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Privateers - ww_renaissance
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sunclouds33
Privateers
I had always been fond of but rather ambivalent about this episode. However, recapping it gave me a new appreciation for the episode. There's a lot of meat and good stuff in this deceptively silly episode. I will now rate it much more highly.





The First Boudoir. Jed wakes up a wake up call. I love this teaser so much. Favorite part of the episode. If you couldn't tell from all of my recaps, I adore Abbey and Jed as individuals and as a marriage. This teaser emphasizes that, no matter what we see in the fabulous senior staff-centric episodes, Jed and Abbey start and end the day together because they are the centers of each others' lives.

FEMALE VOICE
Mr. President, it's six a.m.

BARTLET
Oh, okay. I didn't ask for five?

FEMALE VOICE
You did sir, and the First Lady changed it to six.

BARTLET
She's allowed to do that?

Hee! Foreshadowing the Grand Nap Wars between the Bartlets in Season 6. Abbey comes in and tells Jed that she wanted him to have an extra hour of sleep. As if rumpled Jed isn't cute enough, he adorably takes offense at Abbey managing him.

BARTLET
I know and when she called me at five, I was going to say call me back in an hour and go back to sleep. I was going to do it myself.

ABBEY
You had a little plan.

BARTLET
Yeah, and now I missed the whole thing.

ABBEY
I accidentally blew your plan. And you had advisers on this and everything didn't you? You had memos from senior staff on Operation Human Snooze Button.

LOL. Stockard Channing delivers all of this like she's talking to a child. I'm normally not into spouses infantalizing each other but I eat it up with a spoon here. Perhaps it's Jed's genuine need for sleep, his tremendous power in all other areas of his life, the sly wit and good-naturedness of Stockard's delivery but for some reason, this silly dynamic is making my heart swell with love for them.

BARTLET
Operation Resting Eagle.

ABBEY
Oh, no, please tell me you didn't really name it.

BARTLET
You know I was having a little fun in my sleep. It's how I relax. Wait, let me put my glasses on. Something's turning me on about you, and I can't tell why.

ABBEY
My hair's wet.

BARTLET
Oh, yeah!

Martin Sheen is so convincing in his utter attraction to Abbey. It's definitely great acting but I have to wonder if Martin wasn't also actually attracted to Stockard in real life.

Jed got in very late from a science lab which he proceeds to geek about. Abbey mocks him.

BARTLET
You're a scientist and you're still making fun of this?

ABBEY
No, I'm making fun of you.

Anyway, the two sit down to a nice-looking breakfast which is brought in on a fancy cart by a proper steward. The steward is almost obsequious in his properness and Jed snarks on the steward in a small way. Abbey reprimands him a bit. Still, I'd like to have the problem of too proper a steward for my in-my-room elegant breakfast. "It's good to be the king"- History of the World, Part I and then reprised by Mel Brooks in The Producers.



ABBEY
What's going on with Leo and Jordan these days?

BARTLET
I don't know but we're going to be interested in that less right now than we are in other things.

And that's the final death knell for Leo/Jordan. The ship be sunk. You heard it here first. In the spirit of great continuity, the continuation of the foreign aid from Guns, Not Butter is coming out now. In more great continuity even though Josh has been pushing it hard according to his strategy, getting it passed is hardly a walk in the park with this Congress.

BARTLET
It's good. They only cut two billion and shifted half a billion from the Sub Saharan to Western Europe because I guess the crippling hunger in Provence has given the lactose intolerant a problem with-- I don't know but I can live with all that.

ABBEY
Good.

BARTLET
Clancy Bangart attached an amendment.

ABBEY
Stipulating what?

BARTLET
Stipulating that Foreign Ops dollars wouldn't go to any overseas clinics that council
abortion.

That perked up Abbey's attention as a feminist and a doctor and a person.

ABBEY
How many Democrats are defecting?

BARTLET
I don't know yet.

ABBEY
How many would defect if you asked them?

BARTLET
I don't know.

ABBEY
You didn't make the calls?

BARTLET
I'm not prepared to do that yet.

Jed is already acting like he's regretting telling Abbey all of this. LOL.

ABBEY
What would happen if you said, "Send me this bill with the gag rule and I'll veto?"

BARTLET
I don't know.

ABBEY
Did you talk to the leadership?

BARTLET
I'm not prepared to do that yet.

ABBEY
It's not that the money can't go to clinics that perform abortions. It's that it can't go to clinics that talk about abortions.

BARTLET
I know what the gag rule is.

ABBEY
I wasn't reminding you what the gag rule was. I was reminding you that you sent 11,000 U.S. troops to Kundu because in your inauguration you told us that we were for freedom of speech everywhere.

Abbey knows how to talk to her husband. It's a mixture of a genuine desire to hold to his promise but there's a little ego stroking as she uses prime leader-language to describe Jed's promise. "You told us that we were for freedom of speech everywhere."

BARTLET
That's great except people are starving to death, and they're dying of disease to death, and they can't cook the Bill of Rights.

I see both points here. It's a tough decision. That said, I do think it's a little problematic that Jed refused to compromise on the first foreign aid bill on giving money to a study on remote prayer but he'll compromise on a bill imposing the gag rule. I think the remote prayer study was clearly the lesser evil but it seems like passing the foreign aid bill has became both harder and more political and practically necessary the second time around so the Bartlet administration is taking more crap this time around.

I suppose there's also an argument funding the remote prayer study was taking a crap on the First Amendment and the establishment clause for the actual American government. Meanwhile, the gag rule is taking a crap on the free speech element of the First Amendment but for non-Americans who aren't protected by that amendment anyway. Still, the gag rule has much bigger pragmatic consequences and it comes with clearer discrimination than the remote prayer study.

ABBEY
So we're for freedom of speech everywhere, but poor countries where they can have our help but only if they live up to Clancy Bangart's moral standards? What the hell kind of free world are you running?

BARTLET
I really don't know Abbey, the day hasn't started yet.

Awesome line to cut to CREDITS with. That whole exchange was terrific.



Josh is briefing Leo in Leo's office.

JOSH
This is from David Elsin from the USGS-the US Geological Survey-and the Coast Guard Commander Dennis Travis, "Last night at 3:45 a.m. Battletree Lake burst through its natural dam in what is known as a 'glacial lake outburst". Okay, it's a rushing river of ice and water and rock. It's about 300 feet wide and it's sweeping through Kachadee which is a town on one of the sides of the lake.

LEO
A 300 foot wide river of ice and rock is sweeping through a small town?

JOSH
Yeah.

LEO
And you think that's funny?

JOSH
No.

LEO
I thought you were trying to be funny.

LOL. I totally get how Leo would think that if he wasn't listening closely to Josh's words. It's a pretty fair bet that if Josh is speaking, he's being sarcastic. It's just that Josh is bucking the trend.

JOSH
No, I'm trying to brief you on a state of emergency in Alaska.

LEO
Oh, sorry, man. We're on the same page now.

Anyway, the dam broke because the glacier melted causing a rush of water. Leo is shocked that the glacier melted today but Josh states the obvious and says that glacier has been melting for awhile but it just reached a breaking point that day. Leo is not much of a geologist and he's still stuck on surprised.

