The Situation Room is All Action and Rustling Papers until everyone is suddenly called to attention at Mac's arrival. Roman Wolfe, the National Security Advisor, advises them of the bad news: nine American agents were found dead along the border, having been shot execution-style in the backs of their heads. Ralph Dolan (D.E.A.) jumps in and tells her, "We have several covert agents on the ground with eavesdrop capabilities. They're working the case." Eavesdrop capabilities? I'd rock at that! My friends and I have perfected the unspoken eye contact when in, say, line for the movies to make sure we're all getting the dirt on all of the surrounding lives. Hours of entertainment, I'm telling you. Mac just shuts her eyes, clearly shaken and sad. Death is less fun than someone sleeping with the bartender the night before. She tells everyone to sit, and then looks back at the wall, where a projector has up all the photos of the deceased agents. She asks their names and is introduced to each one individually. Dolan hangs his head.
Good gravy, America. Stop showing Christmas commercials in October. It's disgusting.
Before their deaths, the agents managed to shut down one cartel and were working on another. I'll spare the details since they never come back again. Melanie Blackston is there to exposit that the big money isn't in these cartels, and Mac knows that it's in the San Pasquale government. Basically, everyone knows that's true, but there is no proof, and they have to maintain those pesky diplomatic relations. The current leader of San Pasquale is General Sanchez, who took over the country in a coup one year earlier. Mac wryly notes, "There's [sic] been almost two hundred juntas since San Pasquale was founded. It borders on a national pastime." Sanchez took out Juan Duran, who was San Pasquale's first democratically elected president. Mac takes a presidential deep breath, folds her hands, and announces that she wants to talk to Sanchez. Wolfe protests with the best line of the week: "Ma'am, the leader of the free world does not give audience to the leader of a thugocracy." Does that mean Bush won't host Pete Carroll if USC wins another National Championship in college football this year? Mac asserts that he needs to hear that she wants the killers turned over to the United States, and that he'll only do that if he hears it directly from her: "Make the call happen."
Joan, meanwhile, is working with the very frustrated school principal. I don't blame him for that -- the parking lot looks like a crime scene. He's protesting, but she's all business as a helicopter swoops overhead. The worried principal asks if it will always be here, and Joan just replies, "We expect some level of media exposure."