At any rate, Josh and C.J.'s oh-so-groundbreaking conversation is interrupted by Leo and Alexander, who are discussing the 30,000 troops who will be needed for peacekeeping. Leo asks how many they'll need if it's more than peacekeeping. Alexander doesn't answer. Leo sends him away. He asks C.J. and Josh whether what they need to talk to him about is important. Apparently in light of the talk of troops, they both say no and leave. Good call.
When they're gone, Leo sits down at his desk, and Mallory almost immediately arrives. She says she has something she needs to tell him. He asks if she's okay, and she says yes...and then no. She has a seat. And heaves a sigh. And talks in circles, and tries to leave, and stands up. And says, "Mom's getting remarried." Leo tells her, probably falsely, that he knows this already, because Mom already called him. Mallory says she was hoping he wouldn't be alone when he heard, but he assures her that he's fine. He leads her out of the office, and we stare at his empty chair. Nice touch.
Now, it is time for Lassiter's funeral. Taps. Flag. Mourners. Presidents. Widow. Twenty-one-gun salute.
Later, Jed is taking a stroll in the Lassiter library with the Widow Lassiter, who wanted to see him for a few minutes before he left. She assures him that Lassiter would have loved the eulogy, and then asks him who wrote it. Ouch. She says she had always thought that Jed hated her husband, which he counters was "a long time ago." Before he was dead, I guess. She mentions that she's aware that her husband tried to call Jed the other day, and Jed didn't call back. Ooh, guilt. She walks Jed into a private room that was apparently where Lassiter took his last breaths, judging by the hospital bed in the middle of everything. The Widow Lassiter laments the way her husband took to traveling when he was out of the White House, given that it took him away from her just the way being president had done. Jed's attention falls on a display of jars of dirt that Lassiter brought back from various battlefields. That's...an interesting collectible. I guess if you're going to have jars of dirt around, they should be jars of famous dirt. Mrs. Lassiter explains that this room -- an Oval Office mockup, weirdly enough -- became Lassiter's real home, and that he ate and slept and died in it. She then reaches into the drawer and pulls out the letter that Lassiter's PBHD was writing early in the episode. She hands it to Jed, and he opens it. The letter is absurdly eloquent and overwritten -- the sort of thing that would never be written by anyone but a professional writer striving for meaning. You know, there's a great myth that everyone becomes incredibly wise and articulate when they're close to death, and in my experience, it just isn't true. Stupid people often die stupid, and ignorant people die ignorant, and nasty people die nasty. I'm not sure I believe quite as strongly in miraculous near-death redemption as television and movies do. Anyway, the letter talks all about the importance of remaining human and touching people and whatever, and not trying to be all-powerful, but before long, we are cut off, because Charlie enters. He's got the phone, and -- you guessed it -- it's Leo! Unfortunately, Leo's news is not good -- violence broke out at the protest after a protestor (who is suspected of having secretly been a National Guard member in disguise) fired, and it all went bad. The protests are now breaking up, including the one at the compound, so the Americans appear to be safe. The leader of the protests, however -- the guy reputed to be a real reformer -- is gone. Jed looks stricken. "I guess this changes things," Leo says. "I'm not sure it changes anything," Jed replies. He hangs up, and then looks back at the letter, which says at the bottom: "Jed -- Go see Lincoln and listen." Oh, come on. Iowa isn't that corny.