Props to my new stereo, which I finally hooked up to my TV, so that I can fully appreciate the magic of stereo surround sound. I'd also like to mention that I rearranged my living room, and I now see The West Wing from an entirely new perspective. Har dee har har.
Previously on The West Wing: The First Lady, a doctor named Abby, married to the President of the United States, existed. Also, Charlie and Zoey were adorable, and Special Agent Maggie -- I mean, "Gina" -- was nervous.
As we fade up, Abby sits with a teenaged boy, surrounded by lights and cameras. She tells the boy, Jeffrey Morgan, that if he's nervous she'll mock him. Jeffrey is unfazed, so she clarifies that she was kidding. I bet he knew that. She says, "You're not going to get nervous, are you? Because if you do, I'll beat your brains out. Not me personally, because I have people who do that for me." Then she complains to her aide, Lilli, about her outfit. Anyone else starting to think that Abby's the one who's nervous? Monitors show a random New York news program coming back from a commercial break. The anchor introduces Abby through the use of a complete non-sequitur, and confirms that Abby and Jeffrey are in the Mural Room, as if anyone would know that or want to know that. Abby then introduces Jeffrey as someone who has opened her eyes to the issue of child labor. While Jeffrey starts to elaborate, we cut to the West Wing bullpen, where Sam is watching the proceedings. "When did Jeffrey happen?" he wonders. Lilli, who must have scampered over to the West Wing pretty quickly, says that she found Jeffrey yesterday. They watch as the anchor asks Jeffrey, "Your organization, the Kid's Crusade --" Jeffrey corrects her, pointing out that the group's name is, of course, the Children's Crusade, and I desperately want to believe that no news anchor in a major market like New York City would be so boneheaded as to screw up something as obvious as that, but it all rings horribly true. Also, note the irony, since most of the kids in the original Children's Crusade ended up getting sold into slavery. Anyway, the anchor explains that Jeffrey created the group because his pen-pal in India was "indentured" to pay off twenty-five dollars that his mother had borrowed. Lilli asks Sam if the Prez could cancel his plan to go to Capitol Hill for some budget talks the next day. She explains that Abby is scheduled to speak to the Press Club tomorrow, and that Abby's staff "want[s] the news cycle." Apparently if the Prez leaves the White House, the press coverage will overwhelm Abby's story. Sam responds that the Prez is, after all, the Prez, not to mention Abby's husband. Lilli says, "Your guy has a forty-eight percent approval rating. My guy's at sixty-one. And bite me." Sam nods, "Ah. Point well argued." The anchor asks if the nameless company they've been discussing knows that some of its workers are children. Abby says, "If they don't, then they're criminally negligent. If they do, then they're simply criminal." Lilli grins at the sound bite, and asks Sam to speak to Toby about her request. As if on cue, Toby pops out and tells Sam to change the channel. Toby explains, "Bernie Dahl died." Sam obeys, and we see a new reporter explaining that Dahl, who suffered a fatal heart attack that morning, was considered "the chief architect of the longest peacetime economic expansion in history," and was twice appointed Chairman of the Federal Reserve. During the credits, I experiment with the various "Dolby Pro Logic" settings on my stereo.