Review of The Stackhouse Filibuster

Written by Toniann

This was a nice episode, wasn't it? Really a pleasure to watch. For me, anyhow. I liked the different voices and the interwoven emails back home. Interesting how each one-- CJ, Sam, and Josh-- had such a distinct tone with their respective parents, and yet all ended up on the same note.

  • First off, I have to say I missed the first 30 seconds or so because we were still talking about "Survivor" and how annoyed we were that Jerri didn't get kicked of. Argh! Never fear, though, I'll catch it the second time around on tape.

  • Yet another episode where I really loved CJ. That woman has the most wonderful, dry, sarcastic wit, she cracks me up. And I adored the way her banter with Toby turned on a dime to a serious conversation about missing her father's birthday. Same with her scene with Sam. You go, Claudia Jean.

  • Did anyone else notice that in the scene after the first commercial break, CJ's voiceover email recitation didn't match the closed captioning at *all*? There were whole sentences she wasn't saying.

  • The Filibuster: coincidentally, I just watched "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" last week, so I cheered when Donna put her hand up and pointed out that Stackhouse could yield for a question without losing the floor. I also, however, found it hard to believe that no one else in the West Wing has seen "Mr. Smith", or that Bartlet wasn't an expert on Senate parliamentary procedure. Yes, I know, he was in the House, as he said. But this man knows *everything*. He knows the temperature on Mars. He knows all about fjords. He surely knows this. Ah well, I'll suspend my disbelief just this once.

  • Speaking of the filibuster, though, I thought what Stackhouse was doing was great even before we found out about his grandson. Talk about a worthy cause, and I only wish the government would spend more money studying autism.

  • For those intent on picking apart Donna, I'd like to point out that this episode was very careful to accurately portray her position in the West Wing, as per Bartlet asking why she was in the room and then her hesitancy in making a suggestion (and the hand-raising was pretty funny, too, I thought). As in, in my opinion, she may not be in the inner circle of Leo/Toby/Sam/Josh/CJ, but she's hovering right on the edges.

  • I need to address CJ's careless and shameful disrespect for Bubastis. Love Claudia Jean though I do, perhaps she does deserve to be under the Curse of Bast. Potpourri, indeed. Bast was a strong and powerful goddess, and she deserves to be treated as such.

  • Here's something that confused me about the Hoynes bit in this episode: I got what went on, and why he volunteered to step up against the oil companies, and how Toby figured it out. What I don't get is why Toby went to him with this in the first place. Why did Hoynes need to get a head's up that the Energy Secretary was going to speak about something? What am I missing? Speaking of Hoynes, though, he really doesn't like Toby much, does he.

  • I'm sorry, but that GAO intern, Winnifred, annoyed the heck out of me, no matter how much of a voracious reader she is. I hate to say it, but that girl needs to get out more.

  • Possibly the funniest moment of the episode: Josh falling in his new shoes, and his subsequent attempt at recovery. It reminded me of my cat on the rare occasion she skids too far around a corner or misjudges a leap and stumbles, and then stiffens up her ears, shakes her head haughtily, and clearly says, "Hey, that doesn't make me any less cool."

  • So, this week's 'Ship-O-Meter. Another low score for Josh & Donna again, boys and girls. Not much a'happenin' at all. I'm stretching a little here, but we did notice Josh telling his mom that Donna said hi, which I thought was kind of cute. And I think we were meant to notice it-- I mean, Sam didn't send a greeting to his dad from CJ or anything. Anyhow, though, nevertheless, I'm giving them a 2 again. Personally I'm thinking that thoughts of romance for these two are being shelved for a bit.

  • Wait a second, though-- wasn't there supposed to be a love interest for CJ at some point? Didn't we hear rumors to that effect from Allison Janney awhile back? What's up there?

  • Leo and Bartlet's dinner was, let's face it, pretty damn funny-- until, of course, it wasn't funny at all anymore. "We never talk anymore." "Conversations like these are why I got divorced." "No, they're not."

  • So, we have confirmation: the deal was for one term only. Obviously it's a deal that's going to be broken or there's shortly be no more show. Well, all I can say is, it's going to be a bumpy ride.

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