We cut to a mess of icky, bubbling goo: a pot full of stew on a stovetop. And probably a metaphor for something. Van Morrison is playing again. Amy is sitting by the stove, doing some research. There's a knock at the door. Aha, this is her apartment after all. It's Josh, stopping by after work to partake of his woman and his stew. He actually refers to Amy as "[his] woman," but I guess it's okay because she referred to him as "[her] man" earlier. Well, it's not okay -- it's silly and childish and, again, way too cutesy. But it's not sexist or anything. They banter about the stew and about the Mets game and about Van Morrison. Amy says that Josh never told her how the meeting with Pintero went. He gives her the good news about the bill making it out of committee and getting an additional billion for child care. Amy realizes that they probably had to give the Republicans something for that.
Josh spills about the marriage incentives. Amy looks nonplussed. Josh begs her not to start an argument, but Amy's disgust of the marriage incentives propels her into full exposition mode, explaining that the incentives give cash bonuses to every mom on welfare who marries the father of her children, canceling out child-support debts if the parents get together, etc. Josh makes the incredibly unwise move of bringing up studies showing that kids turn out better if they're raised in two-parent households. Amy rightly points out that they turn out better if the two parents actually love each other and rants that the "old, fat-ass men" who run the government believe that they can just pay families to act like Leave it to Beaver. She asks Josh, "Did you really think the person in my job was going to sit?" Well, if Josh hadn't told you what was going on, you would indeed just be sitting there as the bill passed you right by. Way to be connected, there, Amy. She whines about this compromise being a way to get votes from white men. Why is Josh defending the incentives to Amy? Why not be honest and tell her that it was the only way they can get the good parts of the bill passed? Yeah, I think the incentives are reprehensively stupid, but as far as I can tell, they aren't punitive. Single mothers on welfare can roll their eyes at the idiot bureaucrats who make the idiot suggestions that they marry some idiot they don't love, and they won't get penalized for refusing. And since there was a billion-dollar boost in the total, this same single woman would get more assistance for her children than she would have before the compromise. But no, Josh has to be stupid and play it as though Amy and her minions should just roll over for Bartlet because a Ritchie administration wouldn't be nearly so friendly on welfare issues. This gets Amy's ire up, of course, and she promises to kill the bill. She calls the office and starts organizing them to take action. Josh mutters, "And we're back to work," and reaches for his cell phone. Without skipping a beat, Amy picks up Josh's phone and drops it into the stew. Confronted with such an overwhelming display of childishness, Josh breaks up with Amy and walks out on her. No. No, he doesn't. Instead, he walks over into another room and dials out on a normal phone. Amy walks over while Josh is trying to organize his own people and cuts the cord with a pair of scissors. Then she apologizes and tells him it was an accident. This scene bugs me in so many ways, but Mary-Louise Parker's delivery is actually sort of amusing. Her deadpan lockjawness works for her here. Josh finally realizes that this isn't going to be one of those "we'll just agree to disagree" arguments, grabs his jacket, and stomps out.