West Wing
What Kind Of Day Has It Been?

Episode Report Card
Deborah: A | 3 USERS: A+
What Kind Of Day Has It Been?

Sam comes to Toby's office to give him an update. He tells Toby that Cathy's getting Peter Jobson on the phone for him to explain things to him. Toby wants more details from Sam, who explains that there was a screw-up when they closed the door, and the upshot is that the two Orbital Maneuvering Systems engines are failing. Toby asks, "Do you know if they have primary RCS?" Whatever that is. Sam indicates that they're trying that now. Toby looks dubious and Sam tries to reassure him. Just as Sam's leaving, Toby says somewhat sheepishly, "Before, when you first asked me...the reason I reacted the way I did...I was just embarrassed, 'cause honestly I... forgot he was up there. They'd switched his mission order around a couple of times and I just lost track." Cathy interrupts to let Toby know that Jobson's on the phone. Toby thanks Sam and Cathy and takes the call privately, braced for bad news.

After the final set of commercials, the suspense is building because we are acutely aware that there are not that many minutes left to get us to the point at which Sorkin left us dangling when the credits rolled. Jed's in his office relaxing on his couch, when Charlie comes in to let him know that Admiral Fitzwallace is on his way over. As Jed gets up and takes a pill, he asks Charlie again what Zoey was talking about. Charlie tries to brush it off, but Jed pushes. Charlie finally relents and mentions that there's a report that had been sitting on his own desk for POTUS to eventually read, and he happened to read it. It was from the Center for Policy Alternatives and Charlie says that there were some things in there that hit home with him, and thought of the report when POTUS was doing prep on the issue of youth participation in politics. He doesn't get to explain much more than that because at that point Mrs. Landingham enters to tell them Fitz is there. Jed says, "Charlie, whatever it is, stick it in my briefcase, would you?" Charlie leaves and Fitzwallace comes in, explaining that he's expecting a call with news any minute and asked them to put the call through to him in the Oval Office. Jed sits down to wait with him. Fitz seems slightly uncomfortable and asks Jed a couple of times how he's feeling. POTUS says he feels fine. Fitz's attention wanders to the rug, into which is incorporated the design of the Presidential seal. Fitz mentions that the eagle in the seal is holding arrows in one talon and an olive branch, and that most of the time, the eagle faces the olive branch, but when Congress declares war, the eagle faces the arrows. This is just the sort of trivia that usually gets Jed going, but today he seems kind of bored by it. What Fitz wants to know is, "How do they do that? Do you think they got a second carpet sitting around in the basement someplace?" (That's what I think.) Jed doesn't know. I can't tell you how hard I find that to believe. Fitz then surmises that perhaps the piece in the middle "cuts out, and they do it like a basketball court." Jed states, "I honestly don't know, Fitz." Mrs. Landingham comes in to tell the Chairman that his caller is on the line. Before taking it, Fitz says, "I'll stop bugging you in just a minute, Mr. President." He's only on the phone for a moment before putting the caller on hold and saying, "Mr. President, I have Captain Scott Hotchkiss on the phone. He's cleared Iraqi airspace and he's on his way to Tel Aviv." Jed looks very taken aback and says, "Fitz..." The Admiral says, "Congratulations, sir." Jed asks if the pilot's okay; Fitz indicates that he has a sprained ankle. Jed shakes Fitzwallace's hand and looking genuinely surprised and says, "Well, that's...that's a job awfully well done, Mr. Chairman." Fitz thanks him and Jed says he owes him one. Fitz protests that that's not how it works, but Jed insists. He promises to check out the "thing with the carpet" and get an answer for him. Fitz leaves and Jed picks up the phone to talk to Captain Hotchkiss. Jed asks him how he is, and then says, "Before you say another word, give me your parents' phone number. I never get to make this call."

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West Wing




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