Marcia Gay Harden purrs some more that Jerry's claim is that it wasn't ENTIRELY his fault that the story aired, and that it was the result of institutional failure at the network news division. Don is, as you might imagine, annoyed and outraged, since that's what Don is most of the time unless he's talking to Sloan, and sometimes even then. Don claims that this is going forward because the public loves to see big-shots falling down, namely Charlie, Will and Mac. Seriously. No one knows who the fuck Charlie and Mac are. Will, okay, they know Will and people probably would love to see him fall down, but that's mostly because he's a pompous windbag and a bully.
But let's get back to lawyering, shall we? Marcia Gay Harden wants to know why it's called a red team. Presumably she knows this, but she wants to hear Don's explanation and also to make him stop talking about whether or not they even need to be there, since that's her job. Shut it, Don. Anyway, clearly Sorkin toured a newsroom at some point and heard about the whole white team/red team thing and that's where this storyline came from because it's exactly the type of workplace minutia porn that he loves. And I kind of do also, so I can't complain. Don explains that the teams are named after the blood cells: the white team (like white blood cells) does the investigating and the red team (like the red blood cells) cleans up afterwards. And having just read a lift-the-flap book about the human body with my preschoolers, I don't think that's exactly how blood cells work, but its close enough. So the role of the red team is to poke holes in the white team's investigation.
So did the Red Team, which consisted of Don, Sloan and Jim, find any holes? Don says that they didn't because, other than the made-up interview, it was a solid story. Bzzzt. Wrong answer. Marcia Gay Harden knows that there were a ton of holes in the story. Don says that they would have found them if not for the made-up interview and Marcia Gay Harden tells him that he just defined institutional failure, so maybe he shouldn't answer that question anymore.
And now Marcia Gay Harden goes through the timeline. At the first Red Team meeting, Charlie wanted more evidence. At the second meeting, even with the interview with Retired General Jimmy Johnson, Charlie still wanted more evidence. And at the third meeting, they had Valenzuela, the other Marine who confirmed the first marine's story, and Charlie greenlighted the story. Don still insists that none of this would have happened without the altered tape, and I tend to agree with him at this point, but I'm sure the rest of the episode will prove me wrong. Don goes into a reverie about the third meeting, which happened in that very conference room. I'm surprised they don't do the wavy screen effect to indicate a flashback.