Isaac and Dana are standing next to the window in Isaac's office.
Dana: It's been two weeks, Isaac.
Isaac: Yes, it has.
Dana: Two weeks ago, Calvin Trager announced he was firing CSC's executive triumvirate and replacements would be named in a week.
Isaac: That's correct.
Dana: Isaac, it's been two weeks.
Isaac: And I am aware of that, Dana.
Dana: Then our top lawyer dies of a heart attack.
Isaac: I am aware of that, too.
Dana: Why wouldn't we have new executives in place? Somebody needs to be in charge. There needs to be a contact, a focal person, a leader. There's nobody to talk about budgets, there's nobody to talk about programming, and there's nobody in charge of the network.
Isaac: Dana you sound worried. I thought you would enjoy your short-term autonomy since you don't have executives breathing down your neck.
Dana: Isaac, complete strangers are going to decide our futures. I am worried, and you should be, too. Having to go from the forty-ninth floor to the street is not out of the realm of possibilities.
Isaac: Should I worry about you going into your office and jumping from your window?
Dana: They're stuck, Isaac. I've already tried opening them.
Isaac: So, you think things are desperate.
Dana: Things are being left the same. And then there was last night.
Isaac: Don't talk to me about last night.
Dana: Isaac. He needs help.
Isaac: Dana, I'm going to handle it.
Dan is working at his desk when Casey walks into the office. Casey walks over and picks up a baseball and starts tossing it to himself.
Casey: So, how did the date go?
Dan: That's my ball.
Casey: How did your date go with Virginia?
Dan: Give me my ball Casey. And her name isn't Virginia.
Casey: I thought you were seeing someone named after a state.
Dan: Her name was Charlotte.
Casey: Charlotte is not a state.
Dan: I know that. Gimme Casey.
Casey: It's a state capital, not a state.
Dan: You're wrong on that also.
Casey: Charlotte is not the capital of North Carolina?
Dan: Raleigh is the capital of North Carolina.
Casey tosses Dan the ball.
Dan: Thank you.
Casey: So how did it go?
Dan: It could have gone better.
Casey: It could have gone worse.
Dan: It could have gone a lot better.
Casey: Ah. So there will be no second date with-
Dan: Charlotte? No.
Casey: How many is that now?
Casey: Amie, Emily, and now this Charlotte who is not Virginia.
Casey: And Jo has had how many dates?
Dan: Okay. One guy. They've gone out five times.
Casey: His name is Josh.
Dan: His name is Josh.
Casey: Hmmm. What has he got that you don't already have?
Dan: He doesn't have a baseball caught from the bat of Domingo Santiago.
Casey: He doesn't have that, but he has the woman you would like to date. Sounds like you two are just about even.
Dan tosses the ball back to Casey and he makes a one-handed catch.
Dan: I could kill you right now.
Casey: I know.
Dan: I could.
Casey: But you won't.
Dan: But I won't.
Casey: Because I'm right?
Dan: You know what we need to do?
Dan: We're eligible, good-looking men.
Casey: No argument there.
Dan: You and I need to go out.
Casey: On a date?
Dan: No. We need to go to the bars. Bring Jeremy along. And pick up women.
Casey: I don't know.
Casey tosses the ball back to Dan.
Dan: Come on. You and Dana broke up a while ago. We need to go out and mingle with the many single women which populate this magnificent city.
Dan: This weekend. You and me and Jeremy.
Casey: I'll think about it.
Dan: What's the big deal?
Dan: Then it's settled. We are going out this weekend.
Natalie walks into Isaac's office and interrupts the conversation between Dana and Isaac.
Natalie: Sorry to interrupt.
Isaac: Natalie. Just the person I needed to see.
Natalie: You needed to see me?
Isaac: Yes. Take Dana away.
Isaac: This conversation is over, Dana. You have a show to produce- and I think Natalie has something to discuss with you.
Natalie looks at her clipboard.
Natalie: Yup. I need to speak with Dana.
Isaac: Good. I'll see you two later.
Isaac: I said I'm going to handle it.
Natalie: Handle what?
Dana: The situation about last night.
Natalie: Oh, Marcus. Isaac, please take it easy on him. He made a mistake. We need to give him our full support.
Isaac points to the front of his desk.
Isaac: What does this title say, Natalie?
Natalie: Isaac Jaffe- Managing Editor.
Isaac: Right. I'll make the decision on how to handle Marcus.
Natalie: Right. Sorry. Dana?
Dana: Okay. Let's talk about what you needed to talk about.
