Madam Secretary (2014) s04e12 Episode Script

Sound and Fury

1 with Minister Ognian, followed by Ognian? - New finance minister.
- Ah, right.
Then your monthly ambassador's roundtable with local NGO leaders at 10:00.
Cool.
Who we got this month? (WHIRRING) What the hell? (RUMBLING, HIGH-PITCHED RINGING) MITCHELL: Out, out, everybody out! (HIGH-PITCHED RINGING CONTINUES) Let's go! Clear the floor! Now! (ALL SHOUTING, SCREAMING) I can't feel my ears.
Maybe you should've worn a hat.
I can't, I'm wearing fancy hair.
Men never get that.
(SIGHS) Listen, I really want to hold onto my gloves.
But is that tacky? Uh, hey, we have had colder weather than this.
I don't know When? Henry, it is two degrees.
Two.
It's not enough degrees for a basketball team.
Boot camp, Lake County, Illinois.
T-That December, it was consistently in the negatives.
You don't remember that? It's all a blur of newlywed bliss.
Oh.
Bet Prime Minister Soeda is pining away for the balmy shores of Tokyo right now.
Hope it doesn't damage our relationship.
Oh, I'm sure Conrad will ply him with the finest American spirits.
(LAUGHS) Nothing to warm you up like a dose of Thomas Jefferson's Reserve.
KAT: Madam Secretary.
Kat.
Oh, man, I wished I'd held onto my coat.
Have you met my husband, Henry? No.
I've heard so much about you.
- It's a pleasure to meet you, Dr.
McCord.
- You, too, Kat.
Uh, ma'am, our embassy in Bulgaria is reporting some kind of attack.
What do you mean? A military attack? We're not sure where it's coming from.
What kind of weaponry? Sound.
Thank you, Lucy.
A sonic attack.
Really? That's what it sounds like, sir.
I so to speak.
Sounds more like something out of Star Trek.
It's the Russians, isn't it? Where's Ephraim? On his way, sir.
I'm not aware of any evidence pointing to Russia.
But I did just speak with Ambassador Williams.
And? How is he? Rattled, but hanging in there.
About 20 FSOs are being treated for hearing loss, headache, nausea.
Embassy security is getting into it with Bulgaria's SIA, but to be clear, we still don't know whether this was an attack, or something else.
- Like what? - (DOOR OPENS) - Ephraim Ware, sir.
- DALTON: Get him in here.
It's the Russians, isn't it? Actually, sir, yes, it looks like it is.
SIA is reporting that just prior to the incident, three men broke into an office building with direct line of sight to our embassy.
RUSSELL: Which is what you'd need for a sonic weapon, I presume.
Facial recognition identified one of the men as Yuri Sturble, a Russian national.
So much for "something else.
" Where are these men now? Unknown.
But we're working with the Bulgarians to track them.
It's practically an act of war.
RUSSELL: Top Russian brass certainly grumbled after we thwarted their invasion in Emona, then added that new wing onto the embassy as a victory lap, but I-I Now they're hitting back.
WARE: I'm putting Special Activities Division in charge of the investigation.
Dr.
McCord is already being briefed.
Fine, but I want the Pentagon working on countermeasures now.
Well, I suppose we should go and greet Prime Minister Soeda and smile like we're not careening toward the abyss.
Lydia wouldn't have it any other way.
You look quite fetching, by the way, Bess.
Oh.
(QUIETLY): Thank you, sir.
(REPORTERS CLAMORING) (CAMERAS CLICKING) WOMAN: Mr.
President? What about the attack on our embassy in Bulgaria? Was it Russia? I will tell you this: if we confirm that Russia is behind it, they are going to feel the overwhelming force and ferocity of our military might.
MONICA: Are you threatening a nuclear attack, Mr.
President? (REPORTERS CLAMORING) That's it.
Thanks, everyone.
Mr.
President, I have to ask, what did you have in mind with that statement? We're putting the Russians on notice.
It's called leading from strength.
Okay.
And did you vet it with the secretary of defense or anyone on the NSC? Relax, Russell.
As the top of the food chain around here, I don't have to check with anyone before warning an adversary.
Due respect, sir, actually, you do.
