04x22 - Night Watch

Episode transcripts for the TV show "Madam Secretary". Aired: September 2014 to December 2019.
"Madam Secretary" follows a former CIA analyst and college professor who is promoted to United States Secretary of State as she tries to balance her work and family life.
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04x22 - Night Watch

Post by bunniefuu »

ELIZABETH: Can you imagine

how many meetings and discussions

it took to get this thing made?

Apparently, there was an argument

to make the structure a log cabin.

- Seriously?
- Yeah.

- Pretty big cabin.
- Mm-hmm.

Why won't Russell answer my text?

JASON: Um, other than helping run

the most powerful country
in the world?

I never ask for anything,
but I need a Monday off

- in two months.
- What for?

Emma Feldman's wedding,
in Turks and Caicos.


Can people stop with the
destination weddings?

Hey, who remembers
the actual occasion for...

the Gettysburg Address?

Don't make it school, honey.

They used to like it.

Well, then they grew up.

We've lived here almost four years.

This is the first time
doing D.C. as a family...

You thought they'd like it. Me, too.

But we forgot...

- they have lives.
- They have phones.

- Their lives happen on phones.
- I hate that.

Oh. Go ahead,

- but there's no point.
- I hate that, too.

God! Why has no one
checked my blog post

about the history of the poncho?

It's, like, everyone
wants to be in it,

but no one wants
to know where it came from.

- Huh. Funny that. Okay, come on,

Vietnam Memorial. Let's go.

- No, please.

- One memorial and you're done?
- No,

it's just, like, the wall
is gonna be so heavy.

Can we, like, break it up

- with something fun, maybe?
- Yeah, sure,

we'll go directly
to the statue memorializing

what fun it was forming a democracy.

Yeah, okay, okay, we need a
break and maybe some food.

I know a fun place that's nearby,

and we can look at the cherry
blossoms on the way. Come on.

Gift from the Japanese
government in .

- Stop teaching. Stop teaching.
- That's what I do.


It's a little long.



Inches inside.

Receiver's call.

Gentlemen's game, dude. Right?

Okay, Viscount.

Try this.


Breeze helped you out a little.

- I can feel it.
- Yeah.

More like the breeze of the ball
saying, "Don't bother."

Yeah. Come on.

Okay, Waffles, water break.


- Come on and drink. Oh.
- Uh...


Sorry. Thor just has to
meet every dog in the park

before he does his business.

- Thor?
- Yeah.

Oh, I'm sorry, cutie,
but you are not a Thor.

Right? He was already
named when I rescued him.

Oh, I-I rescued Waffles, too.

Waffles? Seriously?

Uh-huh. A b*mb-
sniffing-school washout.

Named after a fancy pancake.

- Oh, are you in the Bureau?
- No, State.

Is your husband in State, too?

I'm not married.

I'm kind of single mom'ing it.

Oh. I'm Thomas. (CHUCKLES)


- Eh! Hooked it.
- Eh.

Just the right amount, Mr. President.

Where's Elizabeth today?

She had a family conflict.

Talk about a swing.

She can't make the NSC game,
my wallet just says thank you.

BECKER (LAUGHS): Amen to that.


Incredible. Your mom has always
been really turbo about this game.

- Mama needs that big...
- Whoa.

What is that up there?

- HENRY: Manatee?
- Manatee.

Yeah! Oh!

You guys should pay attention
and see how this is done.

I don't need a manatee.

- Is anyone getting reception in here?
- No. I'm just

- deleting photos.
- It's a total d*ad zone.

Maybe that's why

I still haven't heard from Russell.

Maybe the parking lot?

Hey, could we all put down our robots

and enjoy this family activity

that we insisted on doing?

- Come on!
- Okay, fine. Hand it over.

- Come on, here.
- There, you can do this one.

Wait, wait.

- Bring it straight back. Straight back.
- Whoo!

Straight back. No spin, no spin!

ELIZABETH: Yeah, baby!

