It’s Mellie’s first state dinner as president in “Pressing the Flesh,” and she has one job to do: secure a nuclear peace treaty with the president of Bashran. But that’s not an easy task, and Olivia tries to take matters into her own hands. And in true Scandal fashion, things don’t exactly go according to plan during the dinner. Meanwhile, QPA gladiators also attend the dinner to recruit some clients.

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A Lonely Mellie

Before the state dinner, Mellie meets with President Rashad. And while he agrees all nuclear weapons should be removed from the planet, he thinks that they should be removed from the U.S. first. Olivia and Mellie realize that Rashad is going to be a very tough cookie to crack.

Mellie goes to see Jake before the dinner and asks him to get some dirt on Rashad, just in case they need it.

As Olivia preps Mellie on how important it is for her to secure the nuclear peace treaty, Mellie has a mini-freakout. She just 100 days in as the president, and she’s lonely and horny. Olivia listens to her rant and then tells her she has a job to do, which Mellie knows.

Everyone’s At the State Dinner

The state dinner is an affair to remember. It’s the hot ticket in town, and everyone wants in. Olivia’s new boy toy is there as someone’s date, but all Curtis wants to do is hangout with Olivia. And all of QPA’s gladiators are there, thanks to David Rosen, recruiting new clients.

Quinn seems to enjoy the fake identities that were on the tickets, as she shows off Charlie as her husband, which seems to bug him. Meanwhile, David gets sentimental with Abby. And Huck struggles to make small talk. During one conversation, Huck notices something is off about the Army officer he’s talking to, so he decides to investigate.

And we can’t forget Cyrus’ table partner for the night. A Mr. Glackman is a very rich man with no manners. He seems to embarrass Cyrus, until he starts showing off about just how rich he is. Cyrus perks up when this man compliments Cyrus and asks for advice on running for governor. Later, though, during a tour of the White House and Oval Office, Mr. Glackman sits in the president’s chair, which sets Cyrus off as he asks the man to leave.

During the dinner itself, Mellie tries once again to get Rashad to sign the treaty to no avail. Olivia takes matters into her own hands after getting information on Rashad’s niece from Jake. Turns out, Rashad seems to be betraying his country by enrolling his niece in Dartmouth and changing her name. Olivia sees this as a sign he knows things are not that great in his country. But Rashad won’t be blackmailed and storms off.

Making a Deal

After the dinner’s performance, Rashad starts to leave, which prompts the reporter-side of Curtis to start asking questions, but Olivia dodges them all. Meanwhile, Abby finds Huck who is researching the man he was speaking too. He noticed that the Army man’s medals were in the wrong order, and he worries that the man might be an assassin.

Turns out, Huck’s instincts are correct, as the Army man pulls Rashad aside, claiming that the president needs him. Once alone, the man reveals himself to be Bashrami and he wants to kill Rashad. Jake and his team arrive just in time to rescue Rashad.

In the Oval Office, Mellie clears the room, and she once again makes her case to get Rashad to sign the treaty. This time, he agrees under the condition that his enemy country also sign the treaty. Mellie agrees to work with both countries on the deal. The two share a dinner and it seems like a moment, but then the moment is gone as Rashad excuses himself.

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More Moments

Mellie isn’t the only one sharing moments after the dinner. During the performance, David grabbed Abby’s hand. She confronts him later on, and all he says is they are good together, but she just wants to be friends. Or at least that’s what she tells him. Back at QPA, Charlie is worried that he’s not good enough for Quinn, so it seems like he’s breaking up with her. She slaps him and basically calls him an idiot. Then, they decide to get married sooner rather than later.

And in perhaps the best moment of the night, Olivia goes to find Curtis to give him a quote on the president’s treaty with Bashran. She then tells him she’d like to celebrate, so the pair heads off to her apartment. They get off her elevator making out and giggling, and Fitz is there, waiting for her in the hallway. Yes, THAT Fitz!

“Pressing the Flesh” seemed to be more about Olivia flexing her muscles and bullying everyone around her. That seems to be the trend in the final season of Scandal. But, it seems to be working when it comes to Mellie, as the president does seem to be getting a lot of things done in the first few months in office. But all the politics aside, I quite enjoy the personal storylines. I liked Mellie’s rant about being lonely and how the president basically can’t do anything personal anymore. I liked the possibility of David and Abby getting back together. I really like Olivia’s new love interest. But I absolutely love that Fitz is back.

I’m curious what Fitz’s return will do to Olivia. She’s a very different person from the last time they were together. Could she revert back to her old ways? Or will she bully him too? And just how much longer will Jake put up with her nonsense too?

Were you shocked by Fitz’s return? Do you think this will be a good thing for Olivia? Do you think Olivia is just a big bully now? Let us know in the comments below.

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(Image courtesy of ABC)


Contributing Writer, BuddyTV