West Wing
The Lame Duck Congress

Episode Report Card
Deborah: C+ | Grade It Now!
Lame Duck Soup

Leo continues his perambulations and runs into Toby, who's almost breathless with the news that they may have lost one of the votes they were counting on. Toby says he'll need some help on the inside and asks whether Tony Marino is in Philadelphia. Leo doesn't know. Toby wants to see whether Marino will get on a train and help him find out who they lost and get him or her back. Leo's mad: "It's not hard enough getting new votes, we gotta corral..." Toby says that Leo has to call Marino and set up a meeting for him so he can find out who jumped the fence and get Marino's help getting them back. Leo doesn't want to call Marino: "Toby, the guy lost a bad race bloody." Toby thinks he'll want to come back for this. Leo thinks he's going to want to sit it out. Toby says that Marino spent four years of his life on the Test Ban Treaty. Leo says he spend a lot longer than that, and it burned him in the end; he lost his seat. Leo asks what Toby's pitch will be if he sets up the meeting. Toby says that it will be that the treaty Marino wanted so bad is within reach, and that he can further stick it to every Pennsylvanian who voted him out of office, and "take Mitchell's knees out before he has time to put his pencils in a jar." Leo says Marino might not know who they lost, because he's been out of D.C. for a month and a half. Toby persists, Leo acquiesces.

Toby makes his way to his office, grabbing some messages from Bonnie on his way in. He wants to know why his office blinds are closed, but before she can explain, he opens the door to find a drunk, angry man sitting in his chair and speaking Russian to him, and a woman sitting impassively in another chair. Josh comes racing up behind him, saying, "Yeah, yeah, that deserves an explanation." I guess we can pretty much imagine what Josh will tell Toby during the commercials.

It's 4:35 PM. Josh is leading Mr. Konanov -- who's still complaining loudly (only now it's in English) -- and his attaché back to his own office. Konanov complains that he's a reformer and he's going to lead the Ukraine, and all they send him to speak to are errand boys. Josh points out that he is the Deputy Chief of Staff. Natasha snorts derisively. Josh starts to explain that it's a very important position but drops that, and tries to explain that there's protocol that has to be observed, and that his country has a leader they have to deal with. Josh says that they do wish to deal with him, but they're in touch with Konanov's embassy and the capital and they're seeking permission for him to speak to Secretary Schaefer. Konanov repeats his desire to speak to the President. Josh says, "That's not gonna happen, and you damn well know it!" Natasha asks mildly, "You speak to him in this tone?" Josh says, "He's drunk, in my office, and I'll speak to him in whatever tone pleases me." He screeches for Donna as he leaves his office, and instructs her to put two uniformed agents at his door and tell Leo he's coming over. As he walks away, he says, "Oh, how I miss the Cold War."

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West Wing




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