Monday, January 16, 2006

At Home and Abroad

A West Wing Word

This weeks episode (Internal Displacement) was all about C.J.. The program opens-up with our old friend from the Sorkin years Washington Post reporter Danny Concaunon (Timothy Busfield) treating his old-flame C.J. to a fish dinner. This dinner is cut sort when Danny reveals that while doing a story on the presidents son-in-law Doug Weston (Steven Eckholt) who is running for congress in New Hampshire, he heard rummors that Doug was "banging the nanny" ala Jude Law. C.J. Excuses herself and then rushes out of the restaurant so that she can decide on how to handel the situation. The President was scheduled to travel to his home state that next Thursday and stump for Doug, but if 'nanny-gate' were to break it would be highly embarrassing to the president and his family. So C.J. brings Doug into her office (for some reason the Westons were in D.C. at the time) and convinces him to withdrawal his request of the president to campaign for him, even though it will probably cost him the election. By the end of the episode the probability of Doug and the 26 year old nannys triest coming out seems so likely that C.J. must reluctantly tell the president about his son-in-laws affair.

I have several problems with the Doug story, not the least of which is the fact that I'm pretty sure the Westons nanny (who is said to have worked for them for 3 years in this ep) was discribed as an older European women in the 5th season Christmas episode. Also while Doug has been well established as a man who thinks he is more capable then he acutely is, the writers had previously gone out of their way to portray him as a good husband and father. It was the fact that Doug was good to his family that enabled Jed to tolerate the man, but perhaps that is why this event should seem all the more a betrayal to Josiah, even though we never see the presidents reaction on screen. I find this program to willing to make any character they don't know how to deal with into a sex-addict, John Hoyns resigned the vice-presidency on the same episode we learned that he had a history as a womanizer, the writers had not previously set anything up there just as they neglected to do for this episode.

Danny and C.J.'s dinner also lead to the other major plot of this episode. Danny challenged C.J. to try and do something more then "the well intentioned defense you've always played" with the remainder of the Bartlett presidency. The president was still bogged down with negotitions (now centering on establishing fair election in Kazaikstahn) between Russia and China, and has been unable to expend political capital on the worsening genocide situation in the Sudan. C.J. comes up with a plan whereby a European power will introduce a resolution to the UN shutting off the corrupt Sudanese governments oil revenue. The problem with this action is that China would be expected to veto it, that government being unlikely to do anything that might jeopardize even part of its oil supply. However France and Germany have been wanting to resume selling weapons to red China for some time ( a practice they stopped after the Sino crack down on democracy demonstrators in 1989), and the U.S. would be willing to drop its opposition to that practice in exchange for European help with Sudan (the U.S. can't introduce the resolution directly for fear of alienating China in the Kazak situation). Of course France turns down the opportunity to help us out (though their ambassador was sympathetic and perhaps the most reasonable Frenchmen I've ever seen), but the always pragmatic Germans were up for the deal.

The shows minor sub-plot dealt with the pending announcement of the location of a government sponsored molecular reaserch facility. The committee charged with selecting the location for the sight had chosen Austin, and such an announcement would help the Santos campaign in traditionally Republican Texas. However a vulnerable senior Democratic senator from Kentucky had requested the announcement be delayed until after the election, as his failure to deliver this pork project to his home state could cost him the re- election. Josh proposes, and C.J. eventually accepts the idea, of the president announcing Austins selection with Santos at a campaign stop in Texas, then the two of them flying up to Kentucky to stump for Senator Bowls.

The episode ends with Danny and C.J. having a second dinner and Danny apparently about to propose marriage when Ms. Craig is called back to the White House for another crises (we know the two will get married from the flash forward at the season opener). As if the leak scandal, PLO chairmans assassination, and Kazak situation weren't enough, it now seems there may have been a nuclear accident in California which will be the subject of next weeks episode.

P.S., the Micheal York guest staring episode of Law & Order: Crimanel Intent that followed Wing this week was particularly creepy.


At 2:48 PM, Blogger James Aach said...

I have read a synopsis of next week's show and the nuclear accident portrayed is rather silly. If you find yourself wondering what a real nuclear power accident would be like, see for a thriller novel by a longtime nuclear engineer that is available at no cost to readers.


Post a Comment

<< Home