Oh, here we are -- another season of The West Wing. What wacky adventures will John Wells bring us this year? Will it be tanks crashing into the White House? An outbreak of smallpox? A chemical spill? Or -- dare we dream it -- a killer helicopter? Oh, I'm so excited. I can't wait to find out.
Previously on The West Wing, Donna, Fitz, and two members of Congress were blown up while visiting Gaza. Fitz and the members of Congress died, while the injured Donna was rushed off to Germany for treatment. Leo and Jed argued (repeatedly) over the appropriate response. The Chairman of the Palestinian Authority publicly accepted a non-existent White House invitation to attend a summit with the Israelis. Josh flew off to Germany to see Donna, who was being operated on as he arrived at the hospital.
Out-of-focus shot of the back of a hearse. In a series of beautifully framed shots, we see a flag-draped coffin removed from the hearse and carried away by sailors in ceremonial uniforms. The sequence is really gorgeous -- soft focus, lovely light, close-ups from unusual angles. This is still one of the things you can routinely count on this show to get right.
Cut to an overhead shot of a presidential motorcade driving down the highway. When the camera slid across the sky at the beginning of this scene, I had a momentary chopper panic, but no helicopter made an appearance. We see Jed looking out the window in the back of his limo. Kate (still with the awful bangs) and Leo are telling Jed that the U.S. can't let itself be bullied into organizing a summit. Kate tells Jed that if they try to force the Israelis into hosting a summit, they may leak the fact that the U.S. never invited the Palestinian Chairman to a summit. Abbey: "And that's so bad? The Chairman wants a peace summit. Isn't that a start?" Leo tells Jed that they need to focus on military retaliation for the attack that killed Fitz, but Jed still wants to discuss the summit. Leo: "Tell Farad he can have his summit if it can double as his retirement party. I'll spring for the watch." Jed asks Kate what he'll need to get from Farad in order to bring the Israelis to the table, and she runs down a list of items (including, for example, arresting the leaders of Hamas) that sound pretty unlikely. Abbey: "Plus the watch?" Heh.