West Wing
Night Five

Episode Report Card
Deborah: F | 4 USERS: B+
Those Who Do Not

Sam knocks on the door to a room where Ainsley's poring over some books. It's not her office; it looks like a sort of small library or reference room. She's changed; she's wearing a tailored shirt and, I think, black stretch jeans. Sam comes in and asks, "What do you need?" Ainsley says, "There's a thing in this we need to be careful of..." Sam asks what it is. Ainsley explains, "They say they'll approve a new scale of peacekeeping assessments if there's a cost-sharing mechanism, but it isn't fully addressed here. You're going to want me to rewrite some of this language before the President goes to the UN." Sam, of course, isn't really listening, because he's brooding about Celia's comments: "Let me ask you something: before, when I said you were enough to make a good dog break his leash, you understand that men -- we're the dog, right? I was the dog." Everybody with an IQ over 47 understood that, Sam, except Celia, apparently. But she doesn't count, because she's a puppet. Ainsley says she understood the metaphor, and goes back to talking about the peacekeeping assessments. Sam interrupts and says, "I meant it to make you feel good." Well, hey, if you're so concerned about making her feel good, maybe you should take her at her word, and pay attention when she's talking to you about something serious. Like the work you're supposed to be doing in the workplace. Which is what she's talking about. I'm just saying. Ainsley quickly says that it did, and appears to be trying to return to the subject at hand, but Sam adds, "Although I certainly meant it." Ainsley says she appreciated it. Sam: "I didn't mean to demean you." Ainsley: "I kind of need you to listen along." She talks about the peacekeeping thing some more, and Sam sort of listens, but then when she pauses, he says, "I was told I demeaned you." Ainsley says, "You didn't." Sam, with almost an air of hurt, "I was told that I did." Are we supposed to feel bad for him? Ainsley, almost solicitously: "By who?" Sam: "By somebody named Celia." Ainsley assures Sam that Celia was mistaken. Sam asks if she's sure. Ainsley indicates, "If I felt demeaned, I'd be among the very first people to know it." Sam: "Terrific." He gets up; she hands him her notes, and he says, "I'll rewrite them now. You'll stick around?" She responds, "What else would I do on a Friday night?" Sam: "I don't like to pry."

Andy: "America doesn't have a monopoly on what's right!" Sing it, sister. Can I get an "Amen"? "And even if we did, I think you're going to have a tough time convincing the Arab world," Andy continues. Toby: "Well, we'd like to talk to them about it." Yeah, it sure looks like you guys are trying to establish an open dialogue. Andy: "That oughta do the trick." Toby thinks it's worth a shot. Andy says, "The U.S. Constitution defends religious pluralism. It doesn't reduce all of Islam to fanaticism." Bless her heart, she pronounces "Islam" correctly. (It's not Iz-lam, it's Iss-lam.) Toby replies, "Neither does this speech. It calls fanaticism 'fanaticism.' It's fanaticism whether we call it that or not, so we're going to call it that." Gosh, I'd love to see this same logic applied to some of the other subjects and problems they work so hard to spin a certain way. She says, "Toby..." He claims, "We respect all religions, all cultures." You got a damn funny way of showing it. Andy: "To a point." Toby: "Yes, to a point. Grotesque oppression isn't okay, just because it's been institutionalized." Unless you need to refuel around there, or something. I'm just saying. He continues, "If you ask me, we should have gotten into the game three, four decades ago, but they're coming for us now, so it's time to saddle up!" I'd love to know what exactly he's referring to when he says "the game," but as is typical for so many of the debates and arguments on this show, specifics are cast aside in order to keep the dialogue going without necessarily having to say anything or commit to anything too specific. As such, it's pointless for me to try to address this comment, because I can't even begin to be sure what he's talking about. Andy: "Toby..." Toby: "We do know what's right!" Oh, Jesus effing... ["Yeah, they know what's right! Hey, who built the White House again?" -- Wing Chun] Andy quietly says, "This is why they hate us." I'm so sick of the vague "they"s in these arguments. Arabs? Muslims? Terrorists? Not the same thing. Even if she specified whether she was talking about Arabs or Muslims or terrorists, most generalizations are going to be patently false or useless. People all over the world hate, resent, and/or fear the United States for a gobsmacking variety of reasons, most of which are not the self-serving reasons many Americans imagine, either. Toby responds, "There's a lot of reasons why they hate us. You know when they're going to like us? When we win." Yeah, that's how it will work out. How freaking idiotic.

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West Wing




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