Dana and Natalie leave Isaac's office and head down the corridor.
Dana: What's up?
Natalie: Let's talk in your office.
Dana: I don't like the sound of this.
Natalie: Don't worry. You'll like this.
The two walk into Dana's office and Natalie closes the door.
Dana: Okay, Natalie. What is it that you had to drag me from Isaac's office?
Natalie: How are you?
Dana rolls her eyes.
Natalie: Dana, I'm serious. The sooner we get through this-
Dana: Fine. I am fine, Natalie.
Natalie: Good. How was last night?
Dana squints her eyes, trying to figure out what Natalie is attempting to solve.
Dana: Last night was good.
Natalie: Where did you go?
Dana: I went out and had dinner. Natalie, what is this about?
Natalie: You went out and had dinner.
Natalie: I just remembered something. Hold on.
Natalie picks up Dana's phone and dials.
Dana: Natalie, what is this all about?
Natalie waves off Dana.
Natalie: Casey? It's Natalie. Say, what did you do last night? (listens) Oh, it is my business mister. (listens) Liar, liar, pants on fire. Why didn't you answer the phone at 9 PM? (listens) You were in the shower. What about 9:30? (listens) How about 10 or 10:30? (smiles) Never mind. Dana is going to tell me anyway. Bye. (hangs up the phone)
Dana hesitates to respond to Natalie's actions.
Natalie: Why didn't you tell me you were seeing Casey?
Dana: I'm not seeing Casey.
Natalie: Dana, Dana, Dana. How long did you think you could hide this from me? You and Casey are dating each other.
Dana: Nuh-uh. We are not dating.
Natalie: What were you doing at Anthony's a few weeks ago?
Natalie: Jeremy thinks you two were on a date.
Dana: We were not on a date.
Natalie: Oh come on, Dana. I saw the way Casey was looking at you earlier. He couldn't be more obvious.
Dana: We are not dating, Natalie. We have a policy against inter-office dating.
Natalie: You don't need to hide this Dana. Sam is in Denver. Come on, you can tell me. Or I can tell everybody else.
Natalie: I can bring it up in one of the rundowns. We have four of them today. Hmm... which one should I tell-
Dana: Oh, all right! I'll tell you what's going on!
Dana takes a deep breath.
Dana: I've been seeing Casey because-
Dana: -because... because I feel bad for him.
Natalie: You are feeling bad for Casey? Oh, come on. What does Casey have to feel bad about?
Dana: His contract is expiring this summer.
Natalie: Yeah, but... oh my god.
Natalie: They are letting him go?
Natalie: Does Dan know?
Dana: I don't think so. J.J. and the fired executives know; Isaac knows; I know; and now you know.
Natalie: We still have a chance to bring him back with the new people Calvin Trager is going to hire.
Dana: I don't know. Calvin wanted to change directions, but he didn't fault any of their recent decisions.
Natalie: They wouldn't let go of Casey! They can't!
Dana: Natalie, please keep this quiet.
Jeremy and Dan cross paths in the newsroom.
Jeremy: Hey Dan.
Jeremy: I suppose you heard the report.
Dan: Which one?
Jeremy: You know- Marcus.
Dan: Yeah, I heard it.
Jeremy: I didn't even see it coming.
Dan: Would it have helped if we did see it coming?
Jeremy: Maybe. Probably. I just saw him walking toward Isaac's office. He's going to need our support.
Dan: I'm sure Isaac is pretty upset.
Jeremy: He was last night.
Dan: We were off last night.
Jeremy: I know, but Natalie and I decided to do some work last night.
Dan: You two back together?
Dan: Good. No, wait. That's not good.
Jeremy: Don't worry, Dan. I know what you are meaning.
Dan: Okay. Would you like to join me and Casey this weekend?
Jeremy: What's the occasion?
Dan: It's not an occasion. We're just going to hang out, watch a few games, drink a few beers, go to a few bars.
Jeremy: Sounds exciting-
Dan: Great. So I can count on you.
Jeremy: Hold on, Dan. I'm sorry I already have plans for the weekend.
Dan: Oh. That's fine. I was just figuring-
Jeremy: I appreciate you inviting me.
Dan: Okay. Maybe next time.
Jeremy: Yes. Check with me next time.
There is a knock on Isaac's door.
Isaac: Come in.
The door slowly opens, and Marcus walks in.
Marcus: Hi, Mr. Jaffe.
Isaac: It's Isaac. Close the door behind you. Come have a seat.
Marcus closes the door and takes a seat.
Isaac: Marcus, we need to talk about last night.
