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Life On Mars?:

The Search for Intelligence in Washington

"... See the bird with a leaf in her mouth, after the flood,
when all the colors came out.... it was a beautiful day."

--- U2, from the song "Beautiful Day"


Schlamme, Sorkin leave NBC's 'Wing'

The Hollywood Reporter, May 02, 2003

By Scott Collins

A couple of veterans are leaving the White House.

Just days after scripting a cliffhanger fourth-season finale for NBC's multiple Emmy- winning presidential drama "The West Wing," creator Aaron Sorkin added a surprising epilogue, saying Thursday that he and executive producer Thomas Schlamme are exiting the series.

Sorkin, credited with writing nearly all of the show's 88 episodes so far, apparently made his final decision to exit Thursday morning …

What, you may ask, do “birds,” “floods,” a well-known and popular political TV drama, its creator’s unexpected resignation … and the sitting Vice President of the United States have to do with each other? And, what possible connection could there be between these seemingly totally unrelated events, current Washington newsmakers … and The Enterprise Mission?

As it turns out, quite a bit.

Star map with the constellations Columba (the Dove) Orion, and Canis Major prominently featured.

To properly grasp the message here, we must start, as all good stories do, somewhere near the beginning …

The "bird" that U2's lead singer Bono is referring to in the band's recent hit song, "Beautiful Day," is actually a dove. The reference comes from the Biblical tale of Noah who, as we all know, survived the Great Flood in an "ark" made to instructions passed down from Yahweh, the Hebrew God.

Perhaps far less well known, even to the well-read lead singer of the Irish rock group, is that the original Biblical reference is actually a retelling of a far older tale, one that originates in the "cradle of civilization" -- ancient Sumer (Iraq). In the Sumerian version of the Flood, the Annunaki ("Those who from Heaven to Earth came down") god Enki informs his favorite slave, a human named Ziusudra, that the Earth will soon experience a cataclysm -- a pole shift, to be precise. He then instructs Ziusudra to construct a boat -- the Ark -- in an effort to survive the coming "flood." He also informs Ziusudra that he should enlist the other humans to construct his Ark, but not to tell them why they are building it.

In many ways, the Sumerian version of the tale makes far more sense than the more widely disseminated Biblical version. In the Old Testament condensation, the omnipotent Hebrew God decides that man is wicked and that he must wash the presence of the human race from the Earth completely. He then changes his mind and decides that some humans are worth preserving after all, and enlists Noah to build a great Ark -- basically a submarine -- to very exacting specifications laid out in the Bible itself. Noah is also instructed to bring “two of each of the Earth's animals” with him, in order to preserve the species for the post-diluvial world.

Now why an all seeing, all knowing, all powerful deity would a) change his mind, and b) not just come up with something a little more specifically targeted at the "wicked" humans, instead of an indiscriminantly destructive global Flood, is not ever really made clear in the texts. Conversely, the Sumerian version makes quite a bit more sense if you view the Flood as an actual historical event.

Summed up quite nicely in an ancient Akkadian successor text, called "The Epic of Gilgamesh," the Akkadian version tells the story of a human named Utnapishtim (Ziusudra in Sumerian) who was a servant to an Annunaki god (with a small "G") named Enki. Enki and the other Annunaki had come to Earth eons before and according to some interpretations of the texts (ala Zacheria Sitchin), “had fashioned Man from a mixing of their own DNA with that of primitive hominids then populating the Earth.” According to this non-mainstream theory, the Annunaki had become aware of a significant catastrophe, a pole shift, which was due to strike the Earth. Enki's brother, Enlil -- Enki's rival in the internecine political intrigue that engulfed the Annunaki ruling class -- convinced the Annunaki king Ea (later, “Ra” in the Egyptian) that mankind was a threat, and that the Annunaki should allow the humans to be wiped out in the coming pole shift. Enki, who had played a major role in the creation of Man, was less than happy about the decision and plotted to thwart it by tipping off his favorite servant, the aforementioned Utnapishtim/Ziusudra.

Utnapishtim/Ziusudra then gets the people of the local village (the ED.IN) to build him his Ark -- but without telling them of the coming "flood" or why they are building the ship. Subsequently, Utnapishtim/Ziusudra, Enki, and a few of their closest assocociates and allies escape in the Ark, leaving the rank and file populace behind to die in the Cataclysm.

