Episode Report Card1 USERS: A+
YOU GRADE IT
Rose refers to Sheen's long-standing interest in politics; Sheen corrects him slightly to say that his interest has always had more to do with social justice issues than politics. He talks about growing up in a working-class, immigrant family with ten children. He starting working as a golf caddy at the age of nine and quickly became a professional caddy. With characteristic good humour, he says, "And if this falls in the toilet, I can go back to caddying." He says, "I came up in a working-class family. My mother was Irish and my Dad was Spanish and we all had to work and my mother died when I was a kid..." He breaks off laughing, saying, "Boy, this gets sadder and sadder!" Getting back to explaining his passion for social justice, he says, "You knew where I would land, no matter what. And so, when this guy [Bartlet] came along, I just grabbed him..." Rose: "Because he had a heart that you could identify with." Sheen agrees, "That's the thing I love about him the most. He had a heart, and it cost him so much. You know? He takes it real personal. And it costs him. Without spilling tomorrow night's episode, if it is tomorrow night..." Sorkin looks slightly nervous, wondering what Sheen will say. Sheen barrels along, "About Mrs. Landingham, it wasn't mentioned...but you're going to see some flashbacks about how they came together, about how she came..." Sorkin looks at the other cast members, like, "Here he goes..." Spencer smiles indulgently; Janney laughs nervously. Sorkin mostly succeeds in hiding his chagrin and Martin says, "Is that okay? Is that cool?" Sorkin mildly says, "It is now." I can't tell if he wants to wring Sheen's neck or if he's only minimally irritated. Sheen continues, "She became a part, a really central figure of his life at a critical point with [him] and his father and it's really extraordinary stuff." Charlie Rose starts to say, "If that doesn't make you want to tune in..." but Sheen hasn't finished spilling enough beans yet: "Can I tell them who's playing my father?" Rose says, "Please!" Sheen says, "Lawrence O'Donnell!" Sorkin lightly punches one fist into his other palm a couple of times; he's kind of trying to telegraph his annoyance and the other cast members are starting to hoot at it. Rose and Sheen are blathering about O'Donnell, oblivious to Sorkin's "knock it off with the finale spoilers already" signals. Sorkin interjects decisively, "This is a more picturesque episode than we've done in a while." He mentions the shoot in National Cathedral, lots of exteriors in Washington, and scenes on the campus of St. Andrew's in Delaware. He mentions that Tommy Schlamme directed this episode and that it's very visually arresting. He wasn't kidding, as we now know.