LEO
You don't want to stand here for a minute and reflect on the fact that a glacier melted this morning.

JOSH
Well, I would, Leo, but a glacier melted this morning, so at this point Americans are simply trying to outrun it.

Josh leaves. Josh is being very professional and serious here in a very silly episode. Delivering the news straight, firmly cutting away from Leo's joke. Anyway, Josh tells the glacier news to Will and Will starts to explain about Abbey's titular privateer issues as newly covered by the Boston Globe but Josh redirects Will to CJ who is just coming in the door. Apparently, Abbey's suspect membership in the DAR because of her pirate ancestors has been a story awhile.

CJ and Will only really interacted on a one-on-one basis in Guns, Not Butter when Will was complaining about CJ sticking Ron the Goat in his office. However, we get heavy Will/CJ interaction for the next three episodes including this one. It marks the beginning of really developing Will's White House relationships beyond Toby and the Laurens + Cassie. CJ and Will are great comedic team and there's something about the extremes of idealism and hard-headed pragmatism that they both embody that makes them a logical duo. Although, I did always get the impression that Will was a gazillion times more fond of CJ than she was of him.



WILL
Because the Globe got a call from Marion Cotesworth-Haye of Marblehead who has denounced Mrs. Bartlet's membership in the DAR. I'm sorry but is it okay if I laugh a couple of times during this?

C.J.
Well at Marion Cotesworth-Haye of Marblehead certainly.

WILL
Yeah, anyway, to be a member of the DAR you have to have descended directly--

C.J.
From doilies?

WILL
From patriots. And Mrs. Cotesworth-Haye says that the First Lady's qualifying ancestor is Thomas Broom Weathergill, a pirate.

C.J.
He wasn't a pirate, he was a privateer.

WILL
He was a professional pirate.

C.J.
Yeah, but he worked for us, and he was hired by the fathers of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

WILL
Okay, should we tell that to the DAR lady?

C.J.
It's not our job to tell things to Mrs. Marble-Haye.

WILL
Cotesworth-Haye, and I couldn't agree more, but she's organizing a boycott of the White
House reception for the DAR, and that's why the Boston Globe is calling.

C.J.
He was a privateer; he wasn't a pirate.

WILL
Right, and also it was a couple hundred years ago, wasn't it?

Sorkin excels at these quirky historical controversies. His snark, fascination by trivia and ability to make up ridiculous names all interact for one big ball of funny.

C.J.
All right, I think it's time for a visit to the First Lady's office.

WILL
For both of us?

C.J.
Yeah.

WILL
You know I was this close to not answering that phone when it rang.

C.J.
But close wasn't good enough was it?

WILL
No. I'm just telling you that if this day ends up with me face to face with Marion
Cotesworth-Haye I'm going to, you know...

C.J.
Laugh inappropriately.

WILL
There's a very real possibility.

Foreshadowing!!

Amy is up nailing her diplomas to the walls as she settles into the absurdly large First Lady's Chief of Staff office. When she steps back to admire her work, the diplomas all comically collapse. Mary Louise Parker will use her deadpan expression a lot in this episode. Here's a sampling:



An intern announces Abbey. Amy is very short and kind of rude about not getting notice for Abbey's appearance. Abbey has big plans for her new political pit-bull COS but first she notes that Amy's diplomas fell in a way that indicates that Abbey is already sizing up Amy on the smallest things.



ABBEY
What I want to talk to you about right now. I'm saying it's your first day and I don't want you to feel overwhelmed by this. The Foreign Ops bill came out of mark-up late last night. Senator Bangart, Clancy Bangart, added an amendment, the global gag rule. I'd like you to get the staff together and start coming up with a way this office can influence the President to let Congress know he'd veto the bill with that amendment attached.

AMY
The President would want to hear--

ABBEY
Would want to hear from Senior Staff.

AMY
You want me to get the President to declare his intention to veto his own bill?

ABBEY
Yes. No, it's not that easy, but we're going to do it anyway.

I bet Abbey wouldn't have made such big demands of Max, her nephew. If only all of the world was run by nepotism, a statement that will have bite as Will and CJ come in to brief Amy on Abbey's DAR/privateer issues.

WILL
Good morning ma'am.

ABBEY
Good morning. A glacier melted in Alaska.

WILL
Are you a little freaked about that too, ma'am?

ABBEY
No.

WILL
I didn't mean that I was.

LOL, smooth Will. FYI, this episode is proof positive that Will is much more likable and cute when he's not interacting with the Laurens + Cassie.



WILL
Amy, we have a problem for your office.

AMY
No, you can't. 'Cause it's only my first day, and Mrs. Bartlet already has me overthrowing the government.

Hmmm, a little loose-tongued and short-sighted for Amy to start kvetching to senior staff about Abbey doing too much and describing it as "overthrowing the government". Her whole sales pitch to the senior staff is supposed to be that it's no big deal and it doesn't undercut Jed's power to get the bill back and she's exaggerating it here. Not a great moment for Amy who is much more a smooth operator than this but we'll cut her some slack because it's her first day.

WILL
The legitimacy of her membership in the DAR is being questioned because her qualifying relative was a pirate.

AMY
A pirate?

WILL
A pirate, a pirate. Oh, yes, a pirate, he.

Oh, Will! Pinches his cheeks.

C.J.
A privateer actually.

I'm amused that CJ was silent this whole time and then finally spoke to perkily correct that this was a privateer. CJ is a born spinner and there a ton of times in the first four seasons where she makes a point of correcting particular words that most people would let slide because that's just how her mind works. She parses words.

AMY
Isn't that just a hired pirate?

C.J.
Yeah. Anyway, Mrs. Helena Hodsworth Hooter-Tooter of Braintree wants to organize a boycott of the reception and, well, there it is. Yes, Mrs. Bartlet descends from quite the murderous band of ruffians, and her membership in the DAR is suspect on those grounds or so believes the Boston Globe.

There's a great site called TV Tropes where they describe all of the major tropes in pop culture from Mary Sues to Draco in Leather Pants with actual examples. One trope is the Nicknamer and our very own CJ Cregg is listed as a Nicknamer- a TV character who gives out lots of comical nicknames. A well deserved honor because her nicknames are awesome.

Anyway, Helena Hodsworth Hooter-Tooter of Braintree doesn't have the insouciance of calling Leo, "Ma'am", the perfect characterization of "Sam, Sam the Sunshine Man", the BFF-ness of calling Toby, "Tobus" or "Pokey", the dead-on-ness of calling Danny, "Freak-Boy" or the wackiness of her many nicknames to Charlie. But come on, Helena Hodsworth Hooter-Tooter of Braintree is in a category of nickname snark of its own.

WILL
Your picture frames fell.

AMY
Yeah, they did Willie.

Speaking of nicknames!



Bonnie brings these two corporate suits into Toby's office.

BURT
They had us meeting about testimony tomorrow. I'm testifying to House Resources on Polluter Pays. This is Don Novak the lawyer from Kierney-Passaic. Don, this is one of my first roommates, Toby Ziegler.

Anyway, these guys are from a chemical company.

TOBY
And you're testifying for Polluter Pays?

BURT
Yeah.

TOBY
On behalf of nature?

