Previously: C.J.'s mysterious Ben finally paid a visit, now that he's not married anymore. Abby dropped the bomb on C.J. that she's going to be volunteering at a free clinic, and offered a reminder that she didn't lose her license so much as take a voluntary hiatus from practicing. C.J. presumably celebrated this wonderful news with an extra-large shot of Pepto.
The title card informs us that the episode is called "Eppur Si Muove," because God knows there's no point in using a straightforward title when you can use one that makes the audience feel inadequate before a line of dialogue is even spoken. We fade in on a dark lab at the Center For Applied Squinting At Stuff By The Glow Of Your Computer Screen, where a scientist we will come to know as Dr. Foy is filling his assistant in on the results of an HPV study. Oh, wait, it's actually the "John Hopkins University Medical Research Lab." You know, that one Medical Research Lab that they have there at Johns Hopkins. The Scruffy Assistant goes to answer the phone, and he soon returns to tell Dr. Foy that Congressman Bentley's office is on the phone about a review of one of Foy's NIH grants. This gets Foy up off the chair and stumbling through the highly cinematic darkness toward the phone. They do love them some dim lighting on this show. Foy puts the guy on speakerphone for plot purposes, and we hear the mysterious Phone Voice begin to impugn the value of the project, which studies HPV in Puerto Rican sex workers. Foy writes a note which he holds up to Scruffy Assistant, and Scruffy Assistant nods and walks off. As the conversation turns political -- is Foy a registered Democrat, blah blah blah -- Scruffy Assistant goes and fetches the fetching young woman hard at work in a different corner of the Darkest Lab Ever, who turns out to be the one and only Ellie Bartlet. Scruffy Assistant tells Ellie that Foy needs her -- probably to hold a flashlight for him. In case you didn't know that this fetching young woman is Ellie Bartlet, there is a slow pan over to her graduation picture with Jed and Abby. The graduation photo, by the way, shows Ellie in a plain black gown and mortarboard, which makes it seem like that should be a graduation no more recent than college, so I'd think Jed should look a bit younger. But I nitpick. Oh, and the guy on the phone demands that Foy tell him who he voted for. Because that's some nuanced political maneuvering. Bring on the exploding cigars!