West Wing
The American President, Part II

Episode Report Card
"A Medium-Sized Nightmare"
Sydney's sister Beth is helping her move into her new place. Sydney's unpacking stuff and ignoring Beth's query about where a certain box goes. She asks Beth, "Why did I have to kiss him?" Beth is surprised; Sydney hadn't told her. Beth asks, "Where?" Sydney: "On the mouth." Beth replies, "Where in the White House?" Sydney tells her it was the Dish Room. Well, the China Room. Beth asks what happened after that. Sydney: "He had to go and attack Libya." Beth: "It's always something." Sydney states, with great aggravation, "I gotta nip this in the bud. This has catastrophe written all over it." Beth responds, "In what language? Sydney, the man is the leader of the free world. He's brilliant, he's funny, he's handsome, he's an above-average dancer. Isn't it possible our standards are just a tad high?" That's one of my favourite lines from this movie. The phone rings; Sydney ignores it, knowing it's the Prez. She and Beth argue about whether she should answer it. Sydney finally answers, telling Beth, "I'm gonna end it on the phone. I'm not gonna go over there." Naturally, the next shot is Shepherd opening his door to find Sydney standing there with a Secret Service agent. She states, "I just came over here to tell you why I can't see you anymore." Shepherd dismisses the agent and closes the door, offers Sydney a drink, and tries to take her coat. Sydney: "Mr. President, this isn't gonna work." Shepherd: "Sure it will. You button the top button, it won't fall off the hanger..." POTUS is quite the wit. She tells him it's been fun and all, but "this has catastrophe written all over it." She asks him not to pursue her outside of the political arena. He responds, "Well, I have no intention of pursuing you inside the political arena, and that leaves everything out, and that's unacceptable to me." She's worried that he's leaving himself open to character attacks in an election year, and indicates that if she were on his staff she would tell him so. He seems pretty unconcerned, plops himself on the couch, and then wonders why she's not on his staff. Sydney says, "You can't afford me." Shepherd: "How much do you make?" Sydney: "More than you do, Mr. President." Right on. Shepherd: "The name is Andy. How much money do you make?" She snaps, "What the hell does it matter how much money I make?" Shepherd pulls rank: "You would raise your voice to the President?" She says she's only worried about his administration. Shepherd asks, "Are you attracted to me?" This flusters Sydney slightly, and she tells him that's not the issue. Not surprisingly, he wants to make it the issue: "Let's try something new, 'cause I know that most couples, when they're first getting together, are inclined to slam on the brakes because they're concerned about Bob Rumson's drool." Um, thanks for loading me up with that image. He goes on to tell her that her problem is "sex and nervousness." She incredulously repeats this. He elaborates, "Yes. Last night when we were looking at the different place settings in the dish room, I realized those place settings were provided by the First Ladies. And I'll bet none of those First Ladies were nervous about having sex with their President husbands. And you know why?" She doesn't; he explains, "Because they weren't presidents when they first met them. That's not the case here." Sydney sighs and seems much happier. She asks to use the bathroom to freshen up. Shepherd directs her, "As you pass through, you'll see a large closet on your left. And if you feel comfortable, hang up your coat, and when you come back I'll have fixed us a drink, we'll sit on the couch, and I will explain to you my plan." ["Oddly Ainsleyan syntax, there." -- Wing Chun] Sydney calls from offscreen, "You have a plan? Don't make me wait. You're on a roll."

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West Wing




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