Charlie is showing Jed a bunch of different old Presidential portraits on an easel in the study. Jed complains, "If they'd only let me wear leggings for my portrait, we'd be in business." Charlie: "Until it shows up on the internet." Jed: "There you go, turning your back on a whole new constituency." Toby arrives and Jed asks Charlie to leave them alone. As Charlie passes Toby, he whispers, "Nice bags under the eyes, there, Kojak." Kojak? Toby's shtick is a little red ball, not a little red lollipop.
Once Charlie's gone, Toby tells Jed he didn't know Charlie would be there. Jed says he's got five Democratic Senators on his call sheet, and Leo's after him to find out what's going on: "What the hell have you gotten us into?" Frink, who hasn't seen most of the episodes for the last two years, wonders: "Why is it so dark in this room?" Why, indeed? My theory is that they're hoping to inject drama into the show with window dressing, since it's not there in a lot of the script. Toby blurts: "I lost Gaines, I lost Brainerd, and the Wall Street Journal's running it tomorrow." Jed: "Running what? That we grabbed the third rail with both hands?" Toby: "That we talked about raising the retirement age, maybe privatization...." Jed bangs his fist on the desk and yells, "Dammit, Toby!" Toby says that Gaines expressed some interest. Jed: "So you ran with it when I told you not to [sic] even walk?" Toby suggests that POTUS could talk to Gaines and assure him that he's personally behind this. Jed: "Behind what? A deal that doesn't exist?" Toby shrugs: "What if you told him you'd move on the retirement age?" Jed: "Maybe I should just call the Journal. They can run it right next to my legislative obituary!" Toby snaps: "I can't contain this by myself!" Jed: "You're gonna contain it now." Toby says that there's no way. Jed tells him to find a way. I wonder idly if this show would be more exciting if they all had to wear Mexican wrestling masks when arguing. I daresay it would. I didn't think this was a terrible episode on first viewing, but I'm just so bored and unconvinced on this second go-round. Toby: "How? By telling the whole party so they can lay down on the tracks to stop it? By telling nine committee chairs -- probably a whole dining-room set -- that we circumvented their authority? The Journal's still going to file it, and we still don't have a deal." Jed tells him to find a deal. Toby: "I tried!" Jed: "I want this back in the cardboard box it came in. I don't want to see you or talk to you 'til that's done. 'No way' is not an acceptable answer. 'I tried' is no longer an option. You started this thing and you're going to damn well finish it, with either a blue ribbon or a great big deafening silence!" Toby thanks him and relies on echolocation to find his way out of the room.