Swimtern comes up to Donna's desk and prattles about "the Supremes." "Don't call them that," she says with annoyance. He insists that everybody else does, managing to mention several important people he allegedly knows. "You drop one more name, I'm going to staple your mouth shut," Donna says as she walks off with Swimtern on her heels. Eventually, he abandons chasing her, smirks, and goes the other direction as Josh approaches. Josh catches up with Donna, and dejectedly says, "There'll be hell to pay at Agincourt; I've offended the Dauphin." The Eagle-Eyed Forum Posters assure me that this line is really funny. Donna passes on some more phone messages, including "Senator Webster regarding E. Lang - 'what could he possibly be thinking?,' Senator Milbank, regarding Lang, 'no no no no no,' Bertha McNull, 'not a snowball's chance in' -- oh, that's not about Lang, that's about the highways bill." Heh. Josh mutters some more about his misery, and Donna offers him a black-eyed Susan. These are cookies, it turns out, sent by her mother. As Josh opens the tin, he notes that there are pictures of cats on top. "They're cat people?" "No, they're not," Donna says. He holds up the lid. "Shadrach and Meschach," she says. "Two cats," Josh says, all judging-like. "Cat people." As Josh takes a bite of cookie, Donna says that for years, her parents only had one cat, but that he died over Christmas. Josh, not really paying attention, notes that the cookie is extremely dry. Donna continues with the story, in which after the cat died, her parents couldn't agree on a replacement, so they got both of the ones they were considering. Josh's face shifts, and he looks at Donna like something is just occurring to him. Okay, not very plausible. But still funny.
The next thing we see is Josh storming into Toby's office. "They pick one," he says. "They pick one, and that's how we get Evie Lang. And not as a decoy. We put her on the Court." Toby says nothing, but looks at Josh like he's high. (Josh, not Toby.) Josh goes on to remind us that Ashland, despite the problems he's been having, has refused to step down because he figured they couldn't successfully fill his seat with anyone who was worth anything. Josh's idea is for Ashland to resign and put Lang in his seat, and then allow the Judiciary Committee to handpick someone for Brady's seat. Toby instantly despises the idea, and doesn't understand why Josh would "hand the Republicans a seat on the Supreme Court with a red bow on top." Josh says that, first of all, the right has already had Brady, so it's not like it's a big shift to keep that seat conservative. Meanwhile, they'll get Lang -- who, among other things, will be the first female chief justice. (Yes, if you fill the chief's seat, you're chief. No, you don't have to be a regular justice first. Yes, this is actually done -- shipping somebody in to be chief who's new to the Court. ["But then you have to hear all the other Justices bitching for the next thirty years that their bosses hired someone from the outside instead of promoting someone already in the organization. So it's a mixed blessing." -- Wing Chun]) Toby refuses even to discuss it, so Josh stomps off, saying he's taking it to Jed. Toby gets up to follow him, doing the no-you're-not thing. As they walk, Toby a few steps behind Josh, Josh mutters to a passing lackey, "Trip him." Snerk. Toby protests to Josh as they walk that Ashland may well go before the end of Jed's term on his own, so Jed may have a shot at filling both seats himself: there's no reason to give up either one. Josh points out that if they go the conventional route, they can't fill the seats with liberals anyway, only moderates.