West Wing
Mandatory Minimums

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Mandatory Minimums

Leo is in Jed's bedroom chatting. Jed's propped up on one elbow looking bored and tired; Leo's saying that he doesn't want to belabour the point, but that he feels a little self-conscious coming down the mountain on drugs two months after revealing that he is a recovering addict. He asks POTUS what he thinks. Jed: "About what?" Leo: "What I just said." Jed: "Well I wasn't listening to a lot of it." Leo seems irritated, but Jed adds that if there's anyone qualified to talk about the benefits of treatment versus criminal action, it's Leo: "Is there anyone whose life would be better right now if you'd gone to jail instead of rehab?" Leo says, "No." Jed: "Thank you. Is there anything else?" Just then, C.J. shows up, looking for Leo. She takes the opportunity to apologize for her error; Jed's completely blasé about it and says there's no need to apologize, and confirms that she fixed the mistake this afternoon. He just wants to move on, but she apologizes again, and Jed accepts and says that he's ready, if not eager, to move on. Then Sam and Toby show up and Sam congratulates POTUS on having been able to get to bed well before his usual time. Jed's about to tell them all to piss off and let him sleep when Josh shows up. When POTUS asks Josh how he's doing, Josh gives him TMI: "Good! I gave Joey Lucas a coffee mug. She doesn't know anybody here and she's already working hard. She's very committed. I think I did the right thing." Josh, news flash: nobody cares except for Donna and Charlie. Save it for them. Jed starts rambling about how he's got twenty-four armed guards right outside his door. Sam asks whether POTUS is any closer to a decision on drugs after a day of strategy meetings. Jed replies, "I'm a day closer. There'll be more meetings tomorrow. In the meantime, everybody calm down. Leo's got your engines fired like you're running Daytona. That's fine, keep 'em there. Guess what? Mistakes are gonna be made. Minimize them, fix'em and move on. Kiefer's numbers got you scared? Listen to me. I have never lost an election in my life. We do this right, people are gonna respond. You all had a good day." Josh says they should go; Jed suggests that they should feel free to do this when his wife is home. They chuckle. Sam starts to tell him about the problem with Honorato, which has got him as "hot as a pistol," but Josh tells him they can talk about it tomorrow. Just before everybody leaves, Jed says, "Everybody? Mandy was doing her job. It's time to let her out of the doghouse." (No, not yet.) Leo puts his hand up and says, "That's me." Jed tells Leo, "She was doing her job." He then calls out to C.J., "So was Danny." C.J. replies, "Yes, sir." He bids them all good night; Toby and Leo are still hanging around. Toby says, "I met with Congresswoman Wyatt today..." Jed asks, "When you were married to her, did you call her Congresswoman Wyatt?" Toby says hesitantly, "No... sir..." Jed: "Sometimes I call my wife 'Dr. Bartlet.'" Toby says he calls her Andy or Andrea. Toby mentions mandatory minimums and Jed starts wagging his finger and stands up. "You're whupped, my friend." Toby: "Sir?" Jed continues: "No... she's been talking to you for a year about mandatory minimums. You've been saying no. It looks like we know who wears the pants in the Ziegler family." Toby points out, "You call your wife 'Dr. Bartlet.'" POTUS says, "Just for the turn-on." More than we needed to know. Toby goes on: "The thing is, she's right. Mandatory minimums are considerably higher for crack than for powdered cocaine. The vast majority of crack users are black; the vast majority of drug users are white. Mandatory minimums are racist. It should be part of the discussion." Jed assures him that it will be; satisfied, Toby finally leaves. Jed says quietly to Leo, "I'm sleeping better. And when I sleep I dream about a great discussion with experts and ideas and diction and energy and honesty, and when I wake up, I think, 'I can sell that.'" They say good night to each other and Jed goes back to bed. It's a nice dream.

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