In the end, a dove is let loose and when it returns with a leaf in its mouth, as portrayed in the classical depiction of the constellation Columba (above), the survivors of the Great Flood know it is safe to exit the Ark and resume their lives on dry land.

There is a great deal more detail to these stories in Zecharia Sitchin's book "The 12th Planet," and other volumes in his “Earth Chronicles” series. But the key point is that the dove is overtly symbolic of the Flood, pole shifts, and ultimately Columba.

We have, of course, extensively covered the significance of Columba in our own "End of Days" series, here at Enterprise. In short, Columba was carved out of several other preexisting constellations in the 17th Century for one sole purpose -- to serve as a portent, or marker, to those “in the Know,” of the next Flood, the next coming "pole shift" ….

We have also reminded readers regularly of the significance of the key coded markers of our own Hyperdimensional Physics, the now ubiquitous numbers of 19.5° and 33°. Both are not only significant to the physics model derived by Hoagland and Torun from the ruins of Cydonia, but have even been immortalized by NASA, who chose those exact symbolic coordinates for the landing site of the 1997 Mars Pathfinder mission.

The connection between the two numbers is definitely “non-trivial.” In fact, it’s fundamental. The actual contact point of a circumscribed tetrahedron (see above) is precisely 19.47°, rounded up to the canonical "19.5°." The sine of 19.47° is .3333 (which, by the way, is where we believe the significance of the mysterious Masonic “33rd Degree” comes from). We have noted numerous instances of both "19.5's" and "33's" in various NASA missions, activities and symbols over the years, and the fact is that "decimal harmonics," i.e. 3.33 or 33.3, also seem to show up repeatedly in our analysis.

Which is why we were caught a bit off guard last week while watching an episode of Aaron Sorkin’s popular NBC political drama, “The West Wing.” Specifically, we were left wondering just what the hell “a bird” (and not just any bird -- but a dove) was doing … exactly 19.5 minutes into the episode, tapping the following code onto a window in the White House .…

3,3,3,3,3,3,3,3,3 ....

The episode, titled "Life on Mars," reminiscent not only of Kubrick and Clarke's famed "2001," but also of the more recent revelations by first "X-Files" creator Chris Carter (who was so unnerved by our code-breaking exposé of one particular X-files a few years ago, that he called Art Bell the day after it was posted, out of the "clear blue" -- and after five years of fruitless pursuit by Bell -- to ask for airtime to deny the specifics of our story). It is also reminiscent of a recent NBC “confession” by former senator and astronaut John Glenn. And just like those weird prior occurrences, this foray by Sorkin into “the realm of the unimaginable” is in precisely the medium called for by the infamous Brookings study -- an entertainment media.

What we would expect, if Sorkin is truly following in the Brookings-laced footsteps of Kubrick, Carter and Glenn before him, is for him to make his points in precisely the same "tetrahedral code" so enamoring to the NASA/Masonic crowd. Well, guess what?

That's exactly what he did.

But don't take our word for it. Let's break this episode down, line-by-line.

“Life on Mars”
An annotated Synopsis of the April 30th “West Wing” Episode
By Richard C. Hoagland
May, 2003


Dramatis Personae

Josiah "Jed" Bartlet - POTUS
John Hoynes - The Vice President
Leo McGarry - White House Chief of Staff
Josh Lyman - Deputy White House Chief of Staff
Donna Moss - Josh's Assistant
Toby Ziegler - White House Communications Director
CJ Cregg - White House Press Secretary
Charlie Young - The President's Personal Assistant
Will Bailey - Staff Speech Writer
Joseph Quincy - Associate White House Council

The story opens in the rain outside the White House. It’s Tuesday morning, 5:58 AM.  A cab pulls up and a young woman gets out.  Charlie Young greets her and escorts her into the Oval office.  With Masonic First President, George Washington, looking over Jed Bartlet’s shoulder, she hands an envelope to the President of the United States. In a close-up on the letter inside, WE SEE:

“Dear Mr. President:

“I hereby resign the Office of Vice President of the United States effective 6:00AM today.


John Hoynes

The next scene (after the traditional Show opening) begins:

“24 Hours Earlier ….”

The Science Editor of the Washington Post [a highly prestigious, high profile news organization that would not make such an inquiry lightly] is being brought by another Post reporter into CJ's office. He's asking about a "NASA Commission on Space, Science and Research [SSR] Report," which states that the Agency found "fossilized water molecules in a meteorite from Mars" a long time ago ....

