West Wing
The Black Vera Wang

Episode Report Card
Shack: B | 1 USERS: A+
YOU GRADE IT
Never Look a Gift Moose in the Mouth

Tuesday. C.J. comes into her office. Simon's already there, waiting to take over from one of the other secret service agents on her detail. C.J.'s code name is still "Flamingo," and she still hates it. It is a bit humiliating. She informs Simon that she's going to be shopping during lunch. Simon needs to know where so that he can contact the store manager and let him or her know that he'll be coming there armed. C.J. explains that she's taking her niece, Hogan, shopping and buying her a dress for her junior prom. She then expresses surprise when Simon says nothing about Hogan being a strange name for a girl. Simon responds that it's a strange name for a boy, too. It would be perfect for a police detective or a spy on a soap opera, though. C.J. explains that her older brothers are "golf crazies." Well, I'm sure that would make sense if I knew anything about golf other than some basic terminology. Maybe they should have named her "Birdie"?

Since this is apparently C.J.'s first time out in a busy public place with full Secret Service coverage, Simon briefs her on how he works. In busy public places, Simon would like to stay five feet in front of C.J. He warns her not to ditch him when his back is turned, or else he'll have no choice but to ask the store's security to surround her in order to keep her protected. He points out that C.J. is a visible, recognizable person, so if that happens, people are going to point and stare. C.J. responds, not unkindly, "Anything else, Agent Sunshine?" He corrects her that he's "Special Agent Sunshine." Just kiss already. He adds that he can't carry bags for her because he has to keep his hands free. C.J. tells him that they'll be going to the Barney's on Connecticut at 12:30. Apparently there really aren't any Barney's department stores in D.C., but I don't think that's a big deal. It's just a store. Simon jokes that he's optimistic because "the stats of people being hurt while buying a prom dress are very encouraging." C.J. corrects him that it's a "junior prom." Simon wanders off to do something or other, leaving C.J. completely unwatched. Well, I guess they must be giving her free rein around the office because it's got so much security already.

C.J. comes out of her office to talk to Carol. For some reason, the beginning of this scene is shot in such a way that we can't even see that Carol's there. I was wondering if the actress had gotten visibly injured -- or a Mohawk -- and they didn't want us to see her. But eventually they show her, so it was just weirdness. Carol wants to tell her about some important wire stories coming out, but C.J. wants to gossip about cute boys. She explains that she's acting strangely around Simon, making sure to clarify that her brothers are older than she is and that her niece is going to her "junior" prom. Carol sagely points out that C.J. didn't want to be known as somebody with a niece old enough to be going to her senior prom. C.J. says, "Isn't that the kind of thing you do when you meet a guy and you're...." She trails off before actually saying "interested in him?" Then she dismisses the idea, calling it a "left-brain hip check," whatever the hell that could possibly be. C.J. heads back into her office as Carol fills her in on something regarding the United Auto Workers. You know, if you want to drop C.J. into a romantic subplot right as the season is drawing to a close, that's fine with me. I'm all in favor of more C.J. But can we not have her deliberately commenting on the fact that she's being dropped into a romantic subplot? It's a little too meta. And also, we've already picked up on it.

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