The West Wing (1999–2006): Season 5, Episode 20 - No Exit - full transcript

When a bio-hazard alarm goes off in the White House, the staff are locked down where they are - forcing them to have conversations they would have otherwise avoided.

Previously on The West Wing:

- What's this?
- Your diplomatic passport.

You're going to the Middle East
with Fitzwallace and Andy.

No presidential handholding. See what's
going on. Brief me and Toby about it.

Sir, this is Kate Harper, your new
deputy national security advisor.

Yes. I have your CV, very impressive.

- I'm gonna start volunteering.
- Volunteering?

- At the Washington Free Clinic.
- Are you licensed to practice medicine?

I voluntarily chose
to stop practicing, C.J.

And now I'm choosing to give a few
underprivileged toddlers vaccinations.

Even the Latin line got a laugh.

I'm still laughing.

Real reason I went for a second term.

Couple more years, between this gig,
the Gridiron and the Alfalfa Club...

...I'll be ready for
the Def Comedy circuit.

I'd hold out for Vegas, sir.

My first Correspondents' dinner
was a nightmare. Bombed.

- You put that behind you tonight.
- I killed.

They laughed till they cried.

They're still crying.

Honestly, sir, in my case,
it's the pollen count.

But for an Anglo-Saxon,
you were darn funny.

- Here we go.
- Thank you, sir.

I go forth to bring word
of your triumph.

We still got a phone call
with the Japanese defense minister.

Let's do it upstairs. I gotta check in
with Charlie first. Agent Broder, may I?

- Yes, sir.
- Thank you. Do you even smoke?

- Gave it up a year ago.
- That's what I call willpower.

That's what I call enabler.

- Here, let me.
- No. You shouldn't.

I'm the idiot who...

It's an Ohio thing.
If it's gonna be thrown away...

I was coveting one of these
through dinner.

- It's yours.
- No, I wasn't serious.

I won't even be around
to enjoy them.

- He used your other stuff.
- That's not the point.

The line worked.
I liked it, the president liked it.

The president
had nine laugh out louds.

- He could've had 10.
- Yet the world turns.

- Look it up.
- This is me looking. Here we go.

Line 27.

"Delete per NSC. Code 2.2- A
indication. Commander Harper."


- The NSC killed my Panama joke?
- Was it a joke about warheads?

Call Colonel Klink over there.
I wanna know what happened.


- I'm calling.
- Two-point-two-A, my...

Josh Lyman's office
for Commander Harper, please.

On your way out, give this to C.J.


Your wife called.
Said, "Don't forget the video."

My daughter's having a sleepover.

We're talking Nemo.

Whatever you say, sir.

Remind me to have you
pull more Saturday nights, Lee.

So he pulled it off.

Grading on a curve, yes.

- But?
- You can't tell him.

- Okay.
- Second half, I was in the ladies' room.

- Hay fever?
- And I was seated with the guests of...

I thought they were guests of Leno's.
Whoever they were...

...they were drenched with cologne.

- You should've said something.
- What?

"Mind scrubbing your necks
before we have salad?"

- You're allergic.
- It's not an allergy.

- It is a sensitivity.
- Kind of looks like an allergy.

Just tell me your hot water's back on
so I won't worry about you all weekend.

My hot water is back on.
It will be.

Charlie, did you pull DoD's report
on the Pacific Missile Shield?

- It's right here.
- Thank you.

Leo's coming to the residence. We'll take
that call from the Japanese up there.

I'll send it up.

- What happened with your water?
- Nothing. It's squared away.

- Falling behind on your bills, Charlie?
- I'm fine, sir. Thank you.

I'm pretty sure there's some statute that
prevents me from staking you to a loan.

But Debbie's a soft touch.

- Broder.
- We're getting a ping on the EHM.

- The Roosey Room again?
- No, sir. Outer office to the Oval.

- I'm crashing the House.
- Where's...?

Eagle's covered.
I need help securing the West Wing.

On my way.

Mr. President,
I need you to don a mask.

- This is a crash. Put these on, please.
- Is this a drill?

No. The environmental hazard monitor's
detecting an unusual pattern of particles.

