C.J. is briefing the press about the rescue of Captain Hotchkiss. One reporter asks if they used Saudi airspace and if so, whether it was with the permission of the Saudis. C.J. explains that they flew in secretly but informed the Saudis of the mission on their way out. The reporters have more questions but C.J. points out that it's a few minutes after seven and most of them need to get into the buses for the trip to Arlington. (I thought the meeting was in Rosslyn...Strega?) ["Rosslyn is effectively a part of the city of Arlington. Actually, the entire D.C. metro area is effectively one big city, but that's a separate problem." -- Strega] She informs them that the technicalities of the mission will be covered in much greater detail at a Pentagon briefing beginning thirty minutes after they return. Danny goes chasing after C.J. Carol is telling C.J. she did a nice job; C.J. razzes Carol about her spelling. Danny catches up with them, loaded for bear and yelling C.J.'s name. C.J. points and says, "In the office." Before he can say anything, she says, "Danny, I don't even want to hear it. I did exactly the right thing. Your nose is bent out of joint and I don't give a damn." He complains that she looked right at him and lied about the diplomatic solution. Come on, dumbass, what'd you expect her to do? She bursts out, "What'd you think I was gonna do, Danny, give you longitude and latitude? Do you want me to fork over the radio frequency that we're transmitting on?" Danny suggests an answer that she could have given that would have completely equivocated. C.J. says, "Danny, if by standing up and lying, I misdirected the Iraqi counterintelligence for even half a beat then it was absolutely worth it! That's a no-brainer! And if I didn't, then it was certainly worth trying. There are only fifty people in the world who can't understand why I lied this morning, and they all work in the White House press room. I'm sleeping fine tonight!" He then complains that she didn't have to call on him; everybody had their hand up to ask the same question and she could have called on someone else. She doesn't really have an answer for that, as she stuffs things into her briefcase. Danny asks, "And you wouldn't have rather done that to a journalist who's been less supportive of this administration than I have?" She says, "No, I chose you." Danny's on his bloody high horse again, "C.J., I'm not staying in the penalty box forever! I've covered the White House for eight years and I've done it with The New York Times, The Washington Post, Time magazine and The Dallas Morning News! And I'm telling ya, you can't mess me around like this!" He's pretty screechy at this point. C.J. looks at him and says, "Danny, I gotta tell you, that was-seriously-that was a turn-on when you said that, though I don't know why you decided to be your most haughty on the Dallas morning news in that sentence." Carol calls out that the buses are leaving. Danny says, "C.J...." She's halfway out of the office though, but leans back to say to Danny, "The buses are leaving." God help us if screechy is what turns C.J. on.
Leo and Jed are rushing off to the meeting. On his way out Jed announces to Mrs. Landingham that he's watching a sporting event from start to finish tonight. Mrs. Landingham replies, "And when Sacramento State and the University of the Pacific get together, it's usually a barn-burner, sir." Jed tells her that she's not going to spoil his good time. She says, "Oh, sir, I think we both know from experience, that's not true." Jed concedes her point; she reminds him he needed to be in his car ten minutes ago. He asks, "Do you see me walking out the door?" She responds, "No, I see you standing and arguing with a senior citizen." Mrs. L is certainly one of the more entertaining senior citizens on television. As they walk out, Leo tells Jed that on the way to the meeting, he'd like him to look over some notes Sam made about Cuba and about farm loans. POTUS has one more stop to make and hands Leo his briefcase, promising to meet him at the car in one second. Jed goes over to Toby's office, where Toby is staring out the window, lost in thought. He doesn't even hear Jed calling his name at the door at first. Toby apologizes, and Jed says, "You can't see them. They're over Australia now." Jed says he'd just been speaking with the Mission Commander and tells Toby about the various remedial actions they're taking to fix the problems on the shuttle. Toby looks even more hang-dog than usual, if that's possible. Jed advises Toby, "When we're done tonight, you should take the next flight out to Edwards Air Force Base, meet the thing when it lands, stop being a horse's ass and talk to your brother." It must be a real joy to be called a horse's ass by the President, particularly when you're already depressed. As Jed leaves, Toby says carefully, "Mr. President, I appreciate your trying to be a comfort, and I appreciate that you have some... understanding of the situation with my brother, but the thing was supposed to land nineteen hours ago. Obviously, there's a problem. It's space travel and I don't believe any problem is minor." Jed says casually, "The shuttle flies itself, Toby." Toby replies, "No, it doesn't." Jed finally relents, saying, "No. It doesn't." Hey, that would probably be why shuttle crew need years of education and training. He leaves, as Toby begins packing up to go to the town hall meeting.
Finally we're back in either Rosslyn or Arlington at the town hall meeting. (For the record, there's absolutely no sign that Donna or Mandy were in attendance, although it doesn't mean they can't show up as being there in the fall season opener. Since Mandy helped prep POTUS for the meeting, it's certainly plausible that she might have been there. And Bonnie and Carol were both there, so it's not impossible that Donna might also have come along. Sorkin's left that door open for himself by not specifying their whereabouts.) The entire scene from the beginning is more or less replayed with some small variations, up until the point where Gina sees the shooters, so you can just go back and read my second paragraph now if you want to relive it. The best part of this is that we get to see C.J. cuff Danny upside the head twice. Can't get enough of that. One of the changes is that this time, much earlier on, we see the kid in the grey baseball cap looking up at a window on the second floor of the Newseum. There's at least one person in the room, back-lit by a red exit sign. That doesn't seem like the most inconspicuous place for would-be assassins.