Monday, April 24, 2006

Josh & Sam

A West Wing Word

Episode: Transition
Josh is working on assembling his White House staff. We see him on a plane, then in a chauffeured car, then in an office building in southern California. Josh walks in on Sam who is in the middle of some kind of meeting, evoking strong echoes of the similar meeting interruption 8+ years ago when Mr. Lyman recruited Mr. Seaborn away from a successful career in law to work for the Bartlet campaign. Sam excuses himself from the meeting and he and Josh go to a plaza cafe to talk things out. Sam lost his 2003 race for congress and is now back in law and happier at his current firm then he was at his previous, he is also engaged to be married to a fellow attorney. Josh offers Sam the job of Deputy Chief of Staff, "Your me to my Leo". Sam is happy where he is in life right now but Josh seems determined, he knows that it won't take long for his old friends resistance to wear down. Driving back to the airport Josh calls Donna, who is helping Mrs. Santos pick out a temporary residence for the incoming first family to live in during the transition (I guess now they're living in a hotel or something when in Washington). Josh and Donna have a brief and awkward conversation then go back to what they were doing.

Matt Santos enters the White House Situation Room for a briefing on military preparations for the Kazakhstan campaign. C. J., Secretary of Defense Hutchinson and National Security Advisor Dr. Nancy McNally (read Condi Rice) are there to brief him. They explain about troop and supply shipments and we are reminded that the purpose of the military commitment is to force China and Russia to the negotiating table (so far this hasn't worked, "but at least they've stopped advancing"). Santos expresses his fustration at the whole enterprise and leaves after only a couple of minutes. After he's gone Dr. McNally causally mentions to C.J. that the NSA has been tapping all high level communications between the U.S. and Russia and China, and that the President-Elect said nothing inappropriate during his recent conversation with the Russian President (part of the courtesy calls the newly elected President is expected to make to the leaders of the G8).

Josh returns home to his apartment after his trip to Cali, Donna arrives and the two have 'relations'. Early the next morning Josh is in his living room working on 'the education plan' when Donna comes in preparing to leave. They have 'the talk' and Donna tells Josh they have four weeks to define their relationship, if they can't do it by then its not worth their time and they'll have to break-up. Later that morning Josh is in the transition offices with Santos, they talk about White House Consuel Oliver Babbish as a possible nomanie for Attorney General as well as some other matters, Mr. Lyman then has to leave for a meeting with C.J., and after he's gone the President-Elect tells Ronna that he would like to place a call to the Chinese President.

Josh and C. J. have their meeting, he tells her that the soon to be first family has decided that they'd like to move into Blair House for the transition, that he offered Sam a job, and then they talk a little about inauguration plans. Several hours after the meeting with Josh, C. J. and Dr. McNally enter the Oval Office to tell President Bartlet that in his recent conversation with the Chinese President Santos was heard questioning the appropriateness of the Administrations military commitment to Kazakhstan. Our Ms. Craig is so upset that she calls over to the transition office and has Josh interrupted during an interview to fill a position on the incoming economics team. Josh goes over to C.J.'s office again, she chews him out, he leaves and calls Sam again inviting him out to D.C. to talk. Josh then goes to tell Santos off for getting out of line with Bartlet administrations policy before even taking office. Then its off to a meeting with Lou where Mr. Lyman offers her the job of Communications Director (Tobys old gig), a position she is not overly excited to take as the recent Santos win means she can now triple her fee as a private consultant. Meanwhile Helen Santos ask Donna to be her chief of staff, a surprised Donna asks for time to think about it.

The next day Sam arrives and Josh introduces him as the new Deputy Chief of Staff before he even has a chance to officially accept. Donna tells Josh about Mrs. Santo's offer and reminds him that time is ticking away on their relationship defining window. Josh goes back into his office looking for his blackberry and goes into a fit when he finds out Otto has it (having forgotten he gave it to him to hold ten minutes ago). Sam witnessing the increasingly ragged looking Josh have a mini-breakdown goes into his office and gives an ultimatum, either Josh Lyman take a weeks vacation or he will refuse to work in the new administration (hey that rhymes). We cut to Santos in the waiting room outside the Oval talking to the Presidents secretary Debbie. The President arrives and he and Matt enter the office, here it is reveled that Santos and Bartlet are working together to play a little game of geo-political 'good cop, bad cop', and they have a plan meant to motivate the Chinese and Russians into negotiations by making it look like an impatient Matt Santos would be willing to use U.S. troops to force their armies out of Kazakhstan so that he would be able to re-focus on his domestic agenda. This perception is thought by the two to be enough to make both parties more then willing to negotiation with the current Bartlet administration, only time will tell.

In closing we go back to the transition offices where Josh introduces Matt to Sam and says he will be 'covering' for him while he takes a much needed vacation (presumably to the Caribbean somewhere). We leave with Josh and Donna on the plane together and Mr. Lymans unattended blackberry ringing back in his office.


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