West Wing
We Killed Yamamoto

Episode Report Card
Shack: B- | 2 USERS: A
Bring It On

Commercials. We return to the giant igloo in the icy wastes of [North] Dakota, where men and women -- wrapped in furs and seal skins -- argue about the name change in order to keep warm. The chairman, tired of all the nonsense, politely calls the meeting to a close for the evening. Those tribesmen who survive the frigid night will return in the morning to continue the discussion. As folks are leaving, the chairman turns to Donna and tells her she did a good job, handling questions with poise. I don't think revealing to the crowd that she's just an underling there to read a prepared statement was a particularly smart thing to do, but she was polite. The chairman asks him how "his old friend" Sam is doing. Donna says he's fine. The chairman clarifies that he's referring to Sam's screw-up last week with the attack ad. Donna repeats that he's fine. The chairman says he just wanted to make sure that there's no deeper meaning to the fact that they didn't send Sam to this meeting. Donna shows great poise in not laughing in the guy's frostbitten face. She tries to find a diplomatic way of explaining that this little discussion is so very, very unimportant to the senior staff, but the chairman already understands that. Donna tosses out a load of baseball metaphors indicating that Sam's still a starting player; he just "took one in the teeth." The chairman tells Donna to tell Sam he said to "get up off the dirt."

We hear gunshots. Since it's not the season finale until next week, they aren't aimed at anybody. It's the Secret Service firing range. Simon wanders out of the range, wearing a West Point sweater, and finds C.J. out in the hall, having just completed her workout. C.J. expresses surprise that they have a firing range at the Secret Service training facility. Yeah, I don't know why she's surprised either. ["I thought it was Jed's week to be the stupid one." -- Wing Chun] C.J. wants to give firearms a whirl. As she heads toward the range, Simon asks her if she's shot a gun before. C.J. hasn't, but she's seen people shoot them in the movies. She probably figures that if Keanu can do it, certainly she can.

Inside the firing range area, C.J. and Simon banter about the merits of using bull's-eye targets over ones shaped like people. Blah blah blah, "If somebody's coming for you, they probably don't have a bull's-eye on them." "They do if I'm guarding you," Simon says. Awww. C.J. likes Simon's tough talk. Then she demands that he let her play with his gun. God, I feel like I'm recapping a bad police-themed sitcom on FOX. Simon suggests that he get C.J. a smaller gun, but she wants to handle his giant .357 Magnum. If she starts licking the barrel, I'm gone. She puts on goggles and earmuffs. Simon tells her that he'll hold her shoulder to steady her, but she insists that she doesn't need "training wheels." So he lets go, she fires the gun, and just as the First Law of Never-Fired-a-Gun-Before-Comedy Thermodynamics requires, the kickback knocks C.J. on her ass. She gets up, joking that she was wrong about gun control all along and wants to hand guns out to all the criminals. Then she demands that Simon "show [her] what [he's] got." Simon looks at her like he knows that invisible forces are slathering subtext all over the both of them. She makes a bet with him -- if he can't hit the dead center of the bull's-eye in five shots, she gets to drive her own car. Simon agrees, but adds that if he makes the bull's-eye, C.J. also has to say something nice to him. C.J. agrees, but tells him he has to get three bull's-eyes for a nice word. Simon shoots. Do I need to tell you what happens? Okay, he gets three directly in the center, right next to each other. C.J. is shocked. He's a Secret Service agent. What were you expecting, C.J.? Well, given their massive incompetence with the email virus issue, I can see why she might be skeptical. Simon demands the nice comment C.J. promised him. C.J. looks awkward for a few moments, then mutters, "I like that you're tall." She preens herself a little and adds, "[It] makes me feel more feminine." I want to pick that apart, but culture does associate height with masculinity, so I guess I understand where she's coming from. Just ask female basketball players. But I don't like it. Anyway, she heads off to change her clothes, turning back to give him an ambiguous look as he goes. Simon smiles to himself, then after she's gone, spins his handgun around in his hand like a cowboy, and sticks it down the front of his pants. Then he pulls it right back out because the barrel is hot. What a dork. ["Wait. That actually happened? I thought you were joking! Wow." -- Wing Chun] But nice work putting the text and the subtext together there. Except by this point, people who were actually watching the season finale of The Amazing Race instead still managed to figure out what this scene meant.

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West Wing




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