West Wing
In This White House

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In This White House

Josh enters the Oval Office, which is all in a tizzy. The Prez asks some questions of a military advisor, and a secretary says they're meeting in ten minutes in the Situation Room. Toby enters and asks Donna to tell C.J. that "it's an open lid." As Nimbala enters, Leo asks the extras to leave. Sam closes the door as the Prez walks over to Nimbala. The Prez says, "Three hours ago there was a coup in your country. The AFRC has taken the capital." Through his translator, Nimbala asks where his children are, and the Prez says they're trying to find that out. He asks Nimbala to take a seat, but Nimbala says he should leave. The Prez tells him to stay, and explains that the State Department is offering him asylum. Nimbala says, "I have to go home." The Prez says that he can't: "They have the capital, they have the radio station, they have the television station." In answer to Nimbala's questions, the Prez confirms that he is evacuating the U.S. Embassy, and that the airport is closed. Nimbala says, "They will want to put me on trial. You should trade my return for the safe departure of the Americans." The Prez will have none of that, saying, "If they won't give me the Americans, we'll go and get 'em ourselves, and they know that, and they'll let 'em go." Ainsley's head pokes out as she watches through the door that Sam thoughtfully left open for her. The Prez says, "They will shoot you the moment you step off the plane." An aide comes in and hands the Prez a folder, and Nimbala asks what the message says. After hesitating, the Prez says, "We think your brother and your two sons are already dead. We think your wife is being hidden in Kenya. You understand, don't you, why I can't offer military assistance?" Nimbala does, while the audience raises it's collective hand to say, "Um?" I can make some guesses, but given how good this show normally is about explaining political realities, it might have been nice to spend a little time on that. As the Prez asks Nimbala to sit with him, Margaret comes to drag Ainsley away and have her executed as a spy. In my dreams.

At a restaurant, Ainsley's female friend, identified by the captioning as "Harriet," tells Bruce, "And you know they just wanted to hire her so they could say they did." Bruce says sarcastically, "We hired a Republican! Look at how bipartisan we are! We didn't even notice that she looks like a Gap dancer!" Ainsley walks up behind Bruce and clobbers him over the head with a pickaxe. Are Ainsley's friends supposed to make her seem more likable by comparison? As Ainsley takes a seat, Bruce asks her to describe "the look on McGarry's face" when she turned down the job offer. Somewhat flustered, Ainsley says that she didn't see Leo because he was called away. Harriet asks what's wrong. Bruce distracts them by complaining, "I wanted you to say it to his face." Harriet chimes in, "I hate these people!" Bruce asks, "Did you meet anyone there who isn't worthless?" Ainsley snaps, "Don't say that!" Bruce and Harriet are stunned. Ainsley says, "Say they're smug and superior, say their approach to public policy makes you want to tear your hair out. Say they like high taxes and spending your money. Say they want to take your guns and open your borders, but don't call them worthless. At least don't do it in front of me." Wow, what a heartwarming expression of tolerance and understanding. Memo to Mr. Sorkin: Instead of just giving equal time to Republican caricatures of Democratic policies, why not actually explore the different points of view? I suspect even Conservative Republicans would dislike this portrayal, since Ainsley's views seem based more on personalities than ideals. She doesn't like Democrats because they're "smug"? Ugh. So, Ainsley says that the people she met were "extraordinarily qualified." Guess she didn't meet Donna. "Their intent is good," she says ecstatically, as if it's a revelation that someone could disagree with her in good conscience. She continues, "Their commitment is true, they are righteous, and they are patriots." After a moment, she looks around and adds, "And I'm their lawyer." Bruce looks sad. Ainsley gets up and walks out.

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West Wing

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