Josh -- wearing gown, mask, and little hat -- enters the operating room. And while I'm not a huge continuity freak, I have to point out that by the end of the last episode, this surgery had already begun. What's so upsetting is not that you would know that from the last season, or even from the repeat of the last episode they showed immediately before the season premiere, but that they included in the "previously"s the exact scene in which Josh sees the surgery in progress. I know that if you watch a John Wells show you frequently have to ignore your own memories, but should you really have to forget the things you saw in the same hour of television? In any case, Josh is leaning over Donna, who looks truly awful. She has a pad in her hand, and scribbles -- in perfect handwriting -- "nice hat." He tells her that the surgery is going to be a snap, and she writes "scared" on her pad. I'm usually immune to Bradley Whitford's charms, but the look in his eyes in this scene is enough to melt even my cold heart. He tells her that everything is going to be fine, and then has to leave the OR. Commercials.
General Locke is briefing Leo. He mentions potential strikes in Gaza, Syria, and Iran, and asks Leo to speak to Jed. The general leaves, and Kate comes in. She starts to apologize for initially pushing Jed to speak with moderate Palestinians and setting current events into motion. Just as Jed did earlier, Leo tells her that Jed makes his own decisions. As Kate starts to leave, Leo says, "He doesn't like chaos. We bomb some apartment building in Gaza or a camp in Syria, there'll be consequences, and we can't tell him what they're going to be. Will we get drawn into a war in the Middle East? Will suicide bombers be climbing onto busses in Passaic, New Jersey instead of Tel Aviv and Haifa?" Margaret tells Leo and Kate that they are wanted in the Oval Office. I know I said it before, but that hairstyle looks great on Margaret. On the way out of the room, Leo tells Kate, "The President is looking for answers and we don't have them."
Office of O. Jed has assembled most of his senior staff, plus Will. I know people were wondering why the Vice-President's chief of communications ["is he? I thought he was Bingo Bob's chief of staff" -- Wing Chun] was in a high-level meeting with the President, but isn't it clear? He must be the new chief resident. Everything makes sense if you put yourself in the proper John Wells frame of mind. Jed is telling them that he wants to hear any idea they have, no matter how stupid or outrageous. Speaking of stupid, he tells the assembled group that he'd "build a mosque out of Jell-O" if he thought it would help. Toby tries to shift the conversation back to military retaliation, and C.J. asks if the FBI is any closer to tracking down Nassam, but Jed doesn't want to hear it. He wants ideas on how to get Farad and the Israelis into the same room. Leo just looks miserable. C.J. throws out the first idea, and the conversation slowly picks up steam. We cut to a ridiculous spinning overhead shot of the Oval Office (which is looking pretty round in this shot), and the soundtrack cuts in and out of various conversations to show us how time is passing. I'm wondering why they didn't just throw a clock face onto the screen and speed up the hour hand to show us the passing time. It would have been no less cheesy, and I wouldn't be nauseated from watching it so many times. It's like staring into an open washing machine.