We're fading now into a scene where, naturally -- SPOILER ALERT -- the pressure of writing and performing a live show every night is getting to them. Well, getting to Dan, anyway. Casey bursts into the office, wanting to know what the emergency is that Kim told him about. Dan's freaking out. "Is it your mom?" asks Casey. Dan freaks out more because it's not his mom, and why did Casey jump to that conclusion and et cetera et cetera and it's really annoying. Dan finally tells him that the emergency is he has writer's block. Casey subtly conveys the fact he doesn't think that's much of an emergency. Then he seems to remember what a nutbar Dan is and tries to help. "All right, how long?" he asks. "A while now, about twenty minutes," says Danny. That was pretty funny. Dan wants Casey to talk him through this because he's "totally lost." So Casey does his best positive-reinforcement routine and goes on about how they're "the best," and it seems to be working because Dan is all "yeah?" So of course Casey reconsiders and admits that maybe they're not the best but they're in the top thirty or forty, which is such a downer statement, especially if you remember that they're on the third-ranked national sports network. Dan starts to lose it again so Casey takes a different tack, reminding him that they've won awards. Bad move, because only Casey has won; Dan's only been nominated. You want more? All right...Casey tries to pinpoint the problem, and discovers that it is "I can't write!" (said twice by Danny). Dan says he's working on Red Wings-Flyers, so Casey scoots his chair over to Dan's computer to see what he has so far. "The Flyers played the Red Wings in a hockey game last night and they won 4-3." All right, someone tell me why the 11 p.m. sportscast would have scores from the night before instead of that day. "This is more serious than I thought," says Casey. Isaac stops by to say good morning, and we leave the anchorknobs to follow Isaac as the disembodied voice of Jeremy comes in again, telling his sister all about Isaac's distinguished career, including his Pulitzer for his coverage of the Gemini missions.
Isaac walks into his office, where Dana is waiting for him. "My 16-year-old daughter is dating a Republican in her class named Chad." Oh, of course the Republican's name is Chad. Dana says something vaguely annoying and disparaging about the youth of America, i.e. she didn't know 16-year-olds had political affiliations, like God forbid a teenager should express an interest in how their country is run. Isaac then reels off a bunch of things this "Chad" does, including playing lacrosse and the French horn and doing volunteer work, all of which is negated by his status as a Republican. "A lot of folks are running in that direction these days, Isaac," says Dana. Gee, don't bowl us over with your sharp political analysis, Dana. Isaac says he doesn't want them sniffing around his women. He says he's installing a dungeon. Dana dutifully laughs, and the line got such a good reaction from the laugh track that I guess Sorkin decided to use a similar one on The West Wing.