Eli's meeting with Natalie, and her obvious interest in the subject matter, caused Eli to have a change of heart. He put Peter's speech back on the schedule, much to Marilyn's chagrin. Later in the episode, Natalie went to see Eli to apologize for cutting their dinner short and give him some dried apricots. Sure! Why not? She left, but before she could make it out of the building, he ran after her for the second time! He told her they had to have dinner that night, or it would never happen. It was all highly adorable, and I have to say I kind of love this flustered, romantic side of Eli Gold.
Anyway, Marilyn saw Eli talking to Natalie and correctly jumped to the conclusion that Eli's shift on the Minority Voters' Conference had something to do with Natalie. But instead of asking Eli about it, Marilyn confronted Peter, who, in turn, confronted Eli. Peter told Eli he wouldn't be giving the speech, and Eli then confronted Marilyn. It was all very cyclical. Sadly, though, it appeared that Eli would let his work take priority over his relationship with Natalie.
She showed up at the restaurant for their date, feeling good about her friend Tomas, when Eli called her and bailed. It was pretty heartbreaking, especially when I realized he was outside of the restaurant all along, watching Natalie's disappointment through the window. Thankfully, Eli came to his senses. He marched into the restaurant and apologized to Natalie for being stupid. "I lie 24/7 for my job. It’s actually a gift. But lying to you gave me a stomach ache." Awwww. And then they kissed! It was absolutely adorable, and proof that Eli Gold just might not be made of entirely of stone.
Memorable lines and moments from "The Next Month":
++ "So do we have a Yoko Ono problem here?" —David Lee, about Isabel
++ Eli: "I changed my mind. Have you never changed your mind?"
Eli: "Well, this is what it looks like."
++ "And I don’t normally buy dried apricots. They were just in the store downstairs so I bought them. Throw them away, okay? They’re probably gross." —Natalie (America Ferrera), explaining her impulse buy to Eli
++ "David something. He looks like a jack-o-lantern." —Isabel, to Will describing David Lee
++ "Oh, spare me the rigors of pregnancy BS." —Eli, to Marilyn
++ Howard's greeting to Joe Pallotta. Howard will never learn to behave appropriately, and that's what makes his character so great.
++ Including this Peter quote because Marilyn would, no doubt, flag it as a potential ethical violation.
Peter: "You know what? I think you’re going to take over the world from here."
Alicia: "You think so?"
Peter: "I’d bet on it."
Fun fact: The episode was originally titled "Ice, Ice Baby." What did you think of "The Next Month"? Do you like Will's new rebranded LG? Will Eli and Natalie's relationship continue? Is Kalinda still being underused? Did you like Robyn playing her own version of Kalinda? Sound off with all your thoughts in the comments!