West Wing
2162 Votes

Episode Report Card
Grunt! Cheer! Stomp!

Santos walks out to the podium and the crowd goes nuts. I have to say, for almost this entire episode they have been doing a great job of creating the illusion that there are a ton of people in this hall. Until now. They made the mistake of shooting some of the crowd from the floor, and you can't help but notice all of the completely empty bleachers behind them. Santos thanks them, and eventually they quiet down. He starts the speech by telling them that he had hoped to be there under other circumstances, and that he has been asked, by people he respects, to step aside and endorse another candidate.

Jed and Leo are watching from the hotel. Zoey is there with him. Does she still get paid if she has no lines?

Santos tells the crowd that he can't help decide who the nominee will be, because that job belongs to the delegates. He goes on to defend Bundy's decision not to disclose his wife's minor medical condition, arguing that Bundy did not do it out of shame but because "we're the hypocrites." He goes on to say, "We're all broken, every single one of us, and yet we pretend that we're not. We all live lives of imperfection, and yet we cling to this fantasy that there's a perfect life, and that our leaders should embody it. But if we expect our leaders to live on some higher moral plane than the rest of us, well, we're just asking to be deceived." Plagiarism! The difference, though, is that Vinick sounds like he's lecturing when he speaks, whereas Santos, at least in this speech, has the rhythms of a preacher. I've watched this speech several times while writing this recap, and something in it -- his delivery, the language, the cheering crowd, I don't know -- gets me every time. The speech continues, with Santos decrying efforts to buy delegates' votes, and declaring that party unity is less important than the rights of the delegates to make the decision. And one way they get around shooting the empty hall in this scene is to shoot straight up from the ground at Santos. I would like to find out what kind of nose hair trimmer he uses, because that thing really works. Santos tells the delegates that if they vote for the nominee they believe best represents their ideals, they can each go home after the convention "with [their] head[s] held high and say 'I am a member of the Democratic Party.'" And then the producers make the really unfortunate decision to cut in some stock footage of a convention hall packed full of people with balloons dropping. I think it might have worked without the balloons.

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West Wing




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