West Wing
Abu el Banat

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

Toby thinks for a moment and then says, "C.J., how's your dad?" That really hit me the wrong way the first time I saw it: I thought it was too abrupt and insensitive -- even for Toby -- and I even felt sufficiently needled about it that I made a little choking sound of disbelief mixed with derision. On later viewings, it's not bothered me as much, but then, I knew it was coming. It just didn't sit right with me, and I know some other viewers felt that way, although lots of people seemed to be fine with it. However, I think Richard Schiff delivered the line he was given as well as could be expected, and I don't blame him. C.J. seems slightly thrown by the question, and hesitates before saying, "He's in the hospital. I don't know. I don't know...if he knows the difference." She gets up and walks out. Way to go, Toby.

Josh enters the room in the Residence with the fabulous window, where Doug is rooting through luggage looking for Gus's catcher's mitt. He and Josh make chitchat about Gus's mad baseball skillz (swinging, good; catching, not so much). Josh launches into his little speech, explaining that the DNC seems to want to back Mitch Clark. Doug says that anyone's got a chance: "It's a moderate district. It's poachable." Josh agrees, but indicates that the party is "reticent." Doug: "It's the nepotism thing, isn't it?" Josh thinks that could be part of it. Maybe it could also be the apparent lack of any distinct qualifications for the job, buddy, affable doofus though you may be. Doug says it will come up, and it will pass: "If the worst thing they can say about me is that I'm Jed Bartlet's son-in-law...once the public gets to know me as an individual, it's an entirely different race." Doug wanders into the bedroom, and Josh follows him, asking if he's considered the state legislature: "It's the place to learn. The President started there." Doug: "Come on. I run while Jed's in office, I've got a leg up like no two terms -- six terms -- as a state legislator's ever going to give me. What kind of fool is going to let a moment like that sail by?" Josh, quickly: "I don't know." Doug finds Gus's tiny glove and adores it, struggling to stick his hand in it. Doug thanks Josh for his concern but insists, "I'm a winner, buddy. I'm going to win this."

Zoey comes out of the Oval Office, where Toby's waiting to speak to Jed. Toby asks Zoey if she's back to stay. She says no: "I'm liking New Hampshire." Charlie says that Toby can go in. Toby tells Zoey she looks great. She thanks him as he goes into the Oval Office. Charlie asks Zoey, "People making a fuss?" She smiles and says they are. Charlie: "You don't look that good." She smacks him on the arm. I hope she knows he's lying like a mofo. I can't decide whether I want them to get back together or not. He deserves better; on the other hand, she may have smartened up a whole lot. Plus, he's more likely to get a storyline with her than one with a whole new girlfriend. Unless it's Donna. Seriously, I'm going to start 'shipping Donna and Charlie. Man, that would fry Josh's latkes.

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West Wing

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