West Wing
100,000 Airplanes

Episode Report Card
Deborah: B- | Grade It Now!
Sam, Sam, the Sunshine Man

Back at the post-speech celebrations, we see C.J. wind her way through the Roosevelt Room (I think), carrying a glass. There's a man following her, and the eager, smiling way in which he's doing so makes you think they're hustling off to get a room together. I'm sure that's totally not what's going on, but I do wonder if they staged it that way to toy with us. I actually like it when they mess with our minds. If you don't believe me, watch it again. Sam looks around, spots Joey and Kenny coming through the Communications Department, and buzzes over to meet them: "Do you have anything?" She says no. Sam refuses to believe it, saying that if she didn't, she wouldn't be at the party. Joey says she likes parties. Sam keeps pushing. She's got preliminary numbers: just the first twenty minutes, and she says Sam doesn't want that. Lisa quietly sneaks up behind them, and Joey greets her. Sam turns to Lisa and explains that he needs a few minutes. Lisa doesn't go away; in fact, she says she can wait, so Sam indicates that he'd like her to wait elsewhere. She leaves.

Sam, Joey, and Kenny go into the Communications Department to talk. Sam keeps pushing and says that the censure affected people's reactions during the first twenty minutes. Sam doesn't want to hear explanations; just numbers. Joey says, "Democrats: low to mid-50s. Republicans, high 30s. Independents: low 40s." Sam's response: "You are kidding me." He can't believe the ratings for Independents. Joey tries to calm him down, but he complains, "Ten minutes! You said ten minutes, and not this bad!" She tells him again to wait for the rest of the results. Sam starts raking himself over the coals: "We did internet commerce in the first twenty minutes. We did child asthma..." Joey says, "He wasn't the President in the first twenty minutes. Wait for the rest of the dial groups!" Sam walks out, saying, "Top line, cross-tabs, whatever you get...I've got a bad feeling about tonight." Joey sighs and rolls her eyes. As he comes out of the office area, Sam stops and looks at Lisa, who's drinking a glass of wine and looking around the room. He walks over to her; she asks, "Were those polling numbers?" First he says no, and then he says that they were, but that it was nothing, and it's too early to tell. Lisa studies his face as he tries to give her a disarming smile and fails.

After the commercials, I get my second shout-out in as many weeks. Ed and Larry walk up to Sam and Lisa to congratulate Sam. Sam introduces Ed and Larry to Lisa. Lisa asks, "Which one's Ed? Which one's Larry?" Ed and Larry say in unison, "Doesn't matter." Well, aren't they easygoing? They walk away as Larry tells Sam, "Joey went back to the office." I think Sorkin's just playing with me now. If he really wants to give me a shout-out, he'll see that if Josh's mom ever appears on the show, she's portrayed by Barbara Barrie. I've been lobbying for this for a couple of years now, and I can't think of anyone who'd be better as his mother. Lisa says, "You don't have to introduce me as 'Lisa Sherbourne from Vanity Fair.'" Maybe you'd prefer "my ex-fiancée"? Actually, it's very clearly a good thing that they didn't get married: they have no chemistry with each other whatsoever. There isn't even a feeling that they were ever once all that connected, never mind enough to consider marriage. Chalk it up to some kind of youthful idiocy, I guess. Sam says he likes to make sure people know that they're talking to a reporter. She asks, "You really are uncomfortable with me being here, aren't you? You aren't, you know, just being you?" Sam replies, with fake sincerity, "I don't know what that means." Lisa tries again: "How did curing cancer get cut from the State of the Union?" Sam says indifferently that they had to cut plenty of things. Lisa: "Curing cancer?" Sam: "Hey, we had to cut a section on making government manuals easier to read, so 'curing cancer' can take a number." Well, at least this administration has priorities. Lisa sits back in her chair and inquires, "Why are you pissed at me?" Sam claims, "I'm not pissed at you. I'm working." I don't know about him, but I can definitely do both. She says he's done working. Clearly, she could not be any more clued out about the nature of working in the White House. Sam says he's not done: "You're confused because you see Absolut Cosmopolitans and famous people." Actually, I'd think that might resemble a lot of the work she does for the likes of Vanity Fair. Lisa kind of chuckles this away, adding, "A section on government manuals." Now you just know this has got to involve Josh and Donna.

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West Wing




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