West Wing
Night Five

Episode Report Card
Deborah: F | 3 USERS: B
Those Who Do Not

Charlie comes limping in from his latest sojourn to Plot Siberia. He hobbles his way into the bullpen and sits down. Why he's coming to the White House well after at midnight on Friday night when Jed is clearly quite occupied is anyone's guess. It doesn't matter anyway; he's just there as another prop in the one-sided battle over sexism in the workplace. Sam sees him and says, "Charlie? Are you in pain?" Charlie claims not to be. Sam asks, "Charlie, have you been playing basketball?" Charlie confirms this. Sam: "Did you get beat?" Charlie first says no, and then when Sam presses him, he says yes. Sam tries to find out who he played, although Charlie clearly doesn't want to tell him, and after guessing Ed, Larry, Jack, and Manny, Charlie finally confesses that Deanna beat him. Sam: "Your sister?" Charlie says yes. Sam: "Your little sister." Charlie points out, "She plays varsity, Sam." Sam, getting some coffee, makes a point of saying, "Girls' varsity." I sure hope she's in high school and not college. Charlie: "She played a finesse game." Sam: "Man, you can't walk." Charlie agrees, "Yeah. I don't know what's happening to my life." Me neither, Charlie. Sam channels Josh a bit and says, "I can see you're down in the dumps, but let's talk about me." Charlie dutifully says, "Okay." Sam: "If your sister was getting ready for a night out, and I said, 'Deanna, you're enough to make a good dog break his leash,' would you think I was a cad?" Charlie: "I'd think you were a hick!" Snerk.

Just then Daisy Mae...I mean, "Ainsley" comes in to talk to Sam. Sam tells her to hang on and asks Charlie, "Because of the sentiment or the expression?" Charlie asks, "It's my sister?" Sam: "Yeah." Charlie: "I'd beat you up." Sam: "You and how many Girl Scouts?" Charlie: "If I could stand up..." Ainsley keeps trying to get Sam's attention, with no success. Perhaps if she changed her clothes back, she'd have better luck. Sam, to Charlie: "But if it wasn't your sister?" Charlie says, "Then you're fine." Why is he fine? Doesn't context matter? Like say, if he said it in the workplace? Sam turns to Ainsley and says, "He says I'm fine." Ainsley tells him he's not fine because his notes have screwed up some percentages on the peacekeeping assessments. Sam starts to listen, but just then Celia returns. I'm not sure how he manages to see her since she only exists in one dimension but I guess he has special Spidey powers. He interrupts Ainsley and says to Celia, "I asked Ainsley and she said she didn't mind at all. Plus, Charlie said he's fine with it." Oh, well, then. Because I'm pretty sure the definitions of sexual harassment indicate that if one woman in the environment is okay with the comments, even if they're about her, then anyone else's perception that the environment is hostile or detrimental to women is thereby invalidated. Celia's reply is the wrong one (and it's the wrong answer precisely because Sorkin doesn't fully understand the charges to which he's trying to respond with this whole straw-person argument): "Charlie's a man." Charlie: "Damn right!" Oy. Even thus misconstrued, I still think some of our forum posters are owed royalty cheques.

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West Wing




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