BURT
Yeah, you know what you know you demonize companies that create jobs.

TOBY
"You demonize companies that create..." You think taxpayers should pay to clean up pollution instead?

BURT
A little bit, yes. A modest amount of pollution is an inevitable cost of any business.
Chemical companies are good corporate citizens.

TOBY
That's nice to know, but tomorrow we've got 15 scientists who aren't on industry payroll,
and you'll have...

DON
The Republican majority actually.

TOBY
Yeah, well, that's got to help.

On that note, Burt heads out. Toby says goodbye in a "Why did you have to come and infect my happy day with your douchiness?" sort of way but take out "happy" because this *is* Toby that we're talking about.

Don tells his partner Don that he has to go back and ask after Toby's kids because it would be rude not to. Don doesn't see that there is something afoot.

BURT
I'm supposed to be in here looking at pictures of Andy. Could you take out your wallet and look for a picture?

TOBY
What?

BURT
Toby, please take out your wallet and look for a picture you can show me. Kierney-Passaic's been lying for three years. I need protection under federal whistle blower laws.

LOL, we never saw Toby pull out pictures of his kids so fast as he does now. It is interesting that this episode has TWO environmental plots- that's somewhat unusual.

BURT
When are the twins due?

TOBY
Burt are you defecting?

BURT
Yeah.

Toby begins to write a note.

TOBY
They're due in May. It's a boy and a girl. We can't decide on names. She likes Rebecca or Sophie for girls. I like Sophie too, but I think a lot of kids are named Sophie now. And I like Rebecca, but I also like Millicent and, which she doesn't like at all, and we're nowhere with boy's names.

Toby is really a misanthrope. Who the hell names their kids "Millicent" or "Huck" for that matter in the twenty first century? Toby walks out and hands his note to Bonnie. It reads: "Get Josh Now!" The episode goes to a commercial break but then we get back to the same scene but with Josh.



To make a long scene short, here's the pivotal exchange:

TOBY
He wants to change his testimony.

JOSH
To what?

BURT
Kierney-Passaic has been concealing from the EPA and local health officials the amount of highly carcinogenic toxins at three of our waste disposal sites.

JOSH
You have?

BURT
Yes.

JOSH
What is the amount?

BURT
Lots.

JOSH
Lots?

BURT
Yes.

JOSH
So Kierney-Passaic's not been damaging the environment quite so much as they've been--

BURT
Causing cancer. I have documentation.

Josh heads out to sound the alarm and figure out what to do about this when Amy runs into him and they walk to Josh's office.



JOSH
Is it true that everything fell off your wall?

AMY
How do you know that?

JOSH
I'm everywhere.

Anyway after those pleasantries, Amy gets right to the point.

AMY
Clancy Bangart attached...

JOSH
Attached a global gag rule to Foreign Ops and the first Lady's fershnicked.

AMY
She's what?

JOSH
She's fershnicked.

AMY
Well she's not the only one.

JOSH
You too?

AMY
I was thinking about the 62% of us who support a woman's right to choose.

JOSH
You think I like it more than you do?

AMY
I don't know, but I also don't think you have a reproductive system.

JOSH
I do not.

AMY
The President should make it clear he'll veto Foreign Ops with the gag amendment.

JOSH
He should veto his own bill?

AMY
No, he should--

JOSH
Let me jot that down.

LOL, love Brad Whitford's sarcastic delivery there. Still despite the snark, this is a fairly low-key fight for them. I think that Josh can read that Amy really doesn't want to be fighting this right now.

AMY
No he should threaten to veto.

JOSH
If he does then he has to veto.

AMY
I'm saying with the threat maybe the more moderate Senators will insist the attachment
be taken off.

JOSH
Yeah, but if Amy's plan of magic and wonder doesn't he's got to veto Foreign Ops after not one, two, but three continuing resolutions. We need a win and 230 million people overseas need a sandwich so he can't veto Foreign Ops.

Josh states plain that the administration can't do anything about it and Amy leaves dejectedly. Josh goes out to talk to Donna to introduce her stupid subplot of the episode.



JOSH
Hey, you know how you really want to go to the DAR reception tonight?

DONNA
I didn't want to go to the reception.

JOSH
Well you're going. The Secret Service needs us to baby-sit someone. One of the Daughters of the American Revolution is also the daughter of the ranking member of House Armed Services.

DONNA
So she needs to be shadowed?

JOSH
Not her, her date. Matthew Lambert, 26, was arrested when he was 21 and a senior at Emerson. He was arrested for selling drugs and found guilty of a felony and the Secret Service won't let him in unless someone who's credentialed is watching him.

DONNA
I have to stay with him the whole night?

JOSH
Yeah, and he won't know why, so try to be cool.

DONNA
He won't know why?

JOSH
Or his girlfriend I would think. After lunch with the council's office?

DONNA
Can I talk to him?

JOSH
If you want but don't tell him we regard him as a security risk. It's just, you know, inhospitable.

This subplot is dumb and sitcommy and rather unnecessary.



Leo meets with a bunch of experts on the glacier issue. 250 residents are homeless. Suddenly the woman in the forefront of the above picture introduces the point of the subplot.

HENDRICKS
This is Hillary Toobin. She's a hydroclimatologist with the USGS.

LEO
What's a hydroclimatologist?

HILLARY
An expert in what I'm about to say.

I adore that exchange. So crisply witty and to-the-point. Anyway, Hillary the Hydroclimatologist continues.

HILLARY
Mean temperatures in Alaska have risen seven degrees in the last 30 years. That's insane. The temperature hike has caused glaciers to shrink and go backwards, leaving lakes of melted glacier water in their wake. A shift in these collapsing glaciers puts pressure on the lakes forcing them to overflow their natural limits, and killing, this morning, 14 people, not spotted owls.

LEO
Are you telling me the deaths this morning are the first fatalities of global warming?

HILLARY
They're definitely global warming fatalities, but I doubt that they're the first.



Next, we cut to Abbey visiting Amy again.

ABBEY
Hi. You know the stuff fell off the wall again.

AMY
Did it?

ABBEY
Yeah, I think some of the guys might be having fun with you on your first day.

AMY
They're such rascals.

Amy tells Abbey that Josh said their threat was a no-go. Abbey isn't taking that and thinks that Jed should genuinely veto with the gag rule attached.

AMY
It's 18 billion dollars worth of appropriations. It's 950 million for child survival, 140 million for infectious diseases. The White House will have to negotiate another aid package a year from now. Why not gear up for that when I've been on the job for a year--?

ABBEY
No!

AMY
--instead of the 5 hours I've been on the job right now.

ABBEY
Should I get someone else?

AMY
Of course not, ma'am. That's not what I was saying.

ABBEY
What right do we have to restrict anything anyone says anywhere, much less what a doctor can say to a woman who needs a doctor? That's right. My husband is one of the most liberal Presidents this country is likely to see for a while. I don't have that many next years left.

It's interesting that Abbey also considers her legacy and the running clock of the presidency because that's a huge theme for her husband. This episode is a rare glimpse of Abbey being a political player and she does share similarities with Jed in her focus on her legacy and her "Expect results" attitude with her staff. Abbey's comment that Jed is "one of the most liberal presidents that the country is likely to see for a while" brings up the question of who is more liberal: Jed or Santos. I'm not sure.

