Everything this week feels incredibly hectic and stressful, even though nothing important happens. But the things that do happen are all pretty interesting. It's just a few days before the election, and here's what happens (in no particular order): Toby gets offer from the U.S. Attorney who's prosecuting him, but it comes with a threat:either Toby gives up the name of his source for the top-secret shuttle info, or the prosecutor will indict him for obstruction of justice -- a step that everyone is convinced will throw the presidential election into chaos. Toby mulls it over, spends some time with his lovely children, and finishes the day by calling the prosecutor's bluff. It's not clear whether the prosecutor is convinced not to indict; presumably, we'll find out in some future episode. On the campaign trail, things are all a bit crazy -- there's virtually no scene in which five or more people aren't speaking simultaneously. Santos drinks a lot of coffee and gets no sleep, turning him into quite the Mr. Crankypants. Jon Bon Jovi hangs around a lot, and Lou and Otto both spend time making googoo eyes at him. Helen makes what everybody thinks is a small gaffe, apparently arguing that all convicted felons should be able to vote. Josh spends a lot of time on hold, trying to speak to Vice-President Russell. Nancy McNally apparently hangs around the campaign bus, although we never actually see her. Santos and Helen take their kids on a trick-or-treating photo op, where Santos Junior throws up. Annabeth sings. And Josh steps up and gives Santos the talking-to that he needs to calm him down and stiffen his spine. Next week, it's Election Day. I kind of can't wait.
Previously, the presidential campaign tightened up to a dead heat; Toby and his ex-wife Andi had a couple of kids; Toby was fired and indicted after leaking classified information about the military space shuttle.
It's 3:00 AM. The Santos motorcade drives onto the tarmac at the St. Louis airport. Almost immediately, there's some singing in the background, which gave me hope that the entire episode might consist of a single musical montage. The song is "For Once in My Life," but it's not being performed by Stevie Wonder. The motorcade stops, and everyone climbs out of the vehicles, and it's immediately apparent that we're not hearing the soundtrack -- it's just Annabeth singing. I'm really glad that they found a non-cheesy way to get Kristin Chenoweth to sing on the show, although after hearing her, I'm kind of wishing for an episode featuring a campaign talent show, just so we could hear her sing an entire song. Everyone is very cheerful as they walk to the plane, talking about the 30,000-person rally that they just attended (at which Mr. Wonder was the main attraction). Annabeth continues singing, and Donna tries to get her to calm down. Helen busts Donna for trying to harsh Annabeth's buzz, and Donna quietly tells Helen, "I think she's singing about Leo." Helen clearly wants more dish, but she finds herself having to remind Santos that they are leaving St. Louis, not Chicago. Santos decides that they should try to get some of the famous fresh frozen custard that he's heard so much about. (Fresh frozen custard is a version of ice cream that's heavy on the eggs and is apparently popular throughout the Midwest and especially in Missouri). Santos and Helen make eyes at each other, and it falls to Donna to point out that they have to be in Scranton for an early rally, so heading out for creamy frozen treats is not an option. They should get an ice cream truck to join the motorcade. The repetitive sound of the music would fit in with the constant sirens. Helen asks Donna, "Is sleep an option?" Santos tells Helen that "sleep is for the weak!" Helen reminds him that he's gotten approximately six hours of sleep in the last three days. As they all head up the stairs to the plane, Donna reassures Helen that Santos will be able to sleep as soon as they go over the five-day schedule.
Cut to a shot of a whiteboard with a map of the U.S. and a bunch of green, blue, and red arrows shooting around between Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida, Texas, and California. I wonder if this is how the Amazing Yellow Line got its start? Lou and Josh are looking over the map. Lou's not thrilled at the idea of trying to hit "four states and six markets a day," but Josh seems to be looking forward to it. Lou calls him a masochist, and then Donna pipes up, "This is news?" Josh did date Mandy and Amy -- the man clearly likes pain. Josh asks how the rally went, and Helen tells him that Santos performed almost as well as Stevie Wonder. This leads Donna to wonder where Annabeth has gotten herself, and Lou tells them, "I gagged her and threw her in a luggage compartment." Well, Annabeth is small enough to be a carry-on. Josh gives them Annabeth's real location: "She's checking in with Leo." Helen, very quietly: "Apparently." Josh asks what Helen means, and she tells him it's nothing. But this leads Lou to ask Helen and Donna, "Really?" Again, Josh asks what's going on, and Lou tells him, "Nothing." Donna tells Josh he doesn't want to know, and then Santos enters and asks what they don't want to know. Helen changes the subject and suggests that they go over the five-day schedule.