In the Oval Office, there are two guys there with Jed and Leo. Leo's asking one of the guys, "Are we talking about the opening bell?" He replies, "That depends...when's it gonna leak?" Leo explains that C.J.'s leaking it that very moment. The guy replies, "Wall Street'll have it in an hour. In two hours, sellers will outnumber buyers." One of the French doors leading to the patio outside the Oval Office blows open. Jed excuses himself, telling them to keep going. He opens the door, leading to another shot of Mrs. Landingham's desk. Jed asks Charlie whether he knows why the door to the portico keeps blowing open. I'm going to take that as a personal shout-out, since I've had trouble for a while deciding on the appropriate architectural terminology for the covered area outside the Oval Office. Thank you, Aaron Sorkin. Anyway, Charlie explains that they're replacing the latch and that it's swinging open from the wind. Jed, nobody's fool, points out that the door opens out. Charlie further explains that when a certain sequence of doors is open in the White House, there's a wind tunnel into the Oval Office. Jed says, "No kidding!" He goes back into his office, where Leo and the two guys are continuing to fret about the stock market. Jed tells them about the broken latch and the wind-tunnel effect. Margaret comes in through Leo's door and says, "Mr. President?" Looks like the motorcade's ready. Everyone's in black suits, and everyone looks to Jed for direction. Jed puts his glasses in his shirt pocket and says, "Okay. Well, we've got to go. I don't know what to say. Leo's pretty rich. Maybe he can buy some tech stocks and jack up the price." Leo tells the guys to keep him posted on the bellwethers. Leo goes over to Margaret, who's waiting by his door, and asks, "Is the First Lady meeting us in the car?" Margaret, by way of non sequitur, replies, "Yes. It's a non-denominational service." Jed, who's fastening the buttons on his shirt cuffs, asks Leo, "What'd she say?" Leo tells him the First Lady is meeting them in the car. Jed turns his back, flips his coat on over his head.
As the coat comes down, the scene changes to that of Young Jed doing exactly the same thing in an office at his private school. ["You know, I know they don't ever say it, but we do have to assume it's Exeter, right? Because it's in New Hampshire? Where else would Jed go? He only looks like John Irving's long-lost twin, for heaven's sake." -- Wing Chun] We can hear the sound of a manual typewriter in the back (a sound that is probably destined to become as unfamiliar and anachronistic as that of a butter churn). He tells someone, "It wasn't a non-denominational service." The voice of young Mrs. Landingham -- which bears a damn good resemblance to the voice of older Mrs. Landingham -- replies, "Of course it was." He says, "It wouldn't have felt non-denominational if you were Jewish." Mrs. Landingham says, "It was a non-denominational Christian service." I wonder how many more times I'm going to have to type "non-denominational." I keep typing "demoninational," which amuses me. (Get it? Demon in National? Never mind.) Jed points out that attendance at chapel is mandatory; Mrs. Landingham reasserts that it was a -- you know -- service. Jed argues that "Our Father" is not non-denominational. There's been much debate about the format and significance of this prayer in the forums, and I'm neither a Catholic nor an expert on matters Catholic, so I probably won't weigh in on this, except to say, I'm almost certain this flashback must be pre-Vatican II (1962-1965). Y'all can take it from there. Anyway, both Jed and Dolores are doing office work. The whole thing has that patented Josh-and-Donna feel to it (except it lacks that element of sexual tension) that I'm quite sure isn't accidental. Perhaps Sorkin is trying to underline Donna's similarity to Mrs.Landingham, and prepare us for the possibility of Donna's stepping into the role of secretary to the President? (But I think it's purely a coincidence that Jed and Dolores, and Josh and Donna, share the same pairs of initials.) Mrs. Landingham says, "Everyone says 'Our Father.'" Jed insists that Catholics don't: "Catholics don't say, 'For thine is the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory, forever and ever.' You know? I'm just saying." They start pedeconferencing as she asks, "Why do you work here?" Apparently he works there after class. She says she can't imagine that anyone in his family's there on work-study. Jed says he gets free tuition, so he thinks it's a good idea to give something back. She then asks why he calls his father "sir." Um, 'cause once upon a time it wasn't that unusual for every young whippersnapper to call just about every male adult "sir," even his father? Or, you know, get acquainted with the business end of a razor strop. (Maybe. I probably have no idea what I'm talking about. I was born the last year of Vatican II, what do I know?) Jed amiably asks, "Is this going to be a whole afternoon of questions?" She says he's been talking for quite some time. He replies, "I'm sorry. Am I boring you, Dolores?" She says, somewhat primly, "'Mrs. Landingham,' please." Jed offers, "My father's the Headmaster." She replies, "Yeah, but before he was your Headmaster, he was your father, right?" Jed says he doesn't want to make the other guys feel uncomfortable. She seems to accept this, although she still seems mystified as she takes off.
Back in the present, the motorcade is leaving the White House amidst the din of sirens and motorcycles. In the back of a limo, Jed sits next to Abby. He stares distractedly out his window. Abby stares forward. She's in a black suit, accompanied by a pretty pimpin' black hat. She softly tells Jed that they released "the girl" from hospital this morning. Jed asks, without looking at her, "The driver?" Abby says yes, and indicates that the girl had fractured her wrist and has some stitches over her eye. Gee, that sounds rough. I think all drunk drivers should lose their licenses permanently, and those who commit vehicular homicide? Don't get me started. A long prison sentence, mandatory rehab, and a lifetime of required community service are just the beginning, as far I'm concerned. The other two passengers apparently have some scratches and bruises. Abby says it looks like she'll be charged with vehicular manslaughter. She'd better hope she doesn't end up in front of Judge Deborah. Jed says nothing, but keeps staring off into the distance. Abby seems discouraged by her inability to reach him or comfort him or engage him in any way at all. She tries another tack: "Frank Mitchell, Joanna, Bill Carney...they told me they were in meetings the whole morning." Jed absently agrees. She says, "The consensus seems to be that if you step back, and put your support behind Hoynes, there's a decent chance the Democrats can keep the White House." I'm sure she realizes that Jed's probably not amenable to being lobbied at this moment; at the same time, her saying this to him makes it evident to us that he probably still hasn't decided what he's doing, or if he has, he hasn't shared it with her. Jed says, "The world will rest easier." Abby looks like she's about to cry. He announces, "We're here," and the camera comes up on a view of this magnificent cathedral. Organ music plays as the motorcade pulls up and lets POTUS and FLOTUS out. We see Abby reach for his hand as they walk into the church; Jed lets her take it.