Abbey leaves and Amy walks behind her and then the giant, wood doors collapse behind Amy. I don't know who was behind that practical joke but NOT COOL! That could have really hurt Amy. I refer you to the rules of taunting your boss by throwing things from 30 Rock.

Liz Lemon: All right. Nothing that plugs in, you guys! Nothing that could really hurt me—





Will and Charlie meet and commiserate over a Dear John email that Zoey sent Charlie because Jean Paul is threatened by Charlie.

CHARLIE
Hang on... I got a Dear John letter from Zoey. She's breaking up with me again. In email.
It's a Dear John email from my ex-girlfriend. This is going to be a high self-image day
for me.

Anyway, Zoey is being inducted into the DAR and Will wants to put his two cents in.

CHARLIE
What other way is there for me to take it?

WILL
Belligerently.

CHARLIE
Belligerently?

WILL
I'd say no. I'd do it respectfully.

CHARLIE
You'd say no?

WILL
Respectfully.

CHARLIE
What would that sound like?

WILL
Zoey, you say Jean-Paul is uncomfortable with our relationship and he'd rather I not be around, and I respectfully say no.

CHARLIE
Can I ask you something?

WILL
Sure.

CHARLIE
Do you have a girlfriend right now?

WILL
No.

CHARLIE
When was the last time you had one?

WILL
About 9 months ago.

CHARLIE
How long did it last?

WILL
A couple of days.

CHARLIE
Okay.

WILL
In my own defense, she was psycho.

CHARLIE
So why are you giving me relationship help?

WILL
Because I'm the only one in this conversation who didn't get a Dear John email from his
ex-girlfriend's boyfriend.

CHARLIE
God, that's really true isn't it?

Aw, guys! I do have a soft spot for the staffers commiserating about how crappy their love lives are. Anyway, CJ beckons Will because it's time to screw with Amy again.



Will's expression here is so cute.

C.J.
Yes. We think we solved your problem.

AMY
Which problem?

C.J.
Marion Cotesworth-Haye of Marblehead.

AMY
Who's organizing a boycott of the reception?

Long story short, they have the lady in the Mural Room. CJ has a big idea.

C.J.
What do you care? Just go in there and talk it through, and if you feel like that isn't
working, tell her the First Lady wants to give her an award tonight.

AMY
I make up an award?

C.J.
Save yourself the headache.

AMY
Is this a hazing? 'Cause I'll go along and everything but I have to see Josh again so...

WILL
It's not a hazing. They don't do that... except, yes, you put olives in my jacket again.

C.J.
I did. I did put olives in his jacket but this is on the level.

LOL! I find it particularly funny that Will, himself, was hazed on coming to the White House and his reaction to hazing Amy is more, "I'm the hazer! That means I'm part of the gang!" than any sympathy for Amy whatsoever. Very true to life. High school never ends. A little hilarious foreshadowing first:

C.J.
Hang on.

AMY
What?

C.J.
I got to make sure I don't laugh.

AMY
Oh God.

C.J.
It's a funny name to me, that's all, just give me a second. Hang on. Okay.



CJ comes in and nervously and rapidly introduces them all in a freakish way. You have to see it to believe it. Allison Janney cracks me up every time.

Anyway:



I'M MARION COTESWORTH-HAYE!!!!

That sets CJ off into a peal of giggles. CJ is my favoritest but normally she's a little too perfect or grown-up to relate to. Here, I have no such problems. If I had a dime for every time I giggled inappropriately...I'd have a lot of dimes. And this sort of thing is exactly the kind of thing that would set me off. The scene is hilarious on its own but Allison Janney's is so infectious that I don't know of anyone who walk this scene and *not* crack up.

C.J.
I'm sorry. I was... I was... thinking of this thing from... this thing that just happened... with the deficit. I'm sorry...



Amy pulls CJ into the corner...but not in a femslashy way.



AMY
Is this a hazing?

C.J.
I swear it's not a hazing. It's real. It's real. I just laughed 'cause of the name.
You've got to fix it.

Mary Louise Parker hilariously does a cutsey stumble to Marion and her secretary who I would like to think of as a gentleman friend.

AMY
Ma'am, the First Lady was saddened to see you weren't going to be attending the reception tonight.

C.J. gets herself under control, turns around, and starts laughing again.

MARION
She was saddened? That doesn't sound like Abigail.

Ha! It really doesn't. Marion has Abbey exact.

AMY
Well the problem is, and you weren't to be told before hand, but Mrs. Bartlet, during the presentation of honors this evening, was to personally present you with an award.

C.J. chuckles in the background.

MARION
I hadn't heard about this.

AMY
She likes to keep it a surprise. For the faces, the surprise faces.



LOL at Amy's demonstration of a "surprised face". As Amy bullshits her award, Will is trying to help her out and CJ is killing herself laughing so hard in the corner. Aside from all of the comedic talent, Mary Louise Parker, Josh Molina and Allison Janney have a lot of aplomb to deal with the crazy set-up of this scene.

MARION
May I ask what the award is for?

AMY
It's for your many years of service.

MARION
Is this the Liberty Award?

AMY
No...

Will pantomimes unlocking a door.

AMY
It's a key.

Will runs over to an American flag in the corner and points to it.

AMY
...The Francis Scott key. It's the Francis Scott Key key.

MARION
Well that is a different fox hunt all together isn't it?

I extended props to the regular actors but this lady who is playing Marion is brilliant. She sounds just like the ideal stereotypical comedy prototype of a snooty rich lady.

AMY
Yes. You'll be there?

MARION
I will strongly consider it, yes.

There's a lot of funny awkward thank-yous (Josh Malina's is particularly wacky) as they depart.



C.J.
You know what happened? I didn't have my game face on.

AMY
Yes.

C.J.
Anyway, problem solved.

AMY
Excuse me.

Mary Louise Parker's famous deadpan is showed off to fine form here as she definitely shows that she thinks that whole thing was an exercise in annoying bullshit. Hee! Amy finds Josh and tries to lobby more.



JOSH
Hey, is it true your office doors fell down?

AMY
Yeah, I understand how you did that, but how did you get the stuff to fall off the wall?

JOSH
The guys from Army Counter-Intelligence get a bunch of boys, I don't ask questions.

It was Josh who clearly set up those jokes. Eh, I think Will and CJ's Marion Cotesworth-Haye joke was much funnier. Anyway, it's interesting that Josh and Amy's romance began with Amy pranking Josh with the water balloon and the beginning of a friendly working relationship begins with Josh (and others) pranking Amy. That said when I was trying to work out that symmetry, that Josh and Amy can't be chiefly defined as friends until the end of Fredonia. They are courting lovers and then settled lovers through S3. They have the awkwardness of former lovers who would like to be friends through S4. The dynamic becomes friendlier and could have become real friends but then Josh and Amy have a fling through early S5.

Then Amy disappears and when she comes back, we see Amy through Josh where everything reads former romantic from the male gaze of her sucking on her ice-cream to Josh guessing that Santos didn't tell him about Amy because they dated in the past. It's only after Santos brushes that off as a serious concern and Amy and Josh sort of work together at the end that Josh is able to start moving past their romantic relationship to the point that in Amy's last scenes with Josh, she is trying to set him up on dates with other women.

