West Wing
The Two Bartlets

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

Josh comes into Leo's office, saying that he and Billy got cut off. Leo knows. Two other suits are there, saying that the cell phone battery died and has to be recharged. The protestors have to use a solar recharger, and that will take a few hours. Darn sun. Is that the best that big old gasbag can do? Well, as it turns out, they have to wait for the weather to clear. Seriously, though: they can't get another phone to Billy? Seems...unlikely. It's pretty dark in Leo's office, and the way this whole episode is shot, there's a lot of murky camerawork and obstructed shots and odd angles and tighter framing than usual. The taller of the two suits tells Josh that the next time he talks to Billy, they want him to "stand a little tougher." With his hand on the doorknob, Josh tells him, "Then you get on the phone with him. This isn't a hostage situation; it's a legitimate protest." Suit #1 starts to say something, but Josh interjects, "You're free to arrest them or shoot them, but we won't, because it's bad politics." As opposed to merely immoral and unethical. He continues, "Let's just remember what the thing is here..." Suit #2 -- who I think might be Mickey, the Secretary of State (but the camerawork is so weird we never really get a look at either of the suits) -- says, "This is not the time for people to be protesting." Yeah, it's horrible when protests inconvenience the government. Hate that. As Leo listens with a stony expression, Josh declares, "Puerto Rico lived under Spain for four centuries; under the U.S. for one. In 500 years, it hasn't determined its own destiny for five minutes. They're using depleted uranium shells, napalm, cluster bombs...Vieques has a cancer rate 25% higher than the rest of Puerto Rico! When is the time to be protesting? Tell me! I'll tell them. They'll do it!" Leo quietly says: "We'll need you in a few hours." Josh knows he had better not say any more, and thanks them as he leaves.

We see Amy on a monitor giving a speech in front of a Women's Leadership Coalition banner. It's a pretty flaccid speech. She cites opposition to late-term abortions, lack of affordable day care, gag rules, and sexist old politicians, with about as much detail as I just gave you, and states that she, the WLC, and women in general are not fine with all that. ["'I'm not fine with that' is the lamest bit of rhetorical flair I've heard in a long while. You might want to trade in your pricey chair for a new speechwriter, there, Lockjaw." -- Wing Chun] Josh wanders into the room where Amy's giving the speech. People start to applaud. Amy says, "It's really something: every two years we get to overthrow the government." Yeah. Lotta overthrowing going on. As I always say: it doesn't matter who you vote for, the government always gets in. Amy urges them to get out the vote and get the Congress they deserve. More applause. She finishes up with "May God bless America!" Huh? Really, isn't that a bit more DEFCON 2? You generally don't see a lot of flag-waving and Judeo-Christian- Islamic-God-invoking going on during most American feminist speeches. At this point people actually give her a cheering, standing ovation. What. Ev. Er. From the back of the room, Josh catches Amy's eye and makes a gesture with his chin, indicating that he'll meet her backstage.

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West Wing




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