West Wing
The Red Mass

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The Fortune-Cookie Candidacy

Amelia Bedelia comes into the lounge where Josh is reading a paper while he waits. Probably still stewing about organized sports. She goes to the coffee maker and says hello. Josh says, "Hellooo," staring at his paper. He asks, "Is Susan Thomas...?" Amy: "Trouble?" Josh: "A pain in the ass?" Amy asks what he thinks of Stackhouse. Josh says he's always liked him: "I'd vote for him, too, but he's not on the ballot in Connecticut...or twenty-two other states. Perhaps I should vote in New York or California, where's he's polling at 4%." Amy: "Of likely voters." Josh does the "I'm sorry?" thing so that Amy can remind him those polls sample likely voters: "When a third candidate gets elected, it's going to be by unlikely voters." Josh folds his newspaper in irritation and asks, "And why is that good? Why are we eager...Why are we encouraging a group of people who are so howl-at-the-moon, lazy-ass stupid that they can't bring themselves to raise their hands? Why is it important that they be brought into the process?" Amy's sitting down a little way away from Josh now and tells him he should stop being mad at her. He says he's not. She says he is: "You know, I lost my job because of a strategy you organized." Josh stands up and walks toward her, saying, "You lost your job in a fashion that ensured you ninety-three better offers." Amy replies, "That's sweet of you to look out for me, but I liked the job I had." Actually, I think she just misses her Aeron chair. I know I would. She continues, "And when I lost it, I didn't pitch anything. I didn't stage a nutty. I fought you, I lost, I had a drink, I took a shower. 'Cause that's how it is in the NBA." Give or take a cell phone or two. "You know what I do when I win? Two drinks! I didn't start consulting with Stackhouse to piss you off. There are things here I believe in." She stands up. "I didn't come out here to piss you off, either. I wanted to tell you that if the Senator responds on needle exchange, the President shouldn't take the bait." Josh: "No kidding." Amy can see she's not getting anywhere with him, so she says she's going back in. She pauses at the door so that Josh can tell her that Stackhouse is taking the President's votes. Amy opens the door and rests her face against the edge, saying, "Listen, I'm not indifferent to your situation, but that right there, that's the crazy part of your argument." Josh wants to know why. Amy: "They're not his votes." She and her Ponytail of Doom wander off.

After the commercial, Josh returns to the office to find Donna poring over a book. She barely acknowledges him. He asks her how the seminar was. She looks up and says, "It was...I don't know. It was...I don't...I don't think...maybe I'm not ready to talk about it yet." Josh, puzzled: "What was...?" Donna says, "It was a transforming...no, that's the wrong word. We are not 'transformed,' we 'locate the light switch.' I own myself, Josh. You don't mind if I say that out loud at frequent intervals with no provocation for a little while, do you?" Actually, considering the control Josh exercises over your schedule, Donna, he probably does. Josh asks why. Donna explains, "Because I live my life out loud." Josh: "You're reading the book?" Donna: "The Owner's Manual." Josh: "Are you serious?" She stands up, saying, "No, you idiot. I need a shower!" She slams the book down, walks over to her purse, and takes out some lip stuff: "I've got, like, radioactive stuff all over me!" Apparently a lot of people thought this was just great and were totally fooled by Donna, but I thought you could see this coming a mile away. Josh replies, "And you call me a snob?" Donna: "Please. It was like a meeting of the There But For The Grace Of God Society." She paints her lower lip. Josh: "Anybody ask you out?" Donna: "Shut up."

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