Blake, Jay, and Elizabeth are the only senior staff in the office because of the shutdown (assisted by Diplotot Chloe), when Russell decides to send Elizabeth out as a surrogate defending the president and putting the shutdown at Morejon's feet. Unfortunately, without Daisy or Matt in the office (the speechwriter is temporarily acting as babysitter for Chloe), Elizabeth's speeches lack finesse and they keep getting blindsided by Morejon's pivots. The original press conference is hijacked by a right wing blogger trying to incite outrage against immigrants and refugees, and Morejon manages to change the narrative of Elizabeth's trip to a toy factory staffed by refugees into a story about immigrants stealing American jobs. Russell becomes frustrated that his original strategy isn't working, and he plans to leak a story about how Morejon's wife worked with out a visa when she first came to the country to the press. Elizabeth is disgusted at the move against Morejon's family, and heads over to the Senate to reason with him. She tells him what Russell has planned, but he seems to blow her off. Later that night, Russell shows up at her house with the news that Morejon has agreed to the initial CR compromise -- and he's pissed he wasn't able to destroy the Senator once and for all.
Elizabeth needs a new chief of staff, but is ambivalent about all the candidates brought to her. She finally decides to promote Jay, with the understanding that he needs more time with Chloe and he won't be working weekends or late nights.
Jareth wants Stevie to come to England for his grandmother's birthday since she's on furlough and she reluctantly agrees. When she gets a call from Russell that the government is up and running again as they're about to get in the taxi, she chooses work over the trip, which irritates Jareth. Things don't look so great for the young couple.
Henry visits Dmitri at rehab, which pleases the young man. But when Henry wraps up the visit by asking him about some intel, he gets the impression that Henry is only kind to him because of what he knows. Elizabeth gets upset that Henry canceled plans with Jason to see Dmitri. Henry still suffers from a lot of guilt about leaving Dmitri behind in Russia.