West Wing
The Portland Trip

Episode Report Card
Deborah: B | Grade It Now!
The Quarterback of Notre Dame

Back at the White House, Ainsley's working in her overheated office, the oscillating fan ruffling papers back and forth. Her hair is down now, which mystifies me. You've got your long hair up, and it's over a hundred degrees in your office, so you put it down? Um. Okay. Also, since she went home to get the fan, wouldn't you have thought she might have changed out of the long-sleeved, high-neck grey wool sweater she seems to be wearing? Whatever. Anyway, Donna knocks on the door (which is closed, which I bet helps keep the room cooler. Not) and Ainsley asks her in. Donna asks what happened; Ainsley says she can't turn the heat down. Donna asks, "Did you try?" Ainsley says, "No, I just looked at the thermostat and got discouraged. Of course I tried! I could grow papayas in here!" Donna says, "It's a nice office." Ainsley says, "It's the steam-pipe distribution venue!" Donna says it's got character. Donna's also still got her winter coat on, and makes no move to take it off, despite the heat. Ainsley says she thinks she's losing weight, which may be why she seems to be trying to eat non-stop. Donna asks her if she wants to come work upstairs; Ainsley declines, saying she needs to concentrate. Which I bet is easy, in this blast furnace. Donna says that no one's around, but Ainsley's still not biting. Donna says she just came to say hi, and Ainsley says she'd chat but she really needs to get her work done. Donna says she'll leave her alone, but proceeds to ask her what she's working on, and Ainsley explains she's making notes for Josh. Donna sits down and starts babbling about the Constitutional questions involved. She then launches into an apparently inane discussion with Ainsley about whether or not the two of them look alike, the purpose of which I can only imagine is a shout-out to the forums. Okay, maybe I exaggerate a little, but we're desperate for a shout-out here. Ainsley seems to think they don't look alike, although they most certainly do look a lot alike, and for a show that has so few female leads, one of whom is taller and brunette and the other two of whom have long straight blonde hair and pale skin...um, yeah, you do look alike. Donna pretends to agree that they don't look alike but nonetheless asks Ainsley whether she's ever considered dyeing her hair red, suggesting that it would look good on her. Ainsley reiterates with some impatience that they don't look alike. Donna says she tells people that. I'm beginning to wonder if her date asked her out thinking that she was Ainsley instead of Donna. Donna says she's going to go back upstairs to work but mumbles some more about their alabaster skin and farm-girl looks. Ainsley tells her she's "wigging out." Donna invites her again to work upstairs. Ainsley declines, saying that it may be hot but at least it's quiet. On cue, the furnace makes a loud hammering noise and Ainsley jumps, slaps her laptop shut and says, "Okay." As she stands up, we get an aerial shot of the room, which allows me to see that at least Ainsley's sweater doesn't have long sleeves, and hear her say, "Boy, I could use a Fresca." Lord. At least this isn't the kind of show that woud exploit the opportunity to have Ainsley stripped down to her skivvies in her office when Sam accidentally walks in and...oops! This is the kind of show that was too busy harping about Fresca. I'm guessing it's Aaron's beverage of choice. ["I like it, too, and there is your shout-out. Just kidding." -- Wing Chun]

"You're going to quote the Bible to me?" Josh sputters incredulously. They're back in his office. Matt says he didn't, and that his point was that the founders of the country based their laws on Judeo-Christian morality and that perhaps the Biblical concept of marriage can't be so easily separated from the law. Josh argues that the founding fathers made it patently clear that they didn't want Judeo-Christian morality within ten city blocks of the law. He seems ready to explode and like he wants to ask Matt something, but then decides not to. Josh points out that the bill would make gay partners permanently ineligible for survivor benefits, Medicare, Medicaid...Matt counters that the government can't afford to pay those things anyway. Josh mumbles, "So we caught a break there." Matt looks tired and says it's getting late; Josh says he has more notes.

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West Wing




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