West Wing
Twenty Five

Episode Report Card
Deborah: A | 4 USERS: A+
YOU GRADE IT
Breathe Regular

The show starts with the title reversed, black on white, connecting nicely to the credits for last week's episode. Jed and Abby are in the Residence, entertaining three other couples who are obviously parents of Zoey's graduating classmates. The women are gathered around one table drinking and chatting. The men are sitting quietly around the coffee table as Jed, rather morose, looks through scrapbooks and shares pictures of Zoey. The atmosphere is relaxed and low-key. There's jazz music playing softly...on a turntable. A record player, people! Vinyl! I want to give the episode an A+ just for that. Bartlet's got my vote. The women are talking about the difficulty the men are having adjusting to the "empty nest" syndrome. Abby says that Jed's been sighing in dead languages. Abby -- whose hair doesn't look as wretched as it did last week (though it's still not good) -- turns and says, "Fellas? You know, we're all having a good time over here." Jed, focused on the scrapbooks, mumbles, "We're having a good time here, too." Abby: "Doing what?" Jed: "Talking about the too-rapid passage of time, and you know...grieving."

Abby turns back to her friends and says that Jed's scheduling nine White House visits to France in the next three months; he's accepting every invitation offered, including one to be a judge at Cannes. I so want to see that episode. Jed turns around and hands a picture of Zoey to Abby, saying it's from the day they brought her home from the hospital. Abby takes it as Jed says, "Tell me that wasn't a month ago. What the hell's she doing graduating summa cum laude from something?" One of the men starts talking about driving his kid home from the hospital, and how scary it was: "Seven miles an hour with the hazard lights on..."

Leo runs up to the door, followed by Ron, and stops short when he sees what he's about to burst in on. Jed looks up and sees them standing there, Leo panting, Ron ramrod straight and grim. Jed knows that whatever it is, isn't good, but has no idea just how bad it is. As the group debates whether there were baby seats back then, Jed walks over to the door carrying the photos and his drink. The music of Your Worst Nightmare Is Coming True begins to play, and we don't hear what Leo and Ron say to Jed, we only see it, which is a technique that has always worked really well on this show -- and this is no exception. Everything goes slow-mo and stays that way as the scrapbooks and photos fall to the floor and Jed drops his drink, too, splashing and crashing all over the pictures of Zoey. The noise gets Abby's attention, and she turns and looks at Jed. Jed looks at her, and I have to wonder if he just aged ten years, or if Martin Sheen's just that good an actor. Aw, you know the answer. Abby knows something terrible's happened. Jed looks more grave than you've ever seen him. Take it in, because that's the last we see Jed and Abby together this season. Credits.

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West Wing

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