06x09 - Carpe Diem

NSA reports easing of hostile chatter inside VAJA, so the Eli Volk incident is in the rearview for now, though noise continues over Reza Mousavi's detention and ongoing sanctions.

Finally, ma'am, DIA reports that a Chinese light frigate warship fired warning shots at a Russian-flagged oil tanker in the South China Sea, forcing it to reroute away from internationally recognized shipping lanes.

As established by the Singapore Interchange you negotiated less than four years ago, ma'am.

RUSSELL: But since Russia wasn't part of the accord, they Moscow has been working with Vietnam to exploit disputed oil and natural gas rights.

So Beijing seized on a-a political gray area to give the Heisman to Russia's efforts?

- Not exactly shocking.

- HILL: True.

But recent surveillance photos show an alarming buildup of Chinese military personnel on one island in particular.

Hainan Dao.

Well, even naming it breaks the spirit, if not the letter, of the treaty.

- Thank you.

- So, basically, just another beautiful day in the neighborhood.

(LAUGHTER)

Ellen, when was our last naval flyby - near Hainan Dao?

- Couple of weeks ago.

We usually go for one a month, keep them honest.

Let's move the next one up.

Soon as possible.

I don't want Beijing getting comfortable bullying other countries in international waters.

HILL: Yes, ma'am.

Look, I I know that the impeachment hearing is on everybody's mind.

I've been going about business as usual because I do truly believe that it is best for U. S.

interests here and abroad.

Anybody disagrees or has any concerns, I'm all ears.

Okay.

Thank you, everyone.

- Thank you, ma'am.

- (OTHERS MURMURING)

So (SIGHS)

House Judiciary just scheduled your appearance before the committee.

Day after tomorrow.

- Good.

- MIKE: Not good.

Bad.

Apocalyptically bad.

Hanson's out there whipping the press into a lather over you wagging the dog with Iran and collusion and nepotism and, I don't know, sorcery and cannibalism.

Your numbers are eroding by the hour and you're about - to step into the Star Chamber.

- I know, Mike.

MIKE: Then do something about it.

You're losing the public.

Use the bully pulpit to bully the crap out of them.

Congress has the right to investigate.

Not to defame.

Not to lie.

Not to attack You show me where in the Constitution it says they don't.

I am not going to attack Congress, no matter how much I deplore Hanson and Canning's tactics.

- How's the whip count?

- Not good.

If the House voted today, they'd have impeachment by two votes.

MIKE: And the Senate will convict, making you the first president to be removed from office.

Hell, even Congressman Weenie - is sitting this one out.

- Yeah, what about Heeney?

You know?

We ever figure out why he's being so timid?

MIKE: He's quoted in the Chronicle piece saying he's simply "acceding to the chairman and his Article One duty.

" Which makes me think Canning or Hanson or one of their stooges has something on the good congressman.

I could get into it.

ELIZABETH: Russell, - what's next?

- RUSSELL: Uh, NEC roundtable in the Roosevelt Room.

Okay.

HENRY: There's leftover tempeh tacos.

Well, they're not really tacos.

They're uh, just these shell-like things and Gee, when you put it like that - You want to come up?

- No.

Kind of want to stay here while I still can.

(CHUCKLES)

You want company?

(QUIETLY): Yeah.

I know that this is hard on you, too.

Well, only when I see them go after you.

Politics ain't beanbag.

Yeah, but it ain't supposed to be The Hunger Games, either.

Go home, Blake!

BLAKE: Not while you're still here, ma'am!

I am still here, aren't I?

Yeah, it would seem so.

You know, I once read that you can effect more change in a day as president than you can for the rest of your life after you leave office.

I believe that.

So, let's make a bucket list.

E-Everything that we want to do before we leave here.

Okay oh, oh.

I've always wanted to (QUIETLY): sleep in the Lincoln Bedroom.

- Does that count?

- Okay, yeah.

- (LAUGHS): Yeah.

- Not that it's gonna effect any change It will for us.

- Tonight.

- Mm-hmm.

I have always wanted to answer calls at the White House switchboard.

There's a switchboard?

I don't know.

Where the calls come in.

I want to take calls.

Gun control?

Can I mean, is that too big?

No.

Are you kidding?

It's our list.

We can do whatever we want.

- What else?

- STEVIE: Hi.

ELIZABETH and HENRY: Hey.

Blake told me you guys were in here.

I hope I'm not interrupting anything.

No, no, it's (CHUCKLES)

- You okay, sweetie?

- Yeah.

- Yeah?

- Uh, yeah.

I'm pretty great, actually.

Sorry.

