Donna and Helen are looking at photos and floor plans of homes. Helen seems kind of aghast that "They're all mansions!" Donna explains that these are normal homes for the incoming First Family, but Helen can't get over their size, and seems awkward at the choices being offered. Donna's phone rings, and she says, "Excuse me, ma'am." Helen incredulously asks, "Did you just 'Ma'am' me?" "I...I seem to have," Donna answers, a little bit shocked herself, and Helen mock-orders, "Don't do that again." They smile, and I really like the camaraderie between the two right now.
It's Josh on the phone. Josh and Donna still sound a bit awkward with each other, but Donna asks about Sam and finds out that he's thinking about Josh's propostion. Josh, all-consumed with everything Santos Administration, sounds let down, and Donna guesses, "You didn't expect him just to say yes, did you?" "Kind of!" Josh squeaks. A cross-country move and career change might not be a split-second decision, Donna tries to explain: "I'm sure he's got stuff to figure out." "What stuff?" Josh whines. "It's service to the President! What stacks up against that?" Donna gently says, "Well, not everyone's like you. So..." "Dedicated?" Josh asks. Yes, keep thinking that, psycho. "Monomaniacal," she replies. Josh waits a moment, and then finally asks whether Donna will be around, "generally." His voice by now is cracking like a twelve-year-old's, as he sputters out an awkward request to talk about them at some point. Donna looks pretty pleased at the notion and agrees that it's a good idea. As Josh cracks and sputters along, Donna tells him to have a good flight.
Santos is arriving for the meeting, and some Music Of Impending Doom tells me that this might not go so smoothly. He enters a meeting already in session, and C.J. tells him that Hutchinson and Dr. McNally (hi, Nancy! Welcome back!) will be catching him up. As Hutchinson explains the plan for troops in the buffer zone, Santos paces the room, and Nancy watches him. Santos finally sits, and asks questions. After all the logistics, he's told that, so far, there have been no "incidents" on the ground, but C.J. also jumps in to say that neither the Russian nor the Chinese forces have retreated, either. In a silver-lining tone, though, Nancy adds that the Russian and Chinese troops have stopped advancing. Santos wants to know, "Then what?" After some silence, he's told, "That's up to the Russians and the Chinese," to which he replies, "I can't say I care very much for that answer." Nancy doesn't move a muscle, except to raise her eyebrows slightly at him. Santos asks what the Americans should do, other than wait for someone to start shooting, but in a much more long-winded way than that, at which Nancy's eyebrows threaten to pop off of her forehead. "I have a problem with that," states Santos. "I have a problem with this entire adventure, as I've already expressed to the President." C.J. gives him a slight nod of acknowledgement. Santos asks whether China and Russia are negotiating, and Nancy's answer that the U.S.'s moves are intended to drive them there means no, not yet. Santo is continuing to ask questions, until, clearly, the others are put out a bit at his seeming lack of faith in their abilities. Santos thanks everyone, gets up, and leaves.