Commander In Chief
First Strike

Episode Report Card
Lauren S: B- | Grade It Now!
First Strike
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

Mac is out on the river for some early-morning rowing. She's lucky that it's easy for her to get out for a relaxing workout. Oh, wait. We pan back to a police boat following her. Then we see a second one. Then we see a helicopter. This makes much more sense, but I also can't think that it's the most secure idea as you see cars driving past on the street parallel to the river.

The helicopter artfully swoops us to a new scene, of Mac on the dock and Vince greeting her with the morning's schedule: "You have a meeting with the chair of AIPAC at 8:45." Is it me, or does AIPAC sound like one of those space-saving systems with the plastic bags and a vacuum? Mac asks whether there's word on San Pasquale: "It's been a couple of days now." Vince awkwardly reminds her that's above his security clearance. Joan then meets them at the dock, and Mac greets her, "Joan. Tell me everything." "Oh Mac, he was just so dreamy! We went and got dinner and then he took me to a movie..." Mac, really, you're pitching softballs, and we all know you're a baseball player. Be a little bit more specific. Joan actually knows what Mac is asking about: the plans at the school for the twins' first day back at school. They have a command post and surveillance system on campus, and have done background checks on the entire staff and student body. Mac seems to have just realized: "Big change from the last couple of years. Maybe I should take them myself? Meet the principal?" Joan and Vince talk her out of it, Joan explaining, "Frankly, it's not as simple as you just wanting to take them." Welcome to Instance #1 of my giant pet peeve about this episode. Let's keep track, shall we, of the number of times a member of the Allen/Calloway clan seem to assume life will just go on as usual even though Mom's now the President, and why can't they just continue with everything the way it used to be? At least they've got staff around to remind them about this. Mac does her Clench-Jawed Delivery of Appearing Serious, telling Joan, "I'm trusting you with my kids here." "We know."

Over at Casa Templeton, a tiny Jack Russell Terrier barks and runs toward Nate. The dog's running without using one of his back legs: does this show us that Nate has a secret soft spot for gimpy animals, or are his legs too short to keep up with his run? No time to ponder this, as Jayne walks up and calls, "Hey boss!" She has someone in tow. Nate greets "Willy," and Jayne helps me out since Willy didn't earn a lower third. "The Congressman flew in from Missouri to meet." Willy adds, "I thought a face-to-face." Learn to speak in complete sentences, Willy. Jayne jumps back in: "It's about Warren Keaton." Are they trying to find ways to give Natasha Henstridge lines, or can Willy not speak for himself? Willy: "I hope you're with me on this, Nate. I think Keaton's dangerous. That seeing the horror of the battlefield actually softened him. Makes him weak on security. He shouldn't be Vice-President." There's a shot of Jayne, eyebrow raised. Since this is politics, and nothing comes without a deal, Templeton guesses what Willy might be after: "If you're trying to get on the confirmation committee, that's a matter of seniority. I can't help you there." Willy seems a tad uncomfortable at the suggestion that he's there with anything but shining altruistic motives. "That -- that's not why I'm here, Nate." He shrugs and we get one more shot of Jayne. Of course, she gives the actual explanation: "[The] Congressman served with Warren Keaton in the Gulf. STRATOPS. He was in a unique position to hear things." Willy, tell your own story, jeezy creezy.

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Commander In Chief




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