With everything going on, I know that's not really Oh, come on.

Listen, we could use a little "pretty great.

" What do you got?

Okay, um, so it was kind of a bumpy start.

But things with Dmitri are, like, really wonderful.

(LAUGHS SOFTLY)

I'm not sure if I've ever been happier.

- You deserve it.

- Well, that's a nice piece - Thanks.

- of pretty great right there.

Yeah, we're, like, making plans playfully but, you know, what are we gonna be doing in a few years, like, ten years, and where we want to live and how many kids and Where and how many?

- Keep going.

- Okay.

But it's just that we-we know that we want to be together.

It's just, I'm-I'm worried.

I think he might be afraid to take it - to the next level, like, to propose.

- Oh.

- Just, everything that happened, like, in my testimony.

I just feel like there's a moment for these things, and I-I really, I don't want us to miss our moment.

So, - I am gonna propose to him.

- (GASPS)

Oh!

- (LAUGHS)

- Oh, my God!

- Is that crazy?

- Oh - No, it's not crazy.

- Stevie.

Oh, mwah.

Look at where we are!

- Yeah, girl power central here.

- Oh But if it's gonna mess up your lives This is what I wanted to talk to you about.

I don't want to Stevie, listen, don't ever postpone your life - over political noise or anything else.

- Yeah.

Hear, hear.

- Got it.

- Now-now, c-come on.

Tell us the details.

Oh Come on.

Just How you gonna do it?

- No, no.

She's right.

- W-We won't ask.

You know.

B-But how and when?

But yeah.

BLAKE: Okay, you guys are talking so loudly, and I can I just hear this part, please?

- Yes.

Okay.

- Okay.

Um, so the day after tomorrow Uh, you guys know that Chinese restaurant, Hong Kong Garden?

Oh, the one in Dupont Circle, or the other one?

Okay.

Dupont, yeah.

Um, so they have, like, these, uh, personalized, um, fortune cookies.

So I'm going to have them plant the proposal - in the fortune cookie.

- (LAUGHTER)

- That's genius.

- That's great.

Just proofread it before they stick it in the cookie.

Yeah, good call there, Elibet.

That's a reference to a skywriting proposal.

See, this is why they have assistants.

Hey, why don't you, um, bring Dmitri over here after and we can have a champagne toast?

Yeah.

I will.

Thanks.

- Aw.

- I'm so excited.

(LAUGHTER)

Oh, we're excited for you.

- And grandkids.

- Just HENRY: Just give her - She brought it up.

Slow down, Mom.

- Well, you're the one who brought it up.

- She's not even married yet.

STEVIE: Good night.

Speaking of up.

That's where I'm going.

Come on.

Go home, Blake.

Okay.

Uh, congratulation um Almost congratulations, Dr.

McCord, Madam President.

(MOUTHS)

(WHISPERS): Stevie's wedding.

(WHISPERS): Lincoln Bedroom.

- Let's go.

- Rawr.

(BOTH LAUGH)

RUSSELL: Let's push the DPC meeting.

No point improving the aqueducts while Rome burns.

Ha!

Good morning.

- Hey.

- Rome burning again?

I'm sorry, am I late?

Nope.

No, I'm just Carpe diem, you know?

Which, as Henry pointed out, is part of a longer phrase.

Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero.

It means, "Seize the day, put very little trust in tomorrow," which You can see how that might speak to me.

- I think it's beautiful.

- Right?

So I made a to-do list for today.

- (MUTTERS)

- Oh.

- South China Sea.

- What about it?

Fix it.

After the dustup between China and Russia, why not revisit the Singapore Interchange?

We can address all outstanding issues and finally bring peace and stability to the region.

- RUSSELL: Is that all?

- Ha!

No.

That is very Do you really want to take on one of the most intractable problems in the world while your head is on the chopping block?

Yep.

Have Susan get into it with Chen and Avdonin.

And then I want to get serious about carbon reduction.

- Uh-huh.

- And expanding health care rolls.

- Okay.

- And ah, ugh gun control.

Mm-hmm.

Why not just do world peace while you're at it?

That's the spirit.

What the hell?

Write that down.

World peace.

Got it.

- (CHUCKLES)

- You do you do realize you need Congress at your back, not actively trying to bury you, in order to get anything done.

Russell, if I hunker down, (WHISPERS): aren't I just burying myself?

All due respect, y-you did pass - ESI and-and - Yes!

the VA Mental Health Modernization Act - Yes.

the free trade agreement with South Korea.

It's true.

So, I want to push forward while they try to stop me.

Good morning, Madam President.