We've had false alarms
for anthrax since the last patch.

Everyone follow me this way, quickly.

Just do what she says.

Look who it is.

- Nice rod.
- Is she gone?

Ladies' room.
Press detail for the CODEL.

- Have a fabulous time.
- What's...?

Faxes need to clear a 90-minute
window before briefings.

Try and keep track of your time zone.
And don't drink the water.

Was the vice president happy
with the speech?

You know how many Bob Russell
jokes were told tonight?

Thirty-two. I almost lost count.

- I was gonna carve notches on my belt.
- You're not answering.

"Vice President Russell
went to Hong Kong...

...opened a fortune cookie
and found an actual fortune."

- What does that mean?
- Bob Russell's corrupt.

- I know what it means, but my point is...
- Come in here.

First time?

You're in for a treat.

None of you came in contact
with any powdery or gooey substances?

- Nope.
- Opened any sealed containers?

- Breath mints, in a tin on my desk.
- I smoked a cigarette.

Did the first lady install
a nicotine upgrade on the detector?

- Josh Lyman?
- Yes.

You asked to see me?

Kate Harper.
I'm the new deputy NSA.

- You're Commander Harper.
- Kate's fine.

Sorry I haven't gotten around
to introducing myself to everyone yet.

Excuse me.
I just wanna grab one of these.

- You thirsty?
- Would you like one?

No, thanks. I'm about to head out.

- We're crashed, Mr. Lyman.
- Now?

- Thanks, Ms. Harper.
- Almost out the door.

I need you to stay where you are.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

It's a simple question. Yes or no.

Was the vice president happy
with the speech?

I have no idea
what you're talking about.

- We're crashed, gentlemen.
- Come again?

The building's in lockdown. I need you
to stay put until we know what's up.

Love what you've done with the place.

- We're in a crash.
- Again?

- Ms. Moss, would you mind stepping in?
- Oh, sure.

- Jack make it out?
- Jack left in a huff.

- Five minutes, I'd have been in my car.
- Who's Maura Leary?

Press secretary
in Congressman DeSanto's office.

- It's you. You're going on the CODEL.
- Yeah.

You bumped Jack.
He was doing press detail.

He's probably making a voodoo doll.

I didn't wanna kick him off the trip.
Josh didn't say...

White House only gets one rep. Don't
worry. You're not his first voodoo doll...

...and they rarely work.
- This is for you.

- Lord, what have I gotten myself into?
- Is it your birthday?

I'm going camping.

- Automatic bank drafts?
- I hear they're convenient, sir.

We're in here.

- Mr. President, how you feeling?
- Dandy.

I killed at the Correspondents' dinner.
Have I met you?

No. I'm Dr. Mike Gordon. I'm new to
the unit but I've been through the drills.

I should do my "Latin as the
national language" run for him.

- No, sir.
- Meet my lucky staff.

- Charlie Young, Deborah Fiderer.
- Nice to meet you.

- Keep on your masks.
- Sorry. Last time...

Till agents confirm the code,
we're on standard precautions.

- You've been here before.
- Once.

- They usually turn us around at the stairs.
- I'll take your blood pressure.

Don't be shy. I'm used to being
manhandled by the medical unit.

- Are you Army?
- Yes, sir.

- Have you been coughing this evening?
- Not at all.

- What are you hearing, agent?
- Ventilation shut down, per design.

No other detectors picked up
unusual particles.

A few personnel are being held.

- How about upstairs?
- Residence is all clear.

- Any shortness of breath, sir?
- No, I'm fine.

- You can skip the questions.
- It's a long list, but I do need to.

Do the questions, sir.
We wanna take our time.

- Aware of what's coming next?
- Yeah.

- Anything to do with nasal swabs?
- I'm afraid that's affirmative.

Serving at the pleasure of the president
gets better and better.

Read my mind, sir.

Have we confirmed anything?

So unless there's a problem...

I will hold my location. Yeah.

I'm aware of that.
I will not leave the residence.

What are they telling you, Leo?

Forty minutes tops,
assuming no other developments.

They told me 10.

Probably it'll be more like 10.

