West Wing
The Cold

Episode Report Card
They Took Their Sweet Damn Time

Office of O. C.J. and much of the national security team are gathered. They're gossiping about the poll results when the President enters. As they stand, they get right to business, telling Jed that the Russians claim the election wasn't rigged, and that the pro-Russian candidate won fair and square. Both sides are claiming to have sent their troops in to "stabilize" the country. Furthermore, NATO member nations are fully behind the idea of a peacekeeping force without actually being willing to commit troops. And the U.N. is out, because both China and Russia would veto any action in the Security Council. Secretary of Defense Hutchinson tells Jed that the only plan they see is to plant a large American force squarely between the Russians and the Chinese "to create a human buffer zone between the two advancing armies." The two armies are currently about six hundred miles from each other, but they are closing the distance pretty quickly. Jed tells Hutchinson, "I want to see invasion plans as soon as possible." Hutchinson tells him that they prefer the term "intervention." Jed tells him, "Show me a plan that doesn't look like an invasion, I'll call it whatever you want."

On the way out of the Oval, C.J. blah-blahs a bit with Kate about NATO. And then Kate peels off of that conversation and starts pedeconferencing with Will. He tells her, "I've got a thing of yours." She's relieved to learn that he has her Pyongyang report, but he tells her that's absolutely not what he has. She keeps describing the report, and he interrupts her to say, "It's a bra." That brings her up short. Will adds, "I put it in a padded envelope, which seemed appropriate." I'm not a connoisseur of the female form, but I seriously doubt Mary McCormack needs any padding. ["I am very intimate with the female form, which is how I can tell you that even some bras for the well-endowed are padded, to give the wearer's rack some shape." -- Wing Chun] Will asks Kate if she wants it now, and she tells him "no" before tentatively changing her answer to "yes." She tells him to keep it, and he asks, "Permanently?" Superspy Kate suggests that he mail it to her from his home address so that nobody at the White House will have a chance to intercept it. They both agree that's a needlessly complicated idea. Will offers to hold on to it until "the next time...." He trails off at the end. They part, and Will tells her, "We'll get better at this." They certainly couldn't get worse.

Josh, Santos, Leo, and various hangers-on charge down a hotel corridor to an elevator. Josh is shouting strategy and instructions all the way. They continue talking strategy as they walk through some back area of the hotel. Except this time, instead of walking through a kitchen, it appears to be some kind of hotel decorating storeroom. There are about fifty thousand hideous lamps on the shelves. Leo points out that the nuclear accident created a lot of undecided voters who haven't yet switched to Santos. To get them to make the switch, he thinks Santos needs to sound a bit more like a Republican: "They're gonna want to hear about deficit reduction, they're gonna want to hear you're gonna put more cops on the streets." The brainstorming continues as they walk down an echo-filled utility hallway. Josh comes up with a tag line about Santos's "vision" as they enter a freight elevator.

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West Wing




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