Carpe diem, Blake.

Quam minimum credula postero.

Yes, ma'am.

Dr.

McCord, Dmitri Petrov is a little early for your 3:00.

Oh, uh, thanks.

Great.

Send him in.

Right this way, Mr.

Petrov.

Hey, there he is.

Wow, looking sharp.

Hey.

Thanks for making the time.

Oh, of course.

Any time.

I've got a lot of ideas for you.

Well, I hope you didn't spend too much time thinking about my future prospects because that was a ruse.

Really?

Forgive me, I'm a little nervous.

You know Stevie and I have been back together - for a while now.

- I do.

I think it's great.

I'm very relieved to hear that.

Because, with your permission I want to ask Stephanie to marry me.

Oh, my God!

Wow, wow Yes, yeah, uh, yes.

But you don't have to ask me.

Oh, I should ask the president, too?

No, no, I just mean well, neither of us.

Stevie's an adult, uh, but I appreciate the sentiment, given our past.

Yeah, thanks.

I wasn't sure with the whole investigation if maybe you'd want me to wait or just disappear altogether.

Nonsense, life goes on despite politics.

Although I can't make any guarantees about Stevie.

Oh, of course not.

That's on me.

So, if you don't mind me asking, when were you gonna pop the question?

Tomorrow night.

Yeah, we're going out for Chinese food, and then Uh-huh after that, I booked a private cruise on the Potomac.

- So, after dinner?

- Yeah.

Yeah, she has no idea.

You're secret's safe with me.

(CHUCKLES)

ELIZABETH: But I don't understand why I have to take time out of my schedule to practice telling the truth.

Because I'm gonna be the counsel of record at your side.

You only get one chance not to screw up your testimony and making me look bad.

Okay, okay.

Where are we on the list?

The EPA is putting together a package of new carbon-reducing measures to present to Congress.

Good, sounds like a good start.

Yeah, what's next?

I will have drafts by end of the day of a bill to ban assault weapons and an executive order directing NIH to research gun violence as a public health crisis.

- Excellent.

- Oh, crap!

- What?

- My cavity-search of Congressman Heeney's entire life turned up bupkis.

I mean, detention in the third grade for fighting, but he was defending some poor dweeb who was jumped by a gang of fifth-graders.

Damn yinzer's a saint like his father before him.

- Wait, Heeney is from Pittsburg?

- Yeah.

He and his dad have been clinging to that seat so long, Pittsburgh's gonna name a barnacle after them.

- Huh.

- What?

Is that good?

Could be.

Hey, handsome.

You going for a world record?

I have 11 seconds left.

- Hey, listen, I got your text - (GROANING)

and I am dying to hear all about the Dmitri thing, - but did you know - (ALARM BEEPING)

that Congressman Heeney is from Pittsburgh?

Yes, I-I-I knew his old man a little bit when I was a kid.

How did I not know that?

I didn't know him that well.

I certainly didn't know Junior.

Back in the day, my dad organized his chapter to phone bank and door-knock for Heeney Sr.

Well, how do you feel about exploiting that paternal connection to suss out Heeney Jr.

's acquiescence to Canning?

Thought you didn't want to play politics.

Well, I don't.

But I also don't want to go whistling to the guillotine.

That's Mike's metaphor.

Uh, listen, I'd be happy to reach out to the congressman.

We can reminisce about I don't know our dads and when he used to support you.

Thank you.

So, what about Dmitri's French farce?!

So I completely forgot we had this meeting on the books.

Is he really propose tomorrow night, really?!

After the dinner when Stevie is proposing to him.

He even mentioned going out for Chinese food.

Should we warn her?

I mean, just in case she wants to give him a chance to propose first?

And betray the confidence of our future son-in-law before they're even engaged?

Oh, very good point.

Truman Balcony tonight.

(INHALES SHARPLY)

Congressman Heeney is here, sir.

Oh, great.

Thanks.

- Good morning, Dr.

McCord.

- Hi.

It's not every day I get invited to the White House.

Ah, well, welcome.

I still can't believe that I live here.

- Yeah.

- Please, have a seat.

Thank you.

Uh, your dad was a union organizer, I believe.

- I think you knew my old man?

- Yeah.

In fact I remember your dad being at my house on more than a few rye-soaked evenings and them getting into it over negotiations with USW and steelmakers.

Even when they agreed, it sounded like fighting.

(DEEP VOICE): Mm.

"If you work hard, "you should be able to earn a decent wage.

Make a good life for your family.

" Our old men were in the fight every day.

And here we are.

- Yeah.

- Different time.

But still in it.

