Sam returns to the West Wing, running into Bonnie as he arrives. She welcomes him back and congratulates him. He says, "Okay," and heads for his office. He asks if she knows whether POTUS is still in his office; she says he is. He sets his bag on the chair inside his door. His desk is super-tidy. And he has a Newton's cradle, too; I don't remember that being there. As he takes off his coat, he very briefly looks around his office, packing a whole lot of "last glance" emotion into about two seconds. I could be projecting a little here, because of course I wish he wasn't going, although I'm not livid about it or anything. Still, I say there was a lot in that glance. If nothing else, Rob Lowe has proved on this show that he can make a lot out of a little. He heads to the Oval Office.
Jed's still writing thank-you notes. His clock is ticking loudly in the background. He starts looking around for something -- what is it he's always rooting around for? Remember he was doing the same thing at the beginning of the show? -- Nancy sticks her head in and asks if he can see Sam. He can. I think Martin Sheen's lost weight. Sam comes in and Jed says, "You're the nominee." Sam insists that there is no nominee and everyone's on the ballot. Jed: "Is there another Democrat?" Sam says no. Jed: "You're the nominee." Is Sam running for Congress, or King of Denial? Dude, face it, you're the nominee. Jed says he knows how Sam feels, and asks if he likes Scott Holcomb. Sam says he doesn't know him well. Jed says he's good. Sam: "There's a good guy out there named Will Bailey, if he should come across your radar." Radar? If Jed stood at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, blindfolded, and tossed ping-pong balls randomly about himself, he could hardly fail to detect Will Bailey. Jed asks if he's going to campaign on prescription drugs. Sam replies, "Our prescription-drug bill, yes, sir. And our Medicare reforms and the Bartlet Energy Plan..." Jed says, "Sam...it's okay to run away from me when you need to." I'd get that in writing. Sam: "I would never, Mr. President. I simply would never do that. That's not how I'm getting votes." And you know he's not just saying it. Oh Sam, you gotta stop being such a Boy Scout. God love ya, and all, but seriously: this is a pretty cutthroat business. Better wise up. On the other hand, you'll probably get a lot of votes just for being nice and pretty, so what do I know? Jed says he appreciates that, but that's not what he's talking about: "You disagreed with me on Medicare. I remember the meeting right here. Then you wrote a five-page memo." Sam looks slightly uncomfortable. Jed advises him, "Run towards yourself. I'm wrong about that -- walk. You're not going to be used to your surroundings." Sam: "Yes, sir." Jed: "If you lose, you lose. But if you waste this, I'll kill you. I'll just kill you, Sam." Sam: "Yes, sir." Jed asks if there's anything else. Sam thanks him and leaves. Let me guess: we see about two minutes of Sam per episode (on the phone from California, probably) until February sweeps and his final exit?