West Wing
Two Cathedrals

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Deborah: A | 6 USERS: A+
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Rose Garden of Gethsemane

C.J. leaves as Jed drifts off into another flashback. There's a hand knocking on a door. It's Young Jed. His father's voice invites him into what must be either his father's office or study. Bartlet Senior reads, "'If you hide your ignorance no one will hit you and you will never learn.' Is this your quote?" He's sitting in a big leather club chair holding what looks like the school newspaper. Jed starts saying that he wanted to talk to Dad about something to do with salaries that he perhaps wasn't aware of, but his father's not listening and just repeats, "Is this your quote? 'If you hide your ignorance no one will hit you and you will never learn.'" Jed says it's actually Ray Bradbury. Dad: "And you quoted Ray Bradbury?" Jed says yes. Dad: "In an article you and your friends wrote condemning Professor Loomis?" Jed: "For banning certain books from the library, yes." Dad priggishly says, "He's a professor of literature." Jed points out he banned Henry Miller: "He banned D.H. Lawrence. Giovanni's Room because it's 'too homosexual.'" Old Man Prig says, "Stop it right now. You're a guest at this school." Jed replies, "I'm a student at this school. He banned Fahrenheit 451, which is about banning books!" Dad gets up. "Was that supposed to be funny? That word play you just did there, was that meant to be funny?" Actually it wasn't supposed to be anything; it just is ironic. But clearly Dad isn't the brightest bulb in the pack. Jed stands up and starts to explain himself, but his father just takes the rolled-up paper and cracks him across the face with it, thereby proving Bradbury right in the process. His father asks whether there was anything else. His face still turned away from the blow, Jed responds, "It's not a non-denominational service." His father throws one hand up and says, "Don't start with this!" Jed points out, "Catholics don't believe man is saved through faith alone. Catholics believe faith has to be joined with good works." His father claims that Jed's the only one who seems to mind the service. Jed replies, "I'm the only one who's Catholic." His father says, "You're Catholic because your mother is and you're at this school because I'm the Headmaster. How's that for clever with words?" Not that great, actually, Dad. He sits down and asks what it was Jed came in to talk to him about. Jed says it was nothing, and leaves. His father asks him to close the door behind him.

As Young Jed does, we cut back to Contemporary Jed entering the Oval Office and closing the door between his office and Leo's, looking even more solemn than he has of late, if that's possible. He wanders over to his desk, lit intermittently by the lightning, and leans over it. Just then the door to the portico flies open and he bellows in habitual irritation: "Dammit! Mrs. Landingham!" Then he remembers. He goes over to close the door himself, as older Mrs. Landingham (or rather, her ghost, I guess) comes in through the door nearest her old desk. The door stays open, so the wind keeps howling around them. She says, "I really wish you wouldn't shout, Mr. President," and ribs him about being unable to learn how to use the intercom. She smiles indulgently at him. He confesses, "I have MS and I didn't tell anybody." She knows: "So you're having a little bit of a day." He asks whether she's going to make jokes. She reproaches him, "God doesn't make cars crash and you know it. Stop using me as an excuse." He says the party's not going to want him to run. She assures him that the party will come back. He sits down and says, "I got a secret for you, Mrs. Landingham. I've never been the most popular guy in the Democratic Party." She sits down as she says, "I've got a secret for you, Mr. President. Your father was a prick who could never get over the fact that he wasn't as smart as his brothers." (Or his son, hmm?) I feel America blanching at the sound of Mrs. Landingham saying "prick." Not much of a secret, either, Mrs. Landingham. She continues, "Are you in a tough spot? Yes. Do I feel sorry for you? I do not. Why? Because there are people way worse off than you." He looks like he wants the ass-kicking she can so clearly give him, and for which he came to count on her. She regards him with a pitiless gaze. They both pause for a moment. He says, "Give me numbers."

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West Wing

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