West Wing
The Two Bartlets

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Deborah: B- | Grade It Now!
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How Now, Butter Cow?

Toby, completely unfazed, gently asks, "Your father used to hit you, didn't he, Mr. President?" Whoa. Back that up. What? Jed doesn't turn around and says, "Excuse me?" Toby: "Your father used to hit you, sir?" Jed turns around with a somewhat angry look and says, "Yeah." Toby: "Not like a spanking?" Jed: "He hit me. Why?" Toby keeps pushing, albeit in a gentle voice: "He punched you?" Jed says he's done being polite now. Toby claims, "He did it because you made him mad, but you didn't know why." Jed takes a couple of steps toward Toby and says, "Toby, it was a complicated relationship. Can I help you?" Toby says it was because Jed was smarter than his father. Jed repeats that it was a complicated relationship. Toby, with no apparent sense of self-preservation left: "He didn't like you, sir. That's why he hit you. That's why people hit each other. He didn't like you. You were smarter than he was." Jed asks why they're talking about this. Toby continues: "So maybe if you get enough votes, win one more election, you know...maybe your father'll...." Jed declares angrily: "You have stepped way over the line and any other President would have your ass on the sidewalk right now. They'd have had you on the sidewalk a long time ago. I don't know what the hell goes on in a Brooklyn shrink's office but get it the hell out of my house!" We can hear a clock ticking in the silence as Jed glares and Toby looks evenly right back at Jed. He finally says, "Thank you, Mr. President," and leaves. I'm really not sure what the hell that "Brooklyn shrink's office" remark is supposed to mean, and whether or not we're supposed to take it as an anti-Semitic slur on Jed's part. We see Toby turn off the TV outside Jed's office as he goes. Jed sits down in a side chair, with the camera kind of down by his knees, as he sternly contemplates Toby's words. A phone rings distantly in the background. The clock stubbornly ticks off the seconds.

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West Wing

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