- KAT: Hey.
- BLAKE: Hey.

- What are you in for?
- Oh, self-imposed spring cleaning

M-Sec's personal files. You?

A big policy binder

for the Bureau
of South Central Asian Affairs

which isn't due for a month,

but it's keeping me awake at night.

Do you need some help?

- I'm almost done with my pathology.
- Really?

No, really.

It's a -page dossier,

and it's not exactly a potboiler.

I'd like to dip my toe
in another department.


I should also get a more concrete idea

of what I'm supposed to do next.

Well, if you still want
to do policy after this,

you may have found your
calling, my friend.


DALTON: That really was

- a hell of a drive, Gordon.
- Well, thank you, sir.

My lucky day, I guess.

Not if POTUS cuts your budget.

(CHUCKLES) Thank you, Russell.

Now, do I have to wonder
every time I win

if it's because someone
was afraid of me?

Well, you really weren't
wondering that already, sir?


That's a soothing ring choice.


This is NSA Ellen Hill.


Delta. Three. Three. Niner. Seven.

What's going on?

Confidence level?

Gather the NSC plus five
and kick it to CiC comms

- immediately.
- What the hell is it?

Early warning satellites

detected multiple Russian launches.

- What?!
- Salnikov can't be that crazy.

He said he'd get us back after Syria.

- By launching nukes?
- AGENT: Cover Falcon! Cover Falcon!

CIA's psych eval of Salnikov

indicated volatility and mood swings.

We just k*lled

- Russians in Aleppo.
- Mr. President,

Put them on speaker, Captain.

Yes, sir.

Colonel McPherson is on the line.

- McPherson?
- General Bradley is off duty, sir.

NSC plus five is being patched in.

Colonel McPherson, what's the sitrep?

Mr. President,

SSPARS is now tracking

more than Russian ICBMs

heading for U.S. mainland,

striking in about minutes.

- Oh, my God.
- What about our monitoring stations?

London and Alaska already
confirmed; Greenland on alert.

Is there anything

indicating otherwise?

- No, sir.
- Do we have all NSC on the line?

All but Secretary McCord
and DNI Ware, sir.

We can't reach them.

Does anyone have any reason to believe

that our systems could be wrong?

Admiral Forsyth here, Mr. President.

It's a long sh*t, but we've
always worried about a hack.

Not possible.

The network's air gapped and continually
monitored for unauthorized code.

Now is not the time to be defensive

about our systems, Gordon.

Colonel, is there anything indicating

a possible intrusion
in the network, anything at all?

No, sir. Every indication

is that we are under att*ck,
Mr. President.

Sir, I recommend initiating
Night Watch continuity

of government protocol immediately.

Do it. Major, open the football.

ELIZABETH: Three, two, one...

you're already so far behind.

HENRY: Well, I...
- Put your foot on the gas!

What are those...
those oil can things?

You have to grab them, Dad,
so you can leave the oil slicks.

- I'll crash.
- It's okay to crash.

I can't crash... I'm a trained pilot.

These things have consequences.

It's called Redline Rampage,
you got to be

a little bit more rampage-y...



I am seriously stunned to
be beating you right now.

I mean, I don't know what's happening.

Well, don't get used to it.

And you can stop with the...

- psych-out.

MATT: That was uncalled for.

Is everything okay?

Uh, family emergency.

- Is Chloe okay?
- Yeah.

I, uh... I just have to go.


DALTON: Major att*ck Option Three

takes out all of their
military installations

but limits civilian casualties.

Problem with that
is we can't guarantee

- it neutralizes their entire military.
- Mr. President,

I strongly advise
Major att*ck Option One.

I concur. Anything less

than the most
devastating counterstrike

invites a second wave,
k*lling even more Americans.

We need to get you
airborne, Mr. President.

HILL: Mr. President,

we're running out of time...
if you don't launch

before the Russian m*ssile hit,
they could take out our silos,

- severely limiting our response.
- We'd lose an entire leg

of the nuclear triad.

