C.J. takes the podium, announces Samuels' death, rattles off the names of his wife and children, and mentions that there's news about the CPI and the FHA. Yeah, I know: BFD. C.J. says, "As a special treat for our friend Josh Lyman, who's recovering very nicely at GW, the President's science advisor is telling us that psychics at Cal Tech and the Fermi National Accelerator Lab..." In his bed, Josh begins banging his head against the headboard. Ow. As the theme music swells, C.J. says, "You know what, I'm pretty sure that was supposed to be 'physicists.'" Credits, please.
The title cards inform us that it's August 14th, twelve weeks before Election Day. Oh, that kind of midterm. I was worried that this episode was going to focus on Zoey taking exams. The staff is discussing polling data. Before the Prez was shot, their approval rating was at 51 percent. Now it's at 81 percent. C.J. suspects that the numbers are soft. Enter the Prez, who immediately asks if anyone can define the word "alcalculia." Sam pipes up that it's "an inability to perform arithmatic functions." There's a beat, and Sam says, "I'm sorry, Mr. President, you wanted to answer your own question, didn't you?" The Prez says he'll get over it, and when Sam says that's a mature response, the Prez tells him to shut up. "You're not over it yet, are you?" Sam asks as they all sit down. The conversation goes back to their approval rating. Sam says that when respondents are asked whether they believe Bartlet or the Republican leaders in Congress have a better approach to "important national problems," the Prez only has 61 percent on his side. The Prez summarizes all this by saying, "Well, nineteen percent of the country has clearly made up their minds about me; twenty percent just feel sorry for me. Which you want if you're the leader of the free world." Some nameless consultants say that the Democrats might be able to gain control of the House, as well as winning two more Senate seats, "as well as two Governorships and maybe a half-dozen state Houses." They discuss which races they should focus on.
Cut to Charlie, on the phone. He appears to be ignoring Margaret, who is talking about alcalculia, and who can blame him? Zoey enters, and asks where Mrs. Landingham is. Margaret says Mrs. L. is at a funeral. Possibly Mandy's. Margaret says that the Prez is in the Roosevelt Room, but Zoey says she's there to see Charlie. Margaret then asks if Zoey can define alcalculia, and Zoey answers, "Yes, because I got it at breakfast." Charlie hangs up the phone. Margaret says that Mrs. L. asked her to ask Charlie to call tech support about her (Mrs. L.'s) computer. Good grief. I love Mrs. L., but I think she could do that herself. Especially since Charlie isn't her personal assistant. Anyway, Margaret instructs Charlie to ask for someone named Andrew Mackintosh, since he's the only one Mrs. L. trusts to mess with her computer.