Excuse me? Mr.
President, I-I I know I don't need to explain why it's dangerous to improvise foreign policy, especially with threats.
That's right, you don't.
Lydia.
Just, uh call the Russian foreign minister.
Cool things down.
Yeah, that'll be easy.
He just threatened "ferocity and might"? What the hell? I have no idea.
(SIGHS) Is it Harrison? He-he gets this way with Harrison, but he doesn't usually take it out on our nuclear adversaries.
Hopefully, he'll sleep it off.
For now, let's just contain the damage.
Oh! Wow.
Isn't the heat working? It's on, it's just taking a second to kick in.
We closed the vents in here to make it warmer in your office.
Then let's go directly there.
- Okay, good.
- Great.
Ma'am, Jay has Chloe tonight, so he's monitoring the situation from home.
Understood.
And where are we on the situation? I have set up an emergency call with Foreign Minister Avdonin.
Who is standing by to teach us an advanced course in Russian expletives, if his preliminary e-mail is any indication.
I saw it.
Some of the phrases were pretty imaginative.
- Yeah.
- Ma'am, I hate to ask, but what's going on with the president? Look, let's just focus on containing the damage.
- Okay? - Okay, ma'am.
Yes, ma'am.
I suppose the challenge in this call with Avdonin is to walk the delicate line of not undermining the president's position while assuring Russia there are no immediate plans to respond to the Sofia situation with force.
Piece of cake.
No immediate plans? Really? Well, that just makes it all better, doesn't it? Minister Avdonin I have been in President Salnikov's office for the last hour, and trust me, he's not happy.
He makes me look like the picture - of peace and solitude.
- And that's why you and I need to tamp things down.
Tamp? Your president is the only one who needs to tamp, Madam Secretary.
In fact, he should apologize publicly for his spectacularly over-the-top, barbaric, asinine, outrageous threat against the Russian people.
Why don't you and I focus on what we can actually do? I can't wait to hear what you have in mind.
You say you didn't attack us.
We know for a fact that one of your citizens was seen in position to strike our embassy before the incident.
Let us talk to him.
That's your idea of something we can actually do? If it wasn't an attack, then you have nothing to worry about.
Us, worry? President Dalton threatened Russia on the world stage.
No.
You worry.
We will not let this affront go unanswered.
So much for containment.
(CHUCKLES SOFTLY) ELIZABETH: Good night, Geri.
Good night.
Hey.
- Oh.
- You're still up? Yeah, I was, I was trying to get a jump on this intel on the ground in Sofia.
- Any luck? - Well, it's mostly conflicting reports and speculation at this point.
How did things go with Avdonin? Not in a good place yet.
What on earth possessed Conrad? It's so unlike him.
I tried calling Lydia, but she didn't pick up.
Maybe something with Harrison.
That usually sets him off.
I'm hoping he turns on the charm tomorrow and buys it all back, and then this will have just been a very strange, very cold evening.
And right now, I am going to go take a very hot bath.
For about two and a half hours.
Well, that sounds good.
(CLATTERING LOUDLY, METAL SCREECHING) That doesn't sound good.
- ELIZABETH: Oh! - HENRY: Oh, gosh.
No, no, no, no.
Oh, no.
ALISON: Mom? Dad? What? What is happening? What on earth? It sounded like the world was ending.
It's just a broken pipe, calm down.
Really? You were the first one to say "giant sinkhole.
" That could still happen.
Is there something that we can do? I don't even know what's down here.
Look at that box.
Ugh.
Got even worse news.
- There goes your hot bath.
- What? I had to turn off the main.
I hate this night.
Let's go, come on.
- Isn't there supposed to be a drain? - Call the plumber.
Plumber, plumber.
When it gets this cold, you got to run the water through as a preventative measure.
Why? 'Cause if you let it just sit there, it freezes, expands.
The pipes burst.
Did you run the water through? Let me answer that for you, because I wouldn't be here if you ran the water through.
We ran the water in the morning.
We were only gone for the day.
Yeah, well, that's all it takes in weather like this.
ELIZABETH: Well, I was about to draw a bath when it happened The point here isn't to be right.
The point here is to learn from your mistakes.
