As her cabinet meeting winds up, Mac gives more orders; she wants to see the Nigerian ambassador, ASAP. She needs him to know that she's still taking this execution seriously and that it wasn't just "some 'go away' mission for the Vice-President. Oh, uh, I asked the army Chief of Staff some weeks ago to work out an extraction plan for Madula. I'd like to see that. Okay?" Jim and Mac are left alone, and she tells him that what she said in the cabinet meeting applies to him as well. She'd like him to be her Chief of Staff. Jim is stunned. Mac explains, "Jim, I know we don't agree on a lot, but I promise you, I will listen to you." Jim wants to know if she's spoken to Rod, and what he thinks. She replies with an "Uh" that clearly translates to, "Oh God, no, and THAT'S going to be a fun conversation." Jim asks if she'd like him to tell Rod instead, and she immediately replies, "No, uh, God, no, you can't imagine...um, no. He'll be disappointed. But, he knows, as the first female president, from an image point of view, I can't have it seem like my husband is running the country. Besides, I'm sure he'll have his hands full with his new duties." And she does an Eyebrow Raise of Ensuing Hilarity.
Back to NoraBot. She calls the attention of the kitchen staff and introduces Rod to Mark, the primary chef: "Mark, I'm sure you have a lot of questions for FLOTUS." Seriously, Nora. Search and replace! Search and replace! FGOTUS doesn't roll off the tongue as easily, but I'm sure we can come up with something. Condolences are offered and quickly brushed off. Mark: "I assume we'll be meeting daily to discuss the menu?" Rod lets Mark know that's "not really [his] style." Oh dear, that's the wrong answer again. NoraBot breaks it to Rod that, "actually, the First Lady does have quite a bit of involvement in the meal prep. There was Mrs. Clinton, of course; she shunned that. Made the kitchen staff guess. Didn't go over very well..." Mark throws suggestions, Rod says they're fine, but then he doesn't know what salad dressing the president prefers. He sighs and laughs. It's going to be a long administration, isn't it?
Speaking of salad, Mac is flipping through American Caesar, looking at where the bookmark has been placed, when a woman in black walks in. "Mackenzie..." "Grace, I'm so sorry." They kiss and reminisce a moment, and Grace admits that Bridges, her husband, was going to ask Mac to resign. When Mac admits that he did, Grace looks like she's just been slapped. "And yet here you stand, ready to address the nation in ninety minutes as its President." There's a pause, as I wait for an acid-tongued verbal catfight to ensue. "Well, I hope it's the best damn speech those little bastards ever heard. You honor him Mac, honor him well." "You bet I will." Grace ponders her next step, and observes that she and Teddy never actually owned a home. The timeline she lays out is pretty fascinating -- let's do a little bit of math. They have referenced George W. Bush and the current administration. The Bridges then apparently lived in the Observatory for one term when he would have been Vice-President, which would have presumably been 2008-2012. Bridges then died just over two years into his term, making this 2014. While it was an interesting tool, referring to actual current events, I believe that the show is also supposed to be set in present day, and not nine years from now. So...let's just live in TV land and go with it for now. Grace tells Mac, "You're the first female president. If Moses had been a woman, leading the Jews in the desert, she would have stopped and asked for directions. They would have been in Israel in a week." They laugh girlishly. That's the oldest line in the book, but still some great chemistry from these two, and an incredibly well-done scene.