Goring Oxes: How You Can Survive the War on Government Through Five Easy Steps Recap

Ella goes to her doorstep and finds flowers there. She goes inside and discovers that the flowers are from Luke, and he asks her not to fight. She calls Luke, and Scarlett says that she sent them. Luke plays along and says that he's going on DoiubleSpeak, but suggests that they talk the next day. Ella says that she has a cold and she's going to stay in.

As Ella puts the flowers down, bugs crawl out of them as she listens to Norah Moody, a former Bush speechwriter, DoubleSpeak. She watches as Luke comes on and talks with Jonathan Broadbent, Red's Chief of Staff who is coming from a remote studio. Broadbent insists that it's not his boss' fault that there's a shutdown. He hesitates and Claudia cuts to Luke and asks if Ella is challenging him for the whip position. Luke says that he just talked with Ella and they have great professional respect for each other. Broadbent speaks up, blaming the democrats for the shutdown, and his head suddenly explodes. The director cuts the feed before the eight-second delay catches up.

At home, Ella dozes off and the bugs crawl into her ear.

Laurel is in her office working on her documentary when Scarlett announces that Anthony is there. He comes in with fellow agent Aaron Blades, and Blades asks her to repeat what she told Anthony about Daudier's head exploding. Laurel repeats what Daudier said about there being something in his ear, and Anthony says that there was another incident with Red's chief of staff. Laurel excuses herself and goes Gareth's office. Gareth is there, and says that there was a last minute change so Broadbent went on DoubleSpeak instead of him. She tells Gareth what happened and she thought Gareth had died. Gareth goes to Red's office and discovers that he's on the phone talking to someone about Broadbent's death. Red is claiming that it was a stroke.

Luke calls Laurel from the caucus meeting and says that he needs her to meet with some constituents. As they talk, Luke sees Ella come in. she abruptly says that she got better and walks past him to the podium. She calls the meeting to order and Luke joins her at the podium. He says that the Republicans have overreached, and Ella interrupts him to say that they are responsible. She calls the Republicans are terrorists, and Luke says that they can't be the party of no. Ella says that she will never compromise her ideals and that's where they should make her whip.

Laurel meets with the constituents and Gustav is first on the list. He's using the fake name of Dr. Bob Bobb, and meets with Laurel in privately. He vaguely suggests that they make choir smaller and walks out.

Red meets with his staff and announces that Gareth will be his new chief of staff. He then takes a call and says that he's on it with his staff. Once he hangs up, Red tells them that Ella is challenging Luke for the whip. He wonders which one they want to win, and Gareth figures that they want Luke because moderates might flee to him but not to Ella. Red has Gareth write the statements. Soon Red, is telling reporters that he hopes the Democrats will pick Luke because he can work with him. Luke is watching and figures that Red wants Ella. He notices some flowers on his desk, and Scarlett explains that she cut a few cherry blossoms to cheer up the office. Once he's alone with Laurel, Luke tells her to get rid of the funeral. As she takes them out, Scarlett complains that Laurel is taking the flowers out. She then warns Laurel that she's outnumbered.

As Laurel throws the flowers around, Gustav approaches her and says who he really is. He explains that she left her email on his blog, nd tells her to put her cell phone in an insulated bag. Laurel refuses to hand it over, and Gustav says that bugs are eating people's brains. He refuses to explain further until Laurel puts her phone in the bag, and she does so. Gustav then talks about the screwworm, which burrows through the skull and forces brain matter out of the ear. He admits that it can make people more extreme, and suggests that brains are exploding because the bugs fart methane. Gustav notices two men nearby sharing a candy bar, and says that it looks like a rehearsed observed activity. Laurel figures that he's nuts, takes her cell phone back, and starts to walk away. Gustav gives her his card and insists that it's all true.

Back at her office, Laurel is considering throwing away Gustav's card when she hears the song "You Might Thinkn" coming from Ella's office. She secretly observes Ella talking to Scarlett, and then goes to her office. Laurel looks up information on screwworms and how they crawl into people's ears. Her father Dean comes in and says that Luke needs help with Ella, and knows that she went to Tax Prom with a Republican staffer. Laurel insists that she was doing Luke a favor, and Dean tells her that Gareth was just promoted to Red's chief of staff. He warns that socializing across the aisle could be misunderstood, and Laurel insists on calling Gareth and congratulating him. She suggests that they go out to dinner, and a surprised Gareth agrees as long as they go to Broadbent's wake first.

Luke starts swearing, and Laurel and Dean check on him. Ella is talking about Luke's womanizing, and Luke vows to go after her hard. Laurel tries to leave but Luke says that he needs her. Luke remembers that Ella told him that she had to put her dog, and he and Dean confirm that she was going to kill her dog so she woudlnt' miss her trip to Paris. Scarlett comes in and Luke tells her that he has to leak a story. Laurel slams the door in her face and says that Scarlett was conferring with Ella. Scarlett stands outside the office but looks in through the window and reads their lips. Luke figures he can't use Scarlett to leak the story, and realizes that laurel knows someone.