Well, thank you, Earl.
This is a terrific opportunity for growth.
ELIZABETH: Ooh, hey.
Looks like you guys found the fishing gear.
Yeah, it was on the top shelf.
Most of the boxes look like this.
- Ugh.
- JASON: Or worse.
We're setting up Operation Dig Through in the kitchen.
I-It's probably just old linens and stuff we don't care about, right? We'll see.
Pretty expensive lesson, am I right? Wow.
Ooh.
See, it's easy to forget about the foundations.
You live in the bright, shiny spaces where everything works, but you let yourselves forget about structural integrity.
The sanctity of the pipes.
Everything inside the walls that makes it all work.
Houses are built from the ground up.
Remember that.
Okay.
I consider myself a relatively progressive, enlightened man You want to punch Earl.
- So much.
- I know.
- I get it.
- (PHONE RINGING) Okay.
Hello.
Russia just announced an $8 billion arms sale to Iran.
Okay.
Not too bad, considering.
The release says it's to "counteract imperialist Western influence.
" Has a sort of autocratic charm.
They know it's not in their interest to amp up aggressions.
So it's a measured response.
Then you should tell POTUS that.
He wants you in the Situation Room.
(BUZZER SOUNDS) Morning.
You got something? We lost Yuri Sturble.
He was over the Romanian border less than two hours after the incident, along with the two other men.
It's all on border security footage.
SRI is into it, but we're not hopeful.
What about our foreign service officers? MOLLY: Still being treated for hearing loss and severe headaches.
Some are having prolonged bouts of dizziness and nausea.
And that's consistent with a sonic attack? Still, the case against Russia is completely circumstantial.
MOLLY: But the president must know something, right? "Overwhelming force and veracity of our military might".
He must have some broader strategy.
The president is counting on us to provide clarity.
Let's broaden all our inquiries.
Okay.
What the hell took you so long? Excuse me? Sorry.
The stress of wrangling the most powerful man on Earth.
What now? He's talking about shooting down - Russian military satellites.
- What?! At least he wants to hear from the NSC before giving the order.
Oh, he'll hear from us.
Any word from Harrison? Yeah, I just talked to him.
Chewed my ear off about his blog, the whole juicing versus regular juicing or whatever the hell.
He's not the problem.
What about Lydia? She's not returning my calls.
Yeah, she's been dodging me, too.
What is happening? HILL: I suggest either targeted economic sanctions or the expulsion of diplomats.
Same old dance.
It's a proportional response, sir.
That's exactly my problem with it.
I agree with Ellen, sir.
We're talking about a response to an arms deal.
Do you really have any doubt about the sonic attack - on our embassy? - Yes.
It's still being investigated.
That leaves you, Gordon.
I'm with Ellen and the secretary on this, sir.
Although I might also advocate for the seizure of Russian property - on our soil.
- None of which will teach Salnikov and his comrades a lesson.
How many Oko missile detection satellites do they have? Five, sir.
Take 'em out.
All of 'em.
Thanks, everyone.
Conrad, that's a massive escalation without - We're done here, Bess.
- definitive proof that Russia is beh Mr.
President, I strongly advise against this order.
I already heard your recommendation.
Sir, I cannot in good conscience carry it out.
What makes you think I give a crap about your conscience, Gordon? I will not obey the order, sir.
Then I'll expect your resignation.
- Mr.
President.
- Sir.
- Yes, sir.
- In the meantime, you're fired.
Deputy Secretary Holland, congratulations.
You are now acting secretary of defense.
Do you understand my order? Yes, Mr.
President.
Mr.
President, I have to tell you, I, uh, I agree with Gordon.
Noted.
I think we should Conrad, can we just talk about this? We just did.
But striking Russia when we - I'm standing up to them.
- No, thi-this isn't like you, ignoring your entire National Security Council, escalating before we have all the facts.
Enough.
This is our policy now.
You and the rest of the NSC need to get on board or get out of the way.
What's going on? You have always insisted that I speak my mind.
Well, I might have to rethink that policy, too.
Conrad.
Let's stick with Mr.
President, hmm? Dr.
McCord, we have Agent Montgomery on SVTC.
You're gonna want to hear this.
