West Wing
Night Five

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

Just then Andy storms in, loaded for bear. I don't think she's got any pie for Toby this time. She glances into Toby's office, sees he's not there, and asks Sam, "Where is he?" Sam: "Congresswoman." Andy: "Where is he, Sam?" Sam says he doesn't know. Andy calls him a liar. Sam surmises she wants to talk about the speech. Andy: "I, and members of the House International Relations Committee, yes. I couldn't help but notice your fingerprints are all over this, too. You and Toby want to be responsible for starting World War III?" Sam: "No." Andy: "Well, you're gonna." Sam: "I was having a good night until, like, three minutes ago." She asks again where Toby is. Sam insists he doesn't know. Andy says, "You said that already." Maybe it's still true. Andy enters Toby's office and asks, "May I wait in his office?" She doesn't really wait for a reply, and closes the door as Sam mutters, "Better his than mine."

Sam turns back to Celia and says, "What were we talking about?" She replies, "Look, I'm just a temporary hand here for a week, but I don't think it's a joke or anything." Sam replies, "And you say Ginger and Bonnie are out getting something to eat?" She says yeah.

Toby arrives just then with a pile of documents and announces, "I need these distributed." He hands the pile to Celia. Sam tells Toby that Andy's in his office. Toby whispers, "You let her in my office?" Sam says he did. Toby kinds of sidles into Sam's office and whispers, "What the hell did you let her in my office for?" Sam says, "Okay, well, I'm going to step out for a minute, and not be in this area anymore." Toby sighs and kind of tries to peek through the mini-blinds of his office window. He girds himself for battle and opens the door.

Within, Andy says, "I don't get how you could do this without consulting people." Toby says: "Come on in," as he closes the door. He says they consulted lots of people: "What do you think, Sam and I create foreign policy around here?" Andy: "I don't know...you, Sam, Abbott, Costello?" Andy wants to know who they brought in from State. Toby says it was the Secretary of State. "And since when do you get to come in here..." Andy stands up and says, "I'm the third-ranking member on the damn Committee." Which I suspect Toby knows. Toby says, "This is a Presidential address, Andrea. Not a camel." Huh? Andy: "What?" Toby: "A camel! A horse! Built by committee." In the name of all that is holy, I haven't got the faintest idea what he's talking about. The Trojan Horse? Seriously, no idea. ["I thought the 'clarifying' remark meant that if you built a horse by committee, it would be a camel, because everyone would want to add so much crap to it that they'd give it a superfluous hump. But I don't really know either." -- Wing Chun] Andy reads from the speech: "'Freedom must run deeper than the free flow of capital. Freedom must mean more than the free trade of goods and services. The world will be free...'" Toby: "I read it." Andy: "'The world will be free when we have freedom of speech for every nation...'" Toby sits down, saying, "In fact, I wrote it." Andy: "The world will be free when there is freedom to worship for everyone. The world will be free when we finally shake off the rusted chains of tyranny, whether in the guise of fascist dictatorships...'" Toby: "You getting nervous?" Andy continues: "'Or economic slavery or ethnic hostility or...'" Toby: "A little nervous?" Andy: "'Or,' wait for it, 'the crushing yoke of Islamic fanaticism.' Gentlemen, start your engines." Well, as I said when I read the blurb for this episode, "Whee." Despite the fact that I honestly do not see shout-outs in every little thing Sorkin does (because, believe it or not, I actually don't think everything is about me), and despite my wanting to believe that Sorkin writes the show fairly independently of whatever we happen to be talking about on TWoP, it's kind of difficult not to see this largely as a response to my recap of "Isaac and Ishmael." While I was certainly not the only person to criticize that episode (far from it), I am, as far as I know, the only writer to do so in such detail and at such great length, and from a stance that is not anti-Islamic. (If anyone knows of a more detailed such critique, I'd appreciate you sending me the information.) In fact, my recap of that episode prompted a formerly very well-known but now pretty well washed-up news anchor to write to Sars to ask if the website was "run by Americans or foreigners." As a Canadian, I'm not sure which of these categories I get to be put in by such a mentality. Perhaps I need to write an article explaining that North America is no more a monolith than the Islamic religion or the Arab world.

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West Wing




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