Leo goes into the Mural Room and meets with three guys we've never seen before, one of whom Frink thinks seems like he could be Fitz's father. I think he means personality-wise, more than looks-wise. We don't get names for any of these guys, frustratingly for the recapper -- but then again, when we do get names, they're always Mike and Chris and so forth. So I'm just going to call these three Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, in the order that they speak. Shadrach says, "You don't blow a negotiation of this magnitude over some kid. I don't care if he plays Schubert with his feet." Meshach says it violates international law. Abednego says it violates U.S. law. Leo wants to deal with one thing at a time. Shadrach assures him that they're not simply talking about a freeze, but an agreement involving hundreds of sensors and inspectors on the ground. He believes they'll keep this agreement because of their relationship with the Chinese, who are concerned that the North Korean nuclear program will finally push the Japanese to develop the bomb: "The Koreans screw around this time, they piss off the only ally they have left." Leo asks, "This is that serious, they're going to blow it over some piano player?" Shadrach says it's the most unpredictable regime in the world, and that walking out could be the least they'd do. Leo, upset: "They'd shell Seoul over this?" Shadrach wonders if he wants to find out.
C.J. knocks and comes in. Meshach's turn: he keeps insisting it's against the law. Abednego cites chapter and verse of U.S. law on the matter. Shadrach argues that the pianist is "the most privileged guy in the entire country" (which strikes me as highly unlikely) and sneers at the idea that he faces persecution if returned. Abednego states that the penalty for attempted defection in North Korea is death. Shadrach says he's only in trouble if the North Koreans find out. Leo asks C.J. if there are any straws in the wind. She says it appears to be locked down for now and her office is monitoring it. Abednego warns them that if this gets out, it's game over. Meshach: "This conversation gets out..." C.J. asks, "And we're comfortable with that?" C.J., nobody cares what you're comfortable with, and no one ever has, unless it serves their purposes to care or to appear to care. Politics is about what's expedient. Get a new job, honey. Shadrach: "Can we get back to the real world? The North Koreans are peddling their missile technology all over the Middle East. And sensors on the border have picked up elevated levels of krypton 85. They are making plutonium, they can get it onto warheads, and their best customers are the people who hate us. Why are we still talking about this?" Meshach doesn't see how they can avoid the legal issues. C.J.: "I don't see how you can send someone back to the bleakest place left on the planet after he tells you he doesn't want to go!" I think there's a hell of a lot of competition for "bleakest place left on the planet." Leo: "C.J." Shadrach: "It's not that bleak. The DMZ is beautiful. It's like a nature preserve. Endangered black-faced spoonbills, Amur leopards..." C.J. asks, "What's your point?" Shadrach: "That I know more about this than you do." Leo interjects, "The legal issues?" Shadrach says the sucker doesn't know his rights; it's a non-problem. Except he doesn't call him a sucker, exactly, but he might as well have. C.J. looks very uncomfortable. Shadrach says it's a big problem if the pianist tells anyone else, and asks where he is now. C.J. says he's sightseeing. Shadrach tells them not to let him back in the building. That doesn't look like it sits well with C.J. and Abednego. Shadrach continues, "Well, the good news is, his handlers don't let him out of their sight. Today, it's like they're working for us." C.J. can't help it: "Our very own totalitarian helpmates." Collect 'em all! She just keeps looking down as Leo excuses himself and Shadrach glares at her. At the door, he calls her outside.
In the hall, Leo asks what C.J. is doing. C.J.: "'Don't let him back in the building?'" Leo says they have to consider all angles. C.J. says that POTUS said he's not sending him back. Can she really still be this naïve? Frink: "I'm surprised she has any ideals left at all." Leo: "My job is to present him with options. Your job, at the moment, is to butt out." She replies, "We've certainly come a long way from 'Give me your tired, your poor.' If we don't allow this defection, if we blithely exploit this young man's ignorance, then I don't know who we are anymore." She takes off in a huff. Leo looks like he vaguely remembers a time when that would have bothered him.