HENRY: Nicole, I understand you found a recording.
Yeah, it matches the timing exactly.
And several FSOs confirmed it's what they heard.
You buried the lede.
Tell him how you got it.
The, uh, embassy has a Diplotots day care on the first floor with a nanny cam recording all the fun.
I've always questioned the civil rights implications of those things, but I'll take it.
Okay, let's hear it.
(HIGH-PITCHED FREQUENCY WHINES) HENRY: It's pretty faint.
We're sending it over to the FBI lab.
If it's a sonic weapon, they'll know.
Maybe they can also reverse-engineer the signal.
That way we'll know if it's Russian tech or something else.
I'll make the request.
Are they here? Does anyone know you're here? Uh, no.
I mean, my husband, but I didn't tell my wife.
If this goes sideways, I don't want her to have to lawyer up.
I'd rather be eaten by lawyers than do this, but we should get started.
The president, who I would normally walk through the gates of hell for, has issued an order that, for the good of the country, cannot be executed.
We are the firewall between that order and the nightmare it could unleash.
Inspiring words, Russell, but I'm the one who's on the hook.
A pact among all of us.
- A suicide pact.
- HILL: Call it whatever you want.
We all threaten to quit if it comes to that, except Gordon.
First unto the breach.
Look, even in his current state, I believe the president would realize he couldn't afford to lose all four of us, especially with news not breaking yet of Gordon's firing.
All of that coming out at once would create a political firestorm, could lead to a constitutional crisis, God knows what.
Maybe I should just refuse the order outright, like Gordon.
And take our chances on Sorenson? You took your chances on me.
I tried to shock POTUS into changing his mind.
Now we're in a different situation.
I see.
So, you're honorable and I'm the traitor? Oh, please.
Come on.
Look, I'm sorry.
I just I-I never considered shirking an order from the president before.
You know, I already have stomach issues.
I know it's a lot to ask, Bob, but what's the alternative? To follow orders.
You know, maybe POTUS is right.
Maybe we need to push back on Salnikov.
You really want to risk striking a country with 1,500 nuclear-armed ICBMs on a hair-trigger? Do you really want to risk a constitutional crisis? Look, there is a reason the chain of command begins with civilians.
And it follows the Constitution's empowerment of civilians over the military because we exercise judgment before just following orders.
I've read the Constitution, Madam Secretary.
And it doesn't spell out any of that, but it does say that the president is the commander in chief.
Okay, okay.
How long do we have until our missiles are ready to be fired? BECKER: Our sea-based interceptors have to move to AOR for launch, and that'll take at least another 15 hours.
Then STRATCOM has to calibrate targeting.
- We have 24 hours.
- RUSSELL: Good.
Maybe by then we'll have something that'll make POTUS reconsider.
ELIZABETH: If not, I mean, is there any way to slow-play the order? Hold it up somehow? You could jam up STRATCOM.
Order a review of the launch trajectory.
This is a coup.
What we're talking about is a coup.
RUSSELL: I realize we're painting outside the lines here, but the framers never contemplated that an elected president wouldn't be reasonable.
We're doing the best we can.
What about the 25th Amendment? - We're not there yet.
- Well, what are we waiting for? - The clock to run out.
- ROBERT: And then what? Then we'll do what we have to.
All right? Just let's just see what the next day brings.
ROBERT: Okay.
But I'm not making any promises.
(GROANS) Gross.
How is Operation Dig Through going? Oh, you know, it's your basic, weird, soggy journey through the past.
Oh, did anything survive? Uh, yeah.
It's mostly junk, though.
It's baby stuff that Mom was saving.
It's not junk to her.
Sentimentality is the superstructure erected upon brutality.
Way to plagiarize Jung.
Uh, it's still true.
- Oh, no.
- (GASPS) Looks like your formative years took a hit.
- (LAUGHING): Oh, no.
- Oh, my God.
Oh, you can kind of make out some of the stuff.
Here, let's see.
"Stevie spits up".
No.
"Sits up".
Sits up.
(LAUGHS) "Stevie.
.
".
- What is that? - Uh "Sees herself in mirror.
" - And never stops.
- Hey.
ALISON: My book is pretty messed up, too.
