West Wing
Take This Sabbath Day

Episode Report Card
Deborah: D | 5 USERS: A+
Take This Sabbath Day

Friday Evening, U.S. Supreme Court: An application for a stay of execution is denied. The prisoner, as yet unnamed, is remanded to a federal facility in Terre Haute, Indiana, to be executed by lethal injection, Monday morning at 12:01 AM. The prisoner's three lawyers look dejected.

Out in the corridor, the prisoner's three lawyers are arguing madly about who they could possibly call at the White House. One guy thinks they don't know anybody there who has "the ear of the President," but the biggest guy says, "Sam Seaborn." Apparently the big guy used to beat Sam up in high school, which seems pretty plausible. They decide to see if Sam will take a call from them.

Over at the White House, Josh is telling Donna that he's leaving. Donna reminds him that he needs to see Sam, and walks beside Josh and checks to make sure he's going to behave himself tonight.

Josh: It's a bachelor party!
Donna: That's what I'm saying.
Josh: I can hold my liquor!
Donna: No you can't.
Josh: I can drink with the best of them!
Donna: You can't drink with any of them, Josh.
Josh: I'm in politics, okay? I can drink.
Donna: You have a very sensitive system.
Josh: I wish you'd stop telling people that. It makes me sound like an idiot.

Donna harangues Josh about how he'll spend the weekend sleeping off two drinks. Josh points out that it'll be his first opportunity in ages to do anything other than work all weekend. Donna asks if there are going to be strippers at the party; Josh vigorously denies it. "Men don't like that anymore." This is news to me, as it apparently is to Donna: "Men don't like naked women anymore?" Josh replies, "No, we still like naked women a lot...it's looking at them in a room full of your best friends that makes you a feel a little..." Donna: "Sleazy?" Josh: "Uncomfortable." Just then Sam rounds the corner and Josh asks him what he needs. Sam yells out to his secretary who's off-screen: "What do I need?" A voice calls back, "O'Dwyer!" Apparently Sam needs Josh to meet with O'Dwyer's campaign manager, Joey Lucas, to explain "what's going on," although that's as specific as Sam gets. Sam seems to have scheduled a meeting with O'Dwyer's people for early Saturday morning, but seeing as Sam is planning to go sailing, he'll need Josh to meet with them. Josh is annoyed and bounces up and down in frustration, saying, "Aw, come on! On a Saturday?" Sam insists that it will take ten minutes, fifteen, tops, and that O'Dwyer's people will be thrilled to meet with Josh Lyman. Josh want to know what he's supposed to tell them; Sam suggests Josh tell them the truth. Josh snorts and says, "I don't think so. What else you got?" Suddenly Donna's at Sam's door inquiring, "What time?" and Sam tells her ten o'clock. She relays this information to Josh, as if he isn't standing right there: "You have to be here at ten tomorrow morning." Josh corrects her: "We have to be here at ten tomorrow morning." Donna's pretty miffed and gives Josh a pouty face. She complains that she had things to do -- shopping, for "whatever." Josh says it'll take ten minutes and when it's over, he'll buy her some shoes. At this, Donna brightens up. Josh and Donna leave as Sam yells that he's "bringing back the Cup" from his sailing race. Josh advises him, "Sam, just stay in the boat this time, and I'm a happy guy." Sam yells that he has foul-weather gear, as he wanders back to his office. He banters with his secretary about how he's done, and going to be unreachable for the weekend, cut off from the White House, and he's not taking his pager or his cell phone. His secretary makes encouraging noises in response to all this. Sam changes his mind a couple of times about taking the pager and/or cell phone, finally deciding to leave them, as originally planned. As he grabs his gym bag and hustles off, his phone rings. He hesitates, but turns off the light and closes the door. Of course, within two rings, he's back to pick up the phone. Roll them credits.

After the commercials, Sam is talking to the lawyer guy who used to beat him up, whose name is Bobby. Sam's asking if the guy is guilty. Bobby avoids the question, trying to draw Sam's attention to that fact that his client killed a couple of drug kingpins. Sam: "You want me to argue it was a public service murder?" Then Bobby's talking about some guy named Harry Blackmun, who must be the judge in this prisoner's case, and how he reversed himself on the death penalty in 1994. Sam says Bobby doesn't need to quote Blackmun to him. Bobby goes into bully mode, pointing a finger at Sam's chest and telling Sam to go to the President and tell him he can't "run from this one," and that POTUS has to consider his client. Sam calmly tells Bobby that he doesn't speak to the President that way, and that nobody does. Sam adds, "And I gotta tell you, not that many people talk to me that way anymore." Bobby mentions he's got forty-eight hours to save his client's life and asks if Sam is going to make things personal. Sam inquires as to how Bobby ended up at the Public Defender's office; it sounds like Bobby lost a job at some prestigious law firm. Sam mentions that POTUS is very serious about the separation of powers. Bobby quotes the Constitution, which states that the President shall have the power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States. They argue about whether or not the President should intervene once the judicial branch has spoken; Bobby asks if that's what the President is going to "hide behind." Sam points out that POTUS isn't hiding from anything; he's on Air Force One returning from Stockholm. Bobby wants to know whether Sam will speak to POTUS as soon as he arrives on Saturday morning. Sam tells Bobby that he'll pass it up to Toby Ziegler, since he won't be around himself. Bobby attempts to ensure that Toby will speak to POTUS first thing in the morning; Sam indicates that, since it's Saturday, Toby will probably be at temple. Bobby wants to know which temple. Pushy, much? Sam doesn't know which one; Bobby presses him and Sam finally says that he thinks it's on Delaware. ["Hey, that's my street! Shout-out?" -- Wing Chun] Bobby thanks him and bombs off.

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West Wing




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