Bob's on the phone and yells, "Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, North and South Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin!" Bruno tensely asks about Ohio and Texas, but there's nothing. Bruno starts making some calculations, guessing who will get what; my favorite is when he gives Santos "Havaii" with a little hip tilt. Paul Moyer's voice breaks in to give Ohio to Vinick, and there's much rejoicing in all the land. Or in all the office, but that sounds much less grand.
Josh and Donna run down a hospital hall and are directed to an elevator. A good ten seconds passes as they stare up at the numbers to a Muzak rendition of "My Cherie Amore." I think this was supposed to -- and did -- convey how long you feel like time is taking when you're scared, because my notes had it down at about thirty seconds of waiting when it was really only about a third of that. Josh sprints out of the elevator and finds Annabeth, looking even smaller than usual and with mascara running liberally down her cheeks. In a small voice, she heartbreakingly tells him, "Hey. He died, Josh." Josh stares, mouth half open, and after a moment Annabeth falls into him, beginning to sob. Josh's mouth falls completely open in disbelief. And I don't mean TV disbelief; I mean true, honest-to-God, socked-in-the-gut, complete disbelief. Josh holds Annabeth and just stares past her hair as if trying to comprehend what she's said.
Bram's phone rings, and everyone in the room looks at him tensely. He mouths to them that it's Josh, and brings the phone in the next room, where Santos is sitting next to Helen in front of the news. After Santos listens for a second, he reaches over quickly to grab Helen's hand and seems to slump. Bram looks on with the horrible realization of what news has just arrived.
Jed's at his desk, talking on the phone and telling whomever it is that he's flying to Houston in a few moments. C.J. walks toward his office. Jed mentions, "I think Mallory's already there for election night," which is the first of many references to Mallory's whereabouts. C.J. stops at Jed's desk as he tells either a daughter or Abbey (someone he calls "honey," anyway) to hold on. C.J.'s got that puffy, dazed weeping face and doesn't say anything, and Jed knows. "When?" he asks. C.J.: "Just a few minutes ago. Donna just called me." Jed puts down the phone and very slowly makes it around to C.J., whose eyes are glistening. He hugs her and tells her, "Thank you, C.J." "Mr. President," she says. He lifts his head and takes a shuddering deep breath, tears shining on his face. He seems older already as he makes it back around his desk to pick the phone back up: "Sweetheart, I'm sorry. I have some really bad news."