AMY
Would you consider having the Senior Staff write a statement of administrative policy?

JOSH
We write SAP's all the time. Saying what?

AMY
Saying the President should veto a Foreign Ops bill if it comes to him--

JOSH
No.

AMY
--if it comes to him with a gag rule.

JOSH
He's not going to veto Foreign Ops.

AMY
Threaten to veto.

JOSH
He's not going to threaten to veto--

AMY
Not the President, the staff. The staff writes an SAP which is public, it might get enough moderate republicans--

JOSH
First of all, I don't think it will.

AMY
It might.

JOSH
But if it doesn't?

AMY
If it doesn't, then he signs it.

JOSH
Then we look like a bunch of empty shirts.

AMY
Who?

JOSH
The Senior Staff.

AMY
That's vanity.

JOSH
No, it is not. I am at my most effective for this country when lawmakers are under the impression that I have influence with the President, so is Leo, and so is Toby, so is C.J., so is the Vice President. We're not giving back Roe. We're going to swallow it on Foreign Ops, that is all. It's a good package, and I'm celebrating tonight.

AMY
With the Daughters of the American Revolution?

JOSH
The daughters of any revolution will do. Listen, I'm not going to ask for an SAP on the resolution, but I think it's important enough that I don't mind if you go over my head and ask Leo to call for it.

Heh, Josh is offering that because he knows that Leo would take that suggestion even less well than Josh. This is a pipe dream. Mind you, I'm not criticizing Amy's approach here. It's an impossible thing to do and she's trying to work a strategy out of nothing.

That said it's interesting that in this very episode, Will suggests an analogous thing and Leo eats it up. Will making a public statement bashing the government's environmental policy so CJ can play-act bash Will and it can be a story is also a senior staffer undermining his publicly perceived relationship with the President in public for another purpose. I do think that Will's plan to get his objective (coverage of the global warming) has a hundred percent likelihood of success while Amy's objective is unlikely to occur.

AMY
Thank you.

JOSH
It's okay to tell Mrs. Bartlet you disagree with her you know.

AMY
What makes you think I disagree with her?

JOSH
I know everything.



In other news, the councils office's lawyer is kind of flirting with Burt. Carcinogenic levels of chemicals is his pick-up.

TOBY
You wanted to become a scientist, but you didn't. You became a lawyer and got a job at the council's office so let's do that now.

MIKE
I did my undergrad in Chemical Engineering. I was good. And then I went to law school, and I don't know what happened.

BURT
[chuckles] That's cool.

JOSH (in an irritated tone)
Can we get on with it?

TOBY
House Resources is hearing testimony on the Polluter Pays bill. If we can get justice to grant him immunity under the whistle blower statute, he testify tomorrow and say that Kierney-Passaic has been hiding dangerous levels of cancer causing whatever in the EPA reports. It will do tremendous good for us in terms of winning this one.

JOSH
Toby?

TOBY
Yeah?

JOSH
Plus we retard Kierney-Passaic's progress in killing people.

TOBY
Josh is right. There are several positive outcomes.

For the usual cynical idealist and hyper-liberal, Toby is very Machiavellian when it comes to the environment (See The Drop In.) Toby is a very Old School Democrat where he seems much more invested in the older platforms like unions or protecting New Deal social programs but more apathetic on newer issues like the environment or rigorously protecting privacy in the age of the Internet (see The Short List). I already miss Sam and his role in playing the modern Democrat to Toby's more old school Democrat.

Anyway, to make a long story short, Burt can't get whistle blower status because as Chief Engineer, he knowingly signed his company's fraudulent documents lying about how carcinogenic their chemicals were. Burt is kind of an evil guy and he needs immunity from criminal prosecution in order to testify without going to prison. It gets worse because Toby and Josh now have to report Burt to the authorities to avoid being named as co-conspirators in his crime.

JOSH
I don't understand. All I did was get up in the morning... then I got a message to go see you.

TOBY
How come he knows about the rule?

JOSH
Everybody knows about that.

TOBY
Was something else on your mind that moment in law school when they taught that rule? Were you distracted by a bumblebee?

LOL. I always appreciate people snarking on Josh's lack of legal knowledge. Still according to And It's Surely to Their Credit, Toby is supposed to be a lawyer. It would be pretty rich of Toby to have gone to law school and still snark on Josh for not knowing about this rule. Still, I always thought that it was unlikely for Toby to be a lawyer so I'll just chalk it up to a writing mistake from And It's Surely to Their Credit. In my personal canon, Toby is not a lawyer.

TOBY
You have a lawyer?

MIKE
Of course I have a lawyer.

TOBY
Then why the hell did you come to my office and tell me... I don't care. Mike, let's get him immunity.

Toby definitely feels double-crossed by his old roommate.

JOSH
You going to the DAR thing tonight? It's not that I didn't know the federal law it's... we... we got in a little deep before I was able to, you know, summon that...

TOBY
Shut up.

LOL, at the classic Toby/Joshness.

Abbey is getting dressed for the DAR event in her red power suit and her suit reflects her side of her angry, authoritative conversation with Amy.



Abbey doesn't see what the problem with a senior staffer writing a statement of administrative policy.

AMY
It makes it look like they don't have their act together.

ABBEY
They're exporting religious doctrine. They don't have their act together. Are they playing you?

LOL. I love Abbey being so blunt as to say that Jed and the senior staff don't have their act together. Whether she's right or wrong, this show is tremendously effective at presenting very likable regular characters who really criticize the Bartlet administration. This is a low-key version of doing that.

AMY
No, ma'am.

ABBEY
Like the diplomas falling off the wall?

AMY
They didn't stump me ma'am. We simply exhausted our options which was fairly predictable.

ABBEY
What options did we exhaust?

AMY
The HHS Secretary, the Appropriations Manager. I spoke to the Minority Leader's office. Several Senators, all of whom you'd consider close allies. The amendment's going to hold.

ABBEY
Would the staff consider recommending another amendment be attached?

AMY
Saying what?

ABBEY
We put condoms in every classroom around the globe.

AMY
I don't think the staff would consider that, no.

ABBEY
Oh, why?

AMY
Because it would kill the Foreign Ops bill.

ABBEY
You tried to kill welfare reauthorization because you didn't like marriage incentives. Wasn't that chocking off money to the poor to cater to a women's issue?

AMY
I did it because I had hope that it would change the bill before the vote. In this case, I have no hope of that.

ABBEY
Well, thanks for the pep talk there.

LOVE!! My favorite exchange in the episode. A++ for continuity, contrasting Abbey's and Amy's feminist roles, gives Abbey an in-show reason for her seemingly harsh decision to assign Amy the impossible on her first day and never taking either issue merely on its surface by having Abbey look for contradictions and hypocrisy and having Amy strongly defend herself. Abbey's point in contrasting the marriage incentives and the gag rule is a good one but ultimately, Amy's analysis carries the day. There is just no hope here.

