West Wing
The Cold

Episode Report Card
They Took Their Sweet Damn Time

And then Josh, Donna, and Donna's coat of ugly colors walk off. Donna starts discussing press-related issues, and tells Josh that she's getting a lot of questions about Kazakhstan. Josh gives her a line to use about Santos supporting the President, and then tells her, "And then call the White House and find out what the hell's going on." Donna asks, "If Bono comes...?" Josh: "You'll meet him." She smiles and starts to walk away. He calls her back. I think that after getting a good look at that coat, he's really regretting kissing her. He takes off his sunglasses and, with much hesitation and many "um"s, apologizes for kissing her, explaining that he knows it was inappropriate. He tells her that he feels terrible. She smiles and tells him, "Don't. Seriously. It was bound to happen sometime." Janel Maloney is brilliant right here, because you can just see her freezing up and pulling back. It's that whole, "Oh, I was just joking when I said I loved you. No big deal" thing that we've all gone through at one time or another. She leaves to call the White House. And now it's Brad Whitford's turn to shine, as he looks slightly stunned at the way she seemed to get over the kiss so quickly. In his heart, he was hoping that she would be upset by his apology, so that he could know she really wanted him to kiss her some more.

In the Oval Office, Jed is giving assignments to Debbie. As he finishes, she asks him if he's looked at the sketches. He tells her, "A nuclear disaster and a war abroad, I thought they could wait." She points out that they've been sitting on his desk for days: "It makes it look like I don't pick up after you." With a grim look on his face, he walks over to his desk, where they both look at some pencil sketches of the President. I can only assume that these are studies for his official portrait. Jed doesn't know what to say, and Debbie tells him that she just needs a "simple thumbs up or thumbs down." Jed asks, "You think they look like me?" When she responds, "More or less," he wants to know what the hell she means. She tells him that they're a "decent likeness" and make him look "commanding [and] thoughtful." She observes that there's no cane in the sketches, "which is a choice." He asks, "You think it's a bad choice?" And there's a lovely note of concern in her voice as she responds, "I don't know. Did you make it, or did he make it?" Jed tells her that it was the artist's choice, and asks if she thinks the lack of a cane is a problem. She turns the question back to him, and he points out that he doesn't use the cane all the time. For example, he hardly ever uses it when they're in his office filming that television series that's all about him. Debbie tells him, "You exist in the zeitgeist with a cane." Zeitgeist is one of my three favorite German words. (The other two are "zeitgeber" and "Miele." Okay, I don't really love the word Miele, but I do crave one of their dishwashers.) Jed ends the conversation by telling Debbie to get the head of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on the phone.

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West Wing




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