In the press briefing room, C.J., flanked by a few military dudes, addresses the group regarding the pilot situation. She gives them the basic details and indicates that General Richmond and General Clancy will discuss the details with them in a moment. Everyone calls out C.J.'s name; she takes a question from Danny, who asks if there's a rescue mission underway. Smoothly, she lies, "Obviously there are a number of scenarios being contemplated but I wouldn't want to speculate. We have been in touch with the Iraqi government and the President is looking for a diplomatic solution." In answer to another question, she claims there have been no military moves. Leo watches her in stone-faced silence.
After some more commercials, we're in the Roosevelt room, rehearsing for the town hall meeting. Mandy's advising him on how to respond to questions about health care. Jed remarks, "You know what's hard about this, C.J.? I'm rehearsing here without the pitcher and the glass, and it's totally weird for me." C.J. doesn't rise to the bait (though I wish she would). Mandy muses, "How do you feel about him taking his jacket off?" Sam says no. Mandy says, "I like it." Then it's probably a bad idea, isn't it? Sam argues, "It'll look staged." Mandy replies, "Not if he does it at the right moment." Sam asks, "What's he gonna do, throw it over his shoulder?" Mandy says, "Maybe." Um, sure. Sam adds, "I'm also not wild about that handheld mike. Can we get him wired?" I'm guessing you could get the President pretty wired indeed with the right libations. Jed says, "No. Because with the mike and the stool and the jacket over my shoulder, I can do the town hall meeting and then do a couple of sets at the Copa." We'd all need to be wired for that. Zoey knocks on the door; she's got Charlie in tow. He gets up to chat with her; she asks how it's going. He says they're down to whether or not he should take off his jacket. Zoey asks, "Wanna know what I think?" Dad answers, "I honestly could not care less." He says he wants her to come with them tonight. She starts to answer but then mentions that he's sweating and asks if he's all right. He insists he is; she asks if he's taken his pills. He growls "Zoey," in a fatherly tone as he wipes his forehead. She says, "Fine, go ahead and collapse." Jed asks, "Are you channeling Mom now?" He asks her to come to Virginia with them tonight but she objects, saying he'll talk about her and then she'll be on camera, blushing and embarrassed. Jed states, "Bonus! Then it's settled." As he starts to return to the rehearsal, Zoey tells him that Charlie had something he wanted to say during prep. She agrees that she'll be there tonight and says that's she's going to go see Mom. Jed returns to the meeting and announces they're done. He's still mopping his forehead somewhat. Jed takes Charlie aside and tells him Zoey said he wanted to say something. Charlie acts like he doesn't know what Jed's talking about and apologizes, saying there'd been a misunderstanding. Jed accepts this. Sam comes up and says that he thinks it might be a good idea to have a signal worked out, in case there's good news about the pilot that comes in while Jed's on television. Jed asks what Sam had in mind. Sam makes a gesture with his hand drifting along an upward incline of about forty-five degrees. Jed looks distinctly unimpressed as Sam says, "Very subtle. Very simple." POTUS asks, "What was that?" Sam explains that it means "departure," but asks if POTUS would like a different signal. Jed says, "No, that one's good." As Jed slowly backs away from Sam, Sam asks if he should "spread it around." POTUS says, "Well, I think it's going to get around all by itself, but if you want to help it along a little, there's nothing wrong with that." Sam thanks him. As Jed backs into the doorway of his office, he gives Sam the signal, which Sam returns.
Josh enters Leo's office for the post-Hoynes meeting. Leo tells him that Hoynes is on board, and that he did a good job. Then Leo asks, "Josh, did you happen to say to him that if Scott Hotchkiss comes back alive, there'll be a ten-point bump?" Josh admits he did. Better bend over, Josh, because your boss is about to tear you a new one. Leo's pretty angry. "I gotta tell you, if the President ever heard about that, he'd be out of his skin." Over Josh's feeble objections, Leo says, "Don't do that! Not even in private! The guy's been blown out of the sky! He could be seriously injured. For sure he's in an Iraqi desert with no water. He's got to keep radio silence, 'cause we're not the only ones looking for him, and if they get to him first, and all he gives them is name, rank and serial number, they're going to beat him, Josh. They're gonna torture him. This is to say nothing of eighty guys in a helicopter who are gonna get shot if they're picked up underneath the radar." Josh has become increasingly ashen as Leo keeps talking. Josh says, "You're right." Leo acknowledges that the President's been joking around all day, but adds, "He's been living and dying with every hour of this and he'd be really offended if he knew you were discussing a political upside. And I gotta tell you, Josh, as a guy who flew planes in a war, I was really offended, too." Josh is as pale as I think we've ever seen him on this show. Josh says, "Yes, sir." Leo then tells him he did good today, but there's a way to "be a person." Josh apologizes very sincerely, and Leo tells him his apology's accepted, and makes a gesture by spreading his hands out as if to say, "There ya go, everything's great again." Josh leans forward to hug Leo, and Leo intercepts that by saying, "What are you doing?" Josh looks slightly stunned and says that it looked like Leo wanted to hug him. With his trademark subtle smirk, Leo says, "Oh man, did you read that wrong." Josh takes this in and says, "Okay." He starts to leave and then Leo mentions Sam's signal. Leo thinks it will be days before they know anything about the pilot, but Josh thinks it might not be. Leo asks what the signal is; Josh demonstrates. Leo looks mystified and says it looks like a hip-hop gesture. Josh claims it looks like a plane taking off; Leo disagrees. Josh says it means something good has happened; he then demonstrates the opposite gesture, indicating that something bad has happened. Leo, tired of it already, wanders back to his desk and remarks that he's got it. Josh says, "It's not like you have to be a cryptographer..." Leo says, "I've got it." Josh then pauses and says, "I really do apologize." Leo thanks him.
Out in the lobby area, Charlie catches up to Zoey. He tells her that he wishes she hadn't "done that," to which Zoey replies that he needed prompting and that she can't believe he chickened out. Charlie's kind of upset. "I didn't chicken out and I didn't need prompting. It's just inappropriate. I don't have the same relationship with your father that you have. I don't have the same relationship that the staff has." They wander into Josh's empty office to continue arguing. Zoey didn't think it was out of line for him to put his two cents in. Josh shows up and walks between them to get into his office; Charlie apologizes for using his office. Josh says that they can keep fighting in a second, he just needs to find something. They keep sniping and Charlie says, "Zoey, I work in a building with the smartest people in the world." Highly debatable. Naturally, at that moment, Josh absentmindedly sits down on his non-existent chair and falls on his ass with a grunt. Sure, we could all see it coming but it was still amusing. Zoey and Charlie stop arguing as Josh yells, "Donna!" She comes over and says, "Hi." Josh replies, "How you doing?" She astutely says, "We should get something temporary so that doesn't happen." Hey, there's an idea. Zoe and Charlie take it back out into the hallway, where he tells her that he wishes she wouldn't do that anymore. She responds, "Okay, but you're wrong." She tells him that she'll see him later and departs with Gina.