Hunting Season - Recap

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The episode begins with panelists on a news channel criticizing the president for nearly going to war with Sudan, based on faulty intelligence. Olivia is busy watching the telecast. She then calls up the guy on the show, who is criticizing the president. The two as it turns out know each other, and the man who is a senator, asks Olivia if she is ready to work for him. “Good Luck senator” she says and hangs up. Later, Olivia gets into her car and realizes someone is hiding in the backseat. The man ask her not freak out. Someone is following him he says and its freaking him out. The man says he knows Olivia solves problems and he has got some “really really big problems”.

She in anger asks him to get out of her car. He gets out, but tells her “they’ll kill me”. He then adds that they will kill her too “the government”. “They know all about the late night phone calls from the West Wing” he yells out. Olivia on hearing this brings her vehicle to a halt. At the office, Olivia introduces the man named Artie, to the team. Artie has evidence that, the NSA (National Security Agency) is spying on American citizens. Artie is a low level data entry operator in the NSA. He has discovered that American citizens are being spied on by the government, while entering some data into the system. He took it up with his superiors, but nothing happened. So he stole a program called Thorngate, which proves this.

He is now worried that the government will dispose of him and his identity with it. Olivia meets with the head of NSA and asks about Thorngate, which she tells her is a program NSA is using to spy on Americans. The head of NSA denies it outright and says she has never heard of Artie or Thorngate. Olivia based on the NSA head’s reaction, realizes that Artie is right. She tells her team to make sure Artie is safe, as “they” might try to kill him. Olivia and team take Artie to a safe house. There they unscramble the Throngate program and find out that even Cyrus the Chief of Staff, is being spied on. Which in other words means no one is safe. The program while in operation self destructs. Olivia tells Artie they have lost their bargaining chip and asks him “who else knows?”

A woman named Monica who was on the development team knows, Artie tells her. Later, Olivia talks to the senator who was on TV earlier. She asks him about Thorngate, as he is on the Intelligence Committee. The senator doesn’t reveal much, but warns her to no mess with the NSA. “Their ball, their bat, their rules” he says. Cyrus shows the president a photo of how Olivia met Senator Davis, and how she is inquiring about Throngate. Cyrus observes that the picture has really bothered the president, apparently because Olivia and Senator Davis had a history of some sort. Harrison and Abby find that Monica has been murdered, and it’s been made to look like a suicide. “Pinning this murder on the NSA is how we corroborate Artie’s story” Olivia tells them on the phone.

The president later meets with Olivia in private. Olivia is shocked at how angry the president is. She realizes this when he yells at her, for not listening to his instructions of getting out of the car, she has been brought in. The president brings up Artie and tells Olivia she is harboring a fugitive. He also adds how Thorngate is used for anti-terrorism. Olivia reveals how “they” know about the late night phone calls and where they came from. The president is visibly shocked to hear this, but accuses Olivia of using old boyfriends to dig up secrets of the Intelligence Committee. He reminds Olivia, how Senator Davis was an old boyfriend of hers. “You two screwing again?” he asks her in anger.

Olivia is enraged at this accusation. The president then suddenly turns around walks up to Olivia and the two begin kissing passionately. She suddenly pushes him away and tells him “I am not yours”. “This is over” she tells him and walks away. Later, Olivia tells Artie the only way he can stay safe is if they go public with the whole issue. She then meets with a few reporters, to discuss the story. Olivia then rehearses with Artie, the possible questions he would be answering on the TV interview. The president on the other hand tells his team to “unleash a legal tsunami” to stop Artie and Olivia. Huck tells Olivia he has cracked the Thorngate program once again.

Just then, Olivia’s team informs her that the network on which the interview was to happen got slapped with an injunction from the justice department. If they go ahead with the interview they could get arrested for treason. Later, Olivia meets with the network head and shows him how invasive Throngate can be. He is convinced and decides to go ahead with the interview. Then later, Olivia puts all the pieces of the puzzle together, Monica’s death which is a murder and was committed using high doses of insulin, a black sedan parked outside the house during the murder. She calls Huck and asks where Artie is; just then a black sedan is shown parking outside the safehouse.

Huck says Artie is in the loo. She asks him to break down the door. It is then shown that it was Artie who murdered Monica, and stole the Throngate program but couldn’t decrypt it, so he took Olivia help and Huck decrypted it for him. Huck breaks down the door and sees that Artie has escaped from the bathroom window. Artie is shown sitting inside the black sedan and being driven away. The team realizes how huge a mistake they have made, and how they played right into Artie’s hands. The officials from the NSA arrive at Olivia’s office and ask her where Artie is. “The TV interview was cancelled which means you lost him” the NSA head says.

She says how Artie has gotten his hands on Throngate, country’s greatest weapon for war on terror. Olivia concedes to the fact that Artie played her, but she reminds the head how Artie played the NSA for 16 years. She adds how this story would lead to Congressional hearings and mass firings, and even books and stories being written about the issue. “What do you want?” the head asks. “Twelve hours to find and deliver Artie. Then we call it even” Olivia replies. She gives Olivia and her team till noon the next day and says if she can’t find him, Olivia and her team shall be “detained for questioning…indefinitely”. Huck later, manages to find Artie.

Artie is terrified on seeing him, and offers to split the money with him. Artie tries to make a run for it and Huck shoots him in the leg with a tranquilizer gun. He tells a fainting Artie, they will talk when the tranquilizer wears off, in a bit. Later, Abby and Harrison discuss how they should be thanking Huck for “saving their asses”. David meets up with Abby at a bar and asks her to buy him a drink.

Senator Davis pays Olivia a visit and tells her the president had him kicked off the Senate Intelligence Committee. “To my thinking it was because I was reckless enough to talk to you” he tells Olivia. “So no I am your client pro bono” he says. David and Abby end up having sex. The episode ends at this point.