West Wing
An Khe

Episode Report Card
Deborah: C- | 3 USERS: B-
John Spencer Blues Implosion

Sit Room. Blah di blah, the rescue team's almost there. Jed and Leo watch the action on the various screens and listen to the communications while a military brass type narrates things. But I don't care, and trust me, you don't really care either. NF Squared has to prompt POTUS to give the go-ahead. He nods, and the order's conveyed. They watch the teams as Leo flashes back to the first of some unnecessary, totally clichéd, low-budget jungle scenes.

It's night and it's pouring rain. Vietnamese soldiers speak to each other. No subtitles. Ken O'Neal is dragging the injured Leo through the jungle. They hear the voices all around them; Ken hushes Leo. The Vietnamese are just a few feet away from them. Leo thinks his leg is broken; it sure as hell is a bloody, gaping mess. Ken opens a packet of something powdered -- disinfectant? -- and pours it into Leo's wound, which of course makes him cry out with pain. Leo tells his friend to go, but Ken won't leave Leo behind. Leo argues that Ken won't make it if he has to drag Leo around. Ken ties a bandage around Leo's leg and says, "You're not so heavy, old man." What is the point of all this? We know they survive, so there's no suspense or dramatic impact. And the interaction is so stereotypical that here's no real character development or revelation here, so once again: what's the point? There's nothing achieved through these scenes that couldn't have been condensed into, for example, two lines for Dulé Hill to say. (On the other hand: so what if they had? More time for Josh/Donna bickering? More time for Carol to slobber over Ben? More screen time for Swimtern? It's a lose-lose situation.)

Now Leo's back in his office in the present, remembering and cogitating. Josh drops in to tell Leo about his meeting with Hunt, and that Hunt won't back off. Leo says he'll call Hunt. Josh says he spoke to Canton, who claims Mueller-Wright circumvented DoD protocol to get their deal approved. Leo says that there are thousands of regulations, and that if someone at Mueller-Wright forgot their due diligence, it will get sorted out. Josh says that Canton says that they never did an AOA (Analysis of Alternatives, I think). And Hunt's begun an investigation; O'Neal's the first witness to be subpoenaed. Leo yells for Margaret, and tells her to inform Hunt's office that Leo's on his way over. Josh says, "You worked for Mueller-Wright. If they're involved in procurement irregularities, any attempt on your part to impede a Senate...." Leo snaps, "I'm not going to impede anything!" He thanks Josh and says he'll take it from here. Josh looks concerned: "Did you know Senator Hunt in the military?" Josh: "No. He was later. Cambodia and Laos. It was a big war." He walks out as we fade back to the jungle.

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West Wing




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