A ceremonial welcome greets Shultz and Reagan on their first trip together to Japan, but as they arrive back in the U.S. Philippine dissident Nimoy Aquino is assassinated and this important island nation is thrown into turmoil. Reagan views Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos as a friend and ally in the fight against Communism, while Shultz increasingly sees Marcos as a cunning politician who is allowing his country to fail. In September 1982 Marcos teeters on the edge of defeat.
Inside the White House, Cabinet members continue to vie for the President’s attention, putting forth competing tactics to achieve the administration’s goals. Reagan is taken with the Contras, a group of rebels fighting the Communist government in Nicaragua. While Congress had ruled out the use of Defense Department or CIA funds to help the rebels, some advisors keep bringing the issue to Reagan’s attention. “Reagan loved the Contras because they’re the kind of guys who are the good guys in the movies,” says Reeves. “And he really believed that they were something like the men who came down the hill and conquered. And beyond that, it was almost all kind of romantic imagination in his mind.”