West Wing
A Proportional Response

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A Proportional Response
urse, you don't mind if your assistant spits in your coffee, or finds other ways to make your life miserable. I do have to give Bradley Whitford credit for perfectly capturing the quality of the boss-with-no-work-to-do, hanging around. A guy zooms into Donna's space, reaches across Josh, and grabs a file. Josh says, "Everyone running around like the future of the world depends on it, which I suppose it does. Everyone running around, working. Me, I got nothing to do. Like a writer on a movie set." Donna's getting peeved, and asks him, "Have you ever been on a movie set?" Josh admits, "No, but I hear stories." Donna asks, "You wanna do mail?" Josh doesn't answer her but perches himself on Donna's printer table and rambles on: "At least there's some comfort in knowing that whatever's going to happen today has already happened." From behind him we hear the grating voice of Mandy Hampton, standing at his doorway, saying, "Josh, your office sucks." Josh says to Donna, "I don't understand it. Why can't you tell me that there is a person in my office?" Donna says, "Hey, the first time I didn't know. The second time, I didn't care that much." (See, Josh, this is exactly the sort of thing I was talking about.) Donna gets up to go somewhere. Mandy's standing at Josh's door with her arms crossed and says, "I mean it. It's a hole!" Josh walks toward his office and says, "Why are you here?" Mandy explains that since she starts work there next week, she "came to get psyched." (Now there's a scary thought: Mandy, more psyched.) Josh tells her she picked a hell of a day to get psyched. Mandy asks, "Why? Because the President gave the attack order and you're getting ready to go on the air?" Josh avoids confirming this, but Mandy makes it clear from the things she's observed that she knows what's going on. Josh says that's not why it's a bad time, but Mandy tries to guess what the targets might be. "What is it, IHQ? A couple of armouries?" Josh says, "You want to say it a little louder, Mandy? I don't think Syrian Air Defense Command heard you." Mandy ignores this and tells Josh she brought him a present. Josh, wisely suspicious, wonders why she's being nice to him. Mandy claims it's because she's psyched to start working there. Josh confesses that it's been a bit ugly around there since Tolliver's plane was shot down, and as the President accordingly comes to terms with the use of force. Josh asks what she brought him, and says he wants his present. Mandy hands him a small gold picture frame with a large purple pre-fab bow on it, saying, "It's a picture I found.". Josh pulls the bow off and looks at the picture, and states, "It's a picture of you and me, and someone's drawn all over my face with a magic marker." Mandy says, "That was me...during my period of hating you." Josh cracks, "Well, that could have been pretty much any time, couldn't it?" Mandy says the picture was taken the night they met, at some seafood place near the Democratic leadership conference. She states that he couldn't stop staring at her. He claims she was wearing "quite the ensemble" that night (hard to imagine, if her work clothing is any indication) but Mandy replies, "I don't think it was the wardrobe you were looking at, Lucky." Ew. I'm hating this conversation, especially as it becomes more pleasantly nostalgic. She says, "You guys are doing okay, Josh." Just then the phone rings. Apparently they've found something for Josh to do, so he's gotta go. Mandy says she'll see him next week, prompting Josh to ask, "Listen, you're not gonna be this nice to me when we're working together, right?" Mandy grabs her things and says, "Not a chance," and leaves. Josh mutters, "That's what I thought." He sets the picture up on the edge of his desk and finally we get to see it. Josh's face is indeed scribbled out. They look awfully cozy and couple-y for two people who had just met that day. I have to wonder what sort of tactic this is on Mandy's part. Personally, I find it a little bizarre, but who can figure out the way Mandy thinks?

In the next scene, Danny and C.J. are in her office. He's letting her know, as a courtesy, that he's going to be asking around about Sam and the call girl. She's trying to convince him that it's "much ado about nothing," but Danny argues that it doesn't look that way. C.J. defends Sam, saying that he knows right from wrong, and while it would make her life easier if Sam weren't friends with this woman, Sam does get to choose his friends. She doesn't get to choose them for him, and neither do Danny's readers. C.J. further asserts, "There's something commendable about Sam's behaviour here. Don't ask me what, but there is. And I'm sticking by him until the President orders me otherwise, and I'm going to look very unfavourably on those who seek only to make us look like fools." Danny tells her that he'll drop it, but warns her that she better get "dee'd up here, because not everybody's a good guy." I have no idea what "dee'd up" means. At first I thought he said "teed up" but being the anal recapping nerd that I am, I listened to it about ten times and it's definitely a "d" sound. Anyway, he figures eventually someone's going to tail Seaborn, and reminds her that he found out about it somehow. C.J. weakly tries to get him to tell her how he found out, but he's not having any of that. He just thinks any opponents who find out will just hang on to the information until the eve of "something big," and then try to use it to blow them out of the water. C.J.'s phone rings and she takes the call; Danny starts to leave but she tells him to hang on; she'll give him a ten-minute head start on something "for being a good guy." When she gets off the phone, she tells him "We're out of Syrian airspace."

Josh is giving Charlie the fifty-cent tour around the White House. "This used to be the White House Counsel's office until Toby and the communications staff conquered and pillaged." Josh points out the Map Room, the Roosevelt Room, the Oval Office, the Chief of Staff's office. "The only thing left to do is say hello to the President." At that, Charlie comes to a dead stop but Josh keeps walking. He's rambling on about how they're about to go on air when he notices Charlie's not at his side any more. He turns around and beckons Charlie with his finger; Charlie doesn't look quite as scared as a deer caught in the headlights, but he's close. I believe they were supposed to be doing this TV appearance in the Embassy Room, not the Oval Office, but it looks like the Oval Office to me. It's hard to tell with all the crap and the people in the room. It's a whirl of activity, with monitors and equipment being set up, POTUS yelling for his glasses, people trying to talk to POTUS, and various people racing or standing around. Josh stands at the edge of the room with a fairly nervous Charlie. POTUS is asking Toby and Sam about the "BDA" again (my guess is, Bombing Damage Assessment? Best I can do ["Sounds good to me." -- Wing Chun]) but Sam and Toby explain that there's a problem with getting the information, since they usually get their information from sources inside Syrian intelligence, and they just blew up Syrian intelligence. POTUS yells, "Oh, for crying out loud! Will somebody get on the phone to CNN and find out if we hit anything?" Just then some guy in a sweater-vest comes in and hands him the BDA. POTUS thanks him and says, "Now, if I only had my glasses..." Mrs. Landingham enters the office tentatively and starts to tell him that the porters have searched his bedroom from top to bottom looking for his glasses. POTUS complains that he hasn't had his glasses all day and that they could have brought in an optometrist by now. Seriously, would this guy not have a second pair? A copy of his prescription? An optometrist who'd have his prescription on file? Any or all of the above? Is there really no money in the federal budget for this? Anyway, he snipes a bit more at Mrs. L. and Nancy. C.J. asks POTUS to familiarize himself with the information on the Phoenix, which I'm assuming is some military craft or other; Jed's very short-tempered with her and says he got the bri

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West Wing

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