So, I understand your camp was, uh, disappointed I didn't run interference for you and your daughter at the hearings.

Well, we weren't looking for interference we were just hoping you would speak up when Chairman Canning made unsubstantiated charges.

Well, the committee has to investigate before we can determine what was unsubstantiated and what wasn't.

I appreciate that.

But Canning is making baseless accusations through innuendo and conjecture.

And trying to manipulate public opinion to exact a political price before the investigations turned anything up.

I-I was just surprised that someone with your background would let that happen.

I'm sorry you feel that way.

But one yinzer to another, my dad also taught me that political survival is about relevance.

Sometimes it doesn't make any sense to throw yourself in front of a train you can't stop.

So, letting Canning steamroll the administration and the truth is about political expediency and self-preservation?

I didn't come here for a lecture.

Administrations come and they go.

My dad and I have been protecting workers' rights in Pittsburgh for 60 years.

And I intend to continue doing so when the next administration takes over.

And the one after that.

"He who ignores public injustice welcomes it into his house.

" You can quote scripture all you want.

I have to be practical.

That's not scripture, Congressman.

It's your father.

(REPORTERS CLAMORING)

ELIZABETH: Democracy works only when government is held accountable.

To that end, for the past two months my administration has promptly responded to numerous document requests and interrogatories.

I have made my staff unconditionally available for interviews with the Senate Intelligence Committee.

My executive assistant did not oppose an FBI warrant served on his premises.

And both my own husband and my daughter have appeared for extensive questioning before this committee.

And I now sit here, against the advice of counsel, to answer questions in a proceeding whose sole aim is to oust me from office.

Instead of invoking executive privilege, I have chosen to cooperate without limitation.

And my hope is that such cooperation will finally yield an end to this inquiry, so we can get back to the business of governance the reason the American people put us here.

Thank you.

Then, uh, in service of your desire for a swift resolution, Madam President, let us begin.

Madam President, would you agree that your senior staff ultimately answer to you?

- Yes.

- And you must also agree that you should be held accountable for their conduct.

For actions taken at my direction, yes, of course.

Let's start with your former press secretary, Daisy Grant.

Fired because she failed to disclose she was in possession of evidence that Iran tampered with the election.

To be accurate, Ms. Grant resigned.

But you would have fired her if she hadn't, correct?

Yes, yes.

Because you were looking for a scapegoat for a decision that you knew that you were responsible for.

No, Mr. Chairman.

Because Ms.

Grant acted outside the scope of her employment, without consulting me and in violation of her duties.

Well, I think the evidence to date has shown that your staff was fiercely devoted to you.

And they took no action that they thought you would've disapproved of.

Is there a question here, Mr. Chairman?

Yes, there is, Counselor.

Madam President, are you telling this committee that Ms. Grant was a rogue actor?

- Yes.

- Who wasn't even acting at your implied direction?

Asked and answered.

Let's move on, Mr.

Chairman.

Then I'll cut to the chase.

For the record, did you act in concert with any member of the Iranian government to undermine your opponent in the presidential election?

No, I did not.

Did you have any knowledge that Iran was interfering on your behalf during the presidential campaign?

No, I did not.

You are aware that your answers today are under penalty of perjury?

Yes, Mr. Chairman, I am.

And your implication notwithstanding, I I believe I have demonstrated how seriously I take these proceedings.

Why don't we test that proposition by turning to your many contacts with Iranian Foreign Minister Tousi during the election year.

You were exceptionally close to the foreign minister, weren't you?

We have a situation.

One of our destroyers was fired on by a Chinese patrol boat in the South China Sea.

Casualties?

24 American sailors killed.

We engaged the Chinese vessel.

Sank it.

We're expecting hundreds of casualties.

- Mr. Chairman, I'm very sorry.

- Mr. Chairman, due to pressing matters of state, the president must adjourn her testimony at this time.

(GAVEL BANGING)

We object to this choreographed interruption!

Madam President?

Madam President, this is an insult to this committee!

What the hell is going on?

The Arleigh Burke class destroyer Edwin James was three miles outside the coast of Hainan Dao when it came under attack from two Chinese Type 22 missile boats.

Unprovoked?

Yes, ma'am.

I recommend going to worldwide DEFCON 4 and DEFCON 3 in INDOPACOM AOR.

Do it.

What the hell is President Li thinking?

General Hayes, where are we?

Madam President, we're sending Carrier Strike Team 5 to assist the James and deter any further incursions by hostiles.

(QUIETLY): All right.

Admiral Fanning, I want to speak to the captain.

Captain Woodcliff was KIA, ma'am.