CJ cuts to the chase, calls the first Post reporter into a back room and says indignantly "Your question is 'is there Life on Mars?', and 'is the White House hiding that there's life on Mars?!' -- and what the hell does this have to do with the Vice President?!"

The reporter answers: "the Vice President is head of the NASA Commission. He PERSONALLY told a source at the Post that the White House is suppressing the Report. The source then told another Post reporter, who told the Science Editor.

CJ then goes back to the Post Science Editor in her office and says: "I can't imagine that it's true. But I'll check." The Science Editor then asks the key question: "Will it be made public? If not, why? And, if not, isn't that ILLEGAL?"

CJ (clearly NOT believing any of this) promises to find some answers, but in terms of the legality she refers the Post Editor to the "White House Counsel's Office." In fact, she says, she knows "just the right guy ...."

She's referring, of course, to the new guy [played by Matthew Perry, of Friends] they hired as Counsel in last week's episode, Joseph Quincy, a young Republican lawyer. Throughout this "Mars episode," White House staff are constantly playing practical jokes on the "new guy," and CJ (obviously thinking this is a nutcase story), decides to pawn off the "legalities" of the "life on Mars" query on Quincy, as part of the Whiter House hazing ritual for new hires.

Half joking, CJ asks Quincy to look into the matter to see "if we broke the law, please." A VERY important, redundant point in the entire episode ... a White House which actually takes the LAW seriously -- and on THIS subject!

Quincy, responding as Associate White House Counsel, begins to ask questions and starts seeing a disturbing pattern. Following the clues, he eventually comes to an astonishing conclusion -- which ultimately results in the Vice President's forced resignation. But, that's not until much later ....

A sub-plot is introduced at this point: Toby Ziegler [the Director of White House Communications] is being shown an attack ad on fuel efficiency by his new speechwriter, Will Bailey. Will says they have to "respond" with their own ad. This running sub-plot will intersect with the main plot toward the end of the episode.

The next major data point on the Mars story line -- the bird tapping at the White House window -- begins at exactly "19:05," from the start of the show (19.5 in the decimal variances -- of course!). It peaks at "19:30" -- which is 19.5 again, in terms of actual clock time. So, there is more than adequate redundancy here to make the key point ... which is that the bird is tapping a "code" ... related directly to "19.5," "33," and ultimately Mars and Hyperdimensional physics. To whit:

The scene opens in black with a slow pan and tilt from under Donna's desk, in Josh's office. We hear the first three sharp taps at 19:05 ... followed by a space ... followed by three more ... another space (as the camera focuses on Donna at her desk), and then three more. Only after the last three, for a total of "three threes," does Donna say "Stop it."

The bird taps three again. Donna now immediately says "Stop it." Three more taps. Donna again says "Stop it." [Not "stop," or "cut it out" -- but "stop it" ... as if the phrase was also to refer to something more]. After a couple more, she says (at precisely 19:30 ... 19.5) "You HAVE to stop it."

The entire series of taps -- by both the bird, as well as by the White House Counsel, Quincy, when he knocks on various doors throughout the episode -- is ALWAYS in "threes." As we stated above, the sine of 19.47, or the canonical 19.5, is 0.3333.

And ... an equally obvious reference -- in terms of secrets, implied by "codes" -- to the whole Masonic importance of "the 33rd Degree."

It is not until after 19:30 -- and Donna's emphatic "You HAVE to stop it!" -- that we get a shot of the bird itself ... which we now discover is (you guessed it)--

--a dove.

All sorts of obvious associations here -- from Noah, to messages (carrier pigeons), to imminent disasters .... But --

In an Aaron Sorkin episode of “The West Wing?!”

Josh now walks in (at precisely 19:47!) and asks: "What the hell are you doing?" Donna answers in a way that is clearly ALSO a code -- as are many, many lines throughout this episode:

"The bird has been sitting here, tapping on the window for ... a long time. I don't know how long. I've lost track. I'm moving into certain phases of dementia with this thing."

My interpretation is that this, and other comments Sorkin injects throughout the script, reflects not only the very long-term nature of this "conspiracy," but Sorkin's recurring personal astonishment and disbelief at the absurdity of all this ... that it's all "nuts" ... but obviously has been going on IN THE WHITE HOUSE " for a long time.