And, wow, there's a lot of blank pages.
And after my first step there's nothing until preschool.
(GASPS) Jason's looks in pretty good condition.
Uh, yeah, because it was never taken out of its shrink-wrap.
ALISON: That can't be true.
Great.
Great.
I'll just let the documented ones finish up here.
What, so now sentimentality is okay? JASON: No.
That's not nostalgia, that's history.
And apparently mine isn't important.
Jace.
- (PIANO PLAYING) - (INDISTINCT CHATTER) Thank you, Mrs.
Dalton.
Elizabeth, what a nice surprise.
I didn't see your name on the guest list.
It isn't.
I'm not allowed to participate in political fund-raisers, even though I'm a fan of Senator Giminski.
No, I just am shamelessly crashing to get a moment with you.
You know this is putting me in an awkward position.
You know I wouldn't if it weren't extremely important.
So, you want to know what's going on with Conrad because he's finally reached his limit with an adversary who has behaved consistently abominably under his administration.
Conrad's behavior is out of character.
It is extreme.
You know him almost as well as I do.
It takes a lot to get him angry, but once he gets there everyone needs to take a step back.
Lydia, Russia isn't going to take a step back.
And the Conrad I've known for over two decades would be well aware of that.
- You need to talk to him.
- I've tried.
That's why I'm here.
I need to know if you're aware of any changes in his health.
He has a physical quarterly.
There's never anything wrong.
I think your worrying is out of proportion.
At the risk of breaching protocol, I am gonna tell you something.
Conrad has ordered a missile strike against Russia's satellite system.
It could easily lead to war.
Every member of the NSC has advised against it.
Gordon Becker was so opposed, he refused a direct order.
So Conrad fired him, and he wants to do it anyway.
You tell me, does that sound like the man we know? (HIGH-PITCHED FREQUENCY WHINES OVER HEADPHONES) Hey.
Should I even ask how your day was? Well the Constitution is still intact for now.
(SIGHS) You? Oh, I was hoping these FBI analysts could make some progress overnight, so we could get some answers about what happened in Sofia.
Maybe even something that'll help talk Conrad off the ledge.
He hasn't backed off this satellite strike? I don't know how long we can keep the acting SecDef in line.
And I don't blame him for wavering.
We're asking him to do something unprecedented.
Well, at the end of the day, I guess the best we can hope for is that he follows his conscience.
Even if his conscience is telling him to defy a direct order from POTUS? I think reptile brain wins that one.
We have the best system of government the world has ever seen, but it's only as good as the people in charge.
Gosh, that's reassuring.
Sorry.
- I'm no Earl.
- (LAUGHS) Morning, sir.
Morning, Mr.
President, Russell.
Let's hear it.
What did you find? The FBI lab has determined that the sonic event at our embassy in Sofia was not an attack.
Then what the hell was it? There's high confidence that the sound was caused by a Russian listening device pointed at the embassy that interacted with the fourth floor's encryption frequency.
- So their frequencies crossed? - Basically.
Creating a beating effect.
So how does that account for our people's injuries? WARE: Well, the noise would produce headaches and temporary hearing loss.
The bottom line is, there was no attack, just a thwarted spying effort.
So we're supposed to believe it's just a coincidence that when the Russians spied on us, suddenly, our FSOs became ill? That's right.
All our top FBI sound engineers concur.
There was no Russian attack.
I heard you the first time.
Thank you, Henry.
Ephraim.
Yes, sir.
You bet, Mr.
President.
So that changes things.
- Like what? - The satellite attack.
- It's unwarranted now that we - No.
We are not backing down now.
It's not backing down if Russia never attacked us - in the first place, sir.
- So you're okay with them spying on us? I seem to remember you running the biggest spy agency on Earth.
No one ever declared war on us when they found out we were listening in.
Because they knew what the consequences would be.
Sir, I think the secretary is just pointing out that given what we now know I know exactly what she's doing, Russell.
And you, too.
And I'm sick of it.
I'm the damn president! And my authority will not be questioned, do you understand? Conrad, can you hear yourself? What's next, Russell? Uh Meeting with the House Ways and Means Committee in the Roosevelt Room.
Mr.
