"I'm buying new bikinis"
Episode Airdate 01/30/02
President Bartlet won the Iowa Caucus.
But considering he was unchallenged, we kinda saw that one coming. What
we didn't necessarily expect is the personal losses suffered by each
of our type A++ staff members who run around the West Wing like so many
"ER" inspired politicos.
Josh Lyman, the always moaning Deputy
Chief of Staff…I could be wrong here, but seeing Josh Lyman's apartment
is possibly the first glimpse we've had of any West Wing staff members'
personal living situation. Hasn't the voyeur in you always wanted to
know what these wonks do when they go home, seeing as it seems like
they never do? Up to this point, we've been privileged to peek into
the fictional halls of power, but it's the private lives of the power
brokers that bring us back week after week. Apparently, Amy Gardner,
the potently liberal women's rights activist and overly quick-witted
potential girlfriend of Mr. Lyman, is drawn to his apartment as well.
After a platonically romantic invite to Tahiti, Josh decides his career
is more important than his rapidly boiling tete-a-tete and cancels the
trip. Potential girlfriend Gardner recoils in horror. Josh loses.
C.J. Cregg, the long-legged, quick-worded
Press Secretary.... Her desire to see the Butter Cow, Butter Elvis,
and Butter Last Supper (with pats of butter on the table) spun a deeply
down home image of this mouthy matron. I love that she made a personal
call from Air Force One to her dad. Unfortunately, the turbulence of
the presidential plane was too symbolic of the poor communication between
her and her father during that tax-payer funded, satellite-routed conversation.
Her later discussion with Toby regarding her father's fading memory
shows signs of her guilt regarding her career success at the expense
of her personal life fulfillment. We were given an allusion to this
in a previous episode where C.J. gave the president her resignation
in his New Hampshire barn. C.J. is losing.
Donna Moss, the snide and beautiful Executive
Assistant to Josh Lyman…Why Josh isn't filling her with executive perks
on the side I'll never know. The very least he could do is subjugate
himself to her sophisticated feminine wiles and help her get out of
jury duty. As unethical and dubious as that may be, at least he'd be
satisfying her immediate need. And what happened to the ultra-cute Republican
investigative committee member she didn't date for three episodes???
Sam Seaborn, the presidential speech writer
who dates hookers…How did that nut-job requesting a presidential investigation
into the contents of Fort Knox because he suspects that the remains
of the spacecraft that crashed at Area 51 is being housed there ever
get into the White House? I know, that was a grammatically convoluted
sentence, but so was the premise that this crack-pot was a serious West
Wing visitor. Anyway you slice it, Sam loses just because he had to
sit with this guy.
Toby Ziegler, the brooding, bearded baldy
and Josiah Bartlet, POTUS multiple sclerosis…It's abundantly clear that
Toby needs to get checked for a hernia, because the size of his balls
are HUGE and he must be under a tremendous strain carrying those boys
around. There are few people in the world who would personally attack
the President in the Oval Office with allusions to his abusive childhood
and his inability to cope with the lack of love from his hard-fisted
father. Toby is the master of double-entendre. His attack on the President's
sensibilities are meant to be a subtle foreshadowing to the attacks
the President may receive on the campaign trail from a competing candidate
who, like Bartlet's father, doesn't appreciate a smartly smug adversary.
While Ziegler's point is not lost on the Mr. MaGoo-ish Bartlet, the
delivery is underhanded and overly personal, both characteristics the
President doesn't like to confront. Toby and Josiah…losers.
Toby prophetically tells us, "When the
Gods wish to punish us, they answer our prayers." The team has an easy
campaign victory, but they're all paying in other ways. The deciding
battle is yet to come, and there are many skirmishes yet to be had by
this engaging gang of liberals.
In the meantime, let's see more of Abigail
Bartlet, the pill prescribing presidential wife so strongly played by
Stockard Channing. I, for one, would love to see her and Oliver Platt
(the White House Counsel) go mano-a-mano. They're banter is decidedly
the most colorful and heated on the show. And bring back the blond,
long-haired Republican advisor who sits in the basement!!! She's smart,
sassy, emotional, witty, and just a little bit slutty under her adroitly
The theme of the election campaign for
the Bartlet team is "Writing a New Book." If the writing of that book
is half as good as the writing on the "West Wing," then we are in for
one hell of a good rest of the viewing season.
this and more in the Fanboy forums.