West Wing
The Short List

Episode Report Card
Deborah: B- | 3 USERS: A
The Short List

Props to word processing macros: it turns out "Lillienfield" is nearly as much fun to type repeatedly as "Katzenmoyer." No props whatsoever to the boneheads at CTV who replaced the Tuesday night broadcast of this show with a Céline Dion concert. God rest their miserable souls. Also, for some reason, my TV guide listed a "viewer discretion warning" for this episode. For the life of me, I can't figure out why. ["To warn parents not to let children see Edward James Olmos's scary pockmarks?" -- Wing Chun]

Previously on The West Wing: Leo tells Jenny his job is more important than his marriage, Danny wants to know what C.J. is wearing to the state dinner, the Veep invites Leo to his secret AA meetings, which Leo attends.

Note: the story for this teleplay was co-written by former White House press secretary DeeDee Myers and Aaron "Almost as Prolific as David E. Kelley and a Better Writer" Sorkin.

It's Monday morning. Josh and C.J. are both on the phone in his office; Josh is doing the talking and C.J. is listening in carefully, with her hand over the mouthpiece. There's some kind of banging noise going on in the background. Josh is saying, "Yes...yes...yes..." in response to the person he's speaking with. Josh starts to ask if the person is prepared to do something, but the other person has obviously answered his question because both C.J. and Josh bounce up and start pumping their fists in that "yahoo, we rock" gesture. Josh sits back down and thanks whoever he's talking to; C.J.'s doubled over trying to contain her excitement and stay quiet. Josh asks the person to wait by the phone for a few minutes for a call from the President. As soon as he puts the phone down, C.J. shrieks, "Yes!" and cuffs Josh on the shoulder. She runs out of his office shouting "It's done! We did it! Yes!" and Josh is right behind her saying, "I did it! C.J. was on the phone with her fingers crossed." C.J.'s a little annoyed with his credit-grabbing but Josh continues blathering on about how he's masterminded the whole thing and whatever "it" is, it's done and he did it. (Way to hog the spotlight, Josh.) He tells Donna to call Toby, Sam, Leo and POTUS and tell them he's on his way. C.J. says congratulations again and starts to take off, when Josh calls out to her, "Nothing to the press!" C.J. agrees and then suddenly Josh rushes through the office and says, "Claudia Jean?" (Um..."Claudia Jean"? I'm not sure but I think this is the first mention of her whole name...I suspected something more along the lines of Catherine Jane or Catherine Joanne, but whatever. And it seems strange that he chooses to use her name that way at this particular juncture.) She stops as he hangs in the doorway and he says, "We did it!" She shrieks "Yes!" again and throws her arms around him and gives him a quick, tight hug. She races off and Josh heads toward the Oval Office, with Donna chasing after him asking if he doesn't want to know about the banging in his office. He hasn't got the faintest clue what she's talking about and says he hasn't heard any banging. Donna can't understand how he could not notice such a loud noise and he says that he just didn't, because he's been "on the phone for the last hour trying to seal a deal to fill a seat on the Supreme Court, so, you know..." Donna continues on saying it was a pretty loud banging. Donna, shut up. He didn't hear the damn noise. Josh emphasizes to Donna that he's talking about the United States Supreme Court, since neither of them seem to be getting through to the other. Just then Josh passes Sam's office and Donna speeds off down another hallway. Sam comes out with, "Who da man?" and Toby's there too telling Josh, "You da man!" and slapping his hands. Josh turns around and high-fives Sam and shouts, "We da man!" Donna's lurking in the hallway and tells them as they strut past her, "This is just gross." Okay, there's a slight surfeit of testosterone but I wouldn't go so far as to call it gross, myself. The "boys" all greet Mrs. Landingham (whose name appears this time on the closed captioning as "Landingham" -- please, somebody decide what this woman's name is; personally I'm beginning to suspect it's Laningham) and they're all extremely jovial. She asks them, "is it done?" to which Josh responds, "That depends on your answer to this question, Mrs. Landingham: 'Who da man?'" Ever-patient, Mrs. L. says, "Excuse me, Josh?" as Toby chuckles in the background. (Nice to see Toby laughing.) Josh repeats his question and Mrs. L remains completely deadpan as she says, "You da man." Josh and Sam jump up and butt their chests/stomachs together in one of those male gestures that I don't quite understand, so it must emanate from sports, and both shout, "We da man!" At this point I think I've heard the phrase enough. They strut on in to the Oval Office and POTUS indicates he's heard the news and asks if it's okay to call the nominee. Leo congratulates POTUS and Jed wants to know which one of the three "boys" is "the man" on this one. Toby replies that on this one, they'd like to think of themselves collectively as "the men." POTUS calls out to Mrs. L. to make the phone call and the boys, the men, whatever, congratulate POTUS as they adjourn to Leo's office. Mandy's waiting there and as everyone comes in, tells them (in the most pleasant tone of voice I've yet heard her use on the show), "You guys rock." Sam heartily agrees that they do. Leo suggests they bring in the chairman, the ranking member from judiciary, and the leadership from both sides, and starts to tell C.J. what she should do, except he notices she's not there yet. Just then she glides up quietly from behind Leo, which prompts him to tell her she should wear a bell around her neck. She thanks him while managing not to sound too sarcastic, which is more than I might've done. But C.J. is cool. Toby begins to lay out the dog-and-pony show: C.J.'s to tell the press that the Prez will announce his nominee on Thursday at 5:00 PM. Josh wants to do it Friday to buy an extra day, but Toby and Sam both say no. Sam claims Thursday's better because "that's when people watch TV." Mandy's a little skeptical about getting everything done in four days, too, but Toby insists it can be done. Leo tells him to get the ball in the hole, to make sure it gets done. Toby's going to get it done. He da man.

As they leave Leo's office, Toby asks Josh to get him "everything." Josh protests that they already vetted the nominee for two months; Toby says they're going to vet him four more days: "I want to know every parking ticket, I want to know every girlfriend he stood up for dinner in 1953! Amanda, you're going to roll this guy out in a show that's going to make the Queen's coronation look like dinner theatre." Um, her name's Amanda now, and not Madeleine? ["When was her name Madeleine?" -- Wing Chun] Okay. At least it makes more sense with the fact that everyone calls her Mandy. And they're going to do this in four days? Okay....Toby's still issuing orders: "Sam, you're going to write the President's introduction; you're also going to write Harrison's remarks." Sam opines that Harrison isn't going to like that, which Toby brushes off with, "Show him the robe he gets; he'll like it fine." Toby tells C.J. to make sure there are no leaks, because if the name gets out before he wants it to, he says he's going to blame her and she's going to find that unpleasant. He's wagging his finger at her and raising his voice, too. Personally, it would annoy the hell out of me to be talked to that way in this context but even though she looks slightly taken aback, C.J. keeps her cool and says, "I gotta tell you Toby, you're hot when you're like this." Toby then shouts to the room at large, "I am going to put Harrison on the court! I swear to God I am!" Um, no offense, Toby, but you might have better luck keeping the name from leaking out if you weren't bellowing it all over the place, but whatever. Mandy asks C.J. to come talk with her as Sam and Josh gloat a bit.

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