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The Power of Euphemism: How Torture Became a Matter of Debate in American Politics Recap

At dinner, Laurel tells Gareth that she thinks that she's going insane because she believes that bugs are eating people's brains and turning them stupid. Gareth takes that in and is not convinced. She admits that it sounds crazy and Gareth wonders why she's telling him about it. Laurel notices a couple at a nearby table watching them, and predicts what song the man is listening to on his earbuds. When Gareth doesn't believe her, Laurel goes over and confirms that he's listening to "You Might Think." She tells the man to stop watching her and goes back to the table with Gareth. He's still not convinced, and takes a call from Red. He wants help with the CHIs getting the feds to do something.

Once Red confirms that Mike the intern is handling his calls, he hangs up and calls Mike in. Mike runs in and the senator tells him to get Louie Marchant, the head of the FBI, on the line. Once Mike leaves, a larger bug crawls out of Red's ear, down his arm, and over to his salad plate. Mike gets Marchant on the line and brings in some cherry blossoms, and Red demands an explanation about the CHIs. The intern sees the bug and tries to squash it, and Red catches his wrist before he can. The bug crawls into the blossoms and Red coos to it, and then tells Mike to turn around. As he talks to Marchant, claiming the CHIs are the result of bio-terrorism, the bug pollinates the blossoms and Red has Mike lean in. Once he does, Red checks his skull size, says that it's good, and tells Mike to take the blossoms home and meet him at the senate gym the next morning. Meanwhile, the bug crawls back up to his ear as Red tells Marchant to meet him at the senate gym the next morning.

Marchant meets with agents Tony and Blades, who insist that the CHIs weren't terrorism. They've reversed their positions, with Tony now believing the CHIs are terrorist-related. He says that they should bring Laurel in for tougher questioning, but Blades points out that Laurel is Luke's sister. Marchant says that he'll talk to tough to Red.

The next morning, Red, Marchant, and Mike exercise together and Red insists that terrorists are responsible. Marchant doesn't believe it, and asks what Red's source is. Red says that he's heard that Laurel is heard in, while Mike complains that his head hurts. A second later, his head explodes.

J.K. Cornish is sitting in Luke's reception room. Laurel meets with the constituent and asks why he's there, and Cornish looks around for other ways out that don't take him through reception. He then asks Laurel to stand and takes out a sense of disposable restraints. When Laurel wonders why she's there, Cornish says that he's there to take her in for questioning. When Laurel starts calling for Laurel, Cornish tasers her unconscious and apologizes.'

Gustav follows the signals to a man, and the man geos to the Senate building filled with more people giving off the signal. He then calls Laurel, whose phone is being examined by Tony and Blades. The call is marked unknown and they ignore it, and Gustav goes to Laurel's office. It's empty, and Rochelle arrives and says that Laurel didn't show up for their lunch. Scarlett comes in and Gustav's app registers the signal from her. He quickly gets Rochelle out and warns her that Scarlett is infected, while Scarlett watches them go.

Dr. Colin Mitchell meets with Laurel and explains that he's a psychologist on retainer with the FBI. He asks about Laurel's tolerance for pain and her fear of drowning. Another doctor, Jesse Kretchner, asks her more questions and says that she's to receive treatment for her questioning. As Cornish watches, Laurel wonders if someone is going to torture her. Kretchner only says that she's there to help with the investigation.

Mitchell and Kretchner tell the FBI agents that Laurel is healthy and give recommendations for enhanced interrogation. Tony warns them that Laurel will accuse him of assaulting her, but won't say why. Cornish, Blades, and Tony then meet with Laurel and escort her out, and Laurel insists that Tony attacked her. they don't believe her and strap her into a chair, Laurel says that an FBI lawyer must be present for her questioning, and points out that the intelligence committee chairs have chained and they need the consent of the two new leaders. The lawyer, watching via a CCTV, agrees with Laurel and Marchant goes to check.

Gustav and Rochelle go to Gareth's office and says that it's in regard to Laurel. Once Gustav secures Gareth's phone, they explain that Laurel has disappeared. Red comes in to call Gareth into a meeting, and the app registers a heavy signal. Marchant and Blades are waiting in Red's office, and Luke arrives. Luke and Red are the two chairs, and Marchant points out that Gareth doesn't have the proper security clearance. Once Red dismisses him, Marchant explains that they have a possible bio-terrorism attack on Capitol grounds, and they ask for an okay to interrogate. Red claims that terrorists are coming after him, and Marchant says that they have chatter that terrorists aren't responsible. Blades mildly disagrees, but Marchant says that they have to take it seriously. The director only says that the subject tis a local DC resident, but Luke wants more details. Red eagerly agrees to stay, but Luke demands to see the stats on the subject. Marchant says that it's classified. Red warns that Luke is putting his reelection chances at risk if another staffer's head explodes, After a moment, Luke reluctantly agrees.

Laurel asks Tony how many people that the bugs have infected. Playing for the cameras, Tony says that it's just him. He invites her to tell the truth, and Laurel does so. Mitchell, watching, suspects that they have a mental issue.

