Monday, April 17, 2006

Leo's Wake

A West Wing Word

This weeks episode: "Requiem"
Setting: The Friday After the election.

This episode begins with a montage of our characters preparing to go to Leo's funeral, we can hear the sermon from Leo's very Catholic funeral overplaying these images. The funeral sermon allows us to segway into the acutely service ("More of a celebration really"), and the chapel is PACKED with old guest characters from the series. I mean it was really quite moving to see all those people again, they are all paying respect not just to the character Leo, but to the man who played him, John Spencer. Nancy McNally was there, Leo's daughter and her husband (this is who I am assuming the 6th pall bearer was), the three Bartlet Girls, two Vice-Presidents, Danny, Amy, Ainsley, Debbie, and of course Margret, among others. The pall bearers we know include President Bartlet, President-Elect Santos, Charlie, Josh, and Goodwin. Toby of course is also there (along with his ex-wife, whose re-election status has not yet been established), but do to the crimanel investigation he can't really socialize with anybody else. Toby stays in the chapel after the service hopping to wait out the reporters outside, Charlie stops by to talk to him and they have a sweet little conversation before the two leave the building together.

Josh and Santos return to their new transition headquarters at the OEOB. Matt has put Goodwin in charge of the selection committee for a new Vice-President, meanwhile he has arranged meetings with the three candidates for the Speakership (remember the Democrates have just regained control of the House). First we meet Congressman Fields, a liberal he is one of Matts best friends from the House and represents his bordering district in Houston. We then meet Congressman Selner a 'Blue Dog' from who knows where, who is currently in the lead for the position and is quite blatant about his intentions of always keeping their congressional majority (which they only have by four seats and haven't had in ten years) a higher priority then the Santos agenda if elected. Matt wants to use the 'honeymoon period' starting in January to pass lobbying reform, believing that if lobbyist can no longer influence legislation with campaign dollars this will unclog the system and make it easier for him to get the rest of his agenda passed later. We then meet Congressman Marino, who is 80+ votes behind in the count and is mostly a goofball brought in for comic relief. Matt would like to call in some favors and put Fields over-the-top, but Josh says that its bad politices to get involved in the speakers race and it will just alienate representatives whose votes they will later need.

At the White House people are starting to arrive for Leo's wake. C.J. and Danny have a conversation about how they had sex the other night and would like to do it again that evening, however their plans are ruined when Donna asks Ms. Craig if she can bunk at her place because she's loaned her apartment to someone else. Donnas staying at C.J.'s also puts a hold on Josh's plans for her that evening (The West Wing season 7: "The Sex Season"). Speaking of Donna, her and Charlie have a conversation in his new office (formerly Annabeths office, formerly Tobys Latina assistants office, formerly Will's office, formerly Sam's office). It seems that Josh had yet to get her a solid position in the new White House staff, Charlie seems to think this is slacking on Joshs part but Donna knows it has more to do with the not-fully developed parameters of their new relationship. We also see Will and Russell have a brief conversation and learn that Leo (like Spencer) was only 58 at the time of his death.

Jed arrives at the wake were he immediately proceeds to mask his pain at Leo's passing by putting up a strong front and telling funny stories about his adventures with the late Mr. McGarry. This is something the President will continue to do that evening during a more intament and informal gathering of close friends in the White House residence. Abby however is more reserved throughout the proceedings, she knows exactly what Jed is doing and I don't think she believes its completely healthy. After the Wake Ainsley (Emily Procter) our blond republican dream girl from the second season comes up to C.J. to ask her about a job. It seems our Ms. Hayes would be interested in rejoining the White House council's office in the next administration and would C.J. to put in a good word, apparently she is not happy in her current position at the Hoover Institute.

Amy Gardner (Mary-Louise Parker) catches up with Josh after the wake. She wants to talk with him about who they are considering as the new vice-president. She is pushing a congresswomen named Carol Gelsy from Florida, apparently she has twice as much legislative experience as Santos, is popular on both sides of the aisle and would help in Florida during the re-election run four years hence. Though Amys real agenda here seems to be that they could get a women into the vice-presidency and the public would just accept it, they wouldn't have to sell the idea (which is harder to do) like they would during a real campaign. Josh says that Gelsy is 2nd on the list, behind Gov. Baker whom he thinks is the right choice (current VP Russell had also offered to stay on in the job). Josh agrees to let Amy meet with the President-Elect, but before they do she tries to set him up with a friend of hers, saying that its time he settle down, she is completely oblivious to Donna and Joshs new relationship. When Ms. Gardner and Santos finally do meet, he tells her that his will already be a paradigm shifting administration and he can't afford to start staffing it like "it's Noah's Ark". Instead he offers her the job as head of legislative affairs, challenging Amy (who seems much more shrill now then she did when a semi-regular on the show) to 'stop casting stones and start trying to build something'. This episode ends with a hard to read sequence of Josh leaving the White House and looking back at the building.

Next Week: Sam's Return.


At 11:12 AM, Blogger GlennBeckFan said...

Personally, I'd have to say this goes to show Hollywood's disconnect with the American public and their deam of the '06 and '08 elections with the Dems regaining control (though I do not say it isn't possible)


Post a Comment

<< Home