
–Cyrus goes back to his office to find that he has a delivery. Fenton has sent the Cezanne painting. What does this mean?!
–Liv gives Curtis the scoop on Mellie bringing Bashran and Dakal to the negotiating table for a nuclear summit. Liv wants to celebrate, but this time, takes Curtis to her apartment. They ride up the elevator, kissing the whole time. Once they get to Liv’s floor, they step off the elevator. And Fitz is RIGHT THERE WAITING. (OMG!!!!!)
Where has Fitz been this whole time? Has he yet learned to make awesome jam in Vermont? Is he back for Liv now too?
In next week’s episode “Day 101” (written by Zahir McGhee and directed Scott Foley):
During the first 100 days of Mellie’s presidency, Fitz stays out of the limelight in Vermont where he takes up life as an ordinary citizen for the first time in years. Marcus joins the former POTUS to begin important work on the Fitzgerald Grant III Presidential Library (via ABC).
Scandal airs Thursdays at 9p/8c on ABC.