West Wing
The American President, Part II

Episode Report Card
"A Medium-Sized Nightmare"
Next shot is a helicopter landing in a snowy clearing in a wooded area. Then we cut to Shepherd and Sydney on the couch later that evening, in front of a lovely fire. She's looking at his college transcripts. You know, I'm a bigger nerd than most people, and I wasn't too bad a student, but even I have not resorted to showing anybody my report cards or transcripts to try to impress him or her. I mean, Jesus, he's already the President of the United States. What else does he have to prove? She says, "This isn't human. Nobody gets this many 'A's. You were like a Stepford student." Shepherd asks, flipping around the TV channels, "Are you still reading that ridiculous biography?" Oh, all right then. It's a book. At least he's not trotting out his actual transcripts. Sydney says, "No, no, I finished Andrew Shepherd: Road to the White House. Now I'm onto Shepherd: The Early Years." Shepherd complains, "Seven trillion dollar communications system at my disposal, you'd think I'd be able to find out if the Packers won." Sydney, "Oh, Andy...C-minus in Women's Studies?" He replies, "Yeah...that course wasn't about what I thought it was gonna be about." Shepherd's finally found some news; the anchor says, "President Shepherd was in Maryland this week for his routine physical exam. Doctors at Bethesda Naval Hospital pronounced the President in excellent health." Andy: "Who cares? Just give us the scores!" Another news anchor on another channel reads this little item: "While the President spent the day at Camp David, GOP presidential hopeful Robert Rumson continued his attacks on President Shepherd's character. During the Saturday morning news program Capitol Review with Kenneth Michaels, Senator Rumson suggested that GDC political director Sydney Ellen Wade, whose close personal relationship with the President has been causing the White House headaches over the past two months, may have traded sexual favors for key votes in the Virginia State Legislature while lobbying for the Virginia Teachers Association." Well, what a creep. And what a tired, typical way to try to discredit a successful woman. Sydney and Andy both sit up with their mouths hanging open. The news show cuts to a clip of Rumson and presumably Michaels on the aforementioned show. Michaels is telling Rumson he's making a heck of an accusation about Sydney. Rumson says, "Let me be very clear. I am not making an accusation. I am saying when you hear one thing, you dismiss it. You hear two, you dismiss it. But when several, several well-respected members and former members of the Virginia State House..." Michaels asks for names. Sydney dejectedly says, "My God. He's making this up as he goes along." Shepherd says, "I'm so sorry about this, Sydney." On TV, Rumson is yattering on: "I don't even know what we call her...is she the First Mistress?" Oh, give me a huge freaking break. Sydney, with mild dismay: "Oh, man. My father heard that." Andy turns off the boob tube and advises her to tell him to turn a deaf ear. Sydney responds, "Yeah, well, my father doesn't have a deaf ear. He hears fine out of both. So do I. And so does my sister, so do my friends. You're the only one who seems to..." Andy says, "I can't challenge the school bully to a fight just because he picked on my girlfriend." Sydney says she can take care of herself, but wonders, "How can you keep quiet? How do you have patience for people who claim they love America but clearly can't stand Americans?" Clearly and firmly, Shepherd replies, "I have one more election left. I don't have the luxury of losing my patience." Sydney hesitates slightly and then says, "I want to say something, but I'm gonna fumble it a little bit, so I'd just like you to wait till I'm done before you respond. I'm in love with you. I'm certain of it. And I want to be with you more than anything. But maybe things would be better for you if I just disappeared for a while." He promises things will be better when he passes a crime bill, adding, "And if you disappeared, I'd find you." They hug.

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West Wing




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