We see a shot of someone scribbling away at his desk beside a speakerphone; it's Leo, naturally. Someone is standing beside him. Josh continues blathering, "Time #4 involved a variety of hosiery..." Leo interjects, "Josh, I'm going to stop you right here, okay?" The look on Josh's face is as priceless as you'd imagine. "Leo?" Leo: "Yeah." Josh: "Anybody else in the office?" The camera shot changes to show us Margaret as she calls out, "Hey, Josh." Josh tries to rally: "Hey, Margaret!" He looks ill, though. Leo says, "We've got a problem in Vieques and a caucus in Iowa. Why don't you come on into work, hmm?" Like he was going to be doing anything else today? Laundry, maybe? Josh says, "Yeah," as he hangs up the phone and the credits roll.
It's 5:40 AM; a shot of a talking head on a monitor on Air Force One informs us the voting in Iowa today officially launches the Presidential primary season. The talking head says that President Bartlet, who's unchallenged in the Democratic caucus, is arriving in Cedar Rapids today. We hear C.J. talking on the phone to someone, saying that she's on the plane, and will be coming back tonight; it's just a day trip. She's speaking to her dad, and is having the kind of repetitious, circuitous conversation that is all too painfully familiar for many of us. She keeps saying the same things; it's just for the day, she won't be tired, etc. She explains that if they need to take a trip within the forty-eight states, they come back the same day. Taxpayers pay for a fast and comfortable plane which is expected to facilitate that. Then she has to explain that she's not voting, because she doesn't live in Iowa. She then gets back to explaining she's on the plane and says she may call him later if there's anything interesting to report. She hangs up. As always, Allison Janney is great with every little thing: her voice and expressions perfectly capture that complex mix of love, gentleness, compassion, impatience, frustration and resignation that characterizes so many relationships between adult children and rapidly aging parents.