West Wing
A Change Is Gonna Come

Episode Report Card
LTG: B+ | Grade It Now!
The One With Character Development

Leo enters the Oval and asks Jed if he's working hard. Jed looks up and takes a couple of seconds before saying Leo's name. Debbie (who must have been on a break when all those other people wandered in) tells Leo that Jed is ornery today, and also tells Jed that her guess for the special musical guest is Liberace. Jed didn't know that Leo would be visiting, and Leo tells him that he'd just wanted to stop by and "check in on [Jed's] new boss." Leo asks about the chess, and Jed accuses him of a "put-up job." Jed grumbles about nearly starting World War III. He's afraid that he'll be remembered as the president who "couldn't liberate a flag from his own basement." Leo accuses Jed of engaging in a put-up job himself: "You knew, when you took the flag, the flap it would cause." Jed doesn't respond, and then excuses himself to "put on the penguin suit." He says Leo's name, and gives him a hug. He asks Leo when he'll return. Leo: "I've been here an hour and already I feel like I need another thirty days at Sierra Tucson." I didn't understand that line. Sierra Tucson is a drug and alcohol treatment facility. Is Leo saying that being in the White House makes him feel like hitting the bottle? It's a mystery. As Leo starts to walk out, Jed calls to him, but when Leo turns back, Jed tells him it's nothing.

And now we're back at the beginning. Hoynes is being interviewed by Dianne Mathers. Jed is unable to tie his tie. Josh is watching the interview. This time, we see the very end of the interview, and Hoynes's wife is in the studio and walks over to him after the cameras stop rolling. They chat about the interview, and he tells her that he has "a call to make, and a meeting, but it won't take too long." He doesn't kiss her as he walks away, and I almost think I saw a flicker of doubt pass across her face.

National Arts Medal ceremony. Jed is on a small stage in the East Room, Abbey by his side. He gives a small speech and announces that the Medal is being given posthumously to Sam Cooke. Jed announces that the surprise guest is James Taylor. Taylor comes onto stage to applause, and begins singing Cooke's "A Change is Gonna Come": "I was born by the river, in a little tent." The song continues in the background throughout the remainder of the episode. We see C.J. get her call from Hoynes, and Josh reading the inscription in the book. "It's been too hard living, but I'm afraid to die." Josh goes on to look at the index, and sees the long list of references to him. (Including one labeled, "Family vacation with.") "It's been a long time coming, but I know, a change is gonna come, my brother." C.J. is now at the back of the East Room. She tells Toby that Hoynes called her and told her to look in the index of the book. Toby tells her that she's not in it, and she lets out a relieved "yeah." She gives him a small smile, and they toast.

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West Wing




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