Later, Laurel meets with Stacie at Roll Call at a bar. Stacie turns down a martini and accuses Laurel of making Abby think that she was the problem, and starts talking about Denmark's child care program. Laurel reminds Stacie of when they had boys over at their dorm room in college, and tries to get Stacie to remember their time together. Stacie recites more data, but Laurel says that a student broke up with her and she broke into tears. Blood starts leaking out of Stacie's ear, and Stacie insists that she got her ear pierced and it's infected. Laurel assures Stacie that she's there for her, but Stacie leaves. Once she's alone, Laurel calls Gustav and says that she wants to talk.

Later, Laurel meets with Gustav. Once he secures her phone, she tells him what happened with Stacie. Gustav warns that they're being watched, and Laurel points out that screwworms have been eliminated from the U.S. She wonders why everyone is listening to the same song, and leads Gustav to meet with Rochelle at the hospital. Rochelle shows them the CAT scans and Gustav has her blow them up. He points out a mandible in the brain.

Gareth talks to Red and says that they're at 20% approval. He says that they need to get the various conservative grassroots groups on board and reopen the government to show that they can lead. Red points out that Gareth hasn't accomplished any of the things he came to DC to do, and says it's because their colleagues keep arguing for patience. He figures that everything is set and wants Gareth's help, and Gareth agrees.

Later at Broadbent's wake, Gareth is drinking when Laurel comes in. She's on the phone to Luke, saying that she'll find someone else at Roll Call to leak the story. Gareth point out a reporter, Howard, at Roll Call. As Laurel goes to talk to Howard, Red tells Gareth that he changed his mind and they need the grassroots, and tells Gareth to come in the next day with strategies to reach them. Once Gareth comes back, Laurel comes over and says that arranging the leak was easy. She notes that Gareth looks happier, and he says that his boss called and now things are better. Laurel says that Dean told her that they were observed at tax Prom drinking and dancing, and Gareth suggests that they give anyone something to talk about. He offers her hand and Laurel takes, it, and Gareth suggests that they take it to the next level. After they have another drink each, Laurel half-jokingly kisses him. She does it again, chuckling, and then does it for real. After a moment she gets up to go, and Gareth assures her that it was joking. Laurel agrees and Gareth says that if she leaves it will mean something so she should stay. She has no idea what he means and leaves.

Rochelle calls Gustav and says that the chief resident thinks that the "mandible" is an artifact. Gustav says that he's going to get proof, hangs up, turns on "You Might Be," and sets out a bug trap. He then ttapes plastic cups over his ears.

The next day, Laurel and Luke listen to the news reports about Ella euthanizing her dog so she could go to Paris. Luke congratulates his sister, just as Ella comes in. She says that she knew Luke was doing it and is prepared, and tells him to watch the news. Once she leaves, Luke tells Laurel that ella is bluffing. Meanwhile, Laurel sees Scarlett watching them.

In Red's office, Gareth turns over the news. They're running a story about Luke and Scarlett's alleged affair.

Germaine is at home watching when Luke comes in. he tries to explain but she yells at him to get out. he finally hugs her and she breaks into tears.

Gustav dozes off and the bugs are unable to get past the cups. He wakes up and sees the bug trap moving on the floor, and tosses it in a plastic bag. As he leaves, the bugs crawl down the couch and approach Gustav's cat.

That night, Luke is sitting in his office with Laurel. He says that Germaine is everything to him and he's made mistakes, He insists that he was working late doing his job and was attracted to Scarlett. Laurel is less than sympathetic, and Luke says that now the female senators are lined up against him. His sister offers to talk to them.

The next day, Laurel meets with Ella and the six female senators.

Gareth lays out his plan for Red to talk to the top grassroots organization. Red says that they're going to build their own grassoorts from the ground up, and there's only one way to get what they want: their way. They'll call it the One Wayers, and Red tells Gareth to get on it.

Gustav takes the bug trap to Rochelle and tells her to be careful. She tells Gustav to sit down and he does, and then they offer each other their condolences on the deth of her father and his friend. The bug is dead, and Rochelle says that it's a cockroach. Gustav realizes the screwworms are still in his apartment and heads back.

Laurel finishes meeting with the senators. She then calls Luke and says that it went well. As she passes two men sharing a candy bar, Blades approaches her and asks her to come with him. Blades takes her phone and he and his fellow agents escort her to a waiting car.

The agents take Laurel to an interrogation room and an agent leaves an empty folder on the table. Blades comes in and asks what Laurel knows about CHIs: Catastrophic Head Injuries. Laurel has no idea what he's talking about, and Blades points out that she's experienced two of them. He asks what she knows and why she called Anthony, and whys he left her office when they told her about Broadbent dying. Blades then says that she was seen talking to Gustav. Anthony comes in and Blades repeats his question.

Once they're done, Blades and Anthony leaves and Blades figures that they should keep Laurel overnight. Luke arrives and demands that they release Laurel, Blades says that Laurel is a witness, and they got a call from a terrorist group taking credit for the CHIs. He refuses to let Laurel go, and Luke threatens him until Blades relents. Once he gets Laurel released, they head back to the office. Anthony calls Laurel and she ignores him. Luke says that Anthony is the one who called and told him that she was being question. He then says that Ella backed down and thanks Laurel for her help.

Gustav searches his apartment with a sound amplifier. His cat meows at him, and Gustav realizes that it's staring at him.

Written by Gadfly on Jun 28, 2016