West Wing
In The Shadow Of Two Gunmen, Part II

Episode Report Card
Deborah: A | 4 USERS: A+
In The Shadow Of Two Gunmen, Part II

The camera moves to a woman answering the phone in Josh's office. It's Donna. She's telling the person on the phone about his calendar for that afternoon when Josh zooms in to grab something and starts to zoom back out, when he realizes that somebody he's never seen before is answering his phone. He greets her; she says "hi" back. He asks her who she is; she replies, "Donna Moss." He then tells her that he's Josh Lyman. She says she's his new assistant. Josh asks, "Did I have an old assistant?" Donna admits, "Maybe not." He asks again who she is; she tells him again. This goes back and forth for a while. She claims that she came in to volunteer and was assigned to him. Josh decides to go check this out and she stops him, confessing that she may have overstated things a little when she said she was assigned to him. He asks her again who she is as he starts walking away. She follows and explains she drove there from Madison, Wisconsin. Josh asks when her boyfriend broke up with her. Donna wonders what makes him think that happened; Josh says she's too old for her parents to have kicked her out of the house. She asserts that she wants to work for Bartlet, and that she graduated with a degree in political science and government. Josh asks where she graduated. Donna admits that she may have overstated things a little, and that she was a couple of credits short, and that she went to the University of Wisconsin, and that she majored in political science and government, and sociology and psychology, and biology for a while, with a minor in French, and uh, drama. They've covered almost the entire office now and are on the way back to Josh's office. Josh asks, "You had five majors and two minors in four years?" Donna explains that it was three years, and insists that she had to drop out. Josh, in a fairly stunning display of perceptiveness or ESP or both, says, "Your boyfriend was older than you?" Donna objects that she thinks that's personal information. Josh says, "Donna, you were just at my desk, reading my calendar, answering my phone and hoping I wouldn't notice that I never hired you. Your boyfriend was older." Josh pulls it out of her that he was a medical student who got her to drop out and pay the bills until he was done with his residency. Josh inquires, "And why did Dr. Free Ride break up with you?" Donna wonders what makes Josh think that's how things went down. He doesn't say anything and neither does Donna. She sits down in the chair in front of his desk. Josh says that this is a campaign for the presidency and that there's nothing he takes more seriously. "This can't be a place for people to come to find their confidence and start over." Donna asks, "Why not? Why can't it be those things? Is it going to interfere with my typing?" He doesn't address this but says that they're on their way to South Carolina, and that if she wants to stay in the Manchester office, that's okay, but he can't carry her. She says that she'll pay her own way, sell her car if she has to: "Eventually you're going to put me on salary." Josh isn't convinced. Donna pleads, "Look, I think I can be good at this. I think you might find me valuable." The phone rings. Josh quietly tells her to go ahead and answer it. While she's dealing with the person on the phone, Josh takes off his ID badge and hands it Donna, who smiles a pretty cute smile. We fade out to surgeons rooting around in Josh's abdomen as Donna watches from the observation area.

After some commercials, we're at the White House at 8:46 on Tuesday morning. C.J. knocks on Sam's door and says, "Hey, Spanky." Spanky? Sam says, "Oh God, what'd I do?" She asks him to take a walk with her. She mentions that they're taking Josh off bypass now, and Sam says he's going to head to the hospital soon. C.J. tells him he did well on the morning shows. C.J. confesses that her real reason for not wanting to do them herself is that she can't remember what happened. She remembers walking out of the building, someone pushing her down, her necklace coming off, and a police car window exploding over her head. About this necklace thing: I think if I were in a crowd and someone opened fire on me, I probably wouldn't notice losing a necklace at the time even if it were the size of Mr. T's and Flavor Flav's combined. And I'm pretty sure whatever C.J. was wearing was considerably more delicate. So why all the fuss about the necklace? She says she's been doing her press briefings using notes from other people's accounts. C.J. says she knows what happened now from listening to him on the morning shows. Sam seems to be playing dumb and acts like he doesn't know what she's talking about. She tells him she thinks he has her necklace. Sam finally admits that he didn't want her to feel beholden to him. "I didn't want it to be like an episode of I Dream of Jeannie where now you've gotta save my life, and the time-space continuum with you following me around with coconut oil and hot towels." C.J.: "Coconut oil?" C.J. says she doesn't feel beholden to him, and wants her necklace. Sam objects, "Why not? I saved your life!" Sam gives her the necklace and she smiles gratefully. Sam says he'll be in his office. As he's walking away, C.J. asks if he was scared. Sam admits he was; C.J. says she was too. She says, "Thanks," again. You know, I hate to rag on Aaron Sorkin for such a great episode and God knows he doesn't give us much to complain about, but I really think I would have done this differently. I think it would have been better just to have Sam leave the necklace on her desk when she was out and for her just to wonder who pushed her down and who picked up her necklace, and just have this warm feeling knowing that the people around her are looking out for her. I just don't feel like the whole thing with Sam pushing her down and her eventually figuring it out has advanced the storyline or the characters in any significant way. Since the show is typically so excellent, I'm going to assume that there was stuff lost in editing the show down. I can't help feeling like Sorkin meant for there to be more to this subplot. Anyway, C.J. enters the press briefing room with its clamour and cameras flashing and begins to give an update.

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West Wing




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