West Wing
A Proportional Response

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A Proportional Response
a lower one." They're bickering about whether or not he's dug his heels in and whether or not that's an admirable quality when Toby strides purposefully in between them and says "Leo's office. It's happening."

People are milling around Leo's office when he arrives saying, "The order was given at 16:27; code name, Pericles I. Four targets, all military. Two munitions dumps in northern Rashan, Safian Bridge and IHQ." The estimated time of the attack is about 6:30 PM EST. Leo tells C.J. that she can come to the Situation Room in about twenty minutes for a briefing, and tells Toby and Sam that the Prez will go on network at 9:00 PM, so they should start zeroing in. As the three of them rush off to their work, he reminds them that there are to be no phone calls in or out, and tells C.J. that she can't say a word to the press without his go-ahead. C.J.: "They're going to wonder what all the fuss is about." Leo: "Then let's not have any fuss." C.J. mentions that she could use some time with the President, and Leo replies, "You and me both." He manages to reassure her and she rushes out. Josh is still standing near the doorway, hands in his pockets. Josh asks Leo if he's okay; Leo says he's fine. Josh brings up the issue of the President's mood, particularly the fact that Jed was snapping at the First Lady. Leo tells Josh he's right, but that Leo can't deal with that right now. He then hollers for Margaret. (Doesn't anyone in this building have intercoms?) Josh tells Leo that he's interviewing a kid for the position of personal aide, and that he's really great, and got good marks, and is postponing school to support his sister until she gets out of high school, and adds the part about his mother's being shot. Basically, Josh really likes him and wants to hire him. Leo: "So what's the problem?" Josh: "He's black." Leo replies, "So's the Attorney General and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs." Josh: "They don't hold the door open for the President. I'm not wild about the visual: a young black man holding his overnight bag?" Now Leo's a bit annoyed. "Josh, I hold the door open for the President. It's an honour! This is serious business. This isn't casting. ["No, not at all, NBC. Not at all. -- Wing Chun] We get the guy for the job and take it from there." Josh: "Good." Leo, a little less vehement: "And I'm fairly sure I'm right about this." Margaret comes in to announce Chairman Fitzwallace. Leo tells her to send him in. Fitzwallace enters and Josh introduces himself. They make a bit of small talk and Josh leaves. Fitzwallace tells Leo that he's going to have to calm Jed down since he's going to speak to the country later. Leo knows, and asks Fitzwallace if he has any advice. The Admiral demurs a bit, but Leo insists. Fitzwallace suggests telling him that the first time is always like this, and that he's doing fine. Leo doesn't think POTUS is doing fine at all. Fitzwallace says, "Yeah, he is. Presidents don't make new friends. That's why they've gotta hang on to their old ones." As the Admiral is exiting, Leo calls out to him and asks if he'd have any problem with their hiring a young black man to wait on the President. Fitzwallace responds, "I'm an old black man and I wait on the President." He then asks Leo, "You gonna pay him a decent wage? You gonna treat him with respect in the workplace?" Leo responds affirmatively. "Then why the hell should I care? I got some real honest-to-God battles to fight, Leo. I don't have time for the cosmetic ones." Leo thanks him and the Admiral rushes out, passing Toby in the hall. Toby's got an armload of papers and apologizes to Fitzwallace for being unable to stop to speak with him. As Toby cuts through the conference room, someone (looks like Nancy) asks him what the estimated BDA is. I can't quite figure out what BDA is. Toby: "It's my first bombing. I don't know yet." As Toby's racing off, Josh calls out to him from where he's hanging out in the conference room and asks if Toby needs any help, but Toby just says "no" and keeps going. Josh then says to no one in particular, "Sheila, if you need me for anything...I'm standing here with absolutely nothing to do."

The camera cuts to Toby's secretary on the phone, trying to put someone off who wants to speak to Toby or Sam or somebody. When C.J. rushes by, the secretary (Kathy, I think her name is) covers the mouthpiece and asks C.J., "Why is no one available to speak on the phone?" C.J.: "I don't know, they're planning my surprise party." C.J. goes to the door of Toby's office where he and Sam are discussing the adjectives to describe the Syrian attack in the President's speech. They've got "unprovoked" and "cold-blooded" but Toby wants a third adjective. C.J. stops at Toby's door and calls his name. He says, "Quickly." She says, "The AGM 84E SLAM." I haven't got the faintest idea what she's talking about, but Toby hollers, "Kathy! Sam cut the paragraph ten minutes ago!" As Kathy whizzes past the door, she says, "It's coming out on the redline!" C.J. repeats her question and Toby says, "Stand-off Land Attack Missile. Distinguish it from the AGM 84D, or harpoon, which is an anti-ship missile." C.J. thanks him and leaves. Toby and Sam are back to their adjectives and Sam offers "unwarranted." Toby's satisfied with "unprovoked," "unwarranted," and "cold-blooded." Sam jumps up and starts to run out, and naturally Toby wants to know where he's going. Sam begs for two seconds and goes running after C.J. He says, "I'm sorry about before." C.J.: "Yeah." Sam: "I'm just really very fond of her, is all." We can only see the side of C.J.'s face so it's hard to tell how relenting her expression is, but her tone has some forgiveness in it. She tells Sam, "Go back to work," and he gives kind of a slight smile and says, "Right." C.J. trucks off toward her office but is buttonholed by a group of reporters. One guy asks her what all the hubbub is about. C.J. feigns ignorance and the guy presses her, "Come on, C.J. Fitzwallace was in Leo's office." C.J.'s glib: "Admiral Fitzwallace is Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. Leo McGarry is White House Chief of Staff. I'm your host, C.J. Let's play our game." The reporters are undeterred and ask, "Is it happening?" C.J.: "No." "Would you know if it was?" C.J. pleads, "Guys..." "Then why all the activity" C.J. cracks, "Menudo's in the building. I gotta go." She leaves and walks toward the door of her office, where Danny Concannon is waiting for her. She's clearly less than thrilled to see him, and figures he's there to get a scoop on the possible military strike. In fact, he's there to tip her off to the fact that he knows Sam Seaborn has been "going around with a three-thousand-dollar-a-night call girl." She doesn't say anything, but puts her hand to her forehead. He tells her to ask him inside her office, which she does.

After a slew of commercials (which I resent whenever I'm watching a show, and am grateful for whenever I'm recapping), Josh is wandering around the White House later that same evening, at loose ends. (Wouldn't the Deputy Chief of Staff have something to do on the day of a military strike? Just asking.) He ambles over to Donna's desk, where she's busily processing work and inquires as to Charlie's whereabouts. Donna tells him he's filling out forms for Personnel. (Doesn't almost every workplace call it Human Resources now? Just asking. So many questions.) Josh asks how Charlie was doing; Donna replies that he looked "pretty freaked." Josh says, "He's a gamer. I can pick 'em." Donna says, "If you say so." Josh fidgets around behind Donna a bit and finally announces, "I have nothing to do." Donna patiently says, "I can see." Josh, just 'cause I like you, here's a clue, completely free of charge: Never loiter around a subordinate, especially one of your own, who's busy trying to get work done and announce that you have no work, unless you are there to offer to help that person in any way they need you. In particular, do not hang around your secretary's desk making it obvious that you have nothing to do, even if you don't mention this is so many words. It's highly annoying. Unless, of co

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