President, you're not well.
Really? Hmm.
And what exactly do you think is wrong with me? I don't know, but you need to be examined by a doctor to find out.
You've been talking to Lydia, haven't you? Yes.
I'm concerned about you.
We all are, sir.
I am trying to show Salnikov and Russia that I will not be trifled with.
That when I make a threat, I carry through on it.
And I don't give a crap if you or anyone agrees because I am the most powerful man on Earth, and no one is going to stop me! (OVERLAPPING CHATTER) Okay.
We all know why we're here.
Conrad Dalton is the finest public servant I've ever known.
He's thoughtful, compassionate, courageous, the best damn listener in a town full of people who love to hear themselves talk.
In short, he's a good man and a patriot.
And I, like many of you in this room, owe my career to him.
But the man who publicly threatened to unleash the overwhelming force of America's military might, and stands by his order to strike Russia's satellites, despite conclusive evidence that the Russians did not attack us, is not the same man.
Something's wrong.
Without a diagnosis, we don't know what.
But I think the Conrad Dalton we all know would want us to stop him.
I've talked to White House Counsel and the attorney general, and though there is a "fog of la".
Surrounding Section 4 of the 25th Amendment, because it's never been invoked, they assured me that if the heads of the executive departments plus the vice president vote by simple majority, the president will be removed from office, and Vice President Hurst will become the acting president.
Acting secretaries can't vote, so that eliminates Bob here.
Leaving 15 of you, including the VP.
If ever there were a time to set aside politics and do what's best for the country, this is it.
Russell has asked me to provide some context for this.
Um, in two hours, President Dalton will enter the Situation Room, and I will execute his order.
Nine minutes later, all five Russian Oko satellites will be destroyed.
And we will be on a war footing.
Unless you alter history here tonight.
RUSSELL: On that cheerful note, we'll leave you to it.
There is no playbook for this.
And clearly, time is of the essence.
So do you want to talk or just vote? Well, as attorney general, I would just like to say that, although I concur with Russell's explanation of the law, I just don't think we've hit the Section 4 threshold yet.
Really? A reckless strike against our greatest nuclear adversary doesn't do it for you, Hank? Due respect, Madam Vice President, but perhaps it's indiscreet for you to weigh in given you're the one with an enormous vested interest - in the outcome.
- My interest is only what is best for the country.
But fair enough.
MARY: Speaking of fairness, I mean, who are we to question the president's judgment? Some banana republic? I mean, hell, maybe it is just the right time to hit the Russians.
I support the strike and our duly elected president.
But even if the Russians are cowed, the president is still a wild card.
And we will end up going from crisis to crisis, and eventually there'll be disaster.
It's too dangerous.
TOM: To my mind, it's more dangerous to support what amounts to a bloodless coup based on a medical diagnosis by the secretary of state and chief of staff.
The commander in chief should only be removed from office under extraordinary circumstances.
SAMUEL: And even if you and Russell are right, don't we owe it to Conrad to protect him and his reputation? Other administrations had shielded their presidents in the past.
Maybe it's our turn to step up.
Do our jobs while limiting his public appearances.
I want to protect him, too.
But a shadow government of unelected cabinet members running the show while keeping the president under wraps is no way to govern a democracy.
We all pledged an oath to the Constitution, not to the president.
(ENGINE REVVING OVER TELEVISION) HENRY: Hey, pal.
Can I talk to you for a minute? (TIRES SCREECHING) Maybe even look at each other? I don't need to see you to hear you.
Especially if this is some lame apology about the baby book.
I'm sure my poop wasn't special.
Well, that's where you're wrong.
(CHUCKLES) Look, it's a thing, okay? The more kids you have, the less time you have to record their every move.
A-And on top of that, you were a 9/11 baby.
The world was crazy for quite a while after that, especially for Mom.
It doesn't mean we were any less delighted to witness your milestones.
(LAUGHING): You were such a funny kid.
Oh, my God, you were babbling all the time about something.
You were a champion crawler, had a huge appetite.
You were the best thing about that time.
(SIGHS) Okay.
I'll just let my kids know that that's why I-I don't know what my first word was or when I walked.
It's because I was a 9/11 baby.