Hey, you okay?

I saw you slip out early.

Got a shift.
Had to change my clothes.

- The exit was a little conspicuous.
- I wasn't throwing food.

The first lady leaves
before the president's speech.

Jed knew I could only
stay for the first half.

- Did anyone else know?
- Hello. This is Dr. Bartlet.

Would you tell Jerry I'm running late?


What are you doing at this hour?

I'm at the clinic one night a week.

- Midnight, 8 a.m.
- Graveyard.

We try not to call it that
in front of patients.

Midnight to 8 doesn't sound
like you're handing out lollipops.

Does C.J. have anything
to say about this?

C.J. doesn't go to the clinic.

- I'm saying...
- I know what you're saying.

You could've talked
to somebody about this.

I talked to the president.

- He didn't tell you I was working nights?
- No.

He never tells me anything either.

You're upset because the VP
didn't use any of your jokes.

I'm upset because he didn't
use any of anybody's jokes.

Because he gave a humorless sermon
at a humorous roast.

Because he made the president
of the United States look like a buffoon.

Like he's squirting seltzer bottles
while Pompeii's in flames.

- While...
- Volcanic ash.

- What?
- Rome burned.

Pompeii was blanketed
in volcanic ash.

Is Bob Russell happy
he upstaged the president?

The vice president spent
three hours as a pincushion.

Dull jokes, stiff jokes, agribusiness jokes,
unpreparedness jokes...

...immovable-hairline jokes.
He provided plenty of humor.

These are serious times, and he didn't
want to bow and scrape and tell jokes... all of Washington.
You're damn right he was happy.

From now on, any joint POTUS-VPOTUS
appearance, I clear his speech.

First of all, no. Second, you're mad
because he didn't use your jokes.


The problem with Bob Russell jokes
is he doesn't think they're funny.

- And no one else thinks they're jokes.
- These are serious times.

Only the vice president
has figured that out.

He's the only one
who didn't look foolish.

And he's the only one
to not take your advice.

Add one to the other
and tell me what you get.

We're done here.

- Excuse me.
- You need to close the door.

- My office is two feet...
- Strict procedures.

- The president...
- I'll let you know when.

I'm not staying with this guy.
You can...

Mr. Ziegler.

Stay inside the room, gentlemen.

Oh, man.

So this is verified. Gold alert.

The office was sealed
in less than eight minutes.

While the alarm's being verified,
the scanner began a DNA diagnostic.

- Malfunction still possible?
- Yes.

But while we rule out system error...

...HAZMAT moves ahead
with a sweep of the area.

- Any shortness of breath?
- Not really.

I have a little allergic rhinitis,
but no. The answer's no.

- Sorry.
- Was it my sinus or my frontal lobe?

Burning sensation in your skin or eyes?

- Not on my skin.
- Your eyes? They're pretty red.

That's all of them.

He takes that straight to Fort Detrick.

You'd hate for them to get lost.

Ms. Fiderer, about your eyes.

The pollen count has been
in the go-back-to-bed range all week.

- Is your nose burning?
- Running...

...but that's from the cloud
of Chanel at dinner.

- She's got a fragrance sensitivity.
- Was anything sprayed on you at dinner?

This won't count, but when I took
my tablemates to meet the president...

...I thought they were guests
of Leno's, though they weren't.

While we waited for him to finish
with another party...

...I didn't even see the woman
get in her bag...

...and she spritzed right into my face.

You're saying this aerosol got on you?

- We expect an ID in 20 minutes.
- Thanks, Ron.

Agent Butterfield, no one leaves.

I'm calling code chem.
We need to run a decon protocol.

- Chemical indications?
- Fiderer was sprayed...

...with an unknown agent.
It's causing edema and burning.

Everyone has to take
a decontamination rinse...

...beginning with the president.
- For the love of Mike.

Meet in the clean area.

- Move quickly.
- I'm all for the protocol...

...but this is absurd.
- My apologies.

We have some oversensitive
technology that's overreacting.

You'll find instructions in the shower.

- Scrub vigorously and rinse your eyes.
- You're making a great impression.