Gareth goes to see Luke, brushing past Scarlett, and asks her if he knows where Laurel is.

As they prepare to torture Laure, Blades points out that Tony seems pretty anxious about the situation. He wonders why, and Tony insists that he wants to stop the terrorists. Once he goes, Blades gets a call from Luke. Luke asks who the subject is of his interrogation. When Blades refuses to say, Luke points out that he seems to be against the conscience. Gareth asks Luke to ask about Laurel specifically. When Luke does so, Blades doesn't say anything. He tells Blades to hang up if Laurel isn't being held there, and Blades says on the line. Satisfied, Luke hangs up and tells Gareth that he's going to raise holy hell.

Luke thanks Gareth for his help and then calls Marchant. In the office, Gustav and Rochelle continue to monitor Scarlett with the app. She looks at a door and they realize that she's communicating with someone on the other side. They go out in the hall and see two people staring at the wall. After a moment they walk off and Rochelle follows them.

Marchant tells Luke that he doesn't have Laurel. The director claims that he has no idea where Laurel is, and Luke says that he's been subpoenaed to a special meeting of a committee meeting. Marchant insists that it's a ticking-clock scenario, and Luke says that he'll see him in an hour.

Cornish questions Laurel' about her contacts with terrorists, He plays back a recording of Gustav talking to her on her phone, and Laurel refuses to give Gustav's name. She says that Tony's brain has been eaten by bugs. Mitchell tells Marchant that they can't effectively torture someone with psychotic delusions, and Marchant goes to get approval.

As Luke goes into the committee meeting, Red warns that he'll regret it. Luke points out that one of his own caucus members, Hodges, doesn't like torture. Red says that some of Luke's caucus members are willing to come to him.

Gustav loses the signal and Rochelle asks if he's recorded the bugs' communication. He has, and Rochelle tells him to send it out as if he were a bug person.

Red tells the other committee members that they should expedite the situation because it's a ticking-clock situation. Luke has Marchant describe the procedures, and receives a note advising him to ask about controlled interrogation. Marchant describes "controlled immersion", while Red realizes that the cameras are capturing everything. He speaks up about terrorism, and Cornish and Laurel watch. Cornish says that Luke is going to lose, while Laurel insists that Americans don't like torture. Unconcerned, Cornish says that when a group of Americans get into a group and vote, they turn vicious. He then turns to Ella on Megan's show, saying that they shouldn't even discuss torture.

The committee recesses and Gareth warns that he lost Hodges' vote because Hodges had to leave. He doesn't know where Hodges went, and Luke calls his father Dean and asks him where his friend Hodges is.

Rochelle takes Gustav to the joggers she bumped into earlier and has him broadcast the signal. The jogger who bumped into her earlier stops and sees them, and Rochelle tells Gustav to star back at him. After a moment he nods and jogs off, and Gustav goes after him to see if he'll lead them to Laurel.

Cornish tests the water valve regulation and explains the procedure, but assures Laurel that the vote could still go her way.

The committee reconvenes and Hodges still isn't there. Red calls for the vote, and Luke calls Dean. Dean has learned that Hodges is with a mistress, and asks for an hour to find who she is. Luke then asks to say a few words before they vote, and starts filibustering.

Gustav and Rochelle follow the jogger back to the senate building. Rochelle has Gustav play the message back to try and work out what it means, and tells Gustav to only broadcast the first part to find out what their words mean. Impressed, Gustav says that Rochelle is smarter than he though. He plays back the first part as the jogger goes by, and the jogger walks into a wall. Scarlett makes a call, and Rochelle tries the second "word" on her. She drops the phone and raises her arms, and Rochelle and Gustav chuckle.

Luke and Red argue, with Red invoking Jack Bauer. Dean brings Hodges in and Luke calls for the vote. Hodges secretly warns Luke that he has to vote for the torture.

Laurel and Cornish watch as the vote is cast. The majority vote in favor of torture, and Cornish says that he has a job to do so that the country can survive. However, he stops when Red calls for the vote against and everyone raises their arms…including several that votes for it a minute earlier. As Gustav sends in the back and sends the signal, Red raises his arms When he tries to discount the "no" votes because they already have a "yes" vote, Luke points out that they negated their own votes. Red has no choice but to call another vote, and Gustav starts having the infected senators walk into walls. He then has Red raise his arms, and he and Rochelle quickly leave.

In the torture room, Cornish hesitates and then takes the cloth off of Laurel's face and asks if she wants a ride. As he drives Laurel to her office, he suggests that she might want to take the day off. Laurel says that there's too much to do, and Cornish tells her that he had to experience all of the training he was going to inflict on her. He says that she was lucky and offers his hand, and Laurel shakes it and leaves.

When Laurel arrives in her office, Rochelle and Gustav ware waiting. She tells them that she's okay and thanks them, while Gareth watches from the window. Laurel then goes to see Luke and Dean, and they hug in relief. In the outside office, Gustav's app goes off and he realizes that Dean is infected as well.

Written by Gadfly on Aug 8, 2016

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