C.J. opens the door to her office and welcomes Steve Lawson. They make very little small talk before he gets down to business, telling her that he's there about the situation in Darfur. He asks if the administration has officially responded to the attack on the camps, and C.J. coolly tells him, "We condemned it." He asks her if she wants to start with the numbers or the horror stories, and she tells him, "Neither." He's not actually interested in what she wants to hear, so he starts running through the litany of horrors: "Three million displaced, four hundred thousand dead. Children forced to watch their mothers raped and their fathers killed. Current death toll per month: six thousand. If the humanitarian organizations are forced to withdraw: one hundred thousand per month." C.J. interrupts him as he's about to bring out some photos, telling him, "I don't need to see photographs." And then I feel kicked in the gut as Steve tells her, "When the babies die, the mothers don't know how to put 'em down, so they carry them around. On this planet. On your watch." I often don't like it when this show gets into real-world political problems, because the writers usually oversimplify for bad dramatic effect. But this seems about as simple as it needs to be. They sit in silence for a moment, and then C.J. just says, "Yeah." Steve tells her that he's finally starting to understand the Buddhist monk in Vietnam who set himself on fire as an act of protest: "I used to think that guy was nuts. Now, it seems like the only logical response." C.J. calmly tells him that it wouldn't help. Steve tells her that the administration needs to take strong action. And then the show crosses the line just a bit, as C.J. asks him: "Overwhelming American military might? Followed by a decade of nation-building in a part of the world where many consider us infidels so that we might bring forth a new and benevolent democracy?" Steve immediately tells her, "Of course not. I mean, come on, C.J. When did it become naïve to try to put an end to genocide?" They talk over each other, with her telling him that they are monitoring the situation and him telling her that he needs the "government to assert what is left of its moral authority." At that point, she walks to the door to show him out. He tells her, "I want five minutes with the President." She responds, "This was your five minutes with the President." Steve leaves, and Margaret tells C.J. that the German Ambassador is waiting for her. C.J. tells Margaret that Doug Westin is in town, and C.J. wants to see him tonight: "Alone." Hmmm, maybe C.J.'s curious about what makes him so attractive to the nannies.
Episode Report CardLTG: A- | 750 USERS: B-
YOU GRADE IT