Meanwhile, Kiefer's hostage -- the boards call her Lauren Brockovich -- has been listening to Kiefer's konversation with look of total konfusion. "Who are you?" she asks when he gets off the phone with Nina. Kiefer explains that he's a government agent on a secret assignment, and meanwhile his wife and daughter are kidnapped to prevent him from carrying out this assignment. Lauren Brockovich just wants to know why she can't leave. "I can't afford to be taken into custody," says Kiefer, explaining that he's got to convince the people looking for him that he is willing to do something krazy. "Like shoot me?" says Lauren B. Kiefer promises not to shoot the dumpy but sassy waitress, so she grabs her purse and leaves, klaiming she's got to go appear in court on a DWI charge. Kiefer pulls a gun on her. "I have killed two people since midnight. I haven't slept for over twenty-four hours. So maybe you should be a little more afraid of me," says Kiefer, his voice an instrument of delirious velvet-draped rage. Lauren stays. The time is 8:24:36 AM.
The time is 8:29:31 AM. Klockwise from the top left, Kiefer guards his white-trash hostage and keeps an eye on the parking lot outside, the Secret Service escort Palmer back to his hotel room, and Spawn and Bride sit on a bale of hay some more. The Palmers enter their hotel room/campaign office. Some blonde assistant in a powder-blue sleeveless turtleneck, who seems to have taken old Perky Patty's place, asks about the shooting. Palmer says something gruff but comforting to the staff people who are standing around, and tells them to get back to work. Because he's a leader and a sitcom dad all rolled into one! The staff members, who are done up in these postmodern Nixon-era Young Republican outfits, head back to their own offices to do work. Lady MacPalmer removes her jacket to reveal a sleeveless tank, sits down on the couch to remove her shoes, and asks CaucasianPatty where Theo is. Oh, by the way, it's official: every single regular cast member on this show has to bare her shoulders at some point. It's this season's erogenous zone. So CaucasianPatty tells Lady Mac that she's worried about Theo because he stormed out of the house, not acting "like himself" and looking angry. Now, I have no firsthand knowledge about what it's like to be the personal assistant of a powerful political figure, but I would imagine that it might not be the wisest career move to tell your boss's wife that his son is having a meltdown. Oh sure, if you were concerned, you might mention that Theo seemed upset and change the subject, but I can't imagine that it's a good idea to be all, "Hey, it looks like your son is smoking crack again. Can I have a raise and a letter of recommendation for grad school at the Kennedy School of Government?" Lady Mac tells CaucasianPatty that it's probably no big deal, but once she's out of the room, Palmer calls Secret Service to have someone see what Theo is up to. Lady Mac nags him again about calling off the story. Palmer sees resistance as futile. There's no way they can get Reporter Maureen to keep her mouth shut, because the story is good for her own career. Lady Mac begs him to "do the impossible" for his son, just like he'd have done for his own career. Palmer is all, "If you wanted my help, you should have asked me seven years ago!" Palmer is all about the truth. Lady Mac is all about appearances and lies. He storms past a couple of Talbot-clad assistants, who are filing and gossiping with some pimply-faced guys in wide ties, and takes refuge in his office.