Sunday, March 26, 2006

On The Road Again

A West Wing Word

This weeks episode: "Welcome to Wherever You Are" We open on the tarmac of the St. Louis airport at 3:00 am 5 days before the election (the subtitles seem to be using 2005 dates, but I chose to ignore them because it doesn't make any sense). Santos and a small group of his inner circle are returning from a late rally at which Stevie Wonder performed. Once on the plane the crew go over the 'final' draft for the last five days of the campaign schedule. Santos seems to have a slight lead over Vinick but its still to close to call, the Congressman will be hitting the swing states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, California, and one other that I forget, repeatedly for the duration. While they would like to make one last visit to Florida where Vinick is up by 2 points they simply don't have the time. A decision is eventually made to send Mrs. Santos to Miami to speak before a Latina organization, something she anticipates being quite weird as she is blond, blue-eyed and defiantly not Hispanic.

Most of the episode deals with the stresses and strains of the campaign at T-minus 5 days to the election. Some of the many crises include: Coming up with an appropriate skit for the Congressman to participate in on the Leno show. Mrs. Santos comments in Florida that sound like an endorsement for the universal suffrage of felons (I think Matt said he only favors allowing non-violent offenders to vote). Constant photo ops and interviews with the press, including a well-read blogger. Santos roughly eight year-old son vomiting during a trick or treating photo-opp. A visit from Bon Jovi on a bus trip, and every one suffering from sleep deprivation.

During the course of the day Santos and Josh seem to reach a tenative agreement on nominees for Attorney General ( a Mr. Goodwin) and Secretary of State (Bartlet NSA Dr. Nancy McNally, read Condoleeza Rice). Also their is a lot of talk about the people they have out stumping for the candidate which allows for a lot of fictional name dropping, including Leo, Zoey Bartlet, the President himself, and Vice-President Russell whose help is greatly needed in his home state of Colorado where they are down four points. Current Secretary of State Lewis Berryhill is sick and unable to campaign.

This episode also gives us a look on whats been up with Toby. Mr. Ziegler and his lawyer are brought in for another appointment with US attorney Mr. Blake on Halloween morning. Blake makes the same offer he has made several times before to Toby, who is now so board with the entire thing he is doing a cross-word puzzle in the office. Blake wants Toby to give up the name of the person who leaked the knowledge of the military shuttle to him, in exchange he'll receive a sentence reduction from 6-years to one. Toby of course says no so Mr. Blake "sweetens the deal" by threatening to bring another inditment, this one for obstruction of justice against Mr. Ziegler if he doesn't give up a name. Threatening to subpoena the President, Leo, and C. J. just days before a national election could add enough of an element of scandal into the election to throw the race to Vinick. Toby thinks Blake (a Bartlet appointee) is just bluffing, non-the-less he takes the day to think about it.

Toby goes to visit his ex-wife Maryland Congresswomen Andrea Wyatt (played by Kathleen York) and take their 3-year old twins trick-or-treating. The two have to go separately because they can't risk as photo as Andrea is in her toughest re-election battle in years and ex-husband Tobys scandal is considered the biggest drag on her campaign. After expressing his disapproval that the twins are costumed as her Baltimore Orioles rather then his New York Yankees, Toby explains to Andrea his dilemma. Ms. Wyatt suggests that Toby simply tell the prosecutor that he got his information on the shuttle from his brother David (David Ziegler was a NASA astronaut who killed himself that last February after being diagnosed with cancer). Everybody thinks Toby got his information from David, but Toby hints that it wasn't and says that he will not besmirch his brothers reputation for something he did not do. That night Toby calls his lawyer and the prosecutor together to shame Mr. Blake for threatening to throw a national election, a tactic that seems to work. Thank you writers for giving us some good Toby scenes.

Well next week is the 1st part of the election two-parter and Leo's death, should be quite the show.


At 7:43 AM, Blogger Nate Dredge said...

In this episode Toby says that it was neither C.J. nor Leo who leaked the military shuttle information to him in the first place. My guess is that it was the President, possibly unententionaly.

Also the US military presense in Isreal is mentioned for the first time in I don't know how long.

At 6:05 PM, Blogger verity said...

On the site that i go to... some people are kicking around the idea that perhaps it was Toby's wife who told him? It was an interesting idea, anyway.

Hey... where did you get those screen shots from that episode? I'm hounding the net for a screen shot of Garofolo's character!

At 9:08 PM, Blogger Nate Dredge said...

You can find lots of West Wing Screen Shots at the NBC site.


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