West Wing
The American President, Part II

Episode Report Card
"A Medium-Sized Nightmare"
At the GDC, it's party time. Champagne is being poured into coffee mugs. The tote board proclaims zero votes in one day. Susan tells Sydney, "I want to go on the record and apologize for my attitude toward you since your arrival." Clearly she's had plenty to drink, if she's apologizing. Sydney plays sweet and dumb, claiming not to have noticed. Susan confides, "I think I have a lot of pent-up hostility. And I'm wondering who I can blame it on." Sydney's not too sure about this conversation but Susan blathers on, "'Cause I've been blaming it on my mother and my ex-husband, and, well, that doesn't seem to be working..." David tells Sydney that Leo needs to see her. Sydney says, "Tell him to get in here. It's a party." David insists that Leo needs to see her in his office; he just got off the phone with MacInerney: "There's been a development." Sydney looks puzzled, and heads for Leo's office. POTUS walks upstairs to the Residence; we can hear Lucy practicing her trombone in the background. He sticks his head in her room and tells her it sounds good. She asks him whether he and Sydney had a fight. He's confused. Lucy says Sydney seemed pretty mad, and that she's waiting for him in his room. Shepherd tells her not to worry about it. Lucy asks, "Were you a dork?" "Dork" doesn't really begin to cover it. He leaves, telling her "Practise your music." Lucy calls out after him, "You know, if you were a dork, you should say you're sorry. Girls like that." In the First Bedroom, Sydney's rummaging in the closet. Andy enters the room kind of tentatively, calling out, "Syd?" She bustles out without looking at or greeting him and asks, "Have you seen a grey cable-knit sweater?" He hasn't. He says he called her at the office today. Sydney goes on about not wanting to leave the sweater, since it's her sister's, and he asks where she's going. She keeps looking through drawers as she tells him, "I'm going home, and then I'm going to Hartford." He wants to know what's in Connecticut. She replies, "Richard Reynolds's campaign. He may be able to get me a job." Andy asks, "When did you decide to get a new job?" Sydney finally looks at him as she opens a closet: "Not long after Leo Solomon fired me from my old one. Beth's gonna kill me..." Andy asks why Leo fired her. From within the closet, she says, "Total failure to achieve any of the objectives for which I was hired. I told him he was being unreasonable. After all, I did get to dance with the President and ride in Air Force One a couple of times. But you know those prickly environmentalists. It's always gotta be something with them. If it's not clean air, then it's clean water. Like it isn't good enough that I'm on the cover of People magazine." She keeps rushing around the room. Andy says he'll call Leo. Sydney bombs around, yanking drawers in and out as she replies, "You'll call him? You mean you'll call him yourself? Personally? It'll come from the President? That's a great idea. I think you should call Leo and make a deal. He hires me back for, say, seventy-two days. I go around scaring the hell out of Congress, making them think that the President's about to drive through a very damaging and costly bill. They'll believe me, right, 'cause I'm the President's Friday Night Girl. Now I don't know if you can dip into that well twice, especially since I've lost all credibility in politics, but you never know, I might be able to just pull it off again. I might be able to give you just the leverage you need to pass some groundbreaking piece of crime legislation, like a mandatory three-day waiting period before a five-year-old can buy an Uzi. Oh, fuck the sweater! She'll have to learn to live with disappointment." Sydney's about to leave when Andy asks, "What do you think went on here today?" She stops and says, "I know exactly what went on here today. I got screwed. You saw the poll, you needed the crime bill, you couldn't get it on your own, so I got screwed!" She's pretty tearful. He replies in an irritatingly low-key way, "The environment got screwed, Sydney. Nothing happened to you. Governing is choosing. Governing is prioritizing. I've made no secret of the fact that the crime bill was my top priority." Sydney snaps, "Well then, congratulations. It's only taken you three years to put together crime prevention legislation that has no hope of preventing crime." She's headed for the door again when he says, "Syd, please. I don't want to lose you over this." Sydney: "Mr. President, you've got bigger problems than losing me. You just lost my vote." And she's gone.

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West Wing




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