A little later, we're about to go live. Natalie's doing a sound check with the field reporters. Dana comes in, anxious that Isaac hasn't shown up yet; he said he would be there well before the show started and they're now two minutes to air. Jeremy suggests that maybe he stopped off for a pretzel, since he's been in Europe for two weeks and hasn't had a decent pretzel. Weren't pretzels invented in Europe? Shouldn't Jeremy know that? Shouldn't Sorkin make Jeremy give a long boring speech about pretzels that makes Dana look at Natalie with a "you're so lucky" expression? Well, whatever. Natalie tells Dana that Bobbi isn't there yet either, and Jeremy tells her she called from the car. "And?" says Dana. "Stopped off for a pretzel," says Jeremy, since his pretzel routine went over so well the first time. In actuality, Bobbi will be right there.
Out at the desk, Danny is surveying the scene around him. "This day's got the earmarks, Casey," he says. "Where's Rebecca? I ask you that." I'm assuming she's on her back on her desk in her office, Dan -- what do you want to hear? Although I do like this scene -- the sense of impending doom is palpable here. "Rebecca isn't here, Isaac isn't here..." says Dan. He glances over at Casey. "There's a strangeness about this day," he says. Casey's pretty oblivious, so I guess the day's not totally out of the ordinary. Dan thinks a little bit longer, then says, "Eli's coming." "'Eli'?" says Casey. Dan says he means from the Three Dog Night song, and Casey of course is all "duh" (I'm paraphrasing here). Dan explains that Eli is a darkness, something bad. Casey says, "'Eli's coming, hide your heart, girl.' Eli's an inveterate womanizer." Dan says he knows that, but he misinterpreted the song when he was a kid and these things stick with you. Yeah, I mean, I was eight when Cyndi Lauper's "She Bop" come out. I thought it was about a woman who likes to dance. The show goes live with the boys teasing their upcoming March Madness coverage, and I would like to say that next to the Stanley Cup playoffs, the NCAA basketball tournament is my favourite sporting event. In fact, I even go so far as to take the first Thursday and Friday off work so I can watch the entire first round. I hope my boss doesn't read these recaps. Not Sars, my other boss. The one who likes me. "They say it's calmest before the storm," says Dan, who goes on to explain that he's "a serious sailor" so he knows that's not true; stuff happens before a storm. The Impending Disaster strumming kicks in as Natalie comes in and says, "Look who's here!" and Bobbi comes in. She says, "Hello, Casey," pleasantly and, still pleasantly but with a slight edge, "Hello, Dan," then heads backstage. Dan turns away and stares into the distance. "Eli's coming," he says. She bop he bop a we bop. Commercials.