West Wing

Episode Report Card
Deus Ex Mehchina

Inside, the plan is more or less be to stick to the plan they've had all along. Royce is pissed, you can tell. Haffley says, "Let's get the leader of the free world." They go out into the hall, but it's empty, and when they round the corner, they see POTUS and his posse departing at the far end. Royce gives Haffley a "Nice work, chucklehead" look.

Day Four. Haffley and his horde are watching TV coverage of the stunt. A fragment of one commentator's remarks: "...marched to the Capitol while Republicans cowered in the Speaker's office." Some other guy says he has to ask why he was walking. The woman goes on to explain about Bartlet and the tourists and how they ended up seeing the grandeur they came for. Oy. The other guy says it was a "beautiful, symbolic, crowd-pleasing stunt." He adds that the Speaker made a huge tactical error by refusing to meet POTUS. Royce says he'll call Russell. Haffley snots, "This doesn't change anything. We still get our budget, our cap-gains cut." Royce: "You better hope so."

Abby catches up with C.J. as she's on the way to her morning briefing. Abby asks C.J. to tell the press the following: "'The First Lady's making chicken. Tonight's state dinner will be just the British Prime Minister and his wife joining us in the Residence. Coronation Chicken, the Queen's own recipe.' Thought someone in the pool might want to watch me dress a nice bird." Maybe she could start with Marina. C.J. takes the paper from Abby and says, "Yes, ma'am." As they split, C.J. tells her, "It's good to have you back."

Outside, C.J. tells the gaggle, "The Bartlets will also be serving their guests a Colorado beet salad, and California green beans." What, is Oregon refusing to provide beans to D.C.? Mark asks if C.J. attributes the slight overnight increase in the President's approval rating to his visit to the Hill. C.J. attributes it to POTUS's sincere desire to reach an agreement.

Inside, Marina the human screensaver (tm xii) is back at it again, picking up garbage in the Roosevelt Room. Hey, is she mixing the recyclables with the regular garbage? What sort of example does that set for all the little girls who want to grow up to be sweeps T&A? Today, she's wearing a clingy, low-cut wrap top in a busy brown and white pattern. I'll just point out, for the benefit of those who don't read spoilers, that apparently the earlier names for this character were "Dizzy" and "Cricket." Knowing about "Dizzy" alone makes me want to give this episode an F. And if it weren't for the idiotic introduction of this character, this episode would have done a little better than a D. But not much. Toby comes in and Marina apologizes, saying she was just trying to clean up in there. Toby's fine with that. She looks at what's on a whiteboard and asks, "AmeriCorps...that's that program where they pay you to volunteer, right?" Then there's an inane discussion about the distinction between paid work and volunteering, and the fact that the program is over budget. She wishes her bank would let her do that. Giggle. Toby explains that that is a testament to the program's success. Marina comments, "Two-hundred-billion-dollar deficit: you guys must have a lot of really successful programs." Toby says, "Those people should get combat pay. They go into inner cities to teach children with no parents, work in soup kitchens, try to get addicts off the streets...." Marina nods, and says, "You're Toby Ziegler, right?" He just looks at her. She continues, "It would be great if you could write me a recommendation for my personnel file." It would be great if you could do something to justify such a request, never mind justify Toby bothering. On what possible basis is he supposed to write a recommendation? "To Whom It May Concern: Well, she can pick up trash and swing her butt like nobody's business. Please consider her to replace Judge Roy Ashland as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court." The hell? Marina bounces out, and Toby just stares after her. Why do I have the sick feeling, despite the lack of any substantive purpose for her in this episode, that Marina's going to be a character on the show? God knows we need another one. Maybe that's what Toby's big researcher crisis is about. ["Maybe they need gender parity among useless interns, and she's been twinned with Swimtern." -- Wing Chun] Josh enters from another doorway, and then Leo, Angela, and Will enter from the opposite side. Leo says, "Royce isn't coming." Will announces, "He told the Vice-President it would be more productive if Haffley met with the President one-on-one." Toby asks what they're offering; Angela doesn't know but says Haffley isn't going to just surrender. She asks Leo, "Is the President up for this?" Leo doesn't know. Remember when Leo used to know practically everything, and he always knew what to do? Yeah, I can barely remember either.

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West Wing




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