West Wing
Abu el Banat

Episode Report Card
Deborah: C- | Grade It Now!
"Dying/ Is an art/ Like everything else"

As Josh, C.J., and Toby emerge from the office, Josh runs into Donna, and tells her he needs a sit-down with Richter today. Donna tells Josh that Doug Westin's in his office. Josh wonders why Doug's not with the rest of the family; Donna says that Jed's introducing Gus to the Three Tenors. Josh wonders why a five-year-old would want to meet the Three Tenors. Donna: "I'm pretty sure he doesn't." C.J. smirks, "Doug's your friend!" (Though it sounds more like "Doug's yrpfresz!" I think the sound person should stop putting the microphones up people's asses, or running things through the Richard Schiff Mumblematic X6000-F, or whatever it is they're doing.) Josh claims that Doug is a perfectly nice guy. C.J.: "Speak slowly; you don't want to lose him." Josh exclaims over the fact that they're decking the halls. Donna promises to spring Josh after five minutes with Doug.

Josh greets Doug the Deadly Doofus outside his office, where Doug tells Josh that he swiped his newspaper. Josh says it's government property: "I'm going to have to call the Feds." Doug: "Then I better dash -- see ya!" He pretends to dart away. Eeesh. It's a painfully perfect replication of the kind of lame small talk to which far too many of us are subjected far too often. This stuff makes me cringe. Josh invites Doug in.

In Josh's office, he and Doug make chitchat about the Westins' visit to the White House, and Josh inquires as to Annie's whereabouts. Doug says, "Swim meet. That, and she pierced her eyebrow. Thought we'd keep her off-camera 'till it healed." Why? Will it be invisible then? Josh: "She...on purpose?" Doug: "Every day is a new set of challenges." He goes on to ask about whether Josh is still involved in Congressional recruitment, and mentions that the New Hampshire Congressman, Ken Campbell, is bowing out due to a bad heart. Josh thinks the Democrats will have a good shot at the seat. So does Doug, who wants to run, and seems to expect the help of the Bartlet administration. You can tell from Josh's face that Doug was definitely his choice for the position, right after whichever lawyer's currently defending Michael Jackson and right before Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Margaret brings the Attorney General in to see Leo. Despite the fact that it's the guy who played the creepy pedophile in Happiness (Dylan Baker), Lovable Leo greets him warmly. They make chitchat and then Leo cuts to the chase: "This cowboy over at the DEA, you fire him yet?" The AG hasn't. Leo: "Sooner is better." The AG thinks he has to back up the DEA on this. Leo says that the Controlled Substances Act is meant to regulate drug trafficking, not the practice of medicine. The AG says the doctor in Oregon had a license to dispense narcotics for legitimate medical reasons only. Leo reminds the AG that Oregonians have decided that euthanasia is one such reason, and the moral rectitude of their position is none of the DEA's business. The AG says, "It's not 'assisted' anything -- it's murder." Leo says they're done, and that the AG will be hearing from the President. The AG asks, "The White House interfering with a federal prosecution? You really want to walk that road?" Leo: "You're not a legislative body, Alan. There's only so many times you can pull this before the President..." Alan: "What? Fires me?" Leo turns away and says he doesn't want to have this fight, adding, "But if we do...I win." Alan says, before leaving, "Jed Bartlet's not going to fire me for standing on principle." He seems pretty sure of it.

Toby and C.J. are in Leo's office. I like C.J.'s hair now; it's just straight and flat and not so Klute-y. I wonder if I could wear my hair like that. I really need to change my hair. I've been wearing it the same way since...well, long before Kurt Cobain blew his brains out. Toby's advocating firing the AG. Leo: "We fire him over assisted suicide, it's sixteen verses of 'Grandma got run over by the Bartlets,' now 'till Easter." C.J. says that "no comment" isn't going to play. Toby suggests letting Russell be the front man for it: "We're staring a State of the Union in the face. This is what hijacks the agenda for weeks at a time. This is what we talked about." Leo glances at Toby; Toby looks sheepishly in C.J.'s direction. C.J.'s not sure what's going on, but asks if they need her to leave the room. Leo explains that Toby's taking first chair on the State of the Union, not just writing it. C.J.: "The agenda...That's great." Toby says that if he's doing it, this is not on the agenda. Leo tells him to talk to Will.

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West Wing




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