It’s not Scandal without a assassination attempt on a President, so Episode 2 of Season 7 made sure to check that box off real quick. I kinda like that besides a few scenes in a hotel room, the outside hallway of Olivia’s apartment, and QPA headquarters that the entire episode took place solely at the White House dinner where Mellie’s main objective was to fix the mess that occurred last episode between the United States and the Bashrani after Olivia was forced to threaten the Ambassador’s son in order to get their captured CIA agent back. This time she is in direct contact with the Bashrani president, who is aware of the transgressions made, but is willing to still try to come to a peaceful solution.
What Mellie doesn’t expect in this conversation, however, is the idea that the Bashrani president would LOVE for all countries to not have any nuclear devices in their possession, especially after learning the length the United States will go to get what they want. The problem resides in his people, who would attempt to have him killed if he were to allow the treaty to go through. It’s a reasonable problem to have, but after learning of the mishap, Olivia rinses and repeats her bag of tricks by now threatening the Bashrani president’s daughter, who he keeps away from home under a different name so she can go to school peacefully. This just serves to further the relationship between the United States and the Bashrani, so good job Olivia. They really just want those nukes gone no matter what.
In the meantime, QPA managed to once again take advantage of David in order to gain access to the dinner. Now that Abby is out of the White House game, she apparently no longer has the connects. Their goal is to gain new clients through this dinner, so Quinn, Abby, Charlie, and even Huck have to socialize throughout the event. Huck obviously has a difficult time with this, but after deciding to solely talk to people he has stuff in common with – military personnel – he starts to have a better time, but notices something off about a soldier. Turns out due to the order of the badges on the soldier’s uniform, Huck can tell he’s not actually a soldier, but a spy. This spy manages to get the Bashrani president alone for an attempt on his life, but the secret service manage to stop it just in time. This apparently shows the Bashrani president that everything about the United States isn’t so bad as they saved him, so he begins negotiations with Mellie to go ahead with the treaty…and also hint at a romantic interest between them? Ugh.
This obviously ties into the conversation Olivia and Mellie have early in the episode about how Olivia can go around and have the time of her life with whatever guy she wants, but Mellie is trapped alone as the president as every man is too scared of a woman with that much power. And she can’t use a vibrator or something…whatever, it’s a good thing a fellow president of another country would be fine with her amount of power. Another romantic development this episode includes Charlie getting worried that Quinn wants to actually be married and to someone that can be paraded around more than he can, which she quickly denies and seemingly proposes to him to quell his worries. Then there’s also Abby and David, who once upon a time had a good thing going and I don’t exactly remember why it ended. There are more than subtle hints from David throughout the episode as he obviously wants it to happen again more than Abby, but after a brief hand hold, she gets unsure of her feelings. We all know what’s going to happen though.
Basically the only other subplot left exploring is Cyrus having to entertain a billionaire named Finton, played by Dean Norris (Hank from Breaking Bad). Cyrus attempts to understand the man, but is constantly taken back by how inept and self-serving he is. It takes to extreme heights when he discovers Finton bought a extremely rare painting just to have in his office to look important and make clients cut to the chase with him. The real reason he attended the dinner, alongside the reason he specifically wanted to be seated by Cyrus, is that he would like to have a run as Governor. This later changes to President once he is given a tour of the Oval Office, but Cyrus has enough and quickly shoots Finton down, stating he has no idea what the idea of being President even is. As a sorry, Finton sends the painting over to Cyrus, claiming it’s better suited for someone who appreciates art. Also, did I mention Finton is gay? Another relationship plot blooming.
To cap the episode off, Olivia’s annoying friend-with-benefits Curtis tags along to her actual apartment this time for their sexual bout as she just wants to let off some steam after what occurred at the dinner. He was previously being super dumb at the dinner, having been brought by someone else. Seems he wants to be more than just what Olivia and him are, but I just don’t care about him enough to want to see that develop any further. It doesn’t seem like it will though as right as the elevator to Olivia’s floor opens, Olivia and Curtis are greeted to Fitz waiting at the door. He’s finally back in town and wanted to visit Olivia, but instead things got extremely awkward for all of them.
“Pressing The Flesh” was a pretty good follow-up episode to the premiere. Progress was made on the Bashrani plot front, we have been introduced to a few more important characters for this season, and as I said, many romance plots are showing up and what’s a Shonda Rhimes show without romances. I’ll definitely be interested to see next week’s episode, which seems to be a flashback that fills in the time between what Fitz has been up to from last season’s finale to now.
Pressing The Flesh – 4 out of 5
- The dinner plot was a good main event.
- Mellie’s monologue about her lack of sex was bizarre enough to work.
- Always good to see Dean Norris in something.
- I want David to be happy by the end of the show, hope Abby gives him another chance.
- It’s hard for me to care about anything going on with Quinn and Charlie.
- I hope Curtis is not going to be a main player this season and will fade away now that Fitz is back.