Especially important when Nick finally has to just snap the guy's neck.
VP Walden: "So what's the plan? Who'm I supposed to go up there and introduce now?"
MVP Jessica, awesomely verbatim: "Don't worry, sir. This is my mess."
She takes the podium, stumbling nervously over her words at first. It's a performance on par with the leads, this layered anger and nervousness and stuttering and rambling speech that slowly circles and then strikes at the heart of everybody in the room before they know what hit them. Gorgeous stuff.
"My name is Jessica Brody. My husband Nick Brody -- who most of you know was rescued and returned to us after eight years as a prisoner of the terrorists -- had prepared a speech about the challenges of coming home, but I'm afraid he's had car trouble and isn't going to make it here tonight. So I'm afraid this means you're stuck with me... Car trouble! Pretty sure when he was a prisoner in Iraq, he never thought he'd have to deal with something so humdrum as a flat tire again..."
Five-finger exercises and throat-clearing. She puts her back against the wall and considers her imperative and remembers the pages on the table. How it felt the first time she tried to touch him. The unchangeable fact is that he's not coming to this party; the facts are that these people are here to hear something good. She breathes, she focuses and dives in.
"You know, fundraisers and political speeches are great and everything, but I can't help thinking one of the best ways to help our wounded warriors starts with the family. Because one thing I do know... I'd have been able to support my husband better if I'd been more ready. After eight years of loneliness, eight years of not seeing each other... If someone had warned me how he'd look at me, as if he didn't know me anymore... How violent his nightmares would be, that he would attack me in his sleep. How he didn't know what to say to the kids those first few weeks, how hard intimacy of any kind would be for him... If someone had actually warned me in plain English how hard coming home would be for him, that I'd need to adjust my expectations..."
Cribbed from his speech, the parts that touched her. The parts that were most true. But this puts them at their level or below, which is not what the speech was meant to do. It's okay to say she's as wounded as the men out there -- Mike Faber, still in love with her; Lauder, beautiful and broken; the Waldens, looking at her like she's the last chocolate in the box -- but she can't stay that way at the end of the speech. They want her to welcome them, to play the hostess, to call them home again. With her back against something hard, she realizes her imperative: He's every soldier. And she's every wife.