There has to be
a better option than just...

responding in kind
to an all-out Russian att*ck.

It'd almost certainly bring on
a nuclear winter,

k*lling everyone on the planet.

We have to think about that.

HILL: Nuclear winter
is a theory, Russell.

The president has to execute

what we've been gaming
and planning for decades.

There's only one way to fulfill your

constitutional obligation, Mr.

It's Major att*ck Option One.

Does anyone disagree
with that assessment?

Do we have the Pentagon
w*r Room on the line?

Yes, Mr. President.
General Nelson here.

Ready to authenticate
the nuclear launch codes

on your call.





Housekeeping. Ignore it.

- It's : , doofus.
- Mm-hmm.


That really isn't housekeeping.


- Sorry to interrupt.
- Angela.

See you in court, you bastard.

Looks like you got a late
start this morning, Dave.

Long night. Not much sleep.

- Teenagers, huh?
- No, the kids are fine.

I think.

I didn't go home.

Angie served me with
divorce papers last night.

Oh, man. I had no idea.

Could you believe it?

New keyboards are pretty sweet, too.

Yeah, just the right resistance.


Teykovo and Kartaly lighting up.

- I've got Kozelsk and Yurya.
- Talbot, report.

Dozens of launches across Russia.

Get any warnings from FSB about tests?

- No, sir.
- Anybody... anything on MOLINK?

No reports, sir.

SSPARS, report.

Confirmation from Thule
and Fylingdales.

More than a hundred so far.

Not in range of Alaska yet.

I have trajectory.

Mainland U.S., coast
to coast, top to bottom.

Get me CiC's crisis coordinator.


- Soothing ring choice.

This is NSA Ellen Hill.

DALTON: Do we have the Pentagon
w*r Room on the line?

Yes, Mr. President.
General Nelson here.

Ready to authenticate
the nuclear launch codes

on your call.

I'm ready for your
challenge code, General.

Tango. Delta. Seven. Eight.

Two. Two.

Victor. November.
Niner. Five. Eight. Two.

Copy, sir. Your orders?

DALTON: Zulu. Echo. Six.

Two. Five.


Confirming. Zulu. Echo.

Six. Two. Five. Eight, sir.



NELSON: Copy, Mr. President.

Godspeed, sir.


- General Nelson.
- What?

Your security clearance
has been revoked

under the Personnel
Reliability Program.

We're at w*r, damn it.

And you must leave the building.

What the hell is this about?

Your divorce, General.

Captain Barnes. Yes, ma'am. Copy.

The Pentagon w*r Room

cannot issue the EAM
to launch control centers.

- Since when?
- What the hell?

Look, I'm sorry, sir,

but you need to reissue
the order to STRATCOM.


Delta. Seven. Eight. Two. Two.

Victor. November. Niner.
Five. Eight. Two.


Your orders, Mr. President?

Zulu. Echo. Six. Two. Five. Eight.

Confirming. Zulu. Echo.

Six. Two. Five. Eight. Sir. Over.

Confirmed. God bless, Colonel.

Thank you, Mr. President.

There's no turning back now.


- Here we go.

Not a drill.

Unlock launch keys.

I agree.

Alpha. Zulu.


I have a match.

Authentication confirmed.

I agree.

Belt up.

Insert launch keys.


Where is everybody?

I'm going for a personal best here.

- Ma'am.
- Huh?

We have to get you off the premises.

- Now.
- What's this about?

Code Night Watch, ma'am.

Okay, wait, hold on, my family.

- What's going on?
- We're trying to reach the secretary.

There's no reception in here.

We have Mr. Jackson
on the line outside.

Okay, um, I'll be right back.

What the hell's going on?

RUSSELL: It's real.

The Russians launched
the kitchen sink.


You should be heading
to Mount Weather.

Wait. Where's the rest of the NSC?

Aren't we advising POTUS
on countermeasures?

RUSSELL: We already did.

The president ordered
Major att*ck Option One.