Executive Officer Harris in command.

Let's get him on screen.

Harris here.

Commander Harris, this is the president.

I need you to describe for me what happened.

It was a routine flyby, ma'am.

We were in egress when they lit us up.

Was there any kind of warning?

None.

Phalanx CIWS shot down most of their missiles, but one made a direct hit on the bridge.

- Damage control reports - (GARBLED TRANSMISSION)

FANNING: Commander Harris?

- (GARBLED TRANSMISSION)

- HARRIS: our best to triage.

FANNING: Commander Harris, can you proceed to the fallback point?

HARRIS: Negative.

Chief engineer reports total engine failure.

We're sitting ducks.

You sit tight, Commander.

Help is on the way.

HARRIS: Thank you, ma'am.

HAYES: This is a list of military targets on Hainan Dao.

Codeword: Dragonfly.

FANNING: Madam President, we have an Ohio-class sub armed with conventional warheads standing by.

You want to retaliate.

HILL: If we don't, we'll be sending a message of weakness, giving the Chinese carte blanche to escalate.

Uh, and we've already killed hundreds of their sailors.

- That was self-defense.

- Yes, but to the Chinese, any further aggression will be seen as gratuitous.

They'll attack the Fifth Fleet next.

Our war games make - no such assumption, ma'am.

- RUSSELL: How many deals have you negotiated with the Chinese, General?

I need to speak with President Li.

Due respect, ma'am, actions speak louder.

I will not risk war without a dialogue.

This is a rescue mission until I say otherwise.

- Are w are we clear?

- Yes, ma'am.

- Understood.

- Thank you.

You invaded Chinese territory.

There is nothing more to say.

President Li, we both know accidents can happen.

I'm offering you a chance to walk this back.

This was no accident.

Well, then, your attack was reckless and unprovoked.

These flybys are routine.

There's nothing routine about defending our sovereignty.

It is our island.

You want to litigate that point, let's do it in Singapore.

At a renewed diplomatic interchange.

We no longer recognize that interchange.

Apologize and withdraw your forces.

I won't engage in ultimatums.

Those are my terms.

The rest is up to you, Madam President.

Can we expect support from our allies?

In public, yes.

In private, I'm hearing concerns.

Yeah, and in the meantime, world markets are in free fall.

Supermarkets are being overrun by people hoarding basic supplies and the top search on Google is "nuclear war.

" It might be time to consider an Oval Office address, ma'am.

Well, and say what?

If we want to allay people's concern, we have to get our sailors - and the James out of there - HILL: Madam President, SIGINT confirms the PLA has gone to combat readiness condition level 2.

HAYES: Dongfeng 5 ICBMs are moving to launchpads.

They'll be capable of nuclear first strike within a few hours.

That's absurd.

HILL: And yet, it's happening.

Ma'am, - we must respond.

- RUSSELL: I agree.

If this is how Li is choosing to communicate, we have to answer with strength.

Go to DEFCON 2.

Have all essential personnel recalled to safe locations.

- Yes, ma'am.

- Yes, Madam President.

Okay.

I We need to track President Li's logic here.

It's a calculated flex.

Probably because he believes that I'm hamstrung by the impeachment hearing, right?

THOMPSON: Li thinks you're too weak to risk taking a divided nation to war.

We just went to DEFCON 2, so that ought to make him think twice.

But Susan's right.

We need to send a message of unity.

How?

I'll ask Congress for Authorization for the Use of Military Force.

An AUMF?

In the middle of an impeachment?

Especially in the middle of an impeachment.

I have to trust that Congress will do the right thing.

All right.

I'll reach out to leadership.

Susan, tell Minister Chen I want to talk to him.

I know it bypasses protocol, but I need a conversation with a friend over there.

THOMPSON: I'll see what I can do.

NEWS ANCHOR: President McCord has just declared DEFCON 2, meaning all U. S.

military around the world stand at hair-trigger readiness.

Supermarkets across the nation are reportedly preparing for a rush of panicked consumers Man.

Maybe not the best night to be eating at a Chinese restaurant.

- Well, at least it's pretty empty.

- Yeah, probably because everyone's already in bomb shelters.

Hey, maybe we should go.

Oh, wh we can wait for the check.

Ah.

This will cover it.

Well, hang on.

What about our fortune cookies?

(LAUGHS SOFTLY)

You hate fortune cookies.

Well, maybe tonight I am feeling a little bit superstitious.

- No change.

Thanks.

- What What's, um wait.

Wh uh, hang on.

What's-what's the rush?

Come on.

L-Let's read our fortunes.

Excuse me.

