West Wing
The Dogs Of War

Episode Report Card
Deborah: D+ | 2 USERS: A-
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I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream

Toby says he has the final version of Bartlet's speech for him to review. Jed says he doesn't need it; he's going to use the "one from last night." Toby: "Last night, sir?" Jed tells Will that he made a few changes, and that he hopes Will won't mind. Of course he won't. Jed thanks everyone, and they leave. Jed asks C.J. how much time he has; she says they told the networks to be ready in ten minutes. C.J. asks if FLOTUS will be joining him; Jed says no: "She's at Walter Reed with Zoey." C.J. thanks him and leaves. Jed hands Leo the signed letter and Leo puts it in a folder. He asks if Jed would like them to get his speech on the TelePrompter for him. I'm surprised there isn't more of an effort to vet this speech. Nobody lets POTUS go out and speak publicly without vetting his remarks. Jed says it won't be necessary.

Back in Josh's office, Josh studies his bulletin board with pictures of potential VPOTUS candidates. Steve drops by to ask, "So who's the lucky winner?" Josh says POTUS hasn't decided. Steve asks whether Josh has a favourite. Josh repeats his answer. Donna sticks her head in to say, "They're gathering." She disappears again as Steve glances around and says, "Nice office." Josh smiles at him. Steve leaves. Josh wanders over to stand in front of Donna, as if to ask, without actually saying so, "Do I look all right?" Donna nods with a pleasant smile.

Outside the Oval Office, Toby, C.J., Leo, and Will wait for POTUS. Will: "Did we ever find those five Bahji sleepers?" Leo: "No." Hey, that's at least one question answered. Way to wrap that up. Josh arrives just as POTUS comes out of his office. C.J. goes off to handle the press conference, which is being held in the Rose Garden, and Jed asks where they are on VPOTUS. Leo says that they have several candidates, and they're waiting for Jed's decision. We hear C.J. announce POTUS, and he walks out to the sound of cameras snapping pictures. We hear the beginning of his speech as the rest of the staff members walk outside too. Jed: "'The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away.' Words I did not fully understand until our daughter was taken away from us three days ago..."

Cut to Zoey's hospital room, where she's sleeping, hooked up to monitors. Charlie's there, as are her sisters and brother-in-law, watching POTUS on the monitor. Jed: "But now we can rejoice and be glad, for that which was lost has been found." I guess Jed poured his Bible into my Ronco Verbomatic and spun this speech out. I don't know if he's responsible for that mess, or Will is, or Toby is, but I hope it's not the latter two. You can't spend years making a big deal of what bad-ass speechwriters Toby and his staff are and then spew stuff like that. "That my child is back in her mother's arms is serendipity and grace. A second chance that will not slip through our hands again. I wish that I could tell you that there's some new policy, some new weapons system -- a silver bullet, perhaps -- that could meet this moment." The camera drifting around Zoey's room finally comes to rest on Abby's back. She's standing, turned away from everyone else, including her husband's image on the TV, staring out the window. "That I could keep us safe from the terror that's now among us. But if I were to say that, I'd be lying. All I can promise you is that I will fight with every fibre of my being, with every weapon in our arsenal, and with every ounce of God's grace, to keep us strong, and free, and safe." Abby looks extremely grave, and while you might think she's worrying about her family and the state of the world, or maybe even about leaving Jed (and frankly, she probably should), I'll tell you what's she really thinking: she's wondering what she has to do to get out of her contract with this show.

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West Wing

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