It's done.

Oh, my God. I...

Bess, just go.


You take care, okay?

We have a helicopter on top
of the Unified building.

We have to hurry.

No, no. I-I'm not, I'm not going.

I'm-I'm gonna stay with my family.


Try Deputy Cushing. Go.

I'm trying to decide
if I should call Carol...

and the boys.

What's the point?


There's no turning back now.

Keep working. Man your stations.

- Initiate Major att*ck Option One.
- I agree.

- Shut up.
- Stop coaching.

Okay, wait, hold on, my family.

Too much skill.

Bess, just go, okay?

Mid-course phase. Warheads detaching.

Tracking more than , .

No, no! Abort! Abort!

General Bradley...
Now! Send a new EAM aborting it!

Do it! Oh, for God's sake.

- Abort, abort.
- Come on.

- Silo covers clear.
- Agreed.

STEVIE: Oh, my God.

Launch actions. Hands on keys.

I agree.

f*re on my mark. Three, two, one,

- mark.


We're off Code Night Watch.

All clear.

Wait, that's... that's confirmed?

Yes, ma'am.

All clear.

Thank you, Jimmy. Thank you.


Mom? Mom.

Are you okay?

Oh, I just got so light-headed.

HENRY: Uh, she forgot to eat.

So, Jace, just go get her a
pizza or something, okay?

I need...

- Eat, Mom.
- Okay, yeah.


STEVIE: You ready for this?


Problem solved?

He's not gonna like it.

POTUS was head faked
into ordering Armageddon.

Not gonna like it is
the least of your worries.

I just had a nice chat
about organic juicing

with my son in Santa Barbara,

who I thought I was
never going to see again,

so this better be good, Gordon.

As you recall, sir,

STRATCOM recently upgraded
its systems; hardware,


Are you telling me this
was some kind of glitch?

No, sir.

Apparently, General Bradley
wanted to run a stress test

on this new equipment

to see how it would
interact with personnel.

- A stress test?
- So he had his CTO

upload a simulation
on the backup system

at the end of his shift last night

because he wasn't gonna
be in for the weekend.

God forbid he be inconvenienced.

DALTON: A simulation?

I almost ended the world
because of a simulation?

Bradley didn't inform staff.

He wanted them to believe it was real.

Planned on running it
when he got back in,

but the primary system
unexpectedly failed

and the backup came on seamlessly,

so no one in the GOC knew.

Pretty convincing simulation.

I think that's the point.

f*re Bradley.

I've already relieved him
of duty, sir.

HILL: Didn't we change our procedures

on simulations after ' ?

Supposed to be on computers off-site.

Like many four stars,
Bradley doesn't lack confidence.

He ignored the rule.

And what if General Nelson
didn't have clearance issues?

Would Bradley have arrived
in time to abort the launches?

No, sir. It slowed the order
by almost two minutes.

We were down to the wire

in a few of our
launch control centers.

So the world was saved
by a philandering general.

Maybe his mistress should get a medal.

I've ordered a review
of our alert procedures, sir,

- system wide.
- Well,

that ought to take care of it.

We've been on this posture

for over years,
what else do we need to know?

- What are you getting at, Bess?
- Isn't the problem

the policy itself?

Being on hair-trigger alert
to order the destruction

- of the planet.
- HILL: Like you said,

it's worked for years.

I didn't say it's worked.

It's more like...

we've been lucky.

The Russians are on ready-alert, too.

What choice do we have,
but to counterbalance?

De-alert our silos.

And how exactly

would we do that?

Remove the warheads from the m*ssile.

So it'd take several hours

- or days to rearm.
- If we de-alert our ICBMs,

it would put too much pressure

on the other forces
of the nuclear triad.

- There's a reason a stool has three legs.
- Our subs become vulnerable.

If there's a problem
with our b*mb...

We have stealth subs,
each with more than enough

warheads to destroy Russia.

We have a hundred
nuclear-armed b*mb.

