West Wing
Impact Winter

Episode Report Card
Apocalypse Now...Or Maybe Later

Thanks to Quilldriver, GraydonCarter, and barmyarmy. They know why.

Over the title card, we hear what sounds like a very understated cover of The Mamas and The Papas' "Monday, Monday." But as the screen fades from black (uh, "unfades," I guess), we see that it's actually Josh and Donna. He's singing the lyrics while reading the paper, and she's throwing in the backup vocals while buttering his muffin. And that's not a euphemism -- they're sitting at his desk with a bunch of breakfast accoutrements in front of them, and she's buttering a muffin (or bagel, or breakfast pastry) for him. Does she cut his steak into little pieces at dinner time? Or even worse, does she cut his toenails? And to get away from this disgusting tangent and back to the subject of The Mamas and The Papas, let me say that Queen Latifah's cover of "California Dreamin'" is reason enough to buy The Dana Owens Album. Donna interrupts her singing to answer the phone, and she tells the caller that Josh is unavailable for lunch, but that he can meet in the afternoon. Josh asks her who he has for lunch, and she tells him that it's her. Josh: "We're having breakfast." Donna: "We need to be able to have a conversation." Josh: "What are we doing now?" Well, it looks like you're reading the paper while Donna feeds you your breakfast. Which is downright creepy, in my opinion. She tells him that they need to be able to speak where they won't be interrupted: "This lunch has been cancelled six times. It's gonna kill you to buy me a salad?" Since the first time we heard her ask to speak with Josh was in the last episode, which took place no more than two days ago, I can't help wondering how many times a day they eat lunch. I think I have to give up trying to figure out timelines on this show. Josh reminds her that it's going to be a slow day at the White House, so there should be few interruptions. Donna puts cream and sugar into her coffee as Josh starts singing again. As he gets to the part where the backup vocals should come in, he stops and looks at Donna. She gives him an icy stare, and after a few seconds of silence, he provides his own backup. (And that's not a euphemism either).

The phone rings again, just as Annabeth enters the room. Donna listens for a second, and then hangs up. When Josh asks her who it was, she tells him that it was a wrong number. Mysterious. Annabeth is nervously rattling the papers in her hand, and she asks Josh if he'd like to do the briefing. He says that he'd rather not, and she tells him, "You'd be quite good." Oh, I think not. Josh reassures Annabeth that the press room is dead, what with the summit, and that she'll be fine. She tries some more to get him to take the briefing, but he tells her, "I'm acting Chief of Staff. I don't want to be acting Press Secretary on top of it." Donna nails the real reason he won't do it, telling Annabeth, "[The reporters] don't like him." Josh tells Annabeth just to go over the schedule, and that after that she "can skip out and finish [her] Christmas shopping." They go over the schedule, and she asks him if she should tease the North Korea stuff. I wouldn't tease a nation with nuclear weapons and an insane ruler. But that's just me. Josh tells her not to bring up North Korea, and as she's walking out she says that she'll treat it like "put out the garbage week." Josh (and a number of hardcore fans) immediately interrupt her to tell her that the preferred phrase is "take out the trash." It's hard to capture in words, but Kristin Chenoweth gets a great look on her face that is clearly intended to convey how anal she thinks Josh is. I'm sure she thinks the same thing about me (and many of you, for that matter).

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West Wing




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