Two pairs of female legs are walking down a hallway. It turns out to be Abby and some staffer I don't think we've ever seen before. ["I thought perhaps she was Abby's Secret Service agent." -- Wing Chun] She's, like, a head taller than Stockard Channing, who must be pretty tiny, since they almost always have her in four-inch heels. They arrive at the door of the War Room and the assistant says, "Sagittarius."
Abby is shown in. Sam is waiting there for her. As she descends the stairs, she asks, "What do we use this place for when we're not...using it for this?" Sam says they used it to plan some of the millennium things, and I don't know if he means celebrations or Y2K disaster strategy. ["I assumed disaster; why would the celebrations be a big secret?" -- Wing Chun] Abby thinks it used to be the photo office. Sam doesn't know. She asks if he'd like to sit down. They both sit. She primly folds her hands and looks at him with kind of a sidelong glance as he arranges his papers. He begins quietly: "What we're talking about is thirty minutes with an interviewer. The questions will be entirely about the medical history; there will be no questions about the law." Abby asks, "C.J. got them to agree to that?" Sam says she will on Wednesday morning, when she tells them what it's all about. Abby wonders why they would agree to that. Sam: "'Cause if they don't, they'll lose the story." Abby says it's all right with her. Sam wants to go over her story to get a sense of what she's going to say. He's also going to run it past Babish and spend the next couple of days going over it with her. Abby's flip: "That sounds fine, Sam, but you know, I'm kind of seeing someone right now, and it's not serious, but it could be, you know what I mean?" Sam's about as serious as a heart attack, though, and doesn't even chuckle: "Ma'am..." She begins recounting the story without further ado: "Ten years ago, he began experiencing fatigue, and signs of paraparesis of the anterior femoral muscles." Sam asks her to dumb it down. Abby: "He had a tingling pain in his thigh." The symptoms subsided. Two years later, he experienced neuropathy, and "presented symptoms of optic neuritis, with partial unilateral nerve paresis." Sam interjects, "Mrs. Bartlet..." She looks up and says somewhat sharply, "Dr. Bartlet." My eardrums crack from the deafening sound of MBTV fans everywhere screaming, "Shout-out!" Hell, I can hear Wing and Glark and they're about a hundred miles away. ["I think I actually said, 'Oh my God!' because I simply couldn't believe what I'd just heard. But, total shout-out. And as I've already said on the boards, even Glark agreed, and he's the biggest shout-out denier ever." -- Wing Chun] Sam accepts the correction and tries to continue, but Abby -- excuse me, Dr. Bartlet -- asks, "Why aren't the President and I doing this together?" Sam plays dumb. Abby knows someone must be shepherding Jed through this same process, and wants to know why she and Jed aren't doing it at the same time: "Is it so you can compare our stories?" Sam doesn't hesitate more than half a moment: "Yes." She just gazes at him without much change in her expression. She actually looks quite beautiful in this scene. He tries again: "The language you use..." She rephrases: "Two years later, he felt numbing and dizziness."