If we do this, history will look at us as traitors.
SAMUEL: History will judge us no matter what we do, Tom.
Fine.
But there have to be other ways to constrain Dalton.
Not in the Constitution.
The Constitution only allows for the 25th Amendment or impeachment.
And that missile strike will happen in less than an hour, so impeachment isn't gonna cut it tonight.
Look, I-I think if we've all said our piece, we should vote.
Okay, I'll keep the tally.
Simple voice vote yes to invoke Section 4 and remove the president, effective immediately; no to reject it.
I vote no.
(ENGINES START) It's done.
(TAKES DEEP BREATH) I'm thinking of keeping Bob on at Defense.
- What do you think? - He's a good man.
Is he? I hadn't noticed.
Takes orders.
Pretty much my new number one requirement post-Gordon.
Speaking of Time for some fireworks.
(DOOR OPENS) What the hell? Where is everyone? Lydia? What is this? It's an intervention, Conrad.
What? No.
Where's my national security team? Where are my generals, my admirals? - Get them the hell in here, now! - There's not gonna be an attack on the Russian satellites tonight, sir.
Of course there is now, call STRATCOM, call CNO! Sir, the cabinet Oh, for God's sake, I'll do it myself.
They won't take your order.
The cabinet voted tonight to invoke Section 4 - of the 25th Amendment.
- What? What are you talking about? I'm sorry sir, but you have been removed from office.
Teresa Hurst is now the acting president.
No.
Why the hell would they do that? 'Cause of Gordon? They want revenge? Because they're afraid to stand up to Russia? - I'll fight this.
- You're not well, Conrad.
You need help, sweetheart.
No, Lydia, not you, too.
You're too smart.
You know me too well.
You know that this is all just politics - and backstabbing - I love you.
- We all do.
- No, it's a coup.
It's a goddamn coup.
Can't you see? It's the damn appeasers, the peaceniks, afraid of standing up to Russia! They want to drive me out to avoid a fight.
But we can't back down we got to be tough.
We can't let 'em get away with it, or Russia will be storming our shores! Can't you see that? I'll fight this.
I'll fight it in Congress.
You think I don't know how this works? Sir, a letter has been drafted to send to the Senate Pro Tem and the Speaker of the House.
Once they receive it, the American people will know that the cabinet has lost faith in your ability to govern.
There'll be great pressure on Congress to make it official by two-thirds vote, which I'm confident they will.
Because you've given the enemies in our party the ammo they need to finally get rid of me.
You handed it to them on a damn platter.
ELIZABETH: There's another option, Conrad.
Invoke Section 3, which is temporary, and we won't send the letter to Congress.
All you have to do is submit to a full examination and treatment if appropriate.
And once it's determined that you're better, you can be reinstated.
RUSSELL: Agree (QUAVERING): and we don't send the letter.
Otherwise, Congress votes on Section 4 tomorrow.
I made you.
And this is the thanks I get? I plucked you off a goddamn farm, Bess.
Shoveling horse crap in pigtails.
You did.
But now you need to trust us.
LYDIA: Agree to the exam, Connie.
(WHISPERS): Please.
ELIZABETH: I feel like it was - almost 18 months.
- Right, 'cause his sisters never put him down long enough for him to learn to walk.
(CHUCKLES) - 14 months.
- 14 months.
- Yes, because I remember the doctor said let's give it - Yeah.
To 15, and then we'll take a look after that.
HENRY: Then he went right from walking - to running, just (EXHALES SHARPLY) - (CHUCKLES) His teeth were late, too.
Yeah, I remember you wanted to get him x-rayed.
(LAUGHS) 'Cause he was gonna be at preschool - gumming his food.
- That was 14 months, too.
Everything, like, just happened - all at the same time.
- Except the talking.
- Well - That happened at six months.
Yeah.
His first word was "no.
" Oh, of course it was.
Why are you guys doing this? You let the thing sit in plastic for 16 years why is it suddenly important? Because we almost lost it.
- (CHUCKLES) - And it feels - like a good time to rebuild.
- No.
- Yes, yes, yes.
- Don't do - (CHUCKLING) - Rebuild? Really? While our democracy's falling apart? Okay, it's not.
