Elsewhere in the hospital, Gina is beating herself up for being unable to give any more details about the guy on the ground. Leo reassures her, saying she got Zoey in the car. This doesn't console her much. You can tell this woman would open a vein if it would help her remember a little more and enable them to find the guy. Just then another trauma victim comes crashing through the doors attended by numerous medical staff; it's Josh. Leo is stunned. Leo asks what happened; Toby fills him in briefly. Sam and C.J. are also rushing in behind the gurney. We hear one hospital staff member yell that the single gunshot wound is in the fifth intercostal space. Josh barely conscious and is mumbling incoherently, "I shouldn't be at this meeting..." As they reach the trauma room, Josh repeats, "I shouldn't be at this meeting...I need to get to New Hampshire." He tries to lift his head up and move. Sam is standing over him saying, "We went to New Hampshire. We both did. You came and got me." As half a dozen people work on Josh and try to explain to him what happened to him and what they're doing, Josh slips out of consciousness and into the first of the flashbacks that will so skilfully form the backdrop for this pair of episodes.
John Hoynes is pacing around a meeting table full of staff, including Josh. Hoynes is expounding on how "Social Security is the black hole of national politics." Hoynes states that he does not wish to get lost in that black hole thirteen weeks before the New Hampshire. "It is the third rail: you step on it and you die." Josh begs to differ, naturally: he feels that since Social Security will be bankrupt in exactly seventeen years, and that half the elderly population will be living in poverty, the issue qualifies now as a priority. The other staffers seem to think Josh is all wrong on this and that prior to election, they should just harp on tax cuts. One of them, a woman who looks and sounds like her name just has to be Muffy, pipes up, saying, "It's what magicians call misdirection." Josh snaps, "Really? 'Cause it's what the rest of us call bull--" Hoynes interrupts, "Knock it off!" Hoynes has to leave for a vote, and asks Josh to come with him. Out in the hall, Hoynes wants to know why Josh has been pissed off at every meeting for a month. Josh complains, "Senator, you're the prohibitive favourite to be the Democratic party's nominee for President, you have fifty-eight million in the war chest with no end in sight, and...I don't know what we're for. I don't know what we're for, I don't know what we're against, except we seem to be for winning and against somebody else winning." Hoynes tell him they're going to run a good campaign that he can be proud of, and that when they get to the White House, Josh is going to play a big role. "In the meantime: cheer up, and get off my ass about Social Security." Hoynes takes off for his vote. Josh wanders into another office area. Just then, Leo McGarry shows up. Leo's mouth seems oddly tight in this scene. He apologizes for not making an appointment, but explains he's "trying to fly under the radar" a little bit. Josh assumes he wants to see Hoynes, but explains that Hoynes just went in for a vote. Leo cracks, "It's probably the annual vote to override the veto on the resolution to ship nuclear waste to Nevada." Josh: "Yeah." Leo: "It won't pass." Josh: "No kidding."