Josh then offers to "scare the bird away," and Donna objects, saying "he's a bird. He's not bothering anybody ...." This is one of SEVERAL references to "scaring people" made throughout the episode [especially, in terms of the sub-plot -- above].

Donna tells Josh that the bird "will not bother" him, because he's going to want to go see Leo (the White House Chief of Staff) about another matter just phoned into CJ’s office from the Washington Post: an accusation that the White House intervened with the Justice Department to quash an anti-trust lawsuit, involving a corporation called “Cassion.” This SECOND Post "leak" claims that the White House was "bribed" to intervene in return for "100,000 computers in classrooms."

Again, the linked theme -- because ultimately BOTH stories are traced to the SAME POST SOURCE -- of "illegality" .... And, the second "real world" story puts the first "Mars" story on an equal footing: an "illegal" White House classification ... and then leak. The law ... is the law ... is the law. Sorkin is NOT pulling punches here.

At this point Joe Quincy taps on Josh's door three times (again!), and asks Josh if he should go to the Chief of Staff directly, or run by Josh what he wants to talk to Leo about (his own investigation of the Mars legality). Josh says he wants to hear a few such matters first, just so Quincy can learn "how to keep the crazy stuff out of his [Leo’s] office."

At which point, our dove taps three more times on Josh’s White House window -- and Josh AND Donna both turn simultaneously and shout "STOP IT."

Sorkin's really telling us a lot ... between the lines. This is an obvious statement: it's NOT "crazy stuff," it's Real. Take it seriously. Here, the Dove is functioning as a harbinger of something crucial.

Immediately following this little by-play, per his instructions, Quincy reveals to Josh WHY he needs to go see Leo:

"A reporter is looking at the White House suppressing a NASA Commission."

This is the first that Josh has heard of Quincy’s special “CJ Mars mission.” He says, surprised:

"This is TWO in one day. I just got 'did the White House interfere with Cassion anti-trust?'"

After a bit more conversation, Josh, Quincy and Donna ALL decide to “go see Leo.”

On the way to Leo’s office, Donna proudly traps Quincy into calling himself a “shyster” lawyer (“I got him to say it!”) -- more of the hazing mentioned before. Quincy says plaintively:

“But, Josh’s a lawyer.”

Donna disagrees:

“Yeah, I mean he went to law school …”

Josh gives her a look.

“You don’t practice law, is all I was saying.”


“I don’t practice law?” I help write the laws.. I write the laws … I make the laws.”


“I am the law!”

[Law … again.

[Ah, what is Sorkin telling us here, prey tell?  That a senior staff member of the White House actually believes that he - and not the Constitutional Congress of the United States - determines the "general laws of the land?" Of course not. He's making the point that the White House - on this key issue - has placed itself above the Law of the Land .. The fact that this is the scene just before they meet with Leo McGarry, White House Chief of Staff, Josh's boss -- and learn a major Truth about the Universe -- is NOT an accident.]

In response to Quincy’s question, McGarry not only acknowledges that a "NASA Commission Report" exists (!) – BUT … that it “was classified by the Department of Defense (DOD)” ... NOT the White House!  When pressed as to what it said re Mars, he balks: "I cannot tell you that. It was classified! All I can tell you is that it exists, and it was classified."

Josh then brings up the Cassion anti-trust inquiry from the Post, and McGarry confirms that "yes, 100,000 computers WERE part of the settlement ….”

Josh reaches the obvious conclusion:

"There's a leak! This ... the Mars people -- don't even get me started on that, 'cause there's stuff I think you still won't tell me ...."

[This, coming from the Deputy White House Chief of Staff, is the closest Sorkin comes to grappling with the magnitude of Leo’s confirmation – that an official NASA document exists, revealing “life on Mars.” That it was classified by the military. And that McGarry is obviously NOT telling Josh the rest of what NASA’s REALLY found ….

[In other words: our entire Enterprise Mission scenario ... in one line.]

Josh then gets Leo to run down a list of the White House personnel who would know the details of BOTH stories ... which Leo ultimately admits, includes the Vice President.

Leo then says:

"Fix this, would you please! There's a story out there we're obstructing justice, and another one where we're, like, in a Ray Bradbury yarn. These things make me crazy ...."

[Again, the "crazy" reference.

[The choice of Ray Bradbury is also telling, as ONLY his Mars stories featured "men from Earth" going to Mars for the first time ... and discovering "themselves!" I used him in "Monuments" for precisely this reason. Interesting that Sorkin would follow suit here ... when ostensibly, the "classified report" is about "microbes" -- and NOT "mile-long faces ... looking like ourselves."]