- Mr. President.
- Ron will put in a good word to your CO.

Mr. President, get in the shower.

- Can you see anybody?
- Josh's door is closed.

He's not picking up?

- Josh Lyman's office.
- And Josh Lyman himself.

- Donna's MIA.
- No, she's right here.

- What's the holdup?
- I don 't know.

I got a deputy NSA
stuck in here with me.

Ask why we can't throw money at the
system to fix these false alarms.

C.J. Cregg would like to know
why we spend half our lives... unnecessary lockdowns.

- Better safe than sorry.
- She's got nothing.

Did you know I'm taking
Jack Sosa's place on the trip?

- Are you? Bummer.
- He was on press detail.

Now I'm on press detail.

Bring him back a key chain
with a pyramid on it or something.

- I got another call. What do I do?
- Press hold.

He didn't press hold.

Weren't you meeting that guy
from the Post-Intelligencer?

I thought we had stuff to wrap up.

Apparently it was
Operation Rod and Reel.

- He was cute.
- He'll call.

Oh, God. Sasquatch.

Ice might help.

- Are you making conversation?
- You don't want it to swell up.

There's no ice here,
and we're not at liberty to wander.

Do they always do that?

- Saran-wrap the Oval?
- I don't know.

If it was real, Russell would know.

- You would've gotten a call.
- My cell's out in my coat pocket.

And since your scrubbing
of my old office included the phone...

He was fast, that guy.
You think that was judo?

There's sodas in here. They're cold.

I'm not putting a soda on my head.


There's gonna be a bump.

I don't know Major Gordon.
Do we like him?

He didn't laugh
at my Social Security joke.

That's a good sign. That joke is...

... a works-better-on-a-crowd
that's-been-drinking kind of thing.

I'm hoping he didn 't crack a smile.

I think we can count on
Dr. Gordon's sobriety.

How's your blood pressure? Seriously.

Seriously? It's a miracle I'm alive.

Take care of yourself.

- Don't get too bored.
- Leo 's entertaining me.

- Leo's still in the building?
- Yes.

I thought they would...
I thought he went home.

No, he's with me. Until he gets whisked
off to some undisclosed location...

...I'm gonna keep running
with the false-alarm story.

Put him on for a second.


- How's it going?
- It's all about the fun down here.

What do I need on Japan?

Someone alerted the Chinese that
Japan's onboard with the missile shield.

They're gonna wanna hear,
if China starts posturing...

... we're ready to go public
with the plans and the alliance.

- Are we?
- We'll have to be.

Everything okay up there?

- Yeah.
- Good.

You can stay.

They don't think there's a real danger.

Better to have you here,
making sure I behave.

If it comes to that,
you got any of those to spare?

Or are you hoarding the good stuff?

I'm sorry. Where's my manners?

I'm not gonna tell you
it's cold medicine.

- You carry them with you?
- As needed.

It's not a daily dose.

How about I make us some tea?

So why'd you get the water?

You went out and got a case
right before the agent showed up.

Do you want one?

You knew we were gonna
be stuck here indefinitely. I didn't.

It's a reflex.

Better safe?

I was in a lockdown
for 77 hours once.

Where was that?


"Overseas" is a big place.


Were you in the embassy in Haiti?

I got a PowerBar too if things get ugly.

Okay. I get it. CIA.

I could look you up.
I have code-word clearance.

Not this code, you don't.

So why'd you kill my Panama joke?

- What?
- In the president's speech tonight.

What possible threat
to national security could...?

- No threat.
- No?

Wasn't funny.

- You don't really like Russell.
- No, you don't.

Your dislike isn't professional,
it's personal.

Not personal. Visceral.

He's not inconsiderable
once you spend some time with him.

He's a featherweight
who only looks like a lightweight...

...because you're propping him up.

- He's the heir apparent.
- Don't say "heir apparent"...

...when we've got men in Moon suits
hermetically sealing the Oval.

This is Russell's only shot,
by the way.

A night like this.

- You comfortable with that?
- Perfectly.

- Well, great.
- "Only shot."

- This and voter fraud. Another option.
- I see.

