West Wing
The Birnam Wood

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

Discussions also continue with the security group, and again, there is no progress. They end the talks early so that the Israeli PM and Defense Minister can prepare for Shabbat. After they leave, the Palestinian PM tells Leo, Toby, and Josh that the Israeli government continually undermines moderate Palestinian leadership by motivating the population to become more radical.

Leo exits a limo. Although his driver holds an umbrella above the door of the limo as Leo gets out, it doesn't seem to actually be raining. I think they did that just to create some mystery about who might be arriving. It didn't work. The rest of the staff is meeting with Jed in a cabin, going over the status of each issue and how far apart the two sides remain. Leo enters the cabin, and although Josh looks over at him, not one person says hello. The meeting breaks up, and most of them leave the cabin. Leo walks over to Toby; both of them seen almost entirely in dark silhouette in front of a picture window looking out onto some really lush trees. Josh walks up and joins them. Leo asks them how it's going, and they both just look down. Toby asks Leo if he's going to talk to him, and Josh says, "Somebody better do something, or this time next week we're going to be the ones to lose our right to return." These last few lines were incredibly hard to hear over the thunder in the background. It was either thunder or falling anvils. They can sound so much alike.

Cut to the Palestinian delegation outside, shoes off, beginning their evening prayer.

After a few moments, we cut to an interior scene where the Shabbat service is beginning. The Israeli PM's wife lights some candles as prayers are chanted. (And for those who like to play six degrees, I would like to inform you that the beautiful candelabra used in this scene -- along with Jed's kippah -- were provided by the director of a local Jewish school attended by the children of a good friend of mine.) Jed, Abbey, and Leo are present. People in the forums have expressed some concern that the depiction of the Shabbat service was not entirely realistic. The woman lighting the candles does not have her head covered, for example, and the prayers are being chanted rather than sung. But it's also been suggested that Israeli politicians, except for those from the religious parties, are fairly secular, and that they might not conduct their religious observances in the most traditional manner. Although this would lend itself to one of my favorite games ("Non-Experts Discuss"), I will leave the subject behind after pointing out that the producers of the show had available to them some folks who are very knowledgeable about Judaism, so any deviation from tradition is (I hope) intended.

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West Wing




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