We have a security alert.

We need to get you to the White House immediately.

and fired upon the Edwin James when it passed within miles Geez I'm coming, I'm coming.

Just HAYES: Rescue operations have proceeded without interference.

We've recovered our sailors and towed the Edwin James out of area.

But now the real threat is here.

Admiral?

FANNING: A Chinese support fleet has just assembled about 200 klicks west of Luzon.

It includes six Type 072 landing craft with a deck cargo of DF-21D anti-ship ballistic missiles.

They call it the carrier killer.

ETA to Hainan Dao is 12 hours.

(SIGHS)

Now, if those missiles reach land HILL: It could neutralize our operative capabilities in the South China Sea for decades.

Clearly, this was the endgame all along.

To use the dustup with the James as a manufactured pretext to seize the regional advantage.

Freedom of navigation is a bedrock principle, Madam President.

Nothing short of our liberty is at stake here.

It's also a blatant violation of the Singapore Interchange.

- We could go to the U.

N.

- (RUSSELL SCOFFS)

Where China has a veto.

Or we can strike now.

HILL: He's right, ma'am.


The alternative is a complete retreat.

What do you suggest?

An immediate launch of our F-35s on the USS Saratoga.

The remainder of the Fifth Fleet will launch Tomahawks against the targets on Hainan Dao under Operation Dragonfly.

With China's nuclear forces and ours on high alert?

This could trigger a-a carnage that we can't stop.

HILL: We have the superior capability here, ma'am.

Let's use it to shove them back and retain our strategic advantage in the South China Sea.

Well, I agree we can't let those missiles reach the island.

But I am not prepared to start a shooting war that could end with the unthinkable.

I want other options.

What about a blockade?

Declare an exclusion zone around the island, block any attempt to breach it?

Is that possible?

Well, in theory.

It worked for Kennedy.

Why the hell not?

Because it would put us on the defensive.

And hands them the initiative.

If it leads to a peaceful resolution, they can have it.

Admiral, establish the quarantine line.

Yes, ma'am.

Susan, will you get to the Chinese Embassy?

I want this ultimatum delivered in person.

Absolutely, Madam President.

RUSSELL: I'll let you know if we get a response from Beijing.

The moment.

Yeah.

Meantime, it's a waiting game.

Whoa!

You have your AUMF.

Congress just passed it in emergency session.

All right, well, let's make some noise about it.

Oh, I'll make sure it's clanging in President Li's ear.

Great.

Well, hey.

- Hey.

- What-what are you doing?

Well, I thought we needed some champagne.

Oh.

Yeah.

Sure.

You know, champagne.

Just what you want when you're about an inch away from war with a nuclear adversary.

- What?

It's not - Of course, there's always the impeachment I'm trying to stave off, which is probably a foregone conclusion after I ditched my testimony.

- Babe, uh - Oh, you're right.

(WHISPERS): Just pop it.

It's not just for us.

Dmitri and Stevie are on their way up.

I don't have time.

I'm so tired!

(GASPS)

Oh, my gosh.

Yes!

What happened?

Well, so, security protocols forced them to cut their date short and, uh, skip their Potomac cruise, but Oh, cruise-schmooze.

What happened at the dinner?

Okay, all I know is their detail said that they finished dinner, which means that Our little girl!

- Oh, here they are!

- The happy couple!

There you are!

- Oh, come on.

- Oh.

Oh.

Hey.

- Hi.

- Hey.

ELIZABETH: Ah.

- We did not have dessert.

ELIZABETH: Oh.

- That's too bad.

- Yeah.

Dessert is a cornerstone of any meal, so Yeah.

Yes, and we had to come straight here from the restaurant.

Well, oh, we-we we just thought that you'd want to have some champagne with us.

There's water for you.

Yeah.

While we still can.

Yeah.

Yeah, right.

That's lovely of you.

- Here you go.

- Thank you.

- Thank you.

- Sure.

Thanks, guys.

Honey.

Yeah, well, here's to Nothing.

(LAUGHTER)

No.

Stop.

Sorry.

This is silly.

This was meant to be an occasion.

A big occasion.

Henry, you didn't tell On my honor.

Stevie doesn't know anything about it.

- STEVIE: Wait.

He knows?

You - What?

- You told him?

- ELIZABETH: No.

We didn't say anything.

- Never.

- I don't understand.

Let's just everybody go home, - because that's - Yeah.

Uh, just Let's just pretend like it never happened.

Wait.

I was going to do this, um I'm gonna do it.

Dmitri this is for you.

Uh It's the-the fortune inside.

- If you read it.

Just - Oh.

