Once again we see Josh get into the car with Hoynes. "There were times that I thought, that I wouldn't last too long, somehow I may just about carry on." This time we see the rest of the conversation. Hoynes gives Josh a heartfelt speech about all the mistakes he's made, but "when I look around and see Bingo Bob Russell and Eric [Bundy], I see plenty of reasons to stay sober." He tells Josh that he's a better person and will be a better candidate than he was the last time he ran for president. Josh: "You lost that race." Hoynes: "I lost that race when I lost you." Josh just looks at him. "It's been too hard living, but I'm afraid to die."
Abbey and Jed are in the audience listening to the song. Abbey is sitting on Jed's right side, and he has both of his hands grasped around one of hers. She leans over and whispers, "You're friendly tonight." Jed: "Just 'cause I can't keep my hands off you." She looks at him and asks, "What is it?" At first he shakes his head, but then he leans over and tells her that he didn't see the flag and couldn't tie his tie. "I haven't been able to focus, or see out of my right eye, since early yesterday morning. I didn't see the flag." At first, Abbey looks off into the middle distance, but as he finishes, she turns to look at him closely. He turns his head forward however, and leans back a little. They both look near tears. "I said, 'Brother could you help me please.' Thought I ought to talk to my own mother. I said, 'Mama, I'm down on my knee.'"
Hoynes's car. He's telling Josh that "seven years of following is enough. It's time to start leading. You're never gonna be Leo McGarry to Jed Bartlet, but you can be Leo to me. I'm running for president. I want you with me. I want you to run my campaign." Fade to black. "A change is gonna come. Yes, a change is gonna come."
There were lots of things to complain about in this episode, but I feel like many of our characters got more development in the last twenty minutes of this episode than they did in the entirety of Season 5. I hope the coming episodes don't leave me as emotionally drained as this one did, but I have to say, I'm looking forward to them.