Review of Enemies
Written by Toniann
review written in Feb. 2002
There was something almost scary about the president's determination to talk everyone's ear off about National Parks. But then again, it led very neatly to Josh's solution for the banking bill amendment. So that was nice.
So, what does coffee that costs $6.50 a cup taste like? Does Juan Valdez serve it to you personally?
There's that Congressman Skinner, again. I've been watching all these first season episodes lately and he just keeps popping up. And here, I thought that later ep where we find out he's gay, when he has that meeting with Josh, was the first time we'd seen him.
I'm not really clear why, without hindsight, the Vice President pulled his "take over the room" in the cabinet meeting. I mean, with hindsight, he did it so that we could have that explosive scene between Hoynes and Jed at the end. But without knowing that, what was Hoynes after, really? My point is, the guy knew, I'm sure, that Jed Bartlet wouldn't want John Hoynes running any meeting in his absence. So was he trying to piss the president off, or was it just a by-product?
Speaking of that cabinet meeting, the president singles out the Secretary of Agriculture. And yet, that's not the same actor we see playing the Secretary of Agriculture a few episodes later in "He Shall, From Time to Time". Huh.
You know, I'm starting to think Hoynes doesn't like CJ very much. I mean, he and Josh have a history of working together. He and Leo have, well, a complicated relationship that has some measure of respect to it. Same, to a lesser degree, with Toby. But to my recollection, every time the VP comes in contact with CJ, he's rather brusque.
Sigh. I thought, after just the previous episode when Mandy's political advice got an FBI negotiator shot, she'd back off a little. And yet there she was, arguing with Josh, and for what it's worth, I think she was in the wrong again. You'd think she'd get a little less confident. A little less sure that she's always right, when she isn't.
But seriously, although Mandy's departure was never explained, it was certainly the right thing, even story-wise. Mandy's politics just grated against the rest of the staff, and she too often led the president to safe ground, in my humble opinion. No "let Bartlet be Bartlet" there at all.
I understand that Leo (and the president) wanted to make a point to Mallory, about her father's job. And it was a point worth making. It's too bad, though, that it ruined Sam and Mallory's date, because after this they never really did get off the ground. Wonderful scene: when Mallory, exasperated, says that Sam is just like her father, and Sam looks at Leo and says, "Well, that's the nicest thing you've ever said about me."
And later, I confess I'm a sucker for those scenes with Toby and Sam obsessed about writing something, looking for their talent, bickering back and forth. You know, they really *are* the Batman and Robin of speechwriting.
Lastly, folks, I'm a somewhat intelligent person, I think. And yet despite that, combined with several years, now, of analyzing the show, I don't know why Josh makes he little statement at the end, "We talk about enemies more than we used to", to the president. Huh? It just seems to me that there have been other episodes where the staff has fought harder against "enemies" than this one; I really didn't get the sense that that was the theme of this ep. It seemed tacked on, to me, and to this day I remain puzzled.
"You're quite a nerd, Mr. President."
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