Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip
K & R, Part I

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The Eight-Year Itch
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

Previously: Tom hadn't heard from his brother (IN AFGHANISTAN), who normally emails him, while Jordan hadn't heard from her unborn child, who normally kicks her. We found out that Tom's brother was one of three soldiers being held hostage and in very serious danger, while Jordan was spirited off to the hospital to see if her fetus is in similar peril. Somewhere else in there, there was a TV show and Matt decided to kick pills cold turkey, not that either of those two things will be of much consequence in this episode.

Somewhere in the vaguely-defined area I recognize as "downstairs" -- seriously, nine months covering this show and I still am confused about the geography of this place about half the time -- Harriet and the B-team have been gathered and are fretting about what this could mean: is it the ratings? Are they all being fired? Danny, Matt, and Cal stride in like they're government officials all of a sudden, which is fitting considering that this entire episode is just a slow morphing into The West Wing, now that this silly idea for a TV show about a TV show hasn't panned out. Danny relays the info about Tom's brother being held by scary terrorists, and that Jack took Tom to the NBS News headquarters to await more information. Danny starts to say that they're going to shut down the after-party, but Cal doesn't think that's a good idea if they want to keep Tom's involvement in the crisis quiet -- no good can come of people finding out that Mark Jeter is the brother of a celebrity. Matt and Danny are persuaded, so the partying will continue. "I want to talk to Tom," Harriet says evenly, but in the tone of a person who knows her demands still carry more weight than the rest of the cast. Danny tells her, with the sliiiiightest hint of irritation, that she can talk to Tom once he's gotten some answers.

Cut to poor, sweet Tom in a lush office -- Jack's office? Is Jack's office in the NBS News building? -- watching his brother on the TV screen. Jack hands him a glass of something brown and boozy, because that's Jack's solution to everything these days, from dealing with Jordan to walking across the room. Some guy in a suit -- one of the news division muckety-mucks, I'm assuming -- enters and says that Simon's making a scene outside the office. Tom asks for him to be let in, but News Guy says that the office is only for family, and also that D.L. Hughley took this week off much as the three leads did two weeks ago. News Guy and Jack retreat into their world of business as they discuss who had the news and when, while Tom can do nothing but stare bleary-eyed at the TV. News Guy then tries to give Tom as much information as possible: Taliban fighters ambushed Mark's truck as they were transporting fuel. Tom curtly calls him on his gaffe of calling them "soldiers" instead of "airmen," because they're in the Air Force. News Guy says that the Afghanis are making three demands, one of which is a withdrawal of all troops from the Paktika region. "No problem," says Tom as he rolls his eyes at the lunacy of expecting that such demands will ever be met. Before we can get to the other two demands, Jack freaks out at the TV, which is now reporting that one of the hostages is indeed the brother of TV funnyman Tom Jeter. The file photo of Tom is hilariously over-the-top given the situation: he's giving the biggest, most exaggerated open-mouthed smile I've ever seen. Did they take that photo while he was watching another TV show? Nobody's that cheerful at Studio 60. Jack rants to News Guy ("Howard" from here on out) about the situation, and as their babbling fades out of Tom's earshot, we hear Jack demand to speak to Jordan McDeere.

Jordan's busy in the emergency room right now, answering questions about the last time she felt her baby kick. During the routine questioning, we more-or-less matter-of-factly learn that Jordan had an abortion back in 1999. I suppose that this could still become an issue later, but for now it's just another brick in Jordan's former Wall of Baby-Hatin'. The nurse gets the attention of the relatively young doctor to tell him that Jordan's blood pressure is 180/110, which indicates that something is indeed amiss, though Doc is calm about it. We get the obligatory joke where Doc asks Jordan whether anything her life has been very stressful lately, and she's all, "I'm the president of a network and all manner of obnoxious drama is happening in connection with the only show I ever seem to care about, which is also exec-produced by my boyfriend, who's a dick." Actually, she calls Danny "the sweetest guy in the world," and it's too bad Doc hasn't met Danny yet, because he could have diagnosed Jordan's dire medical situation right then and there. She gets wheeled off for a sonogram.

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Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip

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