Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip
What Kind Of Day Has It Been

Episode Report Card
Joe R: C- | Grade It Now!
And Then It Ended
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

Previously on Studio 60, several dangling plot lines that actually had to do with the business of television -- like Jordan's career battles with Hallie, Jack's epic battle with the FCC, Harriet's movie, Matt's drug addiction, Tom and Lucy's relationship, Darius's mere existence, and whatever happened to the viper, ferret, and coyote -- were all dropped so that the final episodes of the series could be dominated by a medical crisis and a military hostage-taking. The only stuff that actually dealt with TV took place in 2001, where Matt and Danny went and aired their controversial Karl Rove Goes To Hollywood sketch, some talk radio yahoos demanded a boycott, and Jack demanded Matt make a public apology. Matt's refusal, and the fact that he ended up losing his job over it, have clearly been weighing on Jack's conscience all this time.

The title card is a familiar phrase for fans of Aaron Sorkin's shows: "What Kind Of Day Has It Been." Unfortunately, I have serious doubts that this episode will end with Danny Tripp getting shot. Also: are we just not using punctuation marks? And would it be below the belt to reference "illiterate programming" at this point? We're in the hospital waiting room with Danny and Harriet, the latter asleep on the former's lap. There's also a table full of new baby gift baskets, and I can't tell whether they're supposed to be for Jordan or someone else. Considering that Jordan has no friends or family we've ever seen or heard from, I suspect that plush pink bunny with only one ear (seriously, it's the scariest thing you could possibly give to a newborn baby) is meant for someone else. Matt shows up, in clear violation of Danny's directives to stay at the Studio and handle that Simon situation. At the sight of Matt, by the way, Danny leaps to his feet, allowing Harriet's head to smack against the seat. She keeps whining about it, but nobody likes her, so they don't pay her any mind. Danny asks his domestic partner if he wants to see the baby, and Matt, of course, does.

Danny swings Matt by the NICU to take a gander at his daughter, saying, "I never felt so much like a man until I said that." Oh brother. Can somebody get Danny something to lean against? He must be exhausted after carrying around that giant swinging dick all day. Matt asks what her name is. "Baby Girl McDeere," Danny says. Matt, predictably, asks if Danny wants his little girl to grow up to be a stripper. Danny tells him to shut up, and goes back to bragging about the baby's stellar test scores. She got a 9 out of 10 on whatever battery of tests newborns get, missing only when she failed to grimace when touched with something cold. Danny asks after Tom's brother, and Matt explains the situation with Mary and Trask and the proposed ransom. If this show had a compelling and likable character for every time I've had to type "explains the situation with Mary and Trask and the proposed ransom," we'd probably be looking at a second season right about now. Hearing that Matt and Jack are both "involved" in the ransoming process, Danny eagerly says that he's involved now, too. Nothing quite so juvenile as insisting on being the yappy tagalong to your big brother's foreign ransom scheme, Danny. Matt then begins his heroically awkward and uncomfortable segue into the other thing Mary's been working on tonight: those legal transfer of custody papers that Danny needs to get a groggy Jordan to make her mark on so that if she dies, Danny won't be left without a custodial leg to stand on vis-à-vis his daughter. Danny's resistant, for all the reasons Matt was resistant last week times ten, and it all boils down to the fact that Danny doesn't want to think about Jordan dying. Trying to change the subject, Danny starts cooing to his baby daughter, telling her that her mom's crazy and that she should remember to come to him with all the important stuff and only ask her mother for things like lipstick advice. Aw. You guys, sexism is so cute. Danny orders Matt back to the studio and once again refuses to discuss the legal papers. He also, in a moment of arrogance so unbelievable I blocked it out the first time around, tells Matt to get him up to speed on this Trask thing so that he can help Tom make his decision. Because in negotiations as delicate as these, it's important to have the input of the guy who alienated the propmasters so much that they went on strike. Finally (FINALLY!), just before Matt goes, Danny says what we're all thinking: Jordan's been under general anesthesia all night and is on a morphine drip now, so how will her signature be worth a damn anyway? The serious music of It Sounds Ominous Now, But We're Planning One Hell Of A Deus Ex Machina For The End plays us into the credits.

Still at the hospital. In the guise of a "this can't possibly be my life" joke, Danny recaps, for Harriet, all the salient plot lines that have developed in the last four episodes, just in case some new viewers chose the series finale as the time to start watching the show. But it's not just pointless exposition. This scene also doubles, wait -- that's it. That's all there is. Pointless exposition. Carry on.

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Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip




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