- A Mob hit would also work.
- Someday, there will be a younger...

...political operative
moving onto your landscape.

Up through the ranks of
the domestic-policy shop.

You'll foist your jealousy and
resentment onto his shoulders...

...and give me a break
for three minutes.

- Jealousy? This is good.
- You've had one win in your career. One.

You're looking sunset in the face,
and I'm just starting out.

That's eating you apart
like a psychological melanoma.

- My jealousy of you.
- It's a sport. You're exhausted.

If you had it in you, you'd groom
Matt Packard or Howard Sturges.

You'd take me down.
Me and my anemic candidate.

But you don't have it. I say this
with a tremendous amount of respect.

I would be eternally grateful
if you would back off.

My father had one of these.
I barfed in it once.

I usually threw up off the side.

Sitting there,
rocking in the lake swells.

It's always about getting up
at some god-awful hour of the morning.

- We won't make it to the Shenandoahs.
- You're driving?

The plan was to leave by 11, arrive by 1,
pitch a tent, wake up in the green world.

- You can make it.
- This'll have postmortem.

- Doubt it.
- Why the system's on the fritz.

Is the White House crippled
by its protection?

We left the press corps
at the Hilton's open bar.

- Still.
- Someone else can handle it.

Spray a little deet behind your ears
and go have fun.

Hi. I'm still here.

We've got a little bit of a situation.

I'm afraid our getaway
isn't gonna work.

I'm really sorry.

Allergies have been a pain my whole life,
but this marks a new low.

- None of that.
- For all we know, you saved our lives.

At the very least you got us
into some comfortable clothes.

- You both comfy?
- Oh, yes, sir.

- I'm so digging the polyester.
- It's a great look.

- Cipro?
- Yes, sir.

We'll treat prophylactically,
500 milligrams twice a day.

- Drink lots of water. It's dehydrating.
- Let me guess. Protocol.

Cultures will be back in 48 hours.
If it's negative for anthrax, we stop.

We didn't rule out anthrax?

- We haven't ruled out anything.
- Actually, we have.

- Mr. President.
- Go on.

If the phrase "we're all in this
together" ever applied.

Hold the Cipro, doctor.
The scanner's made a determination.

It's positive for concentrations
of tularemia.

- What?
- Is that a virus?

Tularemia is a bacterium.

It occurs rarely in insects and rodents.

Theoretically, it could be
used as a weapon.

Not looking all that theoretical.

- So at the Correspondents' dinner...
- No. We can eliminate that scenario.

This was released in the office.

Probably within 10 to 15 minutes
of the alarm sounding.

- Where in the office?
- HAZMAT's trying to determine that.

We can treat immediately.
With an antibiotic cocktail... won't develop symptoms.
- lf it went undetected?

Tularemia's likely to manifest as a severe
respiratory infection. Pneumonia.

- Eventually systemic.
- Sounds bad.

In the world of known pathogens,
tularemia is closest to...

Well, in fact, it is plague.

How long has it been?

Half an hour.

It's like something out of Beckett.

You mean Sartre.

If I meant Sartre,
I would've said Sartre.

"Hell is other people."

Okay, Sartre.

We're stuck in a lockdown...

...every time some frat boy
on a hazing dare tries to jump the fence.

You know how many undergraduate
institutions there are in this town?

It's not the fence.

What is it?

It's not the fence.

Is there anything I can do
to get a straight answer out of you?

It's a potential airborne contaminant.

- How do you...?
- The ventilation system's off.

Which they do either in the event of a
fire or a potential airborne contaminant.

In the event of a fire, I like
to think they'll lock us outside.

So, what kind of substance
are we talking about?

Could be anthrax, smallpox, botulism.

It's hard to aerosolize,
so it's probably not botulism.

Sarin and VX kill you within minutes,
so we can rule them out.

Mustard's unlikely because we'd
smell it, and there'd be blistering.



How'd you know the air's off?

Because it's hot.

Scrabble, Boggle, Parcheesi.

How can they not have
a deck of cards?

Nobody's got cash down here.
It's not a missed opportunity.

They sprung for Boggle,
they could've thrown in cards.

