West Wing
In Excelsis Deo

Episode Report Card
In Excelsis Deo

It's C.J.'s turn to roam the corridors. Sam says that he saw the briefing, and says, "I'm not sure I'd put my foot on the gas so hard with Hate Crimes legislation." C.J. growls warningly, "First of all, I barely grazed the gas. Second of all, why not?" Sam says that they're not sure where they stand on this, but C.J. says, "I know where I stand on this." Sam congratulates her, and C.J. grudgingly agrees to go easy on the issue. Abruptly, C.J. asks Sam what his Secret Service code name is, and Sam says, "Princeton." "Mine's Flamingo," says C.J. "That's nice," says Sam, but C.J. says it isn't. "The flamingo is a ridiculous-looking bird," she says. "You're not ridiculous looking," Sam offers, and then asks, "Any way for me to get out of this conversation?" C.J. leaves. Josh pops out and asks to talk to Sam. Sam babbles about his upcoming trip to Bermuda. Josh closes his door and says, "I need to ask you about your friend." Josh asks if Laurie is "expensive." Sam indicates that he's such a stud that he wouldn't really know, but finally allows that she is. Josh says, "I need to know if she would divulge the name, or names, of any influential Republican members of Congress that she might have..." "No way!" responds Sam. "Way!" says Josh. Not really. Instead he says "There's a thing that's gonna happen. Lillienfield knows that Leo's a recovering alcoholic." Sam points out that everyone knows that. Josh says, "Yeah, but they don't know that there were pills." Sam is startled. Josh explains that Leo was hooked on valium six years ago. Sam responds, "He was Secretary of Labor six years ago. He was high when he was running the Labor Department?" Josh says, "Yeah." Sam asks if Lillienfield knows about that, and Josh says he thinks so, "That's why he started this in the first place." Does anyone else wonder if maybe Lillienfield actually has a tip about someone else, and they're worried about the wrong problem? Sam says that he'll call Laurie, and that "we'll go see her together." Josh thanks Sam and leaves.

Mrs. Landingham tells Charlie, "It's important you remind the President throughout the day [that] he's allergic to eggnog." Throughout the day? Do they have a big vat of it handy for the staff to sample from while they work? Charlie babbles to Mrs. L. about the trees, lights, presents and general festive air. He continues, "I brought it up 'cause, I don't know, you seem a little down this week." Mrs. L. admits that she gets a bit depressed around the holidays. "You don't like Christmas?" Charlie asks, in the same tone one might affect to say, "You drop-kick puppies?" Mrs. L. says, "I miss my boys." Charlie is surprised to hear that she has kids. Mrs. L. says she had twins, Andrew and Simon. "They went off to medical school together. And then they finished their second year and, of course, their lottery number came up at the same time." Charlie says, "I would have thought they could get a deferment to finish med school." "They didn't want one," says Mrs. L. She says that she and her husband begged them not to go, but that her sons wanted to be where doctors were needed. "So they joined up as medics, and four months later they were pinned down during a fight in Da Nang, and were killed by enemy fire. It was Christmas Eve, 1970." Mrs. L. describes all of this very calmly, making it much more powerful as a result. She continues, "It's hard when that happens so far away, you know, because with the noises and the shooting, they had to be so scared. It's hard not to think that right then they needed their mother. Anyway, I miss my boys." Mrs. L. continues with her work. I am terrified that we will cut from this quiet but emotional scene to something involving Mandy, which will ruin it.

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West Wing




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