Sam disappears into his office as Donna zooms up to Josh and tells him "it's a maintenance crew." The noise, that is. Josh probably could not be less interested and as they walk back to his office he proceeds to ramble on about "Peyton Cabot Harrison the Third" and his credentials: "Philips Exeter, Princeton, Rhodes Scholar, Harvard Law Review, for which he was, oh yeah, the editor...did I mention he was Dean of Harvard Law School? Did I mention that his father was Attorney General to Eisenhower?" Donna repeats: "Peyton Cabot Harrison the Third...Jewish fella?" Hee hee. Josh tells her she's not going to ruin this moment for him; she replies that she's sharing the moment with him. He says it's a big day for them and Donna affirms, "You're the men." Josh asks, "Do you know what we're finally gonna have?" Without missing a beat Donna cracks, "WASP-y old men on the Supreme Court?" Nyuk. (Sorry, I'm finding the usually annoying Donna funny in this scene.) Josh ignores her: "A smooth confirmation process." Donna's a little skeptical but Josh insists "it's gonna sail." Donna curiously responds, "There's many a slip 'twixt the tongue and the wrist." Erm, yes indeed. He tells her that, her "fortune cookie wisdom notwithstanding," it's going to happen. She advises him not to get his hopes up; he wants to know why he shouldn't. Donna says, "Because when it doesn't work out you end up drunk in my apartment in the middle of the night and you yell at my roommate's cats." Yeesh -- there's a picture I could have lived without. Josh does this? Like, often? Anyway, he keeps insisting everything's going to be great and nothing bad is going to happen that week; Donna keeps pushing for cautious optimism. At that very moment, a large piece of the ceiling comes crashing down and smashes right in front of Josh on his desk. As the dust settles, Josh brushes himself off and says, "Well....okay."
Roll opening credits.
In Justice Joseph Crouch's office, Crouch and POTUS are sitting in wing chairs by the window. The office is, as always, beautifully lit. I love the lighting on this show. If the offices I worked in were lit like this I might not have had constant nervous irritation brought on by fluorescent lights, but that's neither her nor there. POTUS tells Crouch he's too young to retire. Crouch, played by Mason Adams (the editor from Lou Grant) to flinty-eyed, crusty perfection, gives a wheezy chuckle and tells POTUS, "You're an excellent liar, Mr. President." Jed laughs and agrees. Crouch pauses a bit and asks if he's going with Harrison; Jed says he's on the short list. Crouch wants to know how many other names are on the short list; Jed evades the question, saying they'll make their announcement on Thursday. Crouch, clearly disappointed, sighs and says, "You've decided on Harrison." POTUS lies through his teeth and replies that he hasn't made a decision. Crouch scoffs, "You've made the call...did you even consider Mendoza?" POTUS allows that Mendoza was on the short list. Crouch snipes, "Mendoza was on the short list so you could show you had an Hispanic on the short list." POTUS denies it but Crouch is unswayed: "You ran great guns in the campaign. It was an insurgency, boy, a sight to see. And then you drove to the middle of the road the moment after you took the oath..." Jed tries to interject but Justice Crusty, I mean Crouch, continues, "The middle of the road! Nothing but a long line painted yellow." Jed is clearly becoming uncomfortable with this dressing-down (although if what Crouch says is true, I'm with Crusty on this one). It turns out Crouch wanted to retire five years earlier but wanted to wait until there was a Democrat in office. He snorts that instead of a Democrat, he got Bartlet. Jed awkwardly contemplates Crouch's words.