After the commercial break, it's Thursday, and Sam's back doing the Summit Foxtrot with Nikolai and George. Nikolai says, "The Baltic herring industry was subject of recent trade agreement between Russians and Finns. However, we'll take off menu." Sam asks why. Nikolai explains, "We have to. Mrs. Bartlet likes shrimp." Sam thinks that's the most ridiculous thing he's ever heard, and suggests that they put whatever they want on the menu. How about some hot pumpkin soup with a cheese gnocchi and a chèvre brioche? Or better, yet, pheasant and morel consommé, miniature ravioli of foie gras and smoked goose confit, a little Canary melon sorbet as a palate cleanser. All served on the finest Lenox china, of course. Sam requests that the press pool be allowed to take photographs at the Arctic Peoples exhibit. George and Nikolai are fine with that. Sam says that's that, but George says they have one more thing. It has to do with the language in the joint statement. Sam says he can't negotiate that; Nikolai says it's just a suggestion. Sam reminds them that the language has already been worked out by State, Commerce, and Defense. He keeps going on, but Nikolai asks him just to hear their suggestion. Sam agrees, and Nikolai flips open his file folder. He clears his throat and reads, "Both President Chigorin and myself agree that we must enter twenty-first century as partners and friends, not as adversaries. We must lead way in stemming tide of nuclear proliferation and we must start with ourselves. For why should two nations still possess power to destroy each other ten times over? Surely, once is enough." Sam: "Whose idea was this?" Nikolai: "Mine." Sam: "Who wrote it?" Nikolai: "I did." Sam ain't buying it. Nikolai stands, hands him the folder, and asks, "You'll, uh...pass it up?" Sam says he will. Nikolai says, "That's good one, yes?" Sam replies, "Yes. Thank you."
Ludmilla Koss comes back to Toby's office. He has her credentials for the plane, the palace, the press conferences, the photo exhibit, the Hall of Flags, and her plane ticket. She thanks him. Toby adds that he found out why Chigorin's government has such a problem with her and her paper. She sweetly says that it's because she doesn't flatter them. Toby replies, "No, it's because you stink." Toby has such a way with the ladies. She's peeved now: "I beg your pardon?" Toby says, "You can beg all you want; you're not going to get it." He reminds her that, last month, she alleged that the Chigorin government bombed several apartment buildings, based on an unattributed source: "It was refuted; you never retracted it." She claims, "The government's case was all over the television." I don't get her response. ["I didn't see the episode, but I assume she means that since the government already denied the report in a much bigger forum than her paper, there was no reason for her or her editors to retract the story. I'm not saying it's a good argument, but that's how I'd read that." -- Wing Chun] Toby goes on, saying that she recently wrote a story about Chigorin's mother-in-law moving closer to the Kremlin, and printed her home address. Ludmilla rolls her eyes. Toby says Chigorin's mother-in-law had to relocate. Ludmilla says that was the mother-in-law's decision. Toby: "You reported the failing grades of the defense minister's twelve-year-old son! Does that even count as journalism? Does that do anything but bring ridicule on a defenseless twelve-year-old kid?" She looks at him haughtily. Toby continues, "We've got people like you here on cable and on the internet, and there's no one anywhere on the ideological spectrum who doesn't roll their eyes when their names are spoken out loud. You know, we've always had free press here, we take it for granted...how can you…" He holds up the piece of paper he was reading from and crumples it, "...treat it like this? You should give up your space and put another naked woman in there. Anyway..." Ludmilla makes a move to collect her credentials and ticket. Toby makes a move toward them almost as if he's going to grab them away, but I think he just pushes them closer to her, saying, "There are your credentials." She gathers them up, without a word, and leaves, looking as haughty as possible the entire time. Well, she didn't look like she'd be much fun to go scuba diving with, anyway. Also: I'm totally distracted by the painting behind Toby's desk. I don't recall noticing it before, and I quite like it. There's your gratuitous interiors-obsessed commentary for this episode. Wouldn't be a recap without it.