Next, the scene shifts to the sub-plot again: Toby's new speech writer, Will Bailey -- with his all-girl staff -- is trying to come up with an answering ad to the fuel efficiency attack ad. Several times the phrase "scare the soccer moms to death in 15 seconds" is used ... another Sorkin play on the REAL problem.

Another scene shift: Toby is having lunch with Charlie Young, the President's chief personal aid, in his office -- watching a tennis match. Charlie is reading the Washington Post and discovers that a certain socialite around Washington -- "Helen Baldwin" -- has landed herself a seven-figure [more tetrahedral numbers] book deal with Random House. The Post columnist breaking the story is "Stu Winkle."

Quincy now suddenly appears at Toby's door during his and Charlie's lunch. Joe initially raises some objections to Toby's language for an official White House response to an Appeals Court ruling [more legalities ....]. At precisely 33:00 from the top of the show, Toby responds to Quincy's assertion that “you can't use certain words in such a press release” by saying:

"Did you think I was going to have the Press Secretary, on behalf of the President, compare a Federal judge ... to a pistachio nut?!"

["Nutty" ... at precisely 33:00. Another Sorkin comment on 33rd Degree Masonic beliefs -- referenced again by the previous dove "code" scenes at 19.5 – all being "nutty?" ....]

Quincy now hears from Charlie about “the Helen Baldwin book deal” in the Post gossip column by "Stu Winkle" -- and the final pieces neatly fall in place.

The next scene is set at 5:00 PM script time (well after the preceding lunch scene).

We open on CJ and Donna walking into CJ's office. CJ's discussing "negotiated press leaks." Suddenly -- the bird is back!

The dove is now pecking -- still in the "three code" -- at CJ's White House window. CJ thinks it's just pecking at its reflection.

Donna now asks pointedly:

"What's the learning curve on a bird?"

[An obvious rhetorical question Sorkin’s asking ALL of us, comparing his audience to birds (“birdbrains ?”) -- wondering just how long the American people can ignore this entire bizarre pattern in the heart of their own political system ….]

Quincy chooses that precise moment to stop by CJ's office, knocking three times (of course!). CJ and Donna jump, CJ saying:

"Sorry, we thought for a second you were a huge bird, knocking on the door." [This nails down the connection between Quincy, his “Mars pursuit,” and the dove/code symbolism.]

Quincy then asks: "Is something going on with birds?"

[More pointed underscoring.]

CJ: "Well, one of them's obsessed with Donna."

Donna: "It's true. I'm like Tippi Hedren around here."

[Tippi Hedren, in case you don't remember, starred in Hitchcock's classic film "The Birds," in 1963 -- an obvious additional popular reference Sorkin is making here to “signs of incomprehensible disaster.” Here's a sample review from 1996, by film critic Tim Dirks (http://www.filmsite.org/bird.html), which neatly ties up the reference:

"On an allegorical level, the birds in the film are the physical embodiment and exteriorization of unleashed, disturbing, shattering forces that threaten all of humanity (those threatened in the film include schoolchildren, a defenseless farmer, bystanders, a schoolteacher, etc.)... In a broader, more universal sense, the stability of the home and natural world environment, symbolized by broken teacups at the domestic level, is in jeopardy and becoming disordered when people cannot 'see' the dangers gathering nearby, and cannot adequately protect themselves from violence behind transparent windows, telephone booths, eyeglasses, or facades ...."

[Is Sorkin warning us of “some massive impending disaster, connected to Nature” (as in “The Birds”), and also connected to “Mars” -- or what ...? And using a dove -- symbol of a well-known Biblical disaster -- to round out the picture he’s carefully constructed, by endlessly tapping out a specific Hyperdimensional [the root physics cause of such a pole flip] code …?]

Quincy then asks Donna to leave CJ’s office, because he wants to discuss the results so far of his legal “NASA/Mars” investigation. As Donna leaves, Quincy asks if he can “close the door.” CJ responds:

“Donna already did.”

[This is obviously NOT a reference to her just leaving CJ’s office to give them privacy, but to the far larger issues raised by directly comparing her to “Tippi Hedren” in Hitchcock’s infamous film. Sorkin seems to be saying “This closes the case: now you have ALL the clues that I have … that ‘something’ big AND bad is going to happen to all of us … something ‘connected’ to the planet Mars.”]

