West Wing

Episode Report Card
Deborah: B+ | 1 USERS: A-
Fresh Icelandic Mink Whale Meat With a Side of Green Beans

In the Oval Office, Josh, Toby, C.J., and Sam are murmuring as they wait for POTUS. As he walks over to his desk, he takes off his jacket and throws it on the desk. "This is still my office, right?" Toby says that they have some pressing things to discuss. As expected, Jed wants to hear first about what NASA's up to. NASA's investigating the possibility that the ship may have gone into "safe mode," whereby if it senses trouble, it's programmed to turn its systems off to avoid further damage, and wait for instructions from Earth. Jed: "Earth's giving it instructions." Sam points out the obvious -- that it's not responding. Jed mutters, "Like my kids." Having dispensed with that, C.J. summarizes that the issues that remain are the classroom, the green beans, and the stamp. And: "Depending on who those people were that were standing near me, the possibility of a story about me being good in bed." Toby: "'Good in bed'?" Josh is suddenly less sleepy. C.J.: "Yes." Toby: "Why?" C.J., quite firmly: "Because I am." Toby: "Okay." Toby's face didn't change expression for this whole exchange, which I thought was very restrained of him. The President decides that green beans are next. Toby suggests a photo op with the President eating green beans and dropping in a quote about how he's always looking for new green bean recipes. Josh adds that the next time they're in California they'll drop in on Oregon and make sure nothing burned down. Next: the stamp. Josh starts to talk about the Dork Squad, also known as the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee, but C.J.'s muttering something to Toby. POTUS asks if there's something she'd like to share with the class. Well, he didn't but I think that would have been a good (and characteristic) line for him. She apologizes and Josh goes back to try his spiel again, and she decides to share: "I said, 'you don't like green beans, sir.'" Toby starts to reprimand her but she's vehement: "He doesn't enjoy them! He doesn't think they're bad for you and he doesn't think the people that make them are evil, they're simply not his cup of tea! He doesn't care for them. Why don't we think the adults of Oregon will be okay with that if put to them just that way? And Josh, why do you think that people -- adult Americans -- why do you think they can't understand that we can honour a man's contribution without necessarily subscribing to his politics? They can understand a lot of things. People stopped trusting government during Vietnam and it was because government stopped trusting them. It's a cautionary tale, Josh." Josh pauses and gently says that he was going to say that he thinks they should put Aquino on the stamp. C.J. says, "Oh. Okay. Good." POTUS tells them all to go away and come back when there's a NASA update. They all split, but Jed calls C.J. back. She puts on her stole as he futzes around with lighting a cigar. She asks how the concert was. He says the Reykjavik Symphony can play: "These guys have some serious game. In this particular case, their talents were tragically misapplied to an atonal nightmare of pretension." He leads her out to the colonnade. "But after intermission, they played a piece by a new composer. At first I wasn't hearing it -- I had nineteen different things on my mind. And C.J., it was magnificent. It was genius. He built these themes, and at the beginning, it was just an intellectual exercise, which is fun enough, I guess, but then in the fourth movement, he just let it go. I really didn't think I could be surprised by music anymore. I thought about all the times this guy must have heard that his music was no good. I've got write this guy a letter." C.J. listens with obvious interest and fondness. These two exhibit a real (non-romantic) chemistry between their characters. She pauses and starts to talk about the televised classroom. He looks up at the sky and says he's going to wait up for a bit and see if there's any news: "It's out there somewhere. It's so close." C.J. says she thinks he should do the classroom either way. He seems surprised. She elaborates: "We have, at our disposal, a captive audience of schoolchildren. Some of them don't go to the blackboard or raise their hand 'cause they're think they're gonna be wrong. I think you should say to these kids, 'You think you get it wrong sometimes? You should come down here and see how the big boys do it.' I think you should tell them you haven't given up hope and that it may turn up, but in the meantime, you want NASA to put its best people in a room and start building Galileo VI. Some of them will laugh, and most of them won't care, but for some, they might honestly see that it's about going to the blackboard and raising your hand. And that's the broader theme." Jed says, "Damn, that's the kind of speech I like to make. You stole my thunder, woman." No, no. He says, "I'll say." She says she'll be in her office. He calls back to her and says, "You said it right that time." She smiles and says she'll be in her office. She leaves Jed looking up at the night sky. He says softly, as we get an aerial shot of him leaning against a pillar with a spotlight shining on the ground behind him, but effectively creating an off-centre halo behind him, "Talk to us..."

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West Wing




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