Marcus: I'm sorry I disappointed you, Isaac.
Isaac clasps his hands together.
Isaac: What were you thinking last night?
Marcus: I was in my hotel room for the evening. I wasn't planning on doing anything else.
Isaac: The housekeeper found the joint in the trash can.
Marcus: Hey, they have no right to be searching through the trash.
Isaac: That's not the point.
Marcus: It's part of my personal business. We don't drug screen here, and I've never lied to anybody.
Isaac: But you withheld the truth.
Marcus: Isaac, nobody here has ever asked me if I smoked pot.
Isaac: You don't sound guilty about this incident.
Marcus: I don't think I should feel guilty.
Marcus: I know what you are going to say. You are going to lecture me on the use of illegal drugs. I've had plenty of lectures and I'm informed of the dangers.
Isaac: What you did was illegal.
Marcus: I only smoke pot when I need to chill out, calm down for the evening. I never plan on doing anything else after I smoke some. It's no big deal. I'm sure you do things to get away and relax.
Isaac: I read books about space exploration, and the last time I checked, that was not illegal.
Marcus: Isaac. I don't even smoke enough to merit a felony charge. This is only a misdemeanor.
Isaac: You are not convincing me your arrest is going to deter you. And I even drove to Philadelphia to bail you out of jail.
Marcus: I appreciate you driving out to pick me up.
Isaac: You have a reputation to uphold with the network. You have a conduct clause in your contract.
Marcus: I didn't except to get caught.
Isaac: How long have you been smoking?
Marcus: Since I was in little league.
Isaac: Little league?
Marcus: Yeah. We would hang around after a practice or a game, and go out and smoke some weed.
Isaac: You were just kids- just children.
Marcus: Yeah, but I educated myself on the dangers of this. I take full responsibility for my actions. I do feel I am responsible enough to smoke this every once in a while-
Isaac: When you feel the need to chill out.
Marcus: Yeah. I've received lectures and I've taken them into account. I take precautions to protect myself and protect others.
Isaac: Don't you realize what this stuff can do to your brain?
Marcus: Yes, and as I said earlier, I take full responsibility for my actions.
Isaac takes a moment to think about his next decision.
Isaac: You do realize I am going to have to suspend you?
Marcus: I realize that.
Isaac: And you still might be fired for this.
Isaac: I would like you to enroll in a treatment program.
Isaac: You're going to question me on this? After I drove out to bail your sorry ass out of jail?
Marcus: Do what you have to do Isaac, but it's not going to stop me. I should stop smoking pot. I ought to stop smoking pot. I must stop smoking pot. I've heard it all, and I'm still not convinced.
Isaac: You have a responsibility to this network to be in good standing with the authorities.
Marcus: Isaac? Besides myself, who am I hurting? I haven't missed a day of work. I'm probably one of your better employees.
Isaac: You are hurting the network and you are hurting yourself. I'm going to have to suspend you, with pay, until you seek some counseling. If you choose not to seek help, well we will see what happens next.
Marcus: Isaac, the hotel maid had no right to search my trash.
Isaac: And if you were smarter, you would not have been caught.
Isaac: Did you want to get caught?
Isaac: I asked if you wanted to get caught?
Isaac: Because deep down you feel guilty.
Marcus: I don't feel guilty.
Isaac: Why were you careless?
Marcus: I don't know.
Isaac: Maybe deep down you do feel guilty; and to relieve yourself of that guilt, you decided you needed to be punished. Once you are free of your guilt, then you can do whatever you please. But as long as your actions remain unpunished, you feel your actions are not justified.
Marcus: I don't think any punishment is justified.
Isaac: But you don't feel guilty?
Isaac: Because you didn't do anything wrong?
Isaac: You're incorrect.
Marcus: What did I do?
Isaac: You let down the network and you disappointed me.
Marcus: I thought people were supposed to stand by you when you make mistakes.
Isaac: I thought you said you didn't do anything wrong.
Marcus: I did.
Isaac: Then why would you expect us to stand by you when you say you didn't make a mistake?
Marcus: I thought you were my friend.
Isaac: I'm your boss.
Marcus: I see that.
Isaac: And it's my job to make decisions and correct mistakes when they are made.
Marcus: I know.
Isaac: Get your things. You're suspended for 30 days. It's your responsibility to seek treatment and you will not be reinstated until you bring proper documentation citing your treatment. You have 30 days with pay, and then we'll see what happens next.
Marcus shakes his head as Isaac picks up his phone.
Isaac: I'll call security to make sure you gather up all of your belongings.