West Wing
The Stormy Present

Episode Report Card
Miss Alli: D+ | 1 USERS: D
Battlefield Earth

Josh and Donna burst through a door, with her complaining about having to "babysit the First Widow" leading up to the funeral. She wants to know why Josh can't do it himself, and he reminds her that he's on tap for "a reenactment of Gettysburg." Heh. Donna asks when he started being concerned about the Bill of Rights (ooh, zing!), and he attributes it to "Whaler pride." (The Connecticut thing, dontcha know.) Donna gripes again about being made to do widow-sitting duty, and then she takes off.

Abruptly, we are in the Office of O, where Leo is meeting with the Saudi prince, and Jed is just on his way in. The prince thanks Jed for being such a nifty good friend, and sends best wishes from the royal family. Jed basically asks the prince to come to the point already, and the prince assures him that the royal family isn't concerned about the protests, which he writes off as the work of "a few errant schoolboys." Jed and Leo aren't buying. Jed asks the prince whether he thinks the protests might suggest that it's time for faster progress toward democracy, but the prince thinks (unsurprisingly) that slow and steady is the way to go. Who knew a monarchy would resist its own destruction? Hmm. Jed and Leo call the prince out about the municipal councils, called for by law, that have never been elected. The prince says, in a straightforward and vaguely threatening manner, that POTUS probably doesn't actually want to see what popular election results in Saudi Arabia would look like. Which is...probably true, but is a different problem. The prince says that while the royal family has its share of bad apples in the barrel, they're in favor of progress overall. Jed wants a promise that he'll be kept in the loop about the protests and any planned response, and the prince promises that it will be done. The prince leaves, reminding Jed that when the protestors denounce the royal family, they do it by calling them Americans. Hmm, uh oh. Yeah, that doesn't sound good. Jed and Leo look serious as we head to commercial.

Back from the break, it is Thursday, 8 AM-TCT, and Air Force One is taxiing in preparation for takeoff. The motorcade approaches the plane, and several car doors swing open in unison. Jed clambers out of one; James Cromwell clambers out of another. As Cromwell -- who is apparently playing "former President Newman" -- greets Jed, we hear Toby bitch that Newman decided to fly with the "GOP Geriatric Brigade." I loved their cover of "My Baby Does The Hanky-Panky," by the way. On what turns out to be the other end of the phone, Josh complains in turn about having to go into this meeting about the Bill of Rights theft. Toby, as he walks from the car to the plane, completes an endless, artless mess of exposition in which he identifies all the evil Republicans who are around who once worked for Lassiter. He doesn't identify all the non-evil Republicans. Oh, wait -- there probably aren't any. Silly me. "Who needs Dante?" Toby grouses. "I'm on my way to hell at 30,000 feet." Boo hoo, poor Toby.

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West Wing




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