- Ron.
- Yes, sir.

HAZMAT's taking their time,
don't you think?

Just a moment, sir.

- Ron's on the phone.
- How about Risk?

- Bring it on.
- Any changes in the last five minutes?

Still 129 over 85.

- Not bad, considering.
- Yeah.

You'd have thought the word "plague"
would've spiked us into the stratosphere.

- Red or green?
- Either way... army's taking Asia
by round three.

Mr. President, they found
the source of the contamination.

HAZMAT confirms traces
of tularemia in a recycle bin.

- Which bin?
- It was found inside a manila envelope...

...addressed to Charlie.
- To me?

To your home address.

- Did you bring in any mail from home?
- Only bills.

Mail that was already open.

- Fiderer.
- Ron...

...why don't you speak
to Charlie alone.

- Let's go inside.
- Mr. President.

They're patching your call through
from the Japanese defense minister.

- Mr. President.
- It's okay. Go on.

Good morning, Mr. Takabi.

We're having a wonderful evening.
I can see the cherry blossoms from here.

No, sir, I'm not concerned.
We're ready to move forward.

I think you're gonna have to put more
faith in our Department of Defense.

You serenading me?


An ode to my sunset years.

All right. I'm sorry.
That was a gross exaggeration.

No, I love that I live in your imagination
crippled by jealousy and in my decline.

- That speech Russell gave.
- I could've given a heads-up.



That's the speech
the president should've given.

A flailing economy.

Tribal rivalries exploding all over,
the West Wing crashed four times.

We're running around playing dress-up
like bad Dean Martin impersonators.

That's the speech
the president should've given.

And you should've written it for him.

You couldn't find some nice,
innocuous baby-seal campaign.

You gotta be downtown with
crackheads and the needle exchange.

They're understaffed
and asked me to pitch in.

I love the idea of you ministering
to the wayward and unwashed.

I don't love you becoming
a de facto spokesperson...

...for issues we can't support.
- I'm not on a lecture tour.

- I'm seeing patients.
- Hello.

"My name is Clarissa Ponsissa.
I'm 14 and sexually active.

But it's okay because I got
my condoms from the first lady."

- Fox News is throwing a party.
- We're five years in.

They don't have interest
in pathologizing my every move.

They most certainly do.

The clinic was one thing. Volunteering,
children's health, I think we sold that.

- Now it's all-nighters? Saturday nights?
- Not negotiable.

Since I came back, since Zoey,
this is the only deal I've had with myself.

Follow my gut.

Your Secret Service detail
must be thrilled.

About as thrilled as you.

It's colorless, odorless,
could be stored in a sealed envelope.

But it's sensitive
to ultraviolet light.

It is contagious.

Some nut could've
mailed it to Charlie.

Debbie, you'll drive yourself
crazy with this.

I know. I'm only giving myself
three more minutes.

- Then what?
- Then half an hour of silent meditation.

- How do you think I survive?
- In this job, it's an apt question.

In this world, Mr. President.

When I came into office,
we knew the word "terrorist."

It was in the daily briefings...

...but we pictured guys
with turbans in the desert...

...and mad survivalists
in Montana cabins.

That party's over.

Now anyone with high school
chemistry is a potential threat.

- That's a lot of enemies, sir.
- Too many.

Since I was a kid, spring came, everyone
else ran outdoors to roll in the grass.

Not me. My immune system
sees harmless ragweed pollen as poison.

My white blood cells
are paranoid xenophobes.

They go into full attack mode
over everything and nothing.

I'm the one who suffers.

- So meditation's the ticket?
- Along with the ballistic allergy shots.

He won't forgive himself.

Did Josh know we could
only send one person?

On the CODEL? Probably.

He sent me so I could report to him
and Toby on meetings...

...and what they were talking about.

This is carob.

I just don't know how much
I can report if I'm in the copy room.

- Fitz is gonna fill them in.
- Sure.

I just don't know why Josh
told me that...


Israeli embassy's
gonna give you four people.

For that leg of the trip,
you could sit in on meetings.

- Really?
- Page 12.


That's great.

Josh Lyman needs
a smack in the head.