(LAUGHS SOFTLY)

Oh.

Wow.

This is What does it say?

"The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

" Wait.

What?

They mixed up the cookies.

- It's very true, though.

- Oh.

STEVIE: This was supposed to be a message from me.

Um, a question, actually.

I wanted to ask you to Stop.

Please.

Let me.

Here.

In front of your parents, even though it was supposed to be alone on a boat.

(LAUGHS)

But there might be a nuclear war, and Sorry, no offense, - Madam President.

- No problem.

Go on.

I don't know how to begin.

(LAUGHS)

No.

I do know how to begin with you, Stevie, because you you are my beginning, and the start of everything that matters to me.

My happiness and hope for the future.

I've been broken many times, and it's hard for me to feel whole, but there's one time I do feel whole.

When you are with me.

And if you let me, I will dedicate my life to making you feel whole, too.

Because because I love you more than I ever knew I could love.

(LAUGHS)

Stephanie McCord will you Madam President, we need you.

- Are you kidding me?

- I'm sor Oh, my God.

Is-is he actually?

Dmitri, as president, I order you to finish - that sentence!

- Stevie, will you marry me?

Yes, yes, for God's sake.

- HENRY: Ah.

- (LAUGHTER)

Yay.

Welcome to the family.

I have to go.

I don't know when I'm coming back.

- Bye, Mom!

- Uh, just-just go.

Ellen, what is it?

It seems we have President Li's answer to the blockade.

Several high-speed Type 22 Chinese missile boats have broken away from the convoy headed to Hainan Dao and now are projected to reach the quarantine line in just four hours.

Okay.

Fire up Marine One.

Where are you going?

New York to see Minister Chen.

Well, he wouldn't take your calls.

Why do you think he'll meet with you?

Because he knows where this is heading if he doesn't.

Excuse me, Minister Chen?

Yes.

What is it?

- Ming, you got a minute?

- Ambushed by the American president.

Definitely one for the memoir.

I look forward to reading it one day.

In a future where we manage to find a way out of this crisis.

Your naval blockade isn't helping.

China attacked us, murdering 24 U. S. sailors.

Don't.

(SIGHS)

I mean, for the sake of the world, I hope you can help me understand what the hell Li is doing.

Li didn't approve firing on your ship.

It was a rogue commander who thinks the party has lost its way.

(LAUGHS)

Well That's good.

That means that Li doesn't want this confrontation any more than I do.

But he can't admit his military acted alone.

He needs to preserve his honor.

The fact that you're a woman - For Pete's sake.

- I'm just saying, - it's a factor.

- Would he rather blow up the world than back down to a girl?

President Li is a proud man.

Too bad.

No.

I am not allowing the militarization of Hainan Dao.

Then there's no way out.

(SIGHS, SNIFFLES)

If this is really about President Li's pride and honor then what if we move our ships away from the island before your ships get there?

So you will back down?

No.

Even from hundreds of miles away, we can still strike the quarantine line.

And we will do that if your vessels cross it.

But Li can claim the United States blinked first.

Yes, and then quietly order his ships to steer away from Hainan Dao.

As a friend, I want to share that Stevie got engaged tonight.

Congratulations.

- Elizabeth.

- I know.

There's no greater joy than expanding one's family.

Thank you.

I wish the same for you.

That was manipulative, but highly effective.

The truth often is.

I will take your proposal to President Li.

RADAR OFFICER: Contact now at six kilometers.

Course 170 at 28 knots.

ETA to exclusion zone is now 20 seconds.

FANNING: No alteration in course, ma'am.

RADAR OFFICER: Chinese vessels at three kilometers from exclusion zone.

FANNING: They're gonna blow through the quarantine line, Madam President.

You have your orders.

FANNING: Light 'em up, Captain.

CAPTAIN: Roger that.

Targets acquired.

Prepare to execute on my command.

CAPTAIN: Yes, ma'am.

RADAR OFFICER: Bridge, radar.

Contacts moving!

Now steering course 350.

FANNING: Hold fire, Captain!

Hold fire!

CAPTAIN: Roger.

Disengaging.

They're turning around.

- Lord in heaven, they're turning.

- ELIZABETH: Ooh.

- (APPLAUSE)

- Son of a bitch.

Congratulations, Madam President.

CANNING: Madam President, we were discussing your contacts with Foreign Minister Tousi.

ELIZABETH: Yes, I recall, Mr.

Chairman.

Then you must also recall that, uh, you left intentionally before I could inquire about the matter.

I left because there was an international incident that required my immediate attention.

Yes.