Eating undesirable amendments is a fact of political life so I'm hesitant to assign blame per se, but they would have an easier time combating this if Josh's office knew about Clancy developing the amendment (which I refuse to believe was a secret if Jed knew by breakfast that the votes were for this amendment and just happened to mention this to Abbey) and was personally concerned about the amendment. Or if Jed ate the remote prayer amendment instead of betting that his political clout would turn around in a few months. Donna also attributes the loss in Guns, Not Butter to Josh's original strategy not being taken but I tended to see that as loyalty instead of insight because I trust Leo's and Jed's judgment over Donna's and for that matter, Josh's at this stage in the absence of the plan's specifics. Whether the mistake was one or another, I don't want to assign angry blame to the administration but Abbey's critique that the administration doesn't have its act together is well-taken.



Jon Paul saunters in as Charlie is working. Like I said before, it's fun to read Jean Paul/Charlie subtext. The script attributes this to drugs, but come on, Jean Paul is meeting Charlie for his date at the White House. That's gotta mean something. ;-)

JEAN-PAUL
I was to meet Zoey by the car. Is it here?

CHARLIE
What?

JEAN-PAUL
Zoey and I are arriving separately, and she didn't want to walk in alone so she told me to meet her by the car. Is that here?

CHARLIE
Is it here?

JEAN-PAUL
No?

CHARLIE
[baffled] Is this by the car? No. This is... we're inside! This is a building!

JEAN-PAUL
There are many entrances and driveways, and I think you knew I meant that.

CHARLIE
I swear to god Jean-Paul, I had no ungodly idea what you were talking about.

JEAN-PAUL
Hmm. Zoey becomes that Daughter of the American Revolution tonight. Like her mother and hers before.

CHARLIE
Yes.

JEAN-PAUL
They think it is possible I had ancestors who fought for the Colonies.

I would think that as French royalty, Jean Paul would know for sure whether he had ancestors that fought for the colonies. Then again, as you see Jean Paul is very stoned.

CHARLIE
Well, they think it's possible my great, great grandfather is Thomas Jefferson so...

JEAN-PAUL
Is that so?

CHARLIE
You're stoned right now. And that's incredibly risky when you're around Zoey. It's unbelievably stupid. So could you be careful with that?

Jean Paul asks where Zoey is meeting him and Charlie gives him a false location. I don't know whether Charlie is jealous of Jean Paul and doesn't want Zoey meeting him or he's jealous of Zoey and doesn't want Jean Paul meeting here. I can take it the straight way or the slashy way.



Josh is preparing Donna for her idiotic subplot.

DONNA
This wasn't on Laverne and Shirley?

JOSH
It may have been.

DONNA
I loathe you.



Donna introduces herself to these folks and latches on for the babysit.



Will and CJ are standing around acting like bestest buds. It's quite cute. Leo finds them in a chipper mood but breaks it up with serius bizness.

LEO
I've spent a portion of the day with a hydroclimatologist named Hillary Toobin, who says that Alaska happened because of greenhouse gas, and seven other geologists think so too.

C.J.
We can't politicize it.

LEO
We have to politicize it, it's politics.

C.J.
It's disrespectful.

LEO
It is, and we'll have to say so.

C.J.
Is Hillary Toobin ready to get publicly scolded by the White House?

LEO
She is. She'll call for a 25% reduction decrease in emissions over the next ten years, and you'll reprimand her for politicizing the tragedy. What do you think?

WILL
I think that's right, but I think that I should do it.

C.J.
You don't want to do it.

WILL
I really don't, but I don't think a researcher at Interior is going to jump-start this the way you need.

LEO
I appreciate it.

WILL
Yes, sir.

I'll refer to my earlier comment that it turns that Leo really is welcome to a senior staffer undermining his credibility but he wasn't with Amy's plan. Again, I feel that there's a good reason (winnable vs. unwinnable) but I still want to note it.



CHARLIE
Look at that DAR dress you're wearing. Man, that's fantastic. You could churn butter in that thing.

Ick! Charlie was snarking on Sam for being a hick because his line was "make a good dog break its leash"?! "Churn butter in that thing" sounds even worse.

ZOEY
Were you skulking in the shadows?

CHARLIE
I was.

ZOEY
Was Jean-Paul not able to meet me?

CHARLIE
He's meeting you right now. He's waiting at the Ellipse.

ZOEY
I don't ever use the Ellipse.

CHARLIE
Oh, that's right. You know what, I forgot.

CHARLIE
I do. I refuse respectfully.

ZOEY
You can't refuse and be respectful at the same time.

CHARLIE
Watch me. Ask again.

ZOEY
Stop pursuing me.

CHARLIE
Respectfully no.

ZOEY
Why?

CHARLIE
'Cause I'm in love with you and that's the way it goes.

Great, Stalker!Charlie. Just what the doctor ordered. Anyway, Zoey very reasonably and politely asks Charlie again to knock it off because she's trying to make her relationship with Jean Paul work. Still, Zoey didn't count on the fact that Aaron Sorkin has some kind of thing for "No" actually meaning "Yes" when it comes to men's courtship of women. Charlie, Dan Rydell, Danny Concannon, Danny Tripp- the list goes on and on. Sorkin averts this trope elegantly when Toby's proposals to Andi fail on the finish line and in the main Mark/Erika plot of The Social Network and I give him credit for that. Still, Sorkin does feel that it is romantic for men to pursue to women even after they've said no many times even if he doesn't write every romance that way and it's a problem for me. It is also interesting that Sorkin averts this trope with his arguably most tragic character (Toby) and his only anti-hero as a main character (Mark Zuckerburg). Of course, Toby's and Mark's aggressive, chauvinistic pursuit of their romantic interest would play out differently than a more straight hero for Sorkin like Danny Tripp or Dan Rydell.



Long story short, the infamous DAR couple are creeped out by Donna latching on to them. I love doing these recaps but I'm quite sick of recapping Donna's Stupid Storyline of the Episode so in the foreseeable future, I'm going to streamline my analysis and recapping on those stories. I think my typing of Donna's dumbest storylines has the potential to accelerate any potential carpal tunnel syndrome at a hundred times the rate of my recapping the normal well-written storylines this show. sunclouds33 logic.



Burt is lurking outside the reception. Toby is onto this guy. Although, I wonder if Toby suspected this guy considering that they were roommates. They are the Felix and Oscar of Contrasting Roommates' Ethicality.

TOBY
What are you doing here?

BURT
They're still making calls. They told me I could walk around.

TOBY
It didn't occur to me until I asked why you didn't tell your lawyer. You knew what you were doing the whole way, right? Get the President's muscle to lean on justice for immunity.

BURT
I'm scared of criminal prosecution. I'm just terrified of it. But to my credit I think I'm righting this wrong.

TOBY
After three years.

BURT
That's something.

TOBY
That's quite an impressive ethical learning curve.

BURT
It's not as clear cut as you think.

TOBY
Really. The U.S. attorneys are going to grill you for a while, but you'll get the immunity.

Before dinner, Abbey and Amy have a moment.



AMY
Ma'am, I spent a year and a half as issues director for NOW, two years as political director of Emily's List, founder of the Democratic Women's forum, AA to Hope Schrader and Director of the Women's Leadership Coalition.

ABBEY
Look...

AMY
Excuse me, ma'am, but I beat back five anti-choice judicial nominees, got the Violence Against Women Act reauthorized with a Republican majority and raised 22 million dollars for House candidates.

