Review of 20 Hours in America

Written by Toniann

  • You know, when all is said and done, I'm still hoping they were just kidding about the guys who missed the motorcade in Tennessee and were never heard from again.

  • I love Toby to pieces, but I can see how his being around the president when his blood pressure's already up might be a bad thing.

  • It doesn't seem like a West Wing episode if we don't go into the Sit Room at least once, you know? Are those guys ("the happy fun group") always in there? It seems like those guys are always in there, when Leo strolls in. For some reason I had it in my head that the Sit Room is only in use when there's, you know, a situation. Now I'm beginning to think that's probably always the case. But is it really always that dark, do you think? Wouldn't better lighting be beneficial to everyone's eyesight?

  • Just when I thought it would never happen, Fitz and Nancy were in the same room. More than once, even! Who knew? Good things come to those that wait: AD Smith and Amos were great together.

  • The president's speech at the military base was nice, don't get me wrong. I applaud his not "bending" the rules and campaigning, as well. But on an aesthetic note, I thought the shot of Bartlet walking towards the plane with "his truth is marching on" playing at just that moment was a little overdone.

  • Backing up a bit: how much time is supposed to have passed between the season finale and this episode, do you think? We know that we're now six weeks away from the election; where (or rather when) were we before?

  • Of all the moments of Josh, Toby, and Donna's trek across America (or part of it), I think my favorite was when they were sitting in the out-of-diesel truck and Josh was talking about "roughing it". Or maybe it was when the president said, "If Donna wasn't there, those guys would just have to buy a house". Or it could have been, "My guys are going to need to walk this off". Their luck was so bad, it got to the point where I was expecting the worst. At one point I was sure that when Toby handed off the cell phone to Donna, in the car, she didn't actually take it and it had flown out of the vehicle. Or something.

  • CJ likes dry rub? What on earth is dry rub?

  • "Toscanini landing in a corn field". I'm not getting the reference. Anyone?

  • Could those applicants for presidential secretary have been any worse? Even I got that Bartlet was kidding about the cheese joke. And heckfire, lady, I'm not impressed easily either, but Air Force One is pretty cool. On the other hand, "the pliable relationship the French have with time" made sense to me.

  • Off topic: I like Moby. I do. I like that song, "We Are All Made of Stars". It's great. But his stuff is on a lot of commercials, isn't it? What was this one, Intel? You know, on a related note, I can't tell you how often these days I can remember the "plot" of a commercial but not what the product was. Doesn't that mean that the advertising industry is missing the mark?

  • Glad they followed up on Anthony, the kid Simon was Big Brother to. And didn't take the easy road out there by having he and CJ "bond" over Simon's death either. When she was trying to connect with him, and suggested that they could talk about missing Simon, I wondered if she's been able to talk about that with anyone herself. Anyhow, I had a feeling Charlie was going to end up stepping in. And boy did he ever.

  • CJ, by the way, looked great in that dress.

  • Speaking of Charlie, nice tie-in with his earlier weird conversation about photographs, when CJ gave him that picture of him and his mother. The picture was nice. The photograph thing with the president was weird