Clinging to the notion
that we need to maintain

ready-alert ICBMs,

that means STRATCOM has three minutes

to make the call
to the crisis coordinator,

who has two minutes

to call the president.

And then POTUS has five minutes
to make a decision.

I mean, talk about vulnerability.

It's insanity.

After what happened today,

how could we come
to any other conclusion?

Maybe you should stay
in your lane, Elizabeth.

Not if you're gonna blow up

- the entire highway, Gordon.
- HILL: Okay, okay.

Fine. Even if we got
the Russians to go along

with the de-alerting,
there would be no way

we could verify that they
were holding up their end.

We verified START I and II.

And what if there's a crisis

and we have to go back on alert?

A frenetic and unstable
re-alerting race

could spiral into a launch.

That thr*at could be managed.

But forcing leaders
to make a snap decision

about nuclear w*r with limited

and hastily compiled
information is untenable.

That's the game we're in,
and it's not gonna change.

Why are you so dug in

that you-you can't even see
another point of view?

I'm not gonna argue.

You're obviously having
an emotional reaction.

Normally, I would have a
problem with a man telling me

that I was emotional at work,

but after what happened today,

after thinking that I
was seeing my kids

for the very last time,

you are damn right I'm emotional.

And maybe emotion is what's missing

from the stupid, so-called logic

behind our dehumanized
nuclear posture.

You know what's even stupider?

We've been here before.


like you alluded to,
only back then it was NORAD.

They kicked it up to the NSA,

who almost alerted Jimmy Carter

because a simulation
was triggered between shifts.

Talk about not learning a lesson.

How many times today did we hear,

"This can't be a mistake.
This can't be a mistake"?

Meanwhile, satellites pick up

a couple routine launches
practically every day,

STRATCOM automatically starts
the drill in response,

again and again, rinse and repeat.

Bess is right.

This-this is not

a rational, deliberate process.

It-it's the rote enactment
of a prepared script

that forces leaders
to render decisions

determining the fate
of the planet and mankind

under excruciating pressure.

If we, if we don't do
everything in our power

to fix it, reduce the odds
of this happening again,

then aren't we all complicit

in recklessness
that borders on immorality?

We'll talk again tomorrow.

(GROANS) Russell hasn't
gotten back to me,

and Emma is freaking out.

God, she wants the whole guest list

two months in advance; I mean, like,

people lose their minds over weddings.

ALISON: And what's with
Turks and Caicos?

- Can you even afford that?

I cannot, I can't eat out
for an entire month.

It is very insensitive of her.

- So blow it off.
- She's one of my best friends.

I can't do that.

You know, you guys,

just go on, we got this.

- Okay.
- Back to compulsively checking my blog.

Oh, yeah,

- when is your project due?
- Um, a week from Friday.

I can't normalize.

Me, either.

How do we get our lives back?

We just keep doing it, I guess.

What were you thinking about,
when we were waiting?

What a lucky man I am.

What a blessed life I'd had.

But sad, you know,

for the kids, for the future
they wouldn't get to have.

Me, too.



Conrad's here.

I thought of telling Lydia,

but she was washing her face,

complaining about her crow's feet.

I told her all I see
are those beautiful eyes,

and she called me a liar.


If only she knew how beautiful
she looked tonight.

Ignorance really is bliss.

Whole country.



HENRY: Well.

We were all in that oblivion
for a little while,

but now there's no going back.

No, indeed.

When I believed
the Russians had launched,

I kept trying to understand why.

I thought, if it's all going to hell,

and I'm responsible for half of it,

I should at least comprehend it.

HENRY: And what did you come up with?

Well, you're gonna laugh.

And it's not the perfect analogue,


That fable about
the scorpion and the frog.


Well, that sounds about right.

I thought, well, we k*lled

Russians in Syria last week.

It must just be
President Salnikov's nature

to retaliate
with everything they've got.

I know it doesn't make sense,

but that's what keeps
spinning in my mind.

Things that don't make sense.

