Jack & Bobby
Pilot

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Pilot

Enter Jack. Bobby tells him the great news about the TV. Jack looks almost pleased by this development, except for the part where he's all full of pain and anguish on the inside. He and Bobby don't have time to watch TV right now, he says, because they're going for a run. "Um, fine," Grace offers. Bobby scampers off to get his running shoes, and Grace and Jack exchange a long look. Jack's in charge now.

Future Courtney still needs microdemabrasion. "In the end I loved both men," she reflects. "Grace used to say that Jack and Bobby were like two sides of one coin. Without Bobby, Jack might never have learned compassion. Without Jack, Bobby might never have gained strength." Yes, yes, symbiotic relationship, we get it.

2004. Bobby is scared that he can't run. "You can run as far as you can run. And then you can run a little further. Now, warm up," Jack explains. They stretch. Bobby wonders if he can become cool, now that they're hanging out more. "No," Jack says shortly. "Eventually?" Bobby asks. Jack: "Probably not." Jack explains that Bobby is too excited all the time. He needs to learn to be more blasé. "Sounds like a lot of work," Bobby reflects. And then he starts teasing Jack about Courtney. Can they run past her house? Are they dating? Does he like her? Does she like him? He should tell her! "Bobby. I'll handle it," Jack says.

Future Courtney: "I loved Jack the way you love the first time. Bobby? Bobby was my life. You know, he called me up one day, out of the blue -- this was a while after Jack died -- he said he had this crazy idea to run for Congress and he wanted to know if I'd help out with his campaign." Wait. Rewind. Courtney marries Bobby? And Jack dies. Interesting.... "It all went so fast, after that. Congress, the governor's mansion, the White House. Us. They called him the 'Great Believer,' and it's true. There was this lightness about him, even then. We saw some dark hours during his Presidency. And it was in those times that he used to say the wrong brother became President." Hardly, since the other one was dead. A dead president doesn't help anyone.

2004. The boys start jogging. Jack tells Bobby to stop running if he can't breathe. "I'm afraid, Jack." "Don't be," Jack says. "Let's go." And so they run.

We flash back to the black and white picture discussed at the beginning of the hour. Samble, Talking Head From the Future, says that on the nights before the election, the outcome was uncertain. "If Robert McCallister did win, it would be by a negligible margin. People associate this image with a President's determination, as he steels himself for battle in the crucial hours to come. They say it tells the story of a man who sensed his destiny and chased it. In truth, he was none of these things. McCallister had asthma. Had from boyhood. He was simply pausing, as he often did before a speech, to catch his breath."

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Jack & Bobby

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