CJ then immediately says: “I wouldn’t worry too much about Mars. I gave it to you to give you a hard time.”

[Again … “hard time” … and “Mars.”]

Joe answers:

“No kidding.”

[Affirming that Mars indeed implies “a hard time” …. I wish I could write like this.  J]

He goes on:

“By the way, there was a Report, but it was classified by the Defense Department -- and we’ll leave how much I didn’t want to know about THAT for another time ….”

[More NOT WANTING TO KNOW ABOUT MARS … about “a bunch of microbes?” I think not.]

He then proposes that he’s finally discovered the source of the leak -- the Post gossip columnist, Stu Winkle. He further proposes that CJ call him directly to confirm! Initially balking, she eventually does. And, it IS Winkle who was the Science Editor’s “inside source at the Post.” But … who was Winkle’s source? Where did a “gossip columnist” get a “hot tip” on a Pentagon/White House cover-up re Mars!?

As CJ and Quincy (on speaker phone) listen to Winkle gush on and on, after having received a call DIRECT from the White House Press Secretary, Quincy proceeds to silently show her on her desk the Post gossip column, featuring the Baldwin story; a yellow legal pad with the two Post inquiries re the NASA Mars story, and the Cassion anti-trust settlement; and a White House log of incoming and outgoing phone calls … with dozens made by “John Hoynes” -- the Vice President of the United States -- to one “Helen Baldwin.”

With Winkle still pattering on in the background, Quincy’s expression is increasingly grave as he lays the evidence, one piece at a time, on her desk. CJ suddenly sees the whole picture … at precisely 39:00 minutes into the episode (19.5 X 2!): the Vice President is the leak … on BOTH stories -- through Baldwin, to the Post!

The scene ends with a very serious CJ asking her secretary to arrange a personal meeting between Quincy and the Vice President -- while she goes to see Josh and Toby.

The next scene is an aerial shot of Washington DC. Over a moving panorama of the Capitol and the strikingly Egyptian obelisk-like Washington Monument lit up at night, we hear a voice-over from the Vice President. The time is 7:45 PM [which is 19:45 on the 24-hour clock]. The Vice President, John Hoynes, is saying:

“I want Cairo to focus on legal [that word again!] and regulatory reforms. We’ve got the whole regulatory agenda left over from last time …. Seriously, the whole agenda is left over ….”

[The visual underscoring of his voice-over reference to “Cairo,” with the striking shot of the oblisk known as the “Washington Monument “ center screen, is unmistakable. Sorkin’s not missing a beat here. One gets, in the context of the entire episode and what we know is about to happen, that this last comment is certainly NOT about “Egyptian regulatory reform” -- but is referring to the events that stretch back to 1976 and Viking … if not long, long before …. Events somehow connected to “Egypt” … and the planet Mars.

[It’s as if he’s saying, visually: “OK, I’ve laid out the problem ... Mars … and some kind of ‘coming Cataclysm.’ Now, here’s where the political problems in Washington on all this began … in the Masonic/Egyptian ‘belief system’ and long, historical Connection.”]

The scene now shifts to the interior of the Vice President’s office itself – obviously, an after-hours staff meeting.

One of his aids brings up the Egyptian vice president [obviously, underscoring the role of “vice presidents” in all this …], and “his wish for discussions also on a framework on trade.” To which the U.S. Vice President, responds:

“Now you understand, it can’t appear as if I’m saying that the Syrian question is less urgent ….”

[Is this just another “coincidence?” Or, does Sorkin also know that Syria’s name is taken directly from “Sirius/Isis” … and about all THOSE deeply embedded connections to “Mars,” “19.5,” and “33” as well? Is it the "Syrian question," or the "Sirian question?" We'd love to get our hands on the actual shooting script!].

Hoynes’ secretary suddenly comes to the door and gives the Vice President a signal. He calls the meeting to a close, asking his staff to stay around a few minutes “outside.” Obviously, he knows what’s coming.

Then, in walk Josh, Toby, CJ and Quincy. The mood is very somber.

The Vice President begins by remarking to Josh:

“You brought friendly faces. That was considerate.”

He then turns to Quincy:

“You’re Joe Quincy? This is your first day? They’re going to put your picture up someplace. You’re going to get honored at a luncheon ….”

[This is VERY cur