Like what if these
m*ssile don't protect us

nearly as much as they thr*at us?

We need to do everything we can

to make sure
that our policies make sense,

and if they don't,
we need to change them.

I thought you wanted to sleep on it.

I did.

Until I realized I can't sleep
without doing something.

Name it.

Back channel with the Russians.

I'm guessing they got a whiff
of our silo doors opening.

If you can get any interest
in mutual de-alerting,

maybe we push for a new treaty.

I'll drink to that.

Isn't it a little late to call Moscow?

Avdonin is in the Caymans
at a banking conference...

or money laundering.

I want to back channel
right in front of him

on this one.

DAISY: Hey, g*ng.

- Pass me that pitcher, and a straw.
- ALL: Hey.

What news from the world?

Same. Just cable news
continuously reporting

on Marine One landing
on the golf course,

Air Force One's mystery flight,
and high-level officials

being whisked away
and all of a sudden, returned.

Well, everyone at
the White House is saying

that it was some kind of drill, so...

For nuclear evacuation... also,
I have a friend at the Pentagon

- saying it wasn't a drill.
- What?

Hey, you were whisked away
from the tennis courts.

That was a nanny thing.

No, that wasn't your nanny face.

Here's what I think.

I think it wasn't a drill,
and Jay got whisked.

Because he's on the list.

What list?

The list, dude, the-the people
that get taken to Mount Weather.

It's an underground
city where they keep

a small population going
for a couple of years.

How do you know if you're on the list?

Well, they tell you.

For example, I know
I am not on the list, so...

My skin will be melting off my bones

along with all of you lovely people.


- You're welcome.

But you're-you're on it,
though, aren't you?

I mean, come on, you can tell us.

We're not gonna hold it against you.

Can we change the subject?

- Seriously. Seriously.
- Uh-oh.

I knew it.

I'm not saying I'm on the list.


But let me, let me just tell you

what that particular
privilege buys you.

Mm-hmm. Tell him.

You get whisked away, you do...


...without saying good-bye
to your friends and family.

And then, you get to be
in an underground bunker

with generals and top government
brass for weeks or months,

eating MREs and
drinking ionized water.

You emerge

after the radiation's
reduced to livable levels,

at which point, you get to try

to pick out your loved ones' bones

from the rubble and ash.

And then, you spend

however many years

running the b*mb out husk

of the former United States
government under martial law.

That's not a list
that you want to be on.

Have a good night.

- Good night.
- Good night.

He's definitely on the list.


Secretary McCord.

I was surprised to hear you
requested to meet

after what happened
in Syria last week.

The loss of life was tragic,

and I am truly sorry
for the soldiers' families.

But that's not why I'm here.

Did you not get the message
that I declined this meeting?

I did.

Yet you flew over a thousand
miles just to come here anyway.

How do you say, "This better be good."


We need to overhaul
our nuclear w*apon posture.

Oh, is that all?

Specifically, the hair trigger.

Alert status, you call it
boy-eh-voy stat-tohs.

Curious timing.

GRU reported an interesting
military exercise

your country performed yesterday.


Well, let's just say,

made a compelling argument
for de-alerting.

You must have had quite a day.

I can get another one.

No, thanks.

All I'm asking is if you think

there might be
an opening for a new treaty.


Maybe even reducing stockpiles.

We cherish our children
as much as you do, Elizabeth.

This... this is an initial proposal

for a framework.

We could... even start now.

Gordon Becker, ma'am.

I heard about your little jaunt
to the Caymans.

Well, yeah, I alerted your office.

And... coffee?

You're giving the
president bad advice.

Well, isn't that for him to decide?

I know you're the Dalton whisperer,

but now you're getting into just...

Excuse me, what?

Oh, come on, Elizabeth.

Everybody knows you play
the friend card with him.


I'm just trying to decide

if that's more insulting
to me or POTUS.

Look, I've never balked at
your out-of-the-box ideas

when it comes to diplomacy,

but now you're infringing
on national security.

