West Wing
Bad Moon Rising

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Bring It On

Charlie's sitting on the bench on the patio outside the Oval Office. He stands as Jed approaches. Jed says, "Sit down, don't be scared." Jed begins, "My youngest daughter's got a big mouth." Charlie waits a moment before saying, "No, she doesn't, sir. She wanted me to be on the lookout for certain physical signs so I could tell the First Lady." Jed sighs. He says, "We won't discuss this any more for the time being. It'll be public soon enough. And the more conversations you have with me, the more lawyers you're going to have to talk to, and they bill in an hour what you take home in a week, so I won't discuss it except to say this: you're going to be subpoenaed. I'm confident in your loyalty to me. I'm confident in your love for me. If you lie to protect me, if you lie just once, if you lie just a little, if you lie 'cause you can't stand what's happening to me and the people making it happen, if you ever, ever, lie...you're finished with me, you understand?" Charlie says, "Yes, sir." Jed: "Say you understand." Charlie, "I understand, sir." Why do I have the feeling that there weren't a lot of discussions like this during the Nixon administration? Or hell, any administration that's ever occupied the White House, for that matter? Jed tells him to go back to work. As Jed walks away, Charlie asks, "Is there anything you need?" Jed says, "I need you to go to law school, and graduate as soon as humanly possible." Charlie says, "Yes, sir." Wow. Dulé Hill is so good in this episode, and scenes between him and Martin Sheen always seem to be particularly effective. I always seem to get very choked up over their relationship.

Jed enters the Oval Office, where Oliver's waiting for him. Jed announces, "Well, I've got good news for you, Oliver. Turns out I didn't do everything right after all." He tells Oliver about Zoey's college application, and how she left off the MS. Oliver says, "And you signed it?" Jed says, "I'd give anything if I had. It was Lady Macbeth." Oliver takes this in. Jed says, "There's a bad moon rising, Oliver. We both know it. They're going to take me out for a walk. This isn't what you signed up for. Leo begged you to take this job. This isn't what you signed up for. If you leave, I'd appreciate it if you did it now, so it doesn't look like my lawyer bailed on me when the rain starts. No one's going to hold it against you." Oliver says, "Well, I appreciate that, Mr. President. If I stay, will you do exactly what I tell you to do?" Jed replies, "I guess it depends." Oliver says, "I'm afraid it can't depend, sir." Jed paces around a bit and thinks. He asks, "What would my first step be?" Oliver says, "First, tell your staff. Then, decide how to make a public announcement. Then order the Attorney General to appoint a Special Prosecutor. Not just any Special Prosecutor -- the most blood-spitting, Bartlet-hating Republican in the bar. He's going to have an unlimited budget and a staff like an army." We can start hazarding guesses about the casting of this role. ["Charlton Heston." -- Wing Chun] Oliver continues, "The new slogan around here is going to be 'Bring it on.'" Wing and I can totally get behind that. ["Awesome! Oh wow!" -- Wing Chun] "He's going to have access to every piece of paper you ever touched. If you invoke executive privilege one time, I'm gone. An assistant D.A. in Ducksworth wants to take your deposition, you're on the next plane. A freshman Congressman wants your testimony, you'll sit in his kitchen. They want to drag you to The Hague, and charge you with war crimes, what do we say?" Jed, who's been listening to all this as patiently as he can, says, after a brief pause, "Bring it on." But, you know, he just says it quietly; he's not all macho about it. Oliver tells POTUS he'll be in his office for a while if Jed needs him. Oliver leaves, and Jed stands with his back to the camera, facing his desk, hands in his pockets.

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West Wing

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