West Wing
The Mommy Problem

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LTG: B | Grade It Now!
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Poor Josh

White House. C.J. and Margaret walk down the hall toward C.J.'s office. C.J. is telling Margaret something about Argentinean currency devaluation. Margaret has something to tell C.J., who assumes that it's about the plan for the signing of the fisheries bill -- she warns Margaret that if Scheduling and Advance don't move on from the idea of little flags, she's "going to read them the riot act to the tune of 'Battle Hymn of the Republic.'" And then Margaret gets a word in edgewise and tells C.J. that Greg Brock is in her office. C.J.: "Why is Greg Brock in my office?" Margaret tells her that he wouldn't leave, and she didn't think C.J. would want Security to throw him out. C.J.'s not so sure about that last point.

C.J. enters her office and reads Brock the riot act (but not to the tune of "Battle Hymn of the Republic"). He's grown his hair out from the salt-and-pepper buzz cut he had last season, by the way. The new look really emphasizes his thinning hair and receding hairline. Distractedly, he tells her, "I've a question about day care." C.J. tells him that Toby covered that in last week's briefing, but Brock's real question is about how his daughter's mother will find day care for their daughter while Brock is in prison. C.J.'s dumsquizzled when she hears the word "prison," and he tells her that a judge held him in contempt for refusing to testify to the grand jury. He's appealing, but the judge refused to stay his order, so Brock has to report to Cumberland Minimum Security Prison in the morning. He may be in for as long as eighteen months, and adds, "You don't have to worry about your call sheet for a while." He walks toward the door, and C.J. stumbles along with him, turns to him in the doorway, and says, "Name your source." She looks crushed. He tells her, "I always liked you in that suit." Well yeah, but is there any suit Allison Janney doesn't rock? Brock walks out. Commercials.

Bram lets Josh into Santos's hotel room, reminding him that Santos is late for a reception. It's like he's doing his job of moving Santos out of the scene, in advance. In the room, Santos is on the phone with Helen -- she is not happy that her acrobatic sex life is being spread all over the tabloids. He keeps pointing out that there's no way they could have fixed the bed, and that he's no happier than she is. And before they hang up, he suggests that she bring a sledgehammer to their next rendezvous. Santos asks Josh how many papers will pick up the story. Josh tells him that it's already hit the seamier side of the journalistic world (i.e., blogs and cable shows), and that now the legitimate press gets to "cover the coverage." And then Josh blames himself for the incident. Well, yeah, if Josh were keeping Santos satisfied, he wouldn't have been breaking beds with Helen. What he really means is that if he had pushed out more policy, it would have buried the story. Has he met any journalists? Because I don't know many who would rather cover a tax credit instead of a bed broken through strenuous activity. Oh, look, Louise is in the room. Louise thinks that stories like the broken bed only stick to a candidate when they confirm what voters already think, and in Santos's case, the campaign hasn't given people any idea what to think. And then Louise and Josh start bickering about whether Santos should hit back at Vinick and get involved in the leak story. What Louise really wants Santos to do is hit back at the White House and try to get some distance from the leak story. But Josh thinks it would be a mistake for Santos to criticize President Bartlet, whose approval rating is at 66%. And then Santos gets them both to shut up in order to discuss what to do about his Reserve drill. Louise tells him that he should resign his commission. And Josh agrees. Look, I get how going to the drill as ordered will look like a stunt if Santos has a history of rescheduling, and I get that they don't want his history of rescheduling to become an issue. But these two political geniuses can't possibly think that the solution is for him to end his military career, can they? Louise thinks that by resigning his commission, Santos will send the message that he is ready to be President of the United States. Bram enters and does his thing. On his way out, Santos tells Josh and Louise to tell the press, "If the country doesn't like my military record, I'll be the first one unemployed." That was a long set-up for a really weak joke.

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