Previously on The West Wing: Leo brought in strategist Bruno Gianelli, much to the chagrin of senior staff; Bruno made it clear he's not going to lose this election; Sam and Connie talked about what her job is, exactly; Abby clarified for Oliver Babish that she is Dr. Bartlet, not "Mrs.," and wonders why she dropped the appropriate honorific during the campaign.
We hear Leo's voice saying, "One, day I'm going to get called to the Situation Room and it's going to be good news." I wouldn't hold my breath. Seems like the Situation Room is nothing but bad news and problems. As we see him enter the Situation Room, and walk over to Nancy (who's standing there listening to him rant), he continues, "We'll have discovered buried treasure, or it turns out there's life on Andromeda and they think we're doing a good job. When's that day gonna come, Nancy? When's that gonna happen?" Nancy, humourlessly: "Settle down." Leo asks what she needs. Turns out they've lost contact with the USS Portland, a Sea Wolf class sub, which was supposed to report in yesterday at 1400, and surface to periscope depth in order to download and upload deterrence intelligence data. Leo suggests that they've gone quiet. Nancy thinks that's possible, but they usually call in and say they're going quiet. Leo wonders about other possibilities. Nancy: "That they've lost all power and they're drifting aimlessly in hostile waters." Leo: "What hostile waters?" The sub's in the Yellow Sea, and their last reported location was sixty miles due west of Seoul. Leo: "We haven't heard from them and they're in North Korea?" He wonders what preparations have been made if they need to order "a massive and undetectable rescue mission." Nancy rattles off a list of all the military vehicles (and their associated weaponry) that have been readied, and adds, "They practice for this all the time, but we shouldn't do it. Not yet." She thinks they've gone quiet. Leo objects that she said they usually call. She says that's true. Wouldn't that, in fact, be a really crucial thing to do? Isn't it utterly logical that not calling would be cause for concern? This whole thing has the feel of a red herring from the get-go. Leo says he has to tell POTUS. Nancy says, "The President's going to hit the panic button, Leo. If the Portland went quiet, it's 'cause somebody's sitting on top of them. These guys know what they're doing." Leo says he'll be back.