West Wing
Hartsfield's Landing

Episode Report Card
Glark: C- | 1 USERS: C-
YOU GRADE IT
Chess: It's What's for Dinner

Another scene, another chess-wrapped strategy lesson with Sam. This is getting monotonous. The President returns to Sam's office.

President: Sorry, I got tied up.
Sam: No, that's fine.

Sam's been busy looking stuff up during the President's absence. Turns out Eisenhower wouldn't put U.S. troops near Chinese troops because a war could break over just one shot, so Sam wonders, if Ike wouldn't send in forces..."Why are you?"

President: Look at the whole board.
Sam: I am.
President: Feel the force.
Sam: I am.
President: Harness the energy of the Dark Crystal.
Sam: I am.
President: Do the Hustle.
Sam: I am.
President: You're not.
Sam: I'm trying...why put the carrier groups into the Taiwan Strait?
President: Are they in the Taiwan Strait?
Sam: They are on their way.
President: Is that the same thing?
Sam: [thinking] How's this end?

With more of the impeccable timing we've come to expect from the West Wing staff, Leo knocks on the door with a note in his hand. Getting up, the President tells Sam, "Like this." He dismisses Leo and hands Sam the letter.

Sam: I'd like to try it without looking at the note.
President: Okay.
Sam: China agrees to stand down the war games.
President: Right.
Sam: And agrees to let Taiwan test the Patriots -- one Patriot.
President: Yes.
Sam: And we -- and I want to be right about this -- agree not to sell Taiwan the Aegis Destroyers for a period of -- I don't know -- five years.
President: Ten years, but you got it.

Sam goes on to say that the Aegis technology isn't an item the U.S. really wants Taiwan to have if reunification is a possibility, and furthermore, Taiwan can't really afford them. To this, President Yoda asks, "And so?" Sam: "You never were going to sell them the destroyers." President: "No, but everyone wakes up alive in the morning and saves a little face, but I'm sorry, Sam, you didn't answer the Taiwan Daily Double in the form of a question. Tough luck." Sam blubbers about not knowing how the President does it. The President replies, "You get a lot of help, you listen to everybody, then you call the play. Sam, you're going to run for President one day. Don't be scared. You can do it. I believe in you....that's checkmate." Awwww. How nice is it to see Jed and Sam getting all father and son-y? That's a relationship -- mixed with the parting non-chess wisdom -- I could use a lot more of on the show.

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West Wing

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