Scandal season 7, episode 2 recap: Pressing the Flesh

After a lukewarm premiere last week, Scandal season 7 continues in tonight’s “Pressing the Flesh.” To find out how Mellie and Olivia fared, here’s our Scandal recap.

The next step in the Mellie Grant/Olivia Pope administration includes inviting President Rashad of Bashranin (according to the episode guide on my TV) to a ball to talk about nuclear warfare and his favorite romantic comedy probs. Of course, everyone who attends has a really specific job to do, including Cyrus who needs to be on his best behavior, and QPA, because they need to rustle up some new clients.

“I’m a single female POTUS,” Mellie gripes. In addition to being the leader of the free world, apparently, Mellie can’t get laid and it’s driving her crazy. Olivia thinks it’s hilarious, and because I know this is Scandal‘s last season, I really just want to revel in these moments. We should all just enjoy the laughter between Mellie and Olivia, and remember that it took them a very long time to get where they are today. After Mellie collects herself, she says, “Let’s go make some world peace.”

Why are men intimidated by powerful women? Like, who wouldn’t want to date Mellie? Is she too pretty? Is it because you’ll get a nice little patdown every time you want to see her?

To give Mellie an assist, Olivia goes down to “the pool” and goes into proper B613 mode. She asks Jake to find as much dirt on President Rashad as he can. While Huck demonstrates how bad he is at small talk, I wonder why Olivia doesn’t send him downstairs to help Jake.

After like 15 wasted television minutes, Jake finally comes up with something nice. In between watching Cyrus talk to Dean Norris’ Fenton Glackland. (Who made that up? Honestly.) Olivia discovers that President Rashad sent his niece, Yasmin, to the United States to pursue an education. As she tries to appeal to his better human nature in order to get him to sign the treaty, the president grows angry. He doesn’t like that Olivia so arrogantly overstepped her bounds, so he decides to leave the ball early.

Oops.

Double oops when Fenton does the same exact thing and sits in Mellie’s chair when Cyrus takes him on a tour. Poor Cyrus goes absolutely nuts for insulting the most “venerable” office around. While his outrage is admirable, Fenton leaves. I really don’t know how to feel about Cyrus, but I’m not going to get at him right now.

I guess I’ll get at David instead. Josh Malina always plays imbues a certain worminess in all his characters, but he especially needs to leave Abby alone. Just like Olivia’s random boyfriend who can see himself out at his earliest convenience.

Thanks to his handy observation skills, Huck notices something amiss about an Army man at the party. Because his badges are out of order, Huck tells Abby what’s happening and they realize he’s an assassin. Before they can tell Olivia to intervene, the man gets President Rashad alone and explains that he’s a Bashrani citizen and doesn’t appreciate the president’s desire to make peace with the west while people at home suffer.

As Jake promises the full power of the NSA will help, President Rashad admits he already knows what’s up. He and Mellie speak privately. She assures him that he can overcome his fear by leaving a legacy behind and signing the treaty. If he signs it, Mellie must get other countries to sign. Then, he asks for a stronger drink as they bond over Mellie’s “extraordinary” power.

Oh, he’s flirting with her. I see it now.

Not appropriate, but okay.

After the party, Charlie and Quinn return to QPA, where Charlie questions whether they’re still a good match. Quinn slaps him for being such a moron and they reconcile quickly before agreeing to marry as soon as possible.

Also, Cyrus returns to his office and discovers that Fenton sent him a piece of art (The Boy in the Red Vest), so I guess we’ll be seeing him again. And Olivia returns home to find Fitz waiting at her door.

Check out the preview for next week’s episode:

New episodes of Scandal air every Thursday at 9 p.m. ET on ABC. Don’t forget to check back every week for our recap and review of Scandal right here on FanSided.