West Wing
The Birnam Wood

Episode Report Card
LTG: F | 1 USERS: B-
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If A Character Is Assassinated In The Woods...

Because he is in his office, where we now see him. He's sitting at a table in his office, looking over some papers as the Speaker of the House rants in a televised speech. C.J. enters to tell Leo that Josh will be landing in an hour. C.J. points out that the news networks have the Speaker's speech on an endless loop as a way of punishing the White House for cutting off press access to Camp David. Leo tells C.J. that they are losing the media war, and that they need to get on every show they can: "Book This Old House if we can figure out an angle." When C.J. asks who Leo wants to send, he says, "You, me, the Assistant Deputy Secretary for Fisheries Exploitation, I don't care, we gotta get our message out." C.J.: "What is our message?" Leo: "Shut up while we try to get them to stop killing each other."

Camp David. Jed is meeting with the PM and the Chairman. Farad asks Jed how his children and grandchildren are. He tells them that they are all well, and that Annie started high school last week. As many forum posters have observed, Annie should actually be near the end high school, seeing as how she was twelve in the pilot. Unless she failed the seventh grade four times. The three leaders are sitting around a small table on a verandah. Despite the fact that Jed was in a suit when we last saw him, he is now wearing jeans and a sweatshirt. The PM and the Chairman are still wearing their suits. Jed tells the Chairman and the PM that they need to decide on the topics of discussion for the subgroups. Debbie is sitting behind the PM, typing on a laptop. As Jed runs down the topics, the PM and Chairman start to disagree over the substance of any eventual deal. Jed reminds them that the actual discussions will be held by the subgroups, and that they are only there to decide on the topics. Farad notes that there is no mention of Jerusalem on the list proposed by Jed. Jed tells them both that he thought it best to put off a discussion of Jerusalem, and Farad and the PM each take the opportunity to stake their claim to the city. On hearing the PM say that Israel will never give up control over Jerusalem, Farad asks, "Why are we here?" The PM says that, for once, he agrees with Farad, and he stands up and tells Jed that he never should have accepted the invitation. Jed: "Stop it, both of you!" He tells them that he has staked his, and the U.S.'s, credibility on the success of these talks, and that no one is leaving after less than a day. He tells them that discussion on the topics he named will begin after lunch, and dismisses them. Jed asks Debbie, "That went well, don't you think?" She just gives him a wry look. I just have to point out that the producers of this steaming pile of poo brought Lily Tomlin on location while they shot an episode's worth of material, and gave her no lines. Genius.

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West Wing

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