Scandal Season 7, Episode 2 Recap: "Pressing The Flesh"

Photo: Courtesy of ABC.
After a high-powered Scandal premiere, the second episode of the final season put the whiplash twists and OMG moments on the back burner in favour of love and/or sex for nearly every character, which was actually kind of nice. Not every week on this show needs to be trying to top the previous week with its absurdity and outrageousness. These are people and they have needs and wants, so it’s nice to see those needs and wants met (for most of them...sorry, Mellie). Let's break down where all our favourite Gladiators and politicians ended up.
The White House
Poor Madame President (Bellamy Young) -- the lady just can't get anyone to sleep with her and she can't ask an aide to go buy aid, so she's channeling all her horniness into brokering a nuclear treaty between the U.S., Bashran, and Dacal (two fictional Middle Eastern countries). It's going to be a triumph for her presidency, pretty much guaranteeing a stellar legacy if Mellie can pull it off, so that is definitely a coup for Mellie. But she’s discovering how very lonely the office of the president can be, which is sad, especially because it’s probably infinitely lonelier for a woman -- as Mellie points out, men are scared off by powerful women.
However, some sparks may be flying with the Bashrani president, so maybe in all of this treaty brokering and summit hosting, Mellie will be able to broker a treaty and host a summit for her “lady bits” as well.
Meanwhile, Cyrus (Jeff Perry) looks to possibly have a new suitor in bazillionaire Fenton Glackland -- played by the always-awesome Dean Norris of Breaking Bad. Fenton is a wheeler and a dealer and just kind of does whatever his whims tell him to do, but something tell us that Cyrus' outburst in the oval office about respecting the presidency made Fenton's heart go pitter-pat. We're definitely looking forward to seeing more of him, especially because with all that money, he could be a huge asset for whatever shenanigans you just know Cyrus is going to get into anytime now.
And Olivia (Kerry Washington) is still sleeping with Curtis Pryce (Jay Hernandez) on the DL, though it's not quite so DL as it was before when she and Pryce accidentally make out in front of Fitz (Tony Goldwyn). That's right, Fitz is back. Cue the yays or the groans, depending on how you feel about Fitz.
Personally, I don't particularly care for him when it comes to Olivia's heart, so this is disappointing, but it's also not like I harboured any delusions that he would just go be in Vermont for the entire final season. So, cue the jam-making or whatever. Folivia Forever, I guess.
What’s far more interesting about Fitz’s reappearance is the previews for next week, which is the Fitz episode. Did you catch Papa Pope (Joe Morton) sitting in Fitz’s study with a bloody face, holding a gun? What’s going on there? Whatever it is, it cannot be good.
The Gladiators
Quinn (Katie Lowes) and Charlie (George Newbern) have a come-to-Jesus moment about how they shouldn't keep postponing their wedding, which is great, but we'll have to wait at least two weeks to see it, since next week is All About Fitz.
But the even bigger news is that Abby (Darby Stanchfield) might be getting back together with David Rosen (Joshua Malina)! Those two might be my favourite couple on Scandal, so thank goodness they're going to find their way back to each other by the time the show wraps. Obviously, since it's only episode two of 18, there will be some bumps along the way, but still -- this is good news, especially after David getting played so hard last season by Marjorie/Samantha/Grace/whateverhernameis (Zoe Perry). Abby and David deserve a happily ever after together.
Oh, and...
There was an assassination attempt on the Bashrani president that Huck (Guillermo Diaz) thwarted because Huck is awesome. It's really not that important to the overall arc of the season, other than to possibly set Mellie on a course to fall in love with a fellow head of state.
What’s a little disappointing is that Huck didn’t get any love this week. But considering his abysmal track record with the ladies, any romantic happy ending for Huck is probably going to take alllllll season to put in place. It’s OK, I’ll wait.
Odds & Ends
Olivia complaining about fielding questions about china patterns and centrepieces for the state dinner reminded me strongly of CJ Cregg (Allison Janney) being asked about the first lady fashions instead of the nuclear test ban treaty. Heh.
Abby calling QPA by its initials and saying it very fast made it sound like the firm's new name rhymes with "croupier." It was weird, I don’t like it. Just call them the Gladiators and be done with it.
Mellie: "Olivia, there is a famine in my lady bits! My vagina is beautiful, she is welcoming, but she is getting treated like a murder house. I can't get anything in there ... you know what I need? I need a vibrator. The president needs a vibrator. Can I get one? No!"
Scandal has already taken a swing at a candidate who is like Trump, but Shonda Rhimes definitely got a dig in with Fenton Glackland, a very rich man who off-handedly mentions maybe he'll run for president the same way a normal person might say they’ll splurge and order room service.
Cyrus: "You ignorant, entitled -- this is the most venerated office in the country. The democracy that defined modern democracy. The chance to sit at this desk is an honour and a privilege, not some Cracker Jack prize that gets handed out to any Forbes 100 upstart who can drop a few mil when they're getting bored."
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