We start right where we left off -- with Toby confessing to C.J. that he leaked the shuttle story to the New York Times. And then we get an hour of silences, pauses, tension, beautifully framed shots, and an object lesson on why this is still the best cast on network television. C.J. won't even speak with Toby, and immediately calls the White House Counsel's office. Toby is immediately isolated, and it isn't long before Babish arrives to interrogate him. Toby denies that Jed or any White House staffer was involved in the leak. Before long, Toby's bulldog of an attorney arrives and puts an end to the questioning. Meanwhile, Kate tries to explain Charles Frost's theory to bigwigs in the Situation Room. It's never clearly explained, but apparently it involves potential war between Russia and China over oil. So, same old same old. And Ellie drops by with her fiancÃ©, who is meeting Jed and Abbey for the first time. It turns out that they need to get married a little more quickly than anybody might have liked. And on the campaign jet, Lou convinces Josh that he needs to replace a bunch of the staff, including Ned. Surprisingly, Santos goes along with this, and Josh has a very unpleasant run-in with Ned when Josh fires him. At the end of the episode, Jed fires Toby, and isn't especially nice about it. C.J. ends up hiring Will to work as White House Communications Director. And Jed goes on national television to announce Toby's confession and firing.
I want to start out by telling you that this recap will be wholly inadequate. There are long scenes in this episode with very few words and very little movement and almost no action that still, because of the genius of this cast, convey enormous amounts of information and pure emotion. I will do my best to describe these scenes, but it would be an insult to the art of Allison Janney, Richard Schiff, Martin Sheen, and Oliver Platt to think that any words could capture the tiniest part of what they do in this episode. If you saw the episode, I think you know what I mean. And if you didn't see it, I'm truly sorry that I can't capture for you the magic they created.
We start out with a repeat of the entire final seventy seconds of the last episode. Again, Toby tells C.J., "I did it." She looks at him. For once, there's no soundtrack -- you can hear them breathing, and hear the sounds of activity in other parts of the West Wing. We get a shot of Toby and C.J. from behind, both sitting in chairs that face C.J.'s desk. She puts down the bottle of champagne, stands up, and walks around to the other side of the desk. Immediately, the interaction between them is transformed. Still standing, she picks up her phone and asks Margaret to have the Counsel's office send someone to her immediately. After she hangs up, Toby says, "I just didn't want you to think...." She interrupts him, waving her hand in his direction and saying, "We really can't have any further conversation without counsel present." She turns her back to him and crosses her arms over her chest, just kind of hunching in on herself. She looks out the window, and then slowly sits down on the window ledge. She looks down at the ground, and then she looks over at him, and you just know she wants to say something and that it's taking every bit of her will power to stay silent. And Toby looks like a little boy whose puppy was just taken away. C.J. gets up and once again turns her back to him, pretending to study the bookshelves behind her desk. Again, she turns toward the window, and again she looks down and then looks up as though she wants to speak. Toby just sits there through all of this, trying, I think, not to look at C.J. and most of all not to make eye contact with her.
There's a knock at the door. It opens and someone enters. In the foreground, we have Toby's head in close-up. In the background, we can just see the out-of-focus legs of the person who has entered the room. He introduces himself as being Mike Wayne, from the Counsel's office. He says Toby's name, and Toby finally looks over at him. Still on the same shot, we hear C.J. say, "Toby, would you tell Mike what you just told me?" Toby pauses, clears his throat, and stands up, telling Mike, "I was the one who leaked the information about the classified military space shuttle to Greg Brock of the New York Times." Mike Wayne looks pretty shocked to be hearing this. C.J. asks Mike where Babish is, and he tells her that Babish is at dinner. Mike tells Toby, "I'll need the key to your office." Toby starts to walk out of the room, and Mike asks him where's he going. It turns out that the key to his office is in his desk. Toby still doesn't get how much everything has changed in the last few minutes. Mike tells him that he'll have to go with Mike to the Roosevelt Room, where Toby will wait while Mike retrieves the key to his office, locks it, and posts a Secret Service agent to guard it. Some deep tones have started to creep into the soundtrack, along with some martial drums. Mike: "That needs to happen right now."