West Wing
Ninety Miles Away

Episode Report Card
Cuba Libre. Or Maybe A Mojito.

C.J. runs into Cliff in the hall. He asks her if she wanted to see him, and she responds, "I find that highly improbable." He tells her that he's been there three weeks, and asks her to take him off the bench. She tells him that someone named Senator Framhagen called the President, and that he's being passed down the food chain to Cliff. By now they've arrived at C.J.'s office. Cliff thinks it's pretty obvious why nobody else wanted to see Framhagen, because while he's "brilliant," he's also an asshole. And a big drunk. Hmmm. Based on how this episode is making me feel, I think I could play the part of Framhagen. And then C.J. sends Cliff off to meet with this charmer.

In the Mural Room, a guy in a plaid flannel shirt is examining the woodwork with the aid of a small flashlight while Charlie looks on. Mr. Flannel tells Charlie that they have all the signs of subterranean termites. And then we get some more of Mr. Sacret Young's genius dialogue, as Mr. Flannel says, "You know, these fellas outnumber us a thousand-to-one. Pile all them up, and all us up, ten times the weight of all the folks in the world." Let's see, a little quick math...divide by a thousand, multiply by ten...AAAARGH! Run! Giant one-pound termites! Flee for the hills before you drown in the rising tide of crappy writing! Mr. Flannel tells Charlie that the termites probably swarmed in through a crack he saw in a window outside that "weird round room [that] looks over the Rose Garden." Just in case we don't get the joke, Charlie points out that he's talking about the Office of O. Mr. Flannel is amazed at how many folks appeared when he approached the Oval. So security at the White House is approximately as good as it is at the Everson Art Museum in Syracuse? Got it. Mr. Flannel finds some evidence of termite infestation and he pulls out a small tool with which he seems to want to poke a hole in the wall. Or maybe he was just getting ready to club one of those one-pound termites. Charlie stops him before he does irreparable damage to the mural for which the Mural Room is named. Mr. Flannel asks Charlie how many rooms they've got, and seems surprised to hear that it's one-hundred-thirty-five. As Mr. Flannel grabs some tools from his case, he tells Charlie that if they decide there's a problem, he'll use some underground bait stations to destroy the colony. He revs up his drill and walks out of the room, with Charlie close behind. I don't want to spoil you, but next week Charlie is going to work with the White House groundskeeper to go after a particularly clever gopher.

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West Wing




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