Elaine convinces President Garcetti to send Bud to negotiate with the Iranian president for the release of the three American journalists. The meeting is set to take place in neutral Oman, but Vice President Gomer Pyle gets pissy and blabs the deal to the press. When Elaine cusses him out, Doug knows something is up with his mother. She confesses that she's sick of all the (male) assholery in D.C. and wants to run for office again. Doug is furious, citing all the problems they had during the last run and all the problems they will continue to have if she subjects them all to another race. Elaine's got bigger problems to face, like trying to find a new place for the negotiations. She turns to the Turkish ambassador, who agrees to give them haven in Turkey if she'll go on a date with him. Everyone is after Elaine's ass in one way or another.
Susan Berg accompanies Bud on the trip, where they spend much of the time discussing product placements. Bud has her pose as President Garcetti's "special envoy" and fakes out some ultra-secret negotiations. It works, somehow, and President Hakam hands over the journalists. Bud, feeling horny with victory, beds one of the poor fools. He returns just in time for a scaled-down version of Doug and Anne's engagement party. He dances with Elaine while Nana and Thomas perform "The Second Time Around" at the piano. He has surmised that Elaine plans to run for president again and sent him to Turkey as a way to redeem his public image. She denies it, but as we see through a series of flashbacks, she's got a way of sticking with him even when she shouldn't.
On the familial front, Thomas steals a check from Nana so that he can invest in the nightclub of his dreams. It's dumb and he gets called out on it, but Doug feels sorry for him or maybe believes in him (or maybe both) and decides to give him the money himself. Doug eventually apologizes to his mother for his earlier outburst, saying he supports her if she runs again, but then calls Susan for a secret meeting. He tells Susan about his mother's plans so that Susan will expose her in the press. Susan, having just come to respect and understand Elaine, is torn. Stay tuned for the full weecap.
Let's travel back to 1997, shall we? Bud is in the Oval Office, spewing some colorful language at a senator over the phone. Elaine walks in, looking markedly younger and mousier than her present-day self. She also looks pretty distraught. She asks the various security guys and office workers to leave. "Sarah Latham," she says to Bud. He plays dumb for a bit, but Elaine's not buying it. "Oh, that homely gal from your advance team," he says, suddenly remembering. "The one that you fired--" She cuts him off. "Did you sleep with her?" Bud makes a face like Beaker the Muppet when he knows something bad is about to happen. Elaine says Latham has come forward with details, but Bud denies everything. He says hasn't cheated since he's been in office. "I've been good, just like we talked about!" Elaine picks up a priceless vase and hurls it at Bud. Sadly, it hits the wall behind him.
In the present day, Elaine stares at the same vase, either meticulously repaired or repurchased from the Qing Dynasty aisle at Pier 1. She's still wearing the same clothes from her motel hookup with Bud so we're picking up right where we left off last week. Garcetti and the rest of the team hear her proposal for rescuing the journalists in Iran. The Vice President interrupts, volunteering to go to Iran himself. Elaine, her back to him, performs a world-class eyeroll. Everyone basically ignores him as Elaine presses on. Garcetti gives the impression that he's simply too tired to argue with her and finally acquiesces. He assigns Barry and the Veep to come up with a statement for the press.
Doug meets her outside the office to get all the particulars. He's also just a little bit confused as to why his mother is sending his father to head the negotiations. Elaine tells him to worry about his engagement party instead. Not only is it being postponed, it won't be at the zoo. This should make Anne happy, since she didn't want all the fuss, but Doug doesn't look relieved. Elaine moves on to the next subject: "Has T.J. called you? I'm just getting that knot in my stomach." It's probably that high-waisted skirt you're wearing. "You know, I could be gone 24 hours and no one would even notice," Doug says. He says it with a smile, but a lifetime of being taken for granted as the Good Child gets to be wearing. He's still working on finding his brother.
His brother is currently getting coke snorted off his naked torso by a cute guy. It's a different cute guy from the last time. Thomas goes on about his nightclub/restaurant dreams until someone angrily starts pounding on the door. Thomas panics and the guy's like, "Don't worry, it's just my boyfriend!" He says the boyfriend won't be mad because Thomas is on the list of famous people he can cheat with. Thomas, noting the boyfriend sounds pretty freakin' mad, dives headfirst out the nearest open window.