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Women's Work, Part II

8:13:04. A rare overhead shot of McGuire AFB starting its day -- which means a lot of Air Force officers are soon going to be wondering where they're supposed to sit -- leads us into a scene on the inside, where Dalia and Kayla Hassan are sitting around looking sad. Taylor enters the room, even though she was still with them at the end of the last hour, and says, "I don't have the words to tell you and Kayla how sorry I am." She and Dalia embrace, and Dalia says she knows Taylor did all she could. Good, now there doesn't have to be a war. Dalia turns to Jamot, who came in with Taylor, and says that Hassan "expressed his regrets to me, not the least of which was his treatment of you." Jamot thanks her, and now Taylor wants to get to the point, which I think we can already predict. After a short digression in which Taylor tells Kayla that Samir was found and captured, Dalia excuses her daughter from the room so she can talk to Taylor and Jamot alone. Taylor talks about the work she did with Hassan, which of course Dalia already knows about, probably better than anyone still alive. "Clearly, someone needs to take the reins of the IRK government," Taylor says. "Someone who believed in the same ideals and principles as Omar Hassan and who shares his strength." But not necessarily someone all that quick on the uptake, because Dalia doesn't realize they're talking about her until they spell it out for her. She's stunned, but Jamot says he's talked to people in the government back home and he thinks they can make it work. She claims not to be a politician. "But you are a martyr's wife," Jamot points out, "and history has proven that to be something far more powerful." He says she's popular at home, the majority of the people want peace, and she should be able to step right in. Plus there's an excellent chance Andrew Lloyd-Webber will write a musical about her. She protests, so Taylor steps in. "I realize that this is a lot to consider," she says, "especially now, while you're grieving." Which she's been doing for almost fifteen minutes now. "But without a unifying figure to hold your country together, everything your husband worked for will be for nothing." Dalia tells Taylor that although their marriage had its problems, she never stopped loving Hassan, "or sharing his desire for better relations with the West. If it is the will of my people, and of my government, I will take my husband's place at the peace conference." And her people and her government should he able to express their collective will in the next eight hours, right? Taylor shakes Dalia's hand gratefully. What nobody is mentioning is the possibility that what happened to the last IRK leader who tried to sign a peace settlement with the U.S. might just happen to the next one. Unless, like me, they find her a lot scarier than her husband was.

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