ABBEY
Amy...

AMY
All the while this White House, your office included, allowed equal pay to be pushed off the agenda, allowed marriage incentives to be put in welfare reform, buried a surgeon generals report on birth control and allowed the global gag rule in the first place. You hired me to put a professional face on your office. This bill is going to be law tonight. If you want to fire me, fire me.

Dayum, that was Leoesque or Tobyesque in its power of a staffer aggressively and almost harshly telling truth to power. Amy is in a class by herself.

ABBEY
I don't want to fire you.

AMY
Oh, why did you want to talk to me?

ABBEY
To tell you you had a good first day.

AMY
Oh, okay, I jumped the gun.

ABBEY
Yeah. This is strange for me Amy, I used to baby-sit for you, give me a little time.

Fascinating bit of canon that I, strangely, don't have an opinion on.

AMY
I used to get you in some jams.

ABBEY
Yes you did. Let's go to dinner.

AMY
You're giving someone an award tonight. I'll explain on the way.

ABBEY
What award?

AMY
The Francis Scott Key key. I didn't know you were related to pirates. That's pretty hot.

LOL. There really should have been more Amy/Abbey scenes. Mary Louise Parker and Stockard Channing spark together and with that "pretty hot" comment, I'd totally slash them but for a) the babysitting information and b) I believe in the OTPness of Jed/Abbey to the point that I always have trouble shipping either Jed or Abbey with other people even though usually I like unusual pairings. I guess I buy into Jed/Leo but that's always more about Leo's almost unrequited romantic feelings than anything else. I find Abbey/CJ intriguing and hot but I can't take it seriously.

ABBEY
I'm related to a privateer. What is a Francis Scott...?

AMY
I've written some remarks.



Jed, my man! Where have you been, sweetie?! Seriously, the only Jed in this episode in the teaser and last scene. I missed him terribly but it has an interesting purpose. Usually, this show is about Jed and how he directs his office and staff and Abbey appears as his wife. This episode flips that as its A-plot is about Abbey's office and her relationship with Amy while Jed appears as Abbey's husband. Jed is literally reduced to the bedroom for the moment while Abbey occupies the bedroom, her offices, the West Wing and the DAR reception. This clever way of subverting the gender narrative and making the President the "spouse" for once contrasted with Charlie's stalkerness is a great way of encapsulating in this episode why I can never decide if Sorkin is a feminist writer or a chauvinistic writer. He does some things so well and some things so poorly. Throws up hands in frustration!



Jed is watching the story about Will throwing himself on his sword for the environment. Jed is impressed.

ABBEY
I gave a made up award to Marion tonight.

BARTLET
Marblehead?

ABBEY
I think she's from Marblehead.

BARTLET
No, some of us call her Marblehead.

Aw, Jed! I missed you so much! When I recapped this episode and delved into how many things were done well, I came to see this episode much more more fondly. Originally I think I was ambivalent because I'm never as fond of episodes with a low-Jed Bartlet quotient, at least in the first four seasons when he's a main character and he's lovable.

ABBEY
She was going to boycott the thing.

BARTLET
Cause you're a pirate?

ABBEY
Oh, not me. Seventeen generations ago, and he was a privateer. He fought the war, we
didn't have a Navy.

BARTLET
I know what they were.

ABBEY
You put a guy on the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals who called sexual harassment "a flight of fancy for the overindulged". You put him on the Tenth Circuit.

BARTLET
Today?

ABBEY
Three years ago. And TANF cut child care subsidies, and equal pay got pocket vetoed, and abstinence only, and teacher funding initiatives. And I didn't do a lot, or really anything, to stop it.

BARTLET
Yeah, you did.

ABBEY
And now this thing. I want to contribute is all. Like Will tonight, screwing up on purpose.

BARTLET
We don't have to ask you to screw up Abbey, you do by your...

ABBEY
I'm not kidding around.

BARTLET
I can't publicly reprimand you, it wouldn't play well. We save you for other things.

Aw, only Martin Sheen can make political expediency look like also being a romantic husband. Anyway, Abbey takes that logic but then Jed decides to be patronizing and undoes the "kind, respectful husband" thing.

BARTLET
German thinker Max Weber said that politics is the "slow boring of hard boards and that anyone who seeks to do it must risk his own soul". You know what that means?

ABBEY
I like how you think that patronizing me is going to make me feel better. It's sweet.

BARTLET
It means that change comes in excruciating increments for those who want it. You're trying to move mountains. It takes lifetimes. But Zoey Bartlet is the newest Daughter of the American Revolution so I like our chances for the long run.

That's a little ridiculous that everything is good because Zoey is in the DAR but I get how parental pride makes some people very silly. Anyway, the Bartlets try to strategize a way to limit the damage of the gag rule.

ABBEY
All right, it's pretty good... So what do you think? You wait a few weeks?

BARTLET
Till the bulk of the bill is appropriated.



Look at that adorable face! I'm making up for this episode's lack of Jed by adoring him on steroids in the scenes where he does appear.

ABBEY
Yeah. Then maybe you cap the percentage of the funding as covered by the gag rule.

BARTLET
Yeah.

ABBEY
And... How do you monitor what a doctor says to a woman in Zimbabwe anyway?

BARTLET
You don't.

ABBEY
We'll just get more aggressive on the domestic side.

BARTLET
We will.

ABBEY
Move family planning to a discretionary account in next year's budget rounds.

BARTLET
Keep talking, I'm going to turn off the light.

Maybe I'm a cynic but this sounds more like the Bartlets comforting themselves literally to sleep than correcting the injustice but maybe something will come of this conversation in reality. In well-executed narrative symmetry, Jed and Abbey discuss when Jed is getting up the next morning.
11 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
jean_c_pepper From: jean_c_pepper Date: April 13th, 2011 09:33 am (UTC) (Link)
OK-
Let's start with the stupid first. On the Donna subplot-which I loathe so much that I fast forward through it-wouldn't the guy know he had a felony and therefore might have an escort in the White House? Couldn't she just say "Hey-you know what you did in College. Deal with a tail in the WW".
The entire gag with Marion Coatsworth-haye is hilarious-esp. The Francis Scott Key key-I crack up every time.
I don't see Amy/Josh in that dynamic-to me they never really moved past the 'friends'stage, even though they were twice lovers. Also- the J/d fans have gone off ad nauseum about Amy attempting to set Josh up in Requiem. I honestly think it was a gaffe on her part. She had no idea(and neither did anyone else except Ronna and Edie who flat out caught them ) that Josh and Donna got their heads out of their collective butts and finally started to date. I don't think the J/d authors-in ALL of the post administration stories that I have read-none of them address the friendship of Amy and Josh-which isn't going to go away because Donna and Josh are dating.
On th eJean-paul/Charlie conveersation- Josh and Joe Quincy have an IDENTICAL conversation in Evidence of things not seen
sunclouds33 From: sunclouds33 Date: April 13th, 2011 02:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Let's start with the stupid first. On the Donna subplot-which I loathe so much that I fast forward through it-wouldn't the guy know he had a felony and therefore might have an escort in the White House? Couldn't she just say "Hey-you know what you did in College. Deal with a tail in the WW".

