Review of Gone Quiet
Written by Toniann
Boy, from those "Previously on The West Wing" clips, I guess we're going to be seeing the new people in this episode, huh?
Let me just say that my favorite thing about this episode was Charlie. His banter with Bartlet was priceless; I loved the things he kept pointing out, like how there's nothing left to run for, and that the president is busy finding submarines and shouldn't feel bad about having an aide turn in a piece of paper. And the snicker about how Bartlet doesn't need to duck when he's getting on Marine One (Hey, even C.J. doesn't.). A little mouthy today, indeed, but bring it on.
But my favorite moment of the ep, hands down, was the president banging his head on the desk in response to Albie's never-ending war stories.
I kept cracking up when Leo was telling the president about the submarine. "Big ones", he qualified something at one point. Now see, that's what I'd need someone to do for me in the Situation Room.
Don't forget, C.J., he's also too sexy for his car. And his cat. Imagine what you could read into that. But it's not a problem, really.
For the first time, I really really enjoyed Babish as a person, not just as a lawyer -- just as Abbey said to him. I liked his scenes with her, and the way he was relating to her situation. All of that was marvelously counterpointed by Abbey's palpable desperation when she was proposing the deal. Some fine acting, there. Stockard Channing's First Lady is always so strong, so controlled, so in charge. This is the first time I can think of that we really saw her unhinged. The way Babish talked her back from that was a pleasure to watch.
By the way, in case anyone isn't aware, Jennifer Lopez's first-ever concert is being televised next Tuesday. I mean, in case you've been living under a rock and have missed all the ads.
Hal Holbrook was, well, a delight, even if I couldn't figure out exactly what he was doing there. To be honest, I especially liked when he asked for a Schweppes Bitter Lemon on ice with a twist. Thank goodness he didn't want a Fresca.
What were Leo and Bartlet talking about before Albie was brought in? Something that was making a statement about democracy? Then he asked for the articles on succession? Huh? What did I miss?
I wish, when people are about the NEA, that they'd give a fairer depiction of the kinds of things it funds. The community children's theatre programs, the outdoor Shakespeare festivals. Yes, there's the argument to be made, as Toby does, that taxation is not about only funding what certain taxpayers like. That's an argument I'm behind 100%, and that I've made myself, in other circumstances. But while we're at it, I would like to hear about the whole spectrum of funding. Just to be fair.
We didn't see Josh (or Donna, for that matter) until half-way through the show. At first I thought there was some residual tension from the events of last week (The Diary Debacle), but after further reflection I think it was just the fallout from a busload of militant Seniors armed with Wheatina.
Why does anyone want to be president? Well, C.J. brings up a good point that sometimes you do get your head on a coin. Better hope it's not the penny, though, because then someone's always out to abolish you.
On a serious note, during Bruno's impassioned speech about liberalism vs. conservatism, I found myself actually respecting his character for the first time. Agree or disagree, that speech let us see that he's more than a high-paid suit out for the win. When Toby voiced his agreement with the issue ads, it was a truly powerful moment. For the first time our guys were working with the new guys, and it really clicked.
No Doug, though, I just realized. Huh.
Confession: I don't think I "got" the last line of the episode, when C.J. asked the president what his answer to the "I want to be president" question was, and he said he almost had it but didn't. The episode was so full of witty banter and sarcasm that by that point I wasn't sure who was being facetious or when. Well, they'll come up with something. I'm with Donna, though. The answer C.J. and Josh came up with stunk. I think it would be especially bad for Bartlet the "All MS, All The Time" president to say he wants to be re-elected to usher in the great medical advances to come. On the other hand, the Internet is pretty cool. :)
"It turns out there's life on Andromeda and they think we're doing a great job?"
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