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“Scandal” recap: “Pressing the Flesh”

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ABC/Mitch Haaseth(LOS ANGELES) — In the Scandal episode “Pressing the Flesh,” Olivia prepares for an important state dinner hosting the president of Bashran — the country she recently blackmailed.

Olivia is extremely concerned about the event since her focus is to get Bashran to remove their nuclear weapons and sign a treaty. She vents to Cyrus who has his own frivolous issues about seating. Meanwhile Abby Whelan gets David Rosen to give her four tickets to the dinner, so she can invite the rest of the gladiators. In attending, they hope to score new clients for Quinn Perkins and Associates.

During a press op with Bashran President Rashad, Mellie tries to discuss the idea of getting rid of nuclear weapons in his country. Rashad quickly shoots it down, telling Mellie that the U.S. should first take its own advice.

Before the dinner, Mellie expresses her frustration in being the president while being a single woman who’s not getting any action.

Meanwhile, in a remote area of the White House, Liv finds Jake and tells him to find dirt on President Rashad just in case Mellie can’t convince him to sign the treaty.

At dinner, Mellie tries to explain to Rashad why the treaty is a positive thing. Rashad tells Mellie that signing a treaty could mean the end of his life at the hands of his country’s radicals.

Jake eventually finds some dirt on Rashad, which ends up being that Rashad is sending his niece to a U.S. school so she can get a proper education.

Knowing Rashad is going against his country’s ideology, Liv confronts Rashad about his niece in hopes of winning him over. Rashad instead becomes enraged and says he was warned about Liv’s devious ways by his ambassador — the same man who Liv had blackmailed. Rashad says he’s going to be leaving soon because of her.

While at the event, Huck spots a questionable military officer. The person ends up being a Bashrani assassin who tries to kill Rashad behind closed doors in the White House. Jake and White House security end up thwarting the attempted assassination. 

After the incident Mellie tries to reason and change Rashad’s mind. Rashad eventually agrees, under one condition: his country’s enemy must also sign the same treaty. They drink and toast, and Rashad opens up about his niece to Mellie and how she is inspired by Mellie’s presidency. They seem to have developed an affection towards each other.

In the last final moments, Liv gives the scoop on what’s been going to the journalist she’s been sleeping with. As they head back to her place, Liv runs into the former president — Fitz Grant waiting for her at her door.

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