- (HIGH-PITCHED): Don't say that.
- Stop.
- That scares me.
- Yeah.
- Our democracy is not falling apart.
- Stop.
Oh.
You know what? I know this one.
Favorite toy it was, uh it was the weird monkey.
- You know, the weird - BOTH: Devil monkey.
(HIGH-PITCHED): Oh, devil monkey was scary! - Because he - Stop! It's a pretty good-sized meningioma.
But very treatable.
Positioning makes it a snap to remove which we'll do after a course of IV steroids calms down the swelling.
- Is it malignant? - 95% are not, so I wouldn't worry.
He should make a full recovery.
(RELIEVED SIGH) Thank God.
And this accounts for the personality change? Oh, yeah.
See? It's pressing against the frontal lobe.
I'm surprised he wasn't running around the White House naked.
I'm not kidding.
These suckers grow symptomless for months until they're pushing against the brain, sometimes altering behavior quite suddenly.
The frontal lobe is responsible for executive functions: judgment, decision-making, inhibition.
So, when it's stimulated, significant personality change is common along with excessive displays of emotion.
And removing the growth will reverse - all of that? - Yep.
In fact, the steroids I'm putting him on will rapidly reduce the swelling and ease the pressure.
He should improve dramatically, even pre-op.
(CHUCKLES SOFTLY) - Hey, you two.
- Hi, Lydia.
We heard you were running a little low on flowers.
(LAUGHS) So we brought some reinforcements.
- They're beautiful.
Thank you.
- Conrad.
Bess.
- Henry.
- Conrad.
- Thank you for being here.
- ELIZABETH: Are you kidding? Chance to see something as historic as this, you couldn't keep me away with a stick.
Listen, I have to apologize, Bess.
- No, Conrad, you don't.
- (SIGHS) What I put you all through I think you get a pass - for all of it.
- It wasn't you, it was the meningioma.
Yeah.
I told you you looked "fetching" - the night of the Japanese state dinner.
- (ELIZABETH LAUGHS) HENRY: Well, she did.
It's fine hearing it from you, Henry.
Crazy thing is I don't think I ever felt freer or more sure of myself.
How scary is that? I mean, real madman stuff.
No sense at all that I was out of my gourd.
Well, it was Russell that we were really worried about.
You could practically see the aneurysm.
I really did almost start World War III over a misunderstanding.
LYDIA: Enough of the self-flagellation, - darling, it's getting boring.
- Yeah.
We need you to project confidence tonight.
- Hello.
Lydia.
- Hi.
How are you feeling, Mr.
President? Surprisingly well, thanks.
Madam President.
That has a nice ring to it.
But that's Acting President.
- I'm just minding the store.
- Well, thanks for doing this, Teresa.
I think it'll mean a lot to the country.
- So do I, sir.
- Well, it's time.
You know, Bess, that was quite a thing you all did, invoking Section 4.
- Took guts.
- Well, it wasn't fun.
Should I ask how you voted? The way you would have wanted me to, sir.
I've since been given steroids to reduce the swelling and will be operated on tomorrow to remove the tumor.
During my recovery, Acting President Teresa Hurst will continue to provide steady, experienced leadership, like she always has during her almost 30 years of extraordinary public service.
She has my full faith and confidence.
When I have passed extensive medical tests and the doctors say I'm 100% ready, only then will I be reinstated under Section 3 of the 25th Amendment.
Finally, I'd like to pay tribute to the resiliency of our Constitution, a 230-year-old document that has endured the challenges of every stage of our nation's journey.
Our government is built on an ingenious foundation of principles and laws, and though the people within that system are fallible, the system itself is devised to withstand anything, even an unfit president.
The fact that the system worked as it should proves that our democracy is as strong as ever.
I thank the brave cabinet secretaries who voted to invoke the 25th Amendment.
They are all true American heroes and patriots.
They put their country ahead of their personal relationship with me.
That's what separates us from dictatorships and oligarchies.
Without people of such courage, our democracy would be lost, and they will forever have my gratitude.
And because of them, I have never felt more proud to be an American.
And now Acting President Hurst would like to say a few words.
Thank you, Mr.
President.
Good evening, fellow Americans.