An armed conflict with China that resulted in two dozen American fatalities.

Tragically, yes.

But you deftly navigated your way around a potential war, didn't you?

Mr. Chairman, is there an actual question here?

Yes, there is.

Isn't it true that the conflict with China, and its magical resolution, was entirely fabricated by your administration to distract from these impeachment proceedings?

- (GALLERY CLAMORING)

- (BANGS GAVEL)

I'll have order in this room.

Madam President, there is a question outstanding.

It isn't a question.

It's an accusation.

And I will not support your attempt to politicize the sacrifice of two dozen sailors who died protecting our country.

I will then, uh, repeat the question one more time.

ELIZABETH: But I'm not going to answer it.

But if you refuse to respond, you do leave this committee with no choice but to hold you in contempt.

This committee will do no such thing.

CANNING: Excuse me?

HEENEY: Mr. Chairman?

- You're out of order, Congressman.

- Mr. Chairman!

Since the inception of these hearings, you have used your pulpit to grandstand and peacock in front of these cameras at the expense of the American taxpayer with nothing to offer but imaginary conspiracy theories and false narratives about the president's secret alliances with Iran, and now China, and her alleged corruption.

You will stand down, Congressman.

I have yielded my time to you over and over again.

Out of fundamental fairness, you can yield a few moments to me now.

(CAMERA SHUTTERS CLICKING)

The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Pennsylvania.

HEENEY: For the past two months two months this committee and the Senate Intelligence Committee before it has pursued an endless crusade to undermine this president, all at the direction of Senator Hanson, who just last week was peddling similar falsehoods about the rescue of an American citizen who was kidnapped by Iran.

Someone has to call these hearings out for what they are.

A political hatchet job.

A campaign of endless harassment, not-not just on the president, but on reality.

- And truth.

- (CAMERA SHUTTERS CLICKING)

So, after the past few days and the exemplary leadership this president has shown, I will no longer participate in a charade whose sole purpose is to punish this president for her only real sin: Challenging our preconceptions about what a president should be.

(CAMERA SHUTTERS CLICKING)

And now I yield my time, Mr. Chairman.

(APPLAUSE)

- Order.

- (BANGS GAVEL)

Order!

Or I will clear this room!

(CAMERA SHUTTER CLICKING, GALLERY CLAMORING)

(GAVEL BANGING)

ELIZABETH: "O.

" "S.

" Quiznos.

Quiznos?

Yup, it's knowing the answers to a quiz.

It's It's a sandwich chain.

Well, it's also that.

- No.

No, no.

- Yeah.

- Come on!

- Uh-uh.

No.

Come on.

- Henry, it's a lot of points.

- Uh, uh, come on.

- Let-Let's go to sleep.

- I can't, Henry.

- I'm too tired.

- Let's go.

Babe.

Come on.

Head on pillow.

- It's bedtime.

- My brain is just going - in this loop.

- (SIGHS)

China, impeachment, wedding planning.

Wedding in peach grove - (LAUGHING): in China - (LAUGHING)

- Okay.

You're delirious, babe.

You got to - I know, babe.

Just play with me, will you, until I pass out?

- Come on.

- Okay.

- All right.

- 78.

NO.

(LAUGHING): No way.

You're such a cheater.

(DISTANT SHOUTING)

(SIGHS)

What is that sound?!

Something with the plumbing?

Nope.

Roar of the crowd.

What crowd?

Protestors.

Few million of 'em.

Oh, my God.

- They want me out?

- No.

They want you in.

Holy moley.

It's happening all over the country, all 50 states.

People are in the streets.

They say it's the biggest public protest ever.

What happened?

As far as they can tell, it started with this ten-year-old girl from Atlanta who convinced her mom to drive through the night so she could hold her sign up by the gate down there.

What what did it say?

"She's my president.

" Cable news picked it up, social media.

That's what they're chanting.

CROWD (CHANTING): She's my president!

I mean, how?

How do millions of people spontaneously take to the streets?

I don't know.

You helped avoid World War III, and all your opponents wanted to do was throw you out of office.

Well, there-there's still the vote in the Judiciary Committee.

No, it's over.

They called an emergency session half an hour ago.

- The one day I sleep in - Well - And?

Well - And?

What do you think?

In the face of this, the only vote for impeachment was Canning's.

So that's it?

It's over?

It's over.

The impeachment inquiry is officially over.

Come on.

CROWD (CHANTING): She's my president!

She's my president!

She's my president!

She's my president!

She's my president!

She's my president!

She's my president!

She's my president!

- She's my president!

- She's my president!

She's my president!

She's my president!

She's my president!