When Susan brings both the fake antibiotics story and the Chinese sub story to her editor, he figures out pretty quickly that Susan traded one for the other. "I never thought I'd have to accuse you of being in the back pocket of the Hammond family," he says. "Then don't," she says. She tells him not to overthink it and just be glad for the increase in readership they'll be getting. As she leaves for her trip, we get a flashback to 1997. Her previous editor reads her opinion piece on Elaine. "President Hammond is a dog and only a fool would fault a dog for rooting in the trash. But a First Lady wielding an intellect, drive and individuality unlike any before her ought to know better." He reads more of it. Frankly, it sounds about like any number of anonymous rants on the internet, but we're supposed to buy that writing like this won Susan a Pulitzer. When the editor declines to run the piece, Susan and her lopsided hair accuse him of sexism. The paper has 8 opinion columnists, she points out, and all of them are men.
Situation Room. Everyone discusses the ramifications of a nuclear disaster off California's coast. One of the military guys thinks China is bluffing, but Vice President Collier thinks China will follow through to save face. Elaine seems to think that President Tong can use the situation to reassert control over his navy to America's benefit. Garcetti sides with Elaine and asks her to help him write a speech. The Vice President pouts.
Elaine's house. Nana notices Anne making an awful lot of trips to the bathroom. She doesn't press the issue. They combine redecoration with a narcotics shakedown in order to get T.J.'s room ready.
Susan marvels at the State Department's flight menu. She thinks Doug's had a privileged life, but he points out the downsides. For example, a paparazzo once filmed him dancing to the Backstreet Boys while wearing tuxedo shorts. They talk about how difficult it is to understand one's parents as a child, whether living in the White House or not. He somewhat bitterly says that none of the articles, tell-all books or movies managed to capture them. And the TV show loosely based on their lives was a total flop. Doug lumps Susan's writing in with all the failures. Suddenly it's 1997 again and Susan seems to have gotten her hair on a bit straighter. She's got on a tight, low-cut top that is probably not helping her professional reputation. Her editor is pissed that she went over his head to get her column published. "Congratulations, Susan. You got what you wanted. I hope you're ready for it."