- Why?
- He sold you a bill of goods.

Not at all.

He's gone out of his way to give me
every opportunity he can. He has.


- Hasn't he?
- Absolutely.


If he gave you every opportunity, you'd
have grown out of this job years ago.

You can't blame him. He'll never
find anyone as capable as you.

I wouldn't let you go either.

It's not a false alarm.
It wouldn't take this long.

I wish I had filled
this damn canteen.

- You can't blame Josh. It's not his job...
- I don't blame Josh.

It takes two of you.
You choose to stay.

- It's the White House.
- It's not the White House. It's him.

- Okay. I don't really wanna...
- Why didn't you meet with the guy...

...from the Post-Intelligencer?
You know what's on your desk.

- It wouldn't wait till Monday?
- Why did you cancel your camping trip?

If we'll be out of here soon, you're
going home to a rerun of Letterman.

I'm sorry.

I just...

- You what? You what, Donna?
- Nothing. I think Ben's great.

I think you guys are great together.

- I hope it works.
- Have you seen us together?

Not really.

What should I be doing...

...instead of this?

Anything. You should...

Go to lectures and symposia.
Look for opportunities with nonprofits.

Have one-night stands with reporters
from the Post-Intelligencer.

Go on dates with what's-his-name
from the solicitor general's.

Anything that doesn't
have to do with Josh Lyman.


Let's not do this.

What you wrote for Russell tonight
was profoundly disturbing.

- Because he upstaged the president.
- Because he might win.

- What?
- Who was the first person... shake his hand
after the speech tonight?

- I wasn't watching.
- Of course you were.

Chuck McGill. They golf.

In a roomful of 600 reporters,
McGill's not a golf buddy.

He's chairman of Ways and Means.

You made a calculation.
You positioned him brilliantly.

It never for a second crossed my mind
before. You keep this up, he may win.

- Thanks.
- That's not a compliment.

You need to get the hell out of there.

You're grooming this clown
for a victory. Then what?

Four more years.
A better prescription-drug deal.

Maybe the education overhaul
you guys can't seem to get going.

- With Howdy Doody.
- This isn't a dictatorship.

There are hundreds
running this White House.

The salient detail being
they're all Democrats.

- You, of all people...
- There were no launch codes at my desk.

In the event of what I perceive
to be a threat...

...I can't deploy troops to invade
so much as a 7-Eleven.

I don't care who
you surround this guy with...

...he'll wield a tremendous
amount of power.

He'll be fine.

The party wants a win.
Sixty million Democrats want a win.

- Winning is easy.
- You only hit it once. Maybe never again.

Because you back the guy who
should win. Not the guy who will win.

I backed a man of vision...

...who's still hanging on to
his integrity with his teeth.

You're damn straight I won't win again.

There has to be a future, Toby.
Someone will take the torch.

You will despise the notion,
whoever they may be.

Go find someone you can
honestly respect. Groom him.

I'll comb the countryside.

We went to Hokumville,
New Hampshire, to find one.

- Yeah, comb the countryside.
- You go.

If it's so important, you go.

That's what I thought.

Crash is lifted.
Apologies for the inconvenience.

HAZMAT's declaring the office clean.

- What's our time?
- Almost 43 minutes, sir.

- That's the all clear.
- Yes, it is.

Gee, I finally nested.

Your clothes will be back
from the lab on Monday.

- The antibiotics are ready...
- Hold off for just a moment.


I need to brief the president, then speak
to all of you in the Mural Room.

If you run into anyone
on the way up...

...we'd like you to treat this
as a false alarm.

- False alarm.
- Right.

- He should be up soon.
- I'm on my way out.

If this is about Jed...

...there must be other ways.
- Other ways to what?

I don't know.

Well, he's not running again.
It's about saving lives now.

Okay. If that's what it's about.

Spit it out, Leo.

Somebody snaps the wrong photo
of you with a junkie.

Or somebody sees you pop a Xanax.

- I don't care if they do.
- I never had to tell you before.

- You knew what was over the line.
- I still do.

Okay, forget that. That was...

