West Wing
In The Shadow Of Two Gunmen, Part I

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In The Shadow Of Two Gunmen, Part I

Leo and some big-shot military guy are on their way to the Situation Room. I can't remember whether this guy has been named before, although he was on the show last season. I also think he played one of George's bosses on Seinfeld. ["He's also the military-school dude with the eyepatch on Malcolm in the Middle." -- Wing Chun] The military guy is asking about the President, and tells Leo that Admiral Fitzwallace was on his way to Manila, but that his plane has turned around and he should be back in D.C. in about four hours. In the meantime they are in contact with him by phone. As they enter the Situation Room, almost everybody else is there. Leo asks where the National Security Advisor is, which strikes me as a slightly odd. I know Sorkin probably needed to help make it clear who this new person is when she comes in, but wouldn't Leo just say, "Where's Nancy?" I mean, you wouldn't go to a budget meeting and say, "Where's the Assistant VP of Finance?" You'd say, "Where's Skippy?" Or maybe it's just me. Anyway, Big-Shot Military Guy, whose name turns out to be Jack, tells Leo that she's on her way, as is Hoynes. Just then Nancy (Anna Deavere Smith) gracefully strides in wearing an apricot evening gown and sequined jacket. Clearly she wasn't at home surfing the net for MP3s when she was called in. As she sits down she asks someone named Mike to get some clothes sent over for her: "I look like an idiot." Then Hoynes arrives; everybody stands except a few guys who don't stand until someone says, "Ten-hut." Hoynes tells everybody, "No, as you were...it's okay." I gotta say, he strikes me as the sorta guy who would groove on these formalities and shows of deference, but I guess under the circumstances he's rightly distracted.

Anyway, on with the meeting. First there's a report on domestic activity: air traffic control was down for twenty-two minutes at Logan; Citibank computers were offline for a little more than an hour, and lights were off for seven minutes at the Delta Centre. Hoynes seems surprised that the shooters had no ID on them, but Jack tells him that the shooters knew they were going to get them through the window. I kinda think that if I was going to go out and shoot at the President, I might leave my ID at home, too. Hoynes says that if the signal man isn't in custody in an hour, he's going to federalize the Virginia and Maryland National Guard. Nancy says, "It's worth mentioning that at this moment, we do not know the whereabouts of about a half-dozen cell leaders, including bin Laden. But that's not my concern right now." Nancy calls their attention to the KH-10s, which I take to be satellite surveillance images or some such thing. Leo's not worried about what they show. Nancy says they show a sudden buildup of the frontline Iraqi Republican Guard units along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Leo says they do that all the time. Nancy says they're moving south, and reminds them that thirteen hours ago they shot down an F117 in the no-fly zone, and that the rescue mission invaded their airspace with armed M50 Pave Hawks and her recommendation would be for the President to order Fitzwallace to put the 32nd Tactical on ready alert and take them to DEFCON 4. Leo says that the President is under anaesthesia at the moment, but that if he weren't, he'd be comforted by knowing that RDF can put Marines on the ground in thirty-six hours. Nancy replies, "We may not have thirty-six hours!" Leo snaps, "The Iraqi Republican Guard can't find their car keys in thirty-six hours!" Nancy tells them to look at the photos: "I think they found them." Hoynes has to make a decision now. He's been listening to Leo and Nancy pull him in two directions, and I get the distinct feeling he's never had to make a decision of this magnitude before. Everyone waits for VPOTUS to make his decision. Leo stares at Hoynes fairly grimly. Maybe it's just because Leo looks a lot more intimidating than Nancy does in her apricot satin, but Hoynes decides they're going to follow Leo on this one. Leo asks Jack the best way to get a message to Iraq; Jack says it's through the King of Jordan. Someone else asks Leo what the message should be. Leo says, "Don't mess with us tonight." Nancy looks concerned.

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West Wing

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