There’s been a security breach at the NSA: an employee named Gabriel Thompson (the always-reliable Brent Sexton) walks out of the building and straight into the Venezuelan Embassy, carrying a hard drive brimming with confidential material, which he starts to post on WikiLeaks.
Although Thompson’s motive seems at first to be to discredit members of the previous administration, a leaked document immediately presents POTUS with a little local difficulty: several years ago, Emily wrote a brief memo in which she called out one Senator Hazleton as a sex pest. Unfortunately Hazleton, who had retired before the bomb attack, is now back in a position of power as chair of the Appropriations Committee, whence he can frustrate the President’s agenda if the mood strikes him. And he wants Emily sacked, otherwise the mood will indeed strike him. What really baffles me about this storyline is that no-one, at any stage, wonders why Emily wrote the memo – is it, in fact, true? (Also why Hazleton worries about it so much, given that an admission, not just an allegation, of having perpetrated sexual assaults no longer seem to be a bar to election to the highest office in the land, never mind Senator of wherever-it-is.)
Anyway, since we know that Tom isn’t going to sack Emily, we simply need to wait patiently for her to be vindicated. And, once she is, there’s more good news for her: an arc which starts, this week, with Aaron remembering her coffee order, ends with him asking her out for dinner. I can’t honestly say that these two crazy kids have an insane sexual chemistry which simply won’t be denied, but they seem to like each other and, as we’ve said before, Unpopcult is always in favour of the ship, so good luck to them. And as well as getting his romantic life on track, Aaron is able to work out, through a leap of logic which I didn’t quite follow, what it is that Thompson actually wants. To drip-feed more information about the attack on the Capitol, is – of course – what he wants, with the added excitement of a face-to-face with POTUS.
Agent Q is already following up information provided by her drip-feeder, this week questioning Peter MacLeish’s former army buddies about the incident in Afghanistan which resulted in him being hailed as a war hero. She also seconds Chuck, a desk jockey, into helping out in the field. The clock’s ticking, because MacLeish’s confirmation hearings have started in Congress; Kimble Hookstraten is on manoeuvres which are intended to bring down MacLeish and Kirkman; and John Forstell (our old friend Reed Diamond), a kind of internal affairs guy, is investigating Deputy Director Atwood’s confession-that-no-one-quite-believes. So finding not one incriminating piece of evidence (MacLeish is a war criminal, not a war hero) but two (and he’s connected to Catalan) is enough to have her driving at breakneck speed back to MacLeish’s confirmation hearing, fully intending to start waving her two smoking guns around. Except, of course, we know she isn’t going to get there; and she doesn’t. My guess is that she’ll be fine: I’d be worried if I were Chuck, though. Dude looks expendable. An above-average episode, I’d say.