Sports Night
Ten Wickets

Episode Report Card
Daniel: B | 1 USERS: A
Something wicket this way comes

Dan shows up with a wrapped gift for Rebecca. He tells Jeremy and Natalie that it's an "antique" abacus. Notice that Jeremy isn't so troubled by all his problems that he can't take a moment to snarkily say, "Probably the only kind there are." Dan seems nervous as he explains that Rebecca will like it because she's a market analyst and works with numbers. Natalie helpfully tells Dan that if Rebecca opens up a chequing account at a nearby bank, she can get a free calculator. Dan explains that he's not sitting on the sidelines anymore; he's getting in the game. "If Steve Sisko wants his wife back, the road goes through me," he says. "I love it!" says Natalie. But then Dan starts to doubt himself. In a matter of seconds, he goes from Mr. Happy Guy to Mr. Crazy Guy, and isn't sure an antique abacus is such a great gift. Natalie tries to shore up his confidence. Finally, Dan straightens up. "Honesty and directness are the keys. I love her; it's that simple. Honesty will win the day." Dan is so dead. He walks off. Natalie watches him go, then turns to Jeremy: "I'm talking about really good porn." Jeremy's a much stronger man than I am. I have a hard time going more than a day without a Coke; Jeremy here has given up his hot girlfriend who dances for him and likes to rent porn. His picture must be displayed for inspiration in Buddhist monasteries. After a final "Natalie..." from Jeremy, she seems to realize that maybe, just maybe, he's really not interested in discussing it. "Let's work," she says, and they head back to the editing room.

Dan and Casey's office. Casey is busy working where Danny normally sits when Dana comes in with a couple of notes on the night's show. After a couple of minor tweaks, Dana tells him to stop making Jerry Falwell jokes on the air. Casey gets his hackles up and says he's not doing Jerry Falwell "jokes," so Dana plays his semantic game and tells him to cut out the drop-ins and asides, then. He pompously starts in yet again with how a week ago someone threatened to blow them up. "And you think it was Jerry Falwell?" says Dana. "I haven't ruled him out as a suspect," says Casey. Getting a little angrier, Dana tells Casey that she's serious. He asks her what she's afraid of. "Offending people," she says, prompting Casey to sarcastically ask if she means the legions of viewers who take Falwell seriously. As she presses him, he cranks up the sarcasm. "I know I'm alone on this. I know the majority of people consider Jerry Falwell a spiritual pillar of great and gentle wisdom. I know that most people consider him a scholarly and tolerant man who would never judge others harshly just because they were different. I know that most people find his calm and leadership to be a gentle, soothing beacon in a time of great social chaos." I'm with Casey so far. Then he brings up the whole "purple Teletubby is gay" thing, and by this point I'm checking my watch and Casey has been at this for a good five minutes. He finishes by saying he knows he's going out on a limb, but he thinks Jerry Falwell's a "fat-ass." Oh, also, "I have a typewriter and I will use it as I see fit," and I had to laugh at Casey painting himself as some sort of Solzhenitsyn-esque lone candle in the darkness. I mean, yes, Falwell's a dick, and blaming the ACLU, abortion providers, gay rights supporters, and federal judges who banned school prayer for the Sept. 11 attacks only provided further proof of that, and if Falwell thinks his message of intolerance is getting him into heaven any sooner than people who crash airplanes into office buildings, he needs to read his Bible a little more closely. But I wonder what Casey hopes to accomplish by ragging on Falwell on the air. He's already admitted that few of their fans take Falwell seriously. If he thinks Falwell is going to change based on the gripings of a self-centred sports anchor on a third-rate network, he's got way too high an opinion of himself, and I wish that would quit surprising me. But speaking as a sports fan, the day I look to sports anchors for guidance and commentary on issues any more controversial than whether Barry Bonds or Sammy Sosa should be the National League MVP is the day that it is all over for me. Anyway, Dana says, "Not on my show," and Casey is now fine with referring to his comments as "just jokes" and Dana repeats, "Not on my show." "Is this it? You gonna bench me?" says Casey, and Dana says yes, so he dares her to do it. She snaps, "Do another Falwell joke and you're suspended for a week!" Casey stands up, staring at her, and stomps out of the office as we hear the "five minutes to air" signal.

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