West Wing
Manchester, Part I

Episode Report Card
Deborah: A | Grade It Now!
"Abortions for Some, Miniature American Flags for Others!"

Shout-out to Sean C.

Previously on The West Wing: There's a political crisis in Haiti; Mrs. Landingham was killed by a drunk driver; Bartlet concealed his MS, in order to get elected; everyone wants to know if Bartlet's going to run again. Because, you know, it's not utterly obvious.

I guess we're doing the widescreen thing this season.

The show opens by overlapping with the last scene of "Two Cathedrals," this time focusing purely on C.J. in the Briefing Room and without the Dire Straits song and the procession of "the guys" toward the Briefing Room. Jed answers the question that has been hanging over his head all summer, about whether he will seek a second term: "Yeah. And I'm gonna win." Camera flashes and lightning conflate on Jed's face as the scene fades out.

It's night. In a limousine, the driver tries to get the attention of C.J., who's sitting in the back, completely zoned out. She finally jolts out of her daze and he tells her, "We're here." She unbuckles herself and gets out; we see that she is beside Air Force One. Title cards inform us that it is four weeks later, and that we are at Andrews Air Force Base. She takes her luggage and walks toward the plane. Nearby, POTUS is getting out of his limo when Ron Silver comes up to him and says, "Mr. President, I've got a new section..." POTUS greets him with a friendly "Bruno!" and tells him to give it to Leo as he zooms off. Bruno looks aggrieved. We hear a man (whom we soon find out is named Paulson) having a conversation with C.J. as they eventually walk into the scene. She's assuring him that the speech is written, and that they're just ironing a few things out; he must be a member of the media. Paulson's not talking about that; he's trying to tell her that he's learned the FDA is ready to "pull the trigger" on mifepristone (RU-486, an abortifacient drug which in low doses can also be used as a method of emergency contraception within five days of unprotected intercourse). C.J. points out that since the FDA is an independent agency, she "could get in trouble for even knowing what [he] just told [her]." Paulson insists, "No, it's non-proprietary information delivered by a non-governmental person. You're fine." She says she'll ask one of her fourteen lawyers about that. Poor C.J. She wants to know when they're going to announce, and the reporter tells her that they're doing it on Monday. She stops and stares at him. He adds, "Right before his speech." C.J. looks like if she were less tired, she'd be more upset. She thanks him and he takes off.

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West Wing




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