Previously on The West Wing: Hard to say, because my VCR was slow off the mark when I taped it on CTV, and when I tried to catch it again on NBC, these scenes were abruptly cut off for some reason. All I caught was that the staff came to POTUS to recommend he veto the repeal of the estate tax.
Some guy in a grey trench coat, followed by a uniformed security guard, walks down to an office through empty halls. He's carrying what looks like a large, very shallow rectangular box; it's dark blue and has silver embossing on the lid. Without knocking, he and the security guard -- whom we shall call Silent Bob -- enter a door marked Office of the Executive Clerk. The room is even darker than the Situation Room usually is. A baby-faced staffer greets Trenchcoat, who asks if the staffer is Dolan. Babyface is. Trenchcoat is Kovolesky. Babyface says they spoke on the phone, and that he's the only one there now, but that there are usually seven of them. Trenchcoat doesn't care. Babyface says he's new, and it's the end of his second week. Dude, I guess that's why you're working late on Friday night and everyone else is knocking back beverages containing "colourless volatile inflammable liquids forming intoxicating elements" somewhere else. Trenchcoat wonders whether Babyface knows what to do. He does; he's supposed to phone the Deputy Chief of Staff (Josh, for those of you who were late coming to the party. We'll embrace the fact that you showed up at all). Trenchcoat tells him to tell Josh that the Clerk of the House has delivered a bill, and then he's supposed to bring it to POTUS for his signature or veto. Babyface has got it. Trenchcoat and Silent Bob leave. Babyface phones Josh's office.
Upstairs...Red Alert! Red Alert! Major 'shipper moment. Donna is tying a bow tie around Josh's neck; he's in a tuxedo. Woo: spousally suggestive caretaking in close physical proximity. I think we're going to need a drool mop-up in Aisle Seven. Donna wants to know why Josh doesn't just wear a pre-tied tie. Well, how about because those are dweeby? Josh agrees with me; it's not the same. Donna claims it looks the same. Josh says, "The end of the night, you want to be able to pull it open like Tony Bennett." Donna: "You think the tie's the only thing standing between you and Tony Bennett?" Josh: "He's also shorter than I am." And Italian. Donna asks when he's bringing Buckland back to the office; Josh was going to do it before the entree. Donna suggests that doing it after the entree would be more polite. Josh wonders whether there's etiquette for this. She's still tying his tie during all this, by the way, for those of you who won't be able to see this episode for a while but can't resist spoiling yourselves by reading the recaps. Yeah, I'm looking at you over there in West Wollongong. She says there isn't; he asks, "Then why are you bothering me?" Now the tie is more or less tied, but Donna seems to be fussing with it to prolong the moment. Josh's phone starts ringing as she tells him that she needs to talk to him about something. Josh points out that his phone is ringing. She ignores it while she asks again whether they can talk sometime that night, maybe after the cheese course? At the mention of a cheese course, I imagine Wing shouting a mighty "Word!" to that. He doesn't really answer her, but just prompts her to get the phone, already. She does; the bill has arrived. Josh has donned his jacket, and he leaves, telling her to call around.