West Wing
The U.S. Poet Laureate

Episode Report Card
Shack: C- | 3 USERS: A
The Truth, and Other Nuisances

Man, that felt good.

Moving on. Toby and Tabatha are standing outside a D.C. landmark that I can't quite recognize, though I'm certain I've been there before. Tabatha is crossing names of the places she's visited off a list. She explains to Toby that she likes crossing things off lists because it's "very satisfying." That sounds flaky, but it's true. Especially if you're prone to procrastination, like I am. She asks Toby if he likes lists. He does. She asks if he likes crossing things off. He says he'll let her know "if it happens." She asks how Toby knew where she was staying. He makes a joke about the government watching her. He asks her, "You know what I'm thinking might be fun?" Tabatha responds, "If I came to the White House dinner and shut the hell up?" Toby denies that he was going to say that at all. He was going to say, "if [she] came to the White House dinner, wore a pretty dress, and shut the hell up." Yeah, they wouldn't want her to show up in the Lesbian-College-Professor- With-A-Native-American-Fetish chic she's got going on.

Tabatha tells Toby that she has a list of former military commanders who served in Korea and say that land mines aren't necessary for protection anywhere. Toby says the administration knows of them. She points out that there are other weapons that are already part of the country's defense that are more effective and that land mines would slow down a counter-invasion. She asks Toby if he has a response to any of these details. Toby simply responds that the president would request her presence at a dinner in her honor. Tabatha says that, given what she's seen and heard about land mines, for her to pass up the opportunity to confront the president about the treaty in favor of reading poetry is tantamount to treason. Toby tells her, "Tabatha, you don't know what you're doing. This isn't kid's stuff!" He says that if she confronts the president with the press there, then the story will be the confrontation itself, not the land-mine issue, and that nobody will care about what she actually has to say, and it won't do anybody any good.

Of course, this contradicts the plotline about the gaffe, where the press has moved on from the comment itself to start looking into Ritchie's qualifications. So actually, they did care about what was said. Yeah, Toby's probably just saying what he has to say to get her to calm down, but I don't have to like it. Tabatha starts to flake out and asks that Toby just "not talk" for a minute. She says she has a guest lecture at Georgetown the next night and needs "to not talk for a minute." She walks off and Toby follows her, looking all forlorn and hangdog. ["That's the U.S. Poet Laureate? All using a split infinitive like that? Hack." -- Wing Chun]

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West Wing




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