I know, right?!

Also- the J/d fans have gone off ad nauseum about Amy attempting to set Josh up in Requiem. I honestly think it was a gaffe on her part. She had no idea(and neither did anyone else except Ronna and Edie who flat out caught them ) that Josh and Donna got their heads out of their collective butts and finally started to date. I don't think the J/d authors-in ALL of the post administration stories that I have read-none of them address the friendship of Amy and Josh-which isn't going to go away because Donna and Josh are dating.

I don't get how people could ascribe evil motives to Amy trying to set Josh up. How did people expect her to know that Josh and Donna were...not even dating back then, they were more just sleeping together.

I really see Amy as Josh's best friend within the Santos administration. Santos is quite cold and treats Josh like the help. Lou is even pricklier than Toby and isn't nearly as nice on the inside. Sam and Josh grew apart during S3-4 and they seemed miles apart life-wise when they met up in Transition. Bram is kind of a male bimbo. With Josh and Amy, we know that they like each other, they've spent years working through their disastrous break-up and have learned to work with each other and they have similar values and tastes. I really see Amy and Josh being BFFs in the Santos administration.
jean_c_pepper From: jean_c_pepper Date: April 13th, 2011 03:01 pm (UTC) (Link)


Yes- but they are J/D fans who figure Amy was trying to set Josh up so he couldn't be with Donna. I agree-maybe not Bff because he would be with Donna and I don't see her going for that-but still friends. Virtual Season 8 handles the Josh/Amy dynamic much better than Fantasy Season 8- but Fantasy Season 8 is also J/D centric .
sillyg From: sillyg Date: April 13th, 2011 07:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
"Fascinating bit of canon that I, strangely, don't have an opinion on."

HOW CAN YOU NOT HAVE AN OPINION ON THIS!?! This is by far my favorite random bit of canon in the ENTIRE SHOW. I quote it regularly. I haven't read through one of these commentaries in a while. Don't get me wrong, you give me the giggles (or Sorkin does...or some stellar combination of the two of you) every time you do these things but they are long and I was supposed to be job hunting today and now I've spent 45 minutes reading and seriously considering breaking out my TWW dvds.

Anyways, I read this one just to see what your opinion on the ants on a log commentary would be and you have no opinion. This makes me unquestionably sad. I just, I can't express my love for the convolutedness of the characters in this show, and this is one of the best examples of it for me. I just love it so much.

...and now I've babbled for two paragraphs on something you don't have an opinion on...ok Imma go now...
sunclouds33 From: sunclouds33 Date: April 14th, 2011 12:54 am (UTC) (Link)
LOL. Thanks for commenting. I felt a little weird that I didn't have enough of an opinion to meta on the subject because it does put things in a wildly new perspective that Abbey babysat for Amy. However, I racked my brain and couldn't come up a cogent piece of analysis so I said what the hell.

Glad my recaps give you the giggles- hope you find the time to read the ones that you missed.
bullet2 From: bullet2 Date: April 14th, 2011 05:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Interesting that you remind us of the remote prayer study. I would have done that in a heartbeat if that was the price to pay for the foreign aid bill. But the gag rule, that's something other altogether. Difficult decisions.
BTW IRL weren't some results published a few months ago from a study similar to this remote prayer study?

Toby is supposed to have studied Law School? It was said in And It's Surely To Their Credit? I must rewatch that episode. Somehow I completely missed that. I saw him always as Political Science guy.
So we have: Josh, Sam, Leo +100 guest stars: Law
C.J., Toby? : Political Science
Jed: Economics

Hee!One of the things that I love about Josh: he doesn't remember every single thing he studied in Law School. And Josh is sensitive about people mocking him about it too. See his " I write the laws. I am the law!" comment.

Now I really want to see a fic that explores the idea of Burt and Toby when they were roommates together. Should be interesting.
sunclouds33 From: sunclouds33 Date: April 14th, 2011 05:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Interesting that you remind us of the remote prayer study. I would have done that in a heartbeat if that was the price to pay for the foreign aid bill. But the gag rule, that's something other altogether. Difficult decisions.

Yup, exactly my line of thinking.

I also never saw law in Leo's background. CJ said that she got a masters in Communications. Jed's background is econ although CJ said he also got a major in American Studies in The US Poet Laureate. I'm at a loss on Toby's real background and one hadn't been delineated.

Now I really want to see a fic that explores the idea of Burt and Toby when they were roommates together. Should be interesting.

I know, right?! I was thinking Burt/Toby crack-ship through recapping this.
bullet2 From: bullet2 Date: April 14th, 2011 06:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
I thought Leo was a lawyer. Wasn't it said somewhere that Leo and Noah Lyman first met when Leo was working at the firm Noah was also working or something like that? Therefore I always thought he was a lawyer. Of course, it could be that fanfic and canon are becoming one in my mind.

I like this fandom, and while I have nothing against Josh/Donna, I find the sheer amount of fanfics about them a bit baffling. Personally I find that there should be more Toby slash, but I seem like the only one. :)

Edited at 2011-04-14 06:14 pm (UTC)
sunclouds33 From: sunclouds33 Date: April 14th, 2011 06:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
And It's Surely To Their Credit said that Leo and Toby were lawyers but I'm credulous about both. Leo was friends with Noah but the show never said that they worked together. I always saw Leo's background as business so it's possible that Noah's firm represented Leo's business or because Noah seemed interested in politics, perhaps they met a fundraiser or Democratic event. The show is not clear.

Have you ever read raedbard? She's like the queen of Toby slash. Really, really well-written poetic fic that is almost all Toby-centered pairing him with Sam and Andi chiefly but also Jed, CJ, Josh, etc. It's mostly listed in her tww fic index at the top of the page. It's very well-written but intensely sensual. Watch the warnings if you have delicate sensibilities.
bullet2 From: bullet2 Date: April 14th, 2011 06:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Huh,I must have imagined it then.

Yes, I have just discovered raedbard. I was very happy to discover her, otherwise I feer there would be no Toby slash.
Nora Carrington From: Nora Carrington Date: June 1st, 2013 06:39 am (UTC) (Link)
Toby was a lawyer; rather Toby, like Josh, went to law school.

2.05, Josh and Sam enter Leo's office, where Leo and Toby are already seated and Sam says, in the context of the potential suit against WVWP, "Everybody in the room is a lawyer." Leo's in the room, so presumably Leo is also a lawyer/went to law school.

But the other clue/give away is when Toby is talking to Joe Quincy about Ashland, and when he appeared in NY when Toby was at City College. The transcript reads like this was when Toby was an undergraduate, but Toby doesn't talk to Quincy, who is a lawyer, the way a non-lawyer talks about a jurist.

It's been fairly common and/or required, depending on how you think about it, for anyone who has an even passing interest in politics to get/have a law degree for a very long time. Leo's on the cusp of when it was a requirement, and in the episode when he's recovering from bypass and gets the come on from Caldicot and the other episode when he sticks his neck out for the guy who saved him in Vietnam, only to find out that guy sold out, it's clear that a significant portion of his career post Vietnam and pre-Secretary of Labor had been spent in business. But you don't get tapped for a Cabinet position without having been a player in politics; he had to have held government positions before that.
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