Sports Night
The Sword Of Orion

Episode Report Card
Daniel: B+ | 1 USERS: A-
YOU GRADE IT
This is the worst trip / I've ever been on

At the desk, Casey is still listing his good qualities to Allison. Now he's saying he can cook. And once again, I'm comparing myself. So listen up, fool: mix one can of condensed cream of mushroom soup, one quarter cup of water, one cup of chow mein noodles, one can of tuna (drain it), one cup of chopped celery, one-third cup of chopped onion, half a cup of cashews. Spoon it all into a greased two-litre (two quart) casserole dish and cover the top with more chow mein noodles. Cover the dish and microwave it on high for 10-12 minutes. That's some old-school tuna casserole, D-Train-style. I'd make it for Allison here, who asks why Dan has his fingers in his ears. Allison doesn't get nearly as many lines as she did before, and Casey just blows her off with a "don't worry about it" and comes in after the reporter at the Orioles game, which Casey refers to as "an auspicious outing for Scott Erickson and the lefty Orlando Rojas." Then Casey rolls his eyes and bangs the desk really hard, which is Dan's cue to unplug his ears (the desk-banging part, anyway; I'm pretty sure the eye-rolling was all Casey). Dan ends the show, and everybody starts congratulating each other on what a good show it was, and in the control room we briefly revisit the whole "pumped" nonsense, and for me it was like in horror movies at the end where the killer is dead but there's one last false-alarm scare to piss you off. Dana quietly tells Natalie to tell the graphics department that the wise thing to do would be to leave the building now. Okay, this was funny the first time, but are they trying to have us believe that the graphics department is suddenly Dana's arch-nemesis? I mean, we're never going to hear about this again.

Leaving the set, Elliot hands a tape of the game to Dan. Casey says he'll pop into the office to watch the game later, but he's going to talk to Jeremy for a moment. Heading into the newsroom, Dan starts yelling for everyone to shut up about Orlando Rojas and the Orioles game, as if Dan and the other members of the main Sports Night gang pay any attention to what the little people say anyway. Dan walks into his office, where Rebecca's waiting. He stops bellowing. She tells him Rojas slipped on a tangerine peel in the locker room before the game, twisted his ankle, and didn't pitch. Dan's totally fooled, but the "tangerine" part smelled like slightly too much detail to me, so I didn't buy it. Dan smirks. "That was nice. You played a little joke," he said. Then Rebecca offers up a whole lot of apologetic blah blah about how Steve Sisko didn't want her in his world of sports and blah blah blah and I tuned out because I once had a girlfriend who used to pull the same shit on me; she got all neurotic when I didn't behave the same way her previous boyfriend did, the same guy whose behaviour she always complained about. So when I didn't crowd her like her ex did, that freaked her out. And when I didn't get paranoid and jealous like he did when she had to work late, that freaked her out too. And then she'd whine and apologize for it and blame him, which I bought, but only up to a point. And maybe I'm just analyzing this in light of the knowledge that Rebecca goes running back to Steve, but I just folded my arms here when Rebecca started going on about how she appreciates all the effort Dan went to today, but it's just hard for her because of her wall of pain. You see? Yeah, Rebecca, it's not you; it's your wall of pain. Dan cheerfully says he's going to tear down the wall. Bit by bit, he says. In for the long haul, he says. Bit by bit, he says again. Is he improvising here because Rebecca forgot her next line? "I expect the process to be excruciating but ultimately worth it," he says. Excruciating, check. Rebecca finally remembers her line and interrupts him to tell him she booked a room at the St. Regis and there's a bottle of champagne chilling there right now. "Could I take you there, please?" she says, eyes wide. Hmmm. You see, it was usually gestures like these that had me going back to the aforementioned ex-girlfriend again and again. It wasn't champagne at the St. Regis -- usually beer on her couch -- but same thing. Dan manages not to completely lose his cool. Rebecca tells him to follow her and heads out of the office, but stops to tell him to bring the tape. Of course, Dan is all, "Tape?" Heh. Then he figures it out, smiles, and says, "Excellent." I hope he knows she's talking about the baseball game. The Beach Boys take us out with "Sloop John B," a song I absolutely love. Dan puts his arm around Rebecca as they stroll through the newsroom, smiling the smile of a man who knows it's in the bag. They wave to Casey, Jeremy, and Natalie in the editing room. So I guess "Sloop John B" was picked because of its nautical theme, although it seems pretty breezy when compared to the fate of the Sword of Orion. I mean, the first mate, he got drunk and broke into the captain's bunk and everything, but still.

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