Charlie has always made me laugh in that opener. I kinda think he's screwing with them and playing around with being a Black Dude Posting Bond...but he wants to get his miles, dammit!
LOL. Charlie is a sly fox.
I feel guilty about not being particularly impressed with Martha either, she's too contrived as the voice of Bartlet's guilt/discomfort at his CIC role. The other family members I do find sympathetic, but she doesn't work for me. She's a smart lady! Who's SHOCKED AND APPALLED that there's armed security in the West Wing, doesn't know that there are televisions in Africa, and is Righteously Indignant that the CoS doesn't hand out military strategic details to anyone who asks!
THIS! Exactly how I feel about Martha word for word but stated more eloquently and neatly than I did. I did like the othet family members. I thought the actor who played Mr. Hernandez was very quietly effective.
I wonder if Sam's first big flame-out is deliberately situated with Amy's umpteenth flame-out ending up with her in the East Wing? Don't worry, kids, he'll be fine! Particularly as Toby is setting him up to lose in a way that lays the framework for Sam conceivably being elected a CA senator someday.
Very interesting. I think you may be right about that. I always think of Amy's East Wing as so temporary but I kind of think that if Sorkin was still at the helm in S5, Amy would have stayed on as COS. I also don't know if I'm remembering things incorrectly but I thought that MLP didn't want to be a regular on this show either because she got pregnant (with douchey Billy Crudup) or because she got other career opportunities around S5 of TWW.
Anyway, I do kind of think that this "flame out/get a job" duality has a message especially if Sorkin was envisioning Amy as more of a permanent fixture.