And suddenly, it's Thursday. Margaret enters Leo's office and says that "she's here." She asks if Leo wants her to stay, "in case something should happen." Leo asks, "What would that be, exactly?" Margaret says she'll bring the visitor in. Ainsley steps inside, and Leo closes the door while asking if anyone offered her coffee. In nervous staccato, Ainsley says that Margaret offered her coffee or a soft drink, and adds, "She was also kind enough to ask for my coat. She seems to be a very good secretary." Leo says, "She'll be happy to hear that, she's standing right outside the door." He slams his fist against the door, Margaret yelps, and Leo goes to his desk. Snerk. Leo compliments Ainsley on her destruction of Sam. Ainsley chatters, "I've been thinking about that ever since your office called me on Tuesday, and I have something to say on my own behalf, if you'll permit me a moment to say it, and I understand if you won't, but I would really appreciate it if you did." Can one sentence technically be considered a monologue? Leo says he didn't follow that, but yes, she should go ahead. I'll spare you the transcript, because these recaps run long enough as is, but Ainsley complains that it's wrong and inappropriate for the White House Chief of Staff to reprimand someone for voicing opposition. Leo says that isn't why she was summoned. Ainsley asks, "Well, then, if you'll permit me, why was I summoned?" Leo says that she has an "interesting conversational style." I'll assume that Leo's dictionary defines "interesting" to mean "highly affected and more irritating than the sound of a dentist's drill dragged across a chalkboard." Ainsley claims that it's a nervous condition. Leo says he used to have a nervous condition, and Ainsley asks, "How did yours manifest itself?" Leo deadpans, "I drank a lot of scotch." Ainsley says that she gets sick when she drinks too much. Leo responds, "I get drunk when I drink too much." Ainsley again asks why she was summoned, and Leo tells her that he wants to offer her a job. But it's too late, she's off again, chattering like a squirrel on amphetamines: "I do not think that it is fair that I be expected to play the role of the mouse to the White House's cat in the game of, well, you know the game." She goes on that way for a while until she finally realizes what Leo said, and this isn't a gag that's been done eight million times on television, is it? No, it isn't; it's been done nine million times. Right, so she asks if Leo just offered her a job. Leo says that she would be Associate White House Counsel. "You'd report to the Deputy White House Counsel, who reports to the White House Counsel, who reports to me." Ainsley is still stunned: "A job in this White House?" Leo asks if she'd like a glass of scotch. Ainsley says, "Yes, please." Which is probably the shortest sentence she has ever uttered in her life.
Sam notices that C.J. is lying on the sofa in her office with a face cloth draped over her eyes. It looks like the cloth is completely dry, so I have to wonder why she's doing that. A wet cloth can be soothing for a headache. A dry one is just going to block the light. And not as well as a wet one. Plus, if she wanted it to be dark, maybe she should turn off the lamp that's right over her head. Right, it's not wet because that would mess up her makeup. I'm just saying. Anyway, Sam steps in and suggests, "See a sleep doctor. Take a pill. Do something." C.J. says she rode the lifecycle for an hour and a half that morning, noting, "If it was a real cycle, I'd be in Belgium by now." Sam sits down and asks what it was that C.J. wanted to ask him before. C.J. says, "If I talked to you about it, you could be subpoenaed." Sam tells her not to worry about that, and C.J. finally sits up and insists, "I do worry about it!" She assures him that there's no problem, and asks what she can say about the conference. Sam tells her, "The sessions are productive. Progress is being made. These kinds of things take time. All the parties are optimistic." C.J. asks if any of the parties are optimistic. "No," Sam admits. Carol calls C.J. for the press briefing. After C.J. leaves, Sam looks up and asks Carol, "Did you say something to me?" Carol says she didn't. See, Sam's still defensive about the show. It kills me to have to say this about The West Wing, but I must: we get it.