Previously on The West Wing: Donna's blind date turned out to be the Majority Counsel; C.J. thought the White House needed to pick a fight with someone who wanted to kill them just to watch them die...like say, the House of Representatives.
The show opens in a spacious meeting room, one we haven't seen before. Leo sits alone at a big shiny table. The room has the usual dim-yet-warm lighting that is starting to provoke in some viewers what I can only describe as "lighting rage." Fortunately, John Spencer's a great enough actor to convey what's necessary even if we have to peer a bit. As the camera swings around toward the door, we see that he isn't actually alone; Margaret's there, too. She's uncharacteristically silent. Her hair's in an updo, about which I find myself...unsure. There's a knock on the door, and a fellow comes in to speak to Leo. It's Casper the Unfriendly Agent from "Somebody's Going to Emergency, Somebody's Going to Jail." He seems to be much nicer this time around. Leo asks Margaret to vamoose.
Leo skips quickly past the chit-chat and asks, "So...there were more threats." Casper replies, "Seven churches in five Tennessee counties." He explains that they have twenty-five guys on the ground, and that ATF is sending in a team. Leo asks whether the Governor has been briefed; Casper says he's being briefed right now. Leo apologizes, saying he's stuck with "this thing," and asks Casper to stay with Josh today. Casper says he will; at that moment, Margaret comes back in with a cell phone, saying it's Josh. As Leo accepts the phone, he asks Casper to get him a secure phone hookup so that he can monitor the situation with Josh today; all he's got is the cell phone. Casper wishes Leo good luck; Leo tersely tells him to "go!"
Leo starts talking to Josh. We see Josh walking outside somewhere; his hair seems darker. He tells Leo about the new threats. Leo says that he was just speaking with Mike Casper, and that Mike will be with Josh all day. Leo asks whether Josh will be all right, because he's going to be unavailable all day. Josh tells him, "Keep your head there," and not to keep calling on every break to check on things. Leo says, almost but not quite testily, "I'll keep my head where I want." Josh says, "Leo...there are ways." Leo: "Don't start again..." Josh says there are ways to get "the guy" out of the room. Leo suggests that they each keep their head in their respective places. Josh says, "I used to do this for a living, Leo. The guy gets the floor for five minutes. I can get him out of the room." Leo: "Don't help me." As Josh tries to flag a cab, he informs Leo, "I'm gonna help you, 'cause you know why?" Leo doesn't pussyfoot: "'Cause you walk around with so much guilt about everybody you love dying that you're a compulsive fixer?" ["Gee, that wasn't too unwieldy a wad of exposition." -- Wing Chun] Josh replies, "No, Leo, no. It's 'cause a guy's walking down the street and he falls into a hole, see?" That's a reference to the little speech Leo gave Josh at the end of "Noel," and yes, it made me choke up a tad. Leo accepts this: "Yeah." Josh: "Yeah." As Leo's lawyer (in the form of Joanna Gleason) arrives, Leo stands and says, "It's my day, Josh. I gotta take the hit." Yes, see, everybody but Bartlet has to take a hit. Cripes, C.J.'s goldfish is probably taking more of a hit than Jed.