I'm saying as your friend. I'm saying... a person who had a close
personal relationship with Valium...

...for more years than
I care to remember. It's dicey.

It starts as needed.

- Then you need a little more.
- I don't have a problem.

Unless having a husband
who spends evenings... an underground bunker counts.

- It's hard on you.
- On all of us.

You know what this lifestyle
does to the body?

The minute your system
senses stress... releases a hormone
that constricts blood vessels...

...contracts the heart muscles,
stimulates the adrenal gland.

You stay in this state
for about a hundredth of the time...

...that you and I have existed like this,
and the vessels begin to shred.

The heart permanently constricts.

The intestines,
the immune system shut down.

Relieving those conditions... the one responsible
course of action I can take.

I am sorry it is not a course
of action that's available to you.

If you think you're gonna
talk me out of it...

...with some Valley of the Dolls
cautionary tale... have picked the wrong girl.


You do what you need to do.

What have you been doing?

- You had your blood pressure checked?
- I'm healthy.

- Thanks, Dr. B.
- I'm not kidding.

- I may not be Jack LaLanne...
- Go see Ted Mayfield. Get an EKG.

- Okay.
- I mean it.

- I'll call and make the appointment...
- Enough, Abbey.

I'm gonna head downstairs.

- We're all clear, ladies.
- Hallelujah.

- Thanks for your patience.
- What happened?

- False alarm.
- I'll need a report...

...from your supervisor
for the briefing. Donna.


Good night.

Good night.

Hey, commander.

Talk to you later.

- What'd he say?
- False alarm.

He said that before.
He didn't tell you anything else?

- Not really.
- You just talked to him for five minutes.

His daughter's taking ballet.
She's not very good.

You know, you're not a spy
in a Ukrainian nuke lab anymore.

- We talk about stuff here.
- Okay.

We're gonna be working together.

You gotta work
on the communication part.

- Friendly advice.
- Well, thanks.


Okay. Whatever.

- Your joke?
- Yeah. Not funny. Got it.

A nuclear sub's been grounded for nine
months, under repair in Pearl Harbor.

It's back in commission and deployed
to patrol activity around Cape Verde... the coast of Mauritania.

It's crossing from the Pacific
to the Atlantic right now...

...through a canal in...
- Panama.



We beat our goal for the all clear
by over five minutes.

Have a seat.
Where'd we fall short?

One channel of the ventilation system
failed to deactivate.

If this was live, we'd have a
contamination in the communication area.

Sorry to interrupt, but what
in the name of all that's holy...?

Tonight's exercise was a drill.

- A drill.
- A live drill.

Meaning the participants
were unaware that it was a drill.

Ron's agents, HAZMAT and the entire
medical staff were being tested.

The three of us were the guinea pigs.


We're trying to address critical holes
in the security system.

We're fielding threats no one's
ever had to face before.

- The tularemia...
- Was a fake...

...without harmful properties,
planted in Charlie's bin.

Without my knowledge.

You were both involved
in a top-secret exercise tonight.

And for the time being,
it's gonna have to remain top secret.

If I ever look this in the face, I hope
I've got folks beside me like you two.

Thank you, sir.

Thank you, Mr. President.

- They didn't question it.
- I'm not surprised.

- You didn't know it'd be tonight.
- I knew it when you showed up.

It was worth it,
if we've learned something useful.

Did we learn anything, Ron?

A preliminary report
will be on your desk in an hour.

Has the FBI made progress?

They have a chemist
under surveillance...

...who tried to order bacteria
from the CDC.

Tularemia won't get through again.

You're right.

On a need-to-know basis,
who needs to know this much?

- I could use a hot bath.
- You had a shower.

Which is more than you can do,
with your gas and electric issues.

- Rub it in. Good night.
- Good night.

- Good night.
- Good night.

- You believe another one of these?
- Nope.

- Are they sticking with false alarm?
- Yeah.

That one's getting a little old.

- Good night, gentlemen.
- Good night.

It's me.

Am I calling too late?

I'm just getting out.
I'm thinking Thai.

Why? Why would you
be worried about me?

Oh, yeah, true.

The pollen count has been wicked.