Well, as a member of
the National Security Council,

I fail to see how
I'm infringing on anything.

You are thr*at
long-standing security policy.


If questioning how things
have been done is thr*at,

- doesn't that tell you something?
- Fine.

I'm happy to authorize
a thorough feasibility review.

Feasibility of what?

No one questions that we can de-alert.

There's nothing not feasible about it.

I think we need to study that.

You mean jam it up.

And k*ll any hope of passage
in the Senate,

where there is literally
an ICBM caucus.

Politics ain't beanbag.

No. No, it ain't.

So what's it gonna take
to move you on this, Gordon?

I mean, how can we work together

to make this world
a safer place for our kids?

Our kids are safest

when we maintain the most
robust deterrent possible

to Russian aggression.

Look what happened last week in Syria.

They saw weakness in our
relationship with Turkey,

and not hours later,

they were exploiting it
to att*ck our troops.

But is a regional dust-up
really comparable

to what happened yesterday?

Giving up even a shred
of strategic advantage...

I'll never get behind it.

After decades in the Pentagon,
that's just where I am.

You need to let this go.

ALISON: I totally need
to change my project.

I need at least
likes on my blog post

to qualify, and I'm at .

What is wrong with people?

Uh, they don't care about ponchos.

That's my first guess.

STEVIE: Russell Jackson
is ruining my life.

I have texted him twice
and e-mailed once

about Emma's wedding... radio silence.

I mean, what else
am I supposed to be doing?!

Maybe just give him a few more days.

I just feel like he could
show me the respect

of a one-word response.

You know? Like, come on,
other people have lives.

Oh, for Pete's sake, Stevie,
the man's busy.

He has a lot more on his mind

than your spoiled friend's
Caribbean wedding.

Okay, Mom might be just
a little bit over-carbed.

We're gonna take a time out.

Come on.

ELIZABETH: They gotta hand it to me,

first real snap
since this whole thing started.

- Okay, what's going on?
- You mean, other than seeing

my life go up in a nuclear flash?

- Uh... yeah, other than that.

Gordon and Ellen are still against...

taking our nukes off the hair trigger.

Even with Russian cooperation.

- I mean, it's like

I went and I got the witch's broom

and the Wizard still
won't send me home.

I... Now I understand why
they call the inner sanctum

at the Pentagon the "priesthood".

Our nuclear stance is,
like, their dogma.

Even the most stodgy
religious institutions

can change with time.

Yeah, well, we don't have that.

And the Catholic Church

was never in danger
of blowing up the world

while they were evolving. It's...

Okay, let's use the Socratic method.

- Oh, please.
- How do you get both the Church

and the government to change
their position on anything?

I don't... I don't know.


Popular demand.

And where does
popular demand come from?

You mean other than the people?

Why did the Protestant
Reformation happen?

Hurry this up, Socrates.

The printing press.

Putting the Bible
into the hands of the people.

The Church couldn't control
the information anymore.


If you want to change
our nuclear policy,

you need the people on your side.

To get them, you need
to tell them how close we came.

RUSSELL: Why the hell

would we declassify any of it?

(SIGHS) Because sunlight

is the best disinfectant.

Yes, and it causes cancer, too.

Sir, I am convinced that the only way

to move the Senate on de-alerting

is to bring the public into it.

- By scaring the crap out of them.
- Yes, exactly.

The secrecy has...

lulled everybody into this
false sense of security.

It's time we wake 'em up.

Then they'll pressure
their senators, you think,

into, uh, getting on board
with de-alerting?

I do.

Or it'll be a black eye
on this administration.


Hell, it could put us in traction,

giving more a*mo to our already
considerable opposition in Congress,

and you'll be the lamest lame duck

in history, sir.

So release it all.


false alarm, glitch and close call

all the way back to the ' s,
including by the Russians.

And the priesthood will buckle.

Well, certainly those in the Senate

worried about the next election.

I say yeah.

Let's scare the crap out of America.

- seconds, Mr. President.
- Thank you, Amy.

Lock it up, everyone.

- seconds.
- Well...

- any second thoughts?
- (SIGHS): Always.

But... it's a bold move, sir.

Hey, I, uh, heard you're
working on a model airplane.

- Corsair.
- From who?


If you could please have
a seat, Mr. President.

Break a leg, sir.

Are we sure this is
the right color tie?


And five, four, three...

Good evening, my fellow Americans.

I want to share with you
a crisis that unfolded

this past Saturday.

Fortunately, it was resolved
with no harm done,

but as stakeholders in our
nation's safety and security,

you deserve to know what happened.

At : in the morning,
I was informed that Russia

had launched a massive nuclear att*ck

against the United States.

Every indication was that it was real

and would strike in minutes.

My fellow citizens...

I ordered an equally
massive counterattack.

NEWSWOMAN: After weeks of protest

in the U.S. and around the globe,

the United States and Russia
have agreed to a treaty

to take their ICBMs
off hair-trigger alert.

Seeing the overwhelming popular
support for the new policy,

a supermajority of U.S. senators

have signaled
they will ratify the treaty,

which would also draw
clear parameters...

U.S.-India Strategic
and Commercial Dialogue Support

for local female entrepreneurs

manufacturing sea salt in Indonesia.

Fact-checked and footnoted,

with alphabetical headings
and subheadings.


I say "boom" sometimes.

No, I'm just... I am staggered

by your speed and persistence.

Well, they're my superpowers.

(LAUGHS) Good job.

All right, go, go, go.
Go have a Saturday.


What's up?

I want more.

Oh, my God, you're one of us.

Okay, um...

earthquake resilience
development in Turkmenistan.


Come on, Waffles.

Come on. Let's get a break.

MAN: Hey, is that a beagle?

Sure is.

- Rumor is his parents were show dogs.

You get him, uh, from a breeder?

No, he's a rescue.

I've been thinking of doing that.

How's it working out?

Well, so far, so good.

JAY: Right where we left off.

One-four, my serve.

Man, I can't even believe
I got a point off of you,

- let alone, what, four games?
- Will you stop?

- You're going down.
- I hope you're hungry,

- 'cause you're gonna eat this.
- Let's go.


ALISON: See, Dad?

Once you got over the
not-crashing phase,

you're unstoppable.

I love crashing. It's my thing.

Okay, well, the game's not over yet.

STEVIE: All but the crying.

He's five laps ahead.

Okay, I'm making nachos.

Ooh, yes, please. And guacamole.

I am only one person.

(GROANS) Okay, I'll chop and shred.

- You mean like I'm doing right now?
- Oh, okay, yeah, keep it up.

They did a nice job of sodding over

where Marine One landed.

Almost like it never happened.

(CHUCKLES): Yeah. Almost.

Take it, uh...

Gordon and Ellen bowed
politely out of the game?

Quite politely. (CHUCKLES)

They're still stinging
over de-alerting, but...

they'll come around.

I am just grateful to play
a quiet round of golf

without worrying about nuclear winter.

Not that it
can't happen anyway, but...

at least we, uh,

turned the odds
significantly in our favor.

(CHUCKLES): Bess...

you want to go ahead
and put him out of his bliss?

Well, actually,
I'm a little rusty, but...


I let the president win.

HENRY: Smart.

Russell I hammered.

(CHUCKLES): Good for you.

So, what's this return visit about?

Sort of a... full-circle celebration?

Sorta. It just...

felt appropriate.

This whole ordeal has reminded me

about the importance of civic duty.

It's reaffirmed my faith
in the process, you know?

I do.

We got this enormous
thing done, Henry,

and I feel a responsibility

to make sure it doesn't get undone.

When the time comes...

...I want to run for president.

I know.

- You do?
- Mm-hmm.

Wow. I really didn't.

But that's nothing new.

There's one other thing I know.

I'm with you.
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