TWW. Helen gives Santos a kiss, and then he and Vinick walk out on stage. Vinick stops at his podium, but Santos crosses in front of his in order to walk over to Vinick and shake his hand. Forrest tells everyone the rules, and Vinick starts to make that face that says that he's smiling only because he thinks something's incredibly stupid. Santos notices, and eventually tells Forrest, "I think time's up on the rules." But Forrest continues, reminding the audience to stay silent, "until the end of the debate, when we can all give democracy a big round of applause." The applause will have to be for democracy, because it sure won't be for this episode. And then he turns the floor over to Vinick for his opening statement. Vinick starts by telling everyone what an honor it is to be there. And then he freezes up for what seems like an eternity. I was a bit fearful that Alan Alda was having an aneurysm, but it was actually just a scripted moment for Vinick to wrestle with his soul. He tells the audience that after watching every televised presidential debate (because he's ancient, people), he thinks the rules are stupid, and he wants to throw them out. He refers to the Lincoln-Douglas debates over slavery, and remarks that Abraham Lincoln didn't need any rules for debate. Which is just not true. If you read the transcripts of those debates, you will see that they followed a rigid format -- one speaker gave a long speech, the second replied with a long speech, and the first speaker was given an opportunity to respond. And that was it. When Lincoln tried to interrupt Douglas during the first debate, Douglas supporters physically pulled him down and prevented him from speaking. Which isn't to say that they weren't deeply important debates. But they were hardly a free-for-all. In any case, Vinick asks Santos (whom he calls "Matt") whether he is willing to junk the rules. Forrest tries to point out that the rules prohibit Vinick from asking Santos a question, but Santos (after making sure that Vinick doesn't plan to filibuster him by speaking for an hour) agrees to the deal. Nooooo! The rules help control the fun! Credits.
MH. Barthelona. The plane is still on the ground. Tall Man is on his cell phone, arguing with someone about something his solicitor said. You know, he's not too unattractive -- I don't see why he needs someone to solicit for him. Jackie yells at him to turn off his phone, and he calms down and apologizes. Again, he asks about the bulkhead seat, and she tells him to sit in his assigned seat. He claims that he's far too tall for a regular seat. Eh. I don't think this guy's even six feet. Jackie tells the guy that they can't take off if he doesn't sit down. He demands to see her supervisor. That sticks in her craw, and she tells him that after they take off, she'll make sure her supervisor sees him right away. He stuffs the bunny in the overhead compartment and sits down.