West Wing
We Killed Yamamoto

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Shack: B- | 2 USERS: A
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Bring It On

Elsewhere, C.J. and Simon are walking home from some sort of party that was two blocks away. Simon mutters that he wishes C.J. had taken the car there, I imagine for security reasons. They banter a little more, and Simon points out that C.J.'s walking on the wrong side of him (she's on the outside, closest to the street). C.J. moves to the inside and brings up Rosslyn. She asks him what his job was during the assassination attempt. After some hemming and hawing, he tells her that he was the one who shot and killed one of the shooters. C.J. stops short at this news. After some more banter, C.J. tells Simon, "I just like your smile, is all. I wouldn't mind seeing it more." She starts leaning in. Simon starts leaning in. Leaning. Leaning. Oh, kiss denied! Simon pulls back and says that he can't. C.J. immediately agrees, and they're both very flustered, and if the stalker were anywhere near them right now, they'd both probably be dead. Simon starts to explain why he can't do anything, but C.J. already knows, of course, and they arrive back at her house. There's another Secret Service agent waiting for them outside. Surely, she must have seen what happened, but she says nothing. C.J. heads up to her apartment, and the replacement agent follows her. A black SUV pulls up to the curb, and Simon gets in and rides off. Only the acting and chemistry between Allison Janney and Mark Harmon keep these scenes from being ridiculous. As it is, they're merely predictable.

Back at the office building where Amy's group is located, Josh stands in the lobby, still looking like a beaten puppy. Eventually, Amy comes down, and the two of them head toward the exit. Josh observes that Amy must be spending a lot of PAC money to kill the welfare bill. He tells her that for every vote on the left she grabs to defeat the welfare bill, he has to run out and grab a vote on the right. Amy responds that they've been phone-banking the Bible belt to tell conservatives how weak the abstinence provisions are. Josh points out that Amy thinks abstinence provisions are idiotic. Amy says, "I don't want to sleep with them. I just want their vote." Remember that statement. After a pissy comment from Josh, Amy realizes that something bad happened to him. She insists that he explain what's wrong. Josh rants at her that her position doesn't give her the right to take down funding for the people who need her because of a provision she doesn't like. He points out that there's an election in November, and that Amy is one of the players in the Democrats who is supposed to be helping Bartlet win. Amy observes that it doesn't matter who wins if Bartlet gets there by selling out the party. "Jed Bartlet: Not quite as mean-spirited as the other guy," she says. "Doesn't really send me running to my polling place." Well, she'd be on stronger moral ground if she weren't doing exactly the same thing by appealing to conservatives in order to kill the legislation. That's not a high horse you're on, Amy. It's a stubborn little mule. I'd agree with her if the GOP's idiotic additions to the welfare bill resulted in less money for the poor, but they don't. Amy asks Josh if he's coming over. Josh says he isn't, because he has to go back to the office. Why did he even bother coming over? Amy says that they "should be able to talk about this." Josh says "yeah" rather noncommittally, and walks off.

Back in the Oval Office, POTUS sits at a table, reading something. There's a little picture of Abby on the desk, just so they can say she was in this episode. Leo knocks on the door and Jed invites him in, pointing out that it's 1 AM. Leo apparently went home, but came back in to talk to Jed. First, he tells Jed that Leo was the one who signed off on the cancellation of the New York trip and set the vote for the welfare bill. Jed asks if Leo came out there in order to defend Josh. That's not the main reason. Leo tells him that it's currently 8 AM in Qumar, and urges Bartlet not to cancel Shareef's trip. He wants Jed to call the State Department. Jed sees where this is going, and doesn't want to take a trip down Assassination Avenue. Leo asks him what alternative they have. Will they declare war on Qumar? Jed considers that a possibility, but Leo tells him that they can kill all the armed teenagers that they want, but it won't give them Shareef. Leo encourages Jed to get more intelligence and counsel, which seems to run counter to the advice he's actually given. I guess he's telling Jed to get more proof, but not to back down on the decision to take care of Shareef by any means necessary. The two of them argue about whether they're in a true war scenario. Leo finally shouts at Bartlet just to "stop it." He contends that Bartlet's belief in moral absolutes is his biggest flaw as a liberal. I think conservatives are pretty big believers in moral absolutes, too. They're just not the same absolutes. Bartlet insists that there are moral absolutes. Leo argues, "He's killed innocent people. He'll kill more, so we have to end him. The village idiot comes to that conclusion before the Nobel Laureate." Jed tries to point out how Machiavelli's Il Principe justifies every act of oppression, but Leo interrupts him to say that taking out Shareef is not only justified, but required. Jed asks, "Says who?" Leo responds, "Says me. If you want to ask some more people, they'll say so, too." Bartlet tries to point out the flaws of relying on mob mentality, but Leo interrupts him to say, "Not a mob. Just you. Right now. This decision." Well then why the hell did you bring up the other people in the first place? Leo insists that if they allow Shareef to come, then they have options. If they cancel his trip, they have none. How overly simplistic. Do they even know whether the Sultan of Qumar is aware of or supports Shareef's terrorism? Jed stares at Leo for a few seconds, then says, "There are moral absolutes." Then he tells Leo to make the call.

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West Wing

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