West Wing
Impact Winter

Episode Report Card
Apocalypse Now...Or Maybe Later

Curtis has just finished transferring Jed from his wheelchair to a bed, where he is propped up nearly into a sitting position. It's a good thing they didn't replace Charlie with a ninety-pound weakling. Jed says he just needs a few minutes to rest, complaining that he felt like he was going to fall out of the chair. Millie tells him that's the fatigue she warned him about, and Abbey tells him that the doctor is on the way up. Jed doesn't want the doctor, but Abbey doesn't really care. Jed: "He's just gonna tell me to lie down. Mission accomplished." I don't think you can really declare mission accomplished without a big banner. And maybe a ship. Jed says that it's just the jet lag, but Abbey isn't buying it. She reads him the riot act about refusing to accept the unanimous medical advice that he should take it easy. Jed: "Leo tells me there's an asteroid coming to hit the earth. Maybe we should sit quietly for a few moments and ponder that."

Leo walks up to Josh and asks him if there's any news. Leo: "NASA's got a clear shot in Maui. Should tell us more." Leo whispers to Josh about Jed's inability to sit through a meeting. Josh points out that it was a long flight, and that Jed will bounce back. Leo hands Josh the tape of Vinick's announcement speech. Josh: "Makes you want to cry like a little girl, doesn't it?" Leo agrees with the common wisdom, which is that a moderate like Vinick has little to no chance of getting the Republican nomination. Josh confides in Leo that Bingo Bob asked Josh to be his campaign manager and that he declined. Josh also tells Leo that Hoynes asked him, without disclosing how or whether he responded. Leo: "Popular. You change your cologne or something?" I find that it's when you're in love that you're at your most attractive. Leo thinks that, with Baker out, Russell has "a huge financial advantage," but they go on to discuss all the ways in which Hoynes is superior to Russell. Leo points out that if Josh is going to work for Hoynes, "you gotta want to work for him, and you gotta want him to win." What Josh really wants is to get Jed a third term. You are not alone in that desire, my rapidly balding friend. Josh wonders, "What ever happened to the good old days when a couple of hacks with cigars chose the nominee in a smoke-filled back room?" I would make some "back room" jokes, but it just feels too easy. Leo thinks that system worked pretty well, as he names some good presidents produced by it. (Roosevelt, Truman, and Eisenhower, if you are really curious.) Josh: "We need a back room." Nope, I'm still not going to give in to temptation. Leo points out that smoking is pretty much outlawed, and he's certainly not allowed any cigars: "But we're it. You and me. This is the back room." Can't...take...much...more! Must...think...about...k.d. lang. Whew, saved by commercials. I never before thought I'd be so grateful to see Sarah Jessica Parker on my screen.

Exterior shot of the Wei Shui Palace Hotel. Okay, now they're using subtitles just to bug me. I mean, was it really necessary to tell us the name of the hotel? Millie enters the living room of a suite and tells C.J. that Jed is still sleeping. C.J.'s concerned that they asked for a fifteen-minute break, and Jed has now been sleeping for four hours. C.J., Toby, and Kate have a lengthy, passionate, and ultimately pointless conversation about how to conduct the summit if Jed is not actually able to make it through most of the sessions. During the conversation, Millie further endears herself to me when she observes that Jed "is the brains of the operation, right?" In the end, they decide that Jed will make some small appearances, but that the negotiations will otherwise be handled by the staff, and that the staff will run all decisions past Jed, who will presumably not need to sleep so much if he is not using his energy to hold himself upright in a chair. It's such a shame that the U.S. doesn't have any trained diplomats who are able to help out with meetings like this. Abbey enters the room to tell everyone that Jed is up.

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West Wing




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