This week, we get a hearty stew of politics, international intrigue, and Congressional hearings into the leak. Margaret spends the day testifying at the Congressional hearings, where we learn that she may have sometimes listened in on C.J.'s calls, but we don't actually learn what she might have heard. Santos, campaigning on education issues, gets pulled into a local school board debate about intelligent design. He ends up turning a difficult situation around and causes problems for Vinick, who is much less comfortable discussing religious issues than Santos is. However, things aren't all golden for the campaign, because Leo has also received a subpoena in the leak investigation, and nobody is looking forward to having the Democratic Vice-Presidential candidate testifying in what could turn into a criminal matter. On top of all of this, the Palestinian Chairman is assassinated by a suicide bomber. Jed is concerned that the peace deal will fall apart, and he pushes hard to get a suitable contingent of world leaders to attend the funeral. Charles Frost, the Vinick campaign's former security briefer, keeps trying to contact C.J., and then he shows up at the White House to give a warning that the assassination is just the first step in some international plan to destabilize the Middle East, or throw the oil industry into turmoil, or something. Everyone thinks he's crazy until the second assassination he predicted occurs. At the end of a very long day, C.J. seems resigned to having her life turned upside down by accusations that she leaked top-secret information. And then Toby comes to her and tells her that he did it. Well, duh.
A disembodied voice welcomes us to the hearings of the Congressional committee investigating the shuttle leak. It is now 82 days until Election Day (in other words, sometime between August 13 and 19). We see several members of the Congressional committee sitting on one side of a long table. The witness is sitting with her back to the camera. As she stands to be sworn in, it's pretty clear that the witness is Margaret. I mean, are there currently any other women with wavy red hair on the show? Margaret takes the oath and continues to stand there with her right hand raised as the disembodied voice tells Senator Dresden to proceed with the questioning. As Dresden starts to speak to her, Margaret slowly realizes that it's probably okay to sit down. Hey, Dresden is played by Mitch Pileggi, a.k.a. Skinner on The X Files, a.k.a. Uncle Richard on Tarzan. Dresden addresses Margaret as "Ms. Hooper." A mystery of the ages, revealed!
Dresden starts in with some high-speed questioning of Margaret: her position, her responsibility for dealing with all incoming calls to C.J., her familiarity with the White House phone logs and archive system. NiCole Robinson is just awesome in this scene -- nervous, but hyper-alert and paying close attention to every detail. Dresden hands Margaret a couple of files as he describes the committee's document subpoenas to the White House. Again, Margaret looks a bit overwhelmed, uncertain as to whether she's supposed to try to read all of these documents while he's speaking to her. He abruptly asks her if she wants a glass of water. She declines, but he orders someone to get her some water anyway. And now, for every second of Margaret's testimony, I will be waiting for that glass of water to tip over, ruining all of the documents on the table. Dresden asks Margaret if she's aware of the New York Times article that was published on July 14. There are some more background questions. We learn that Brock appeared on C.J.'s phone log between two and fourteen times a week in the six months before the leak. I really hope we eventually learn what those calls were about. Dresden starts asking about specific phone calls. Margaret carefully looks at the documents he hands her before answering any of his questions. And then Dresden asks Margaret if it's the case that she can listen in to any calls she patches through to C.J., whether in her office or on her Blackberry. After a long pause, Margaret tells him that this is true. He clarifies that this means that she could listen in on all of C.J.'s calls. As Margaret confirms this, there are all kinds of weird thumping synthesizer chords on the soundtrack. It suddenly feels like the hearings are taking place in a submarine. Dresden asks, "Did you ever monitor any phone conversations between Ms. Cregg and Mr. Brock?" Pause. Pause. Pause. Thump. Thump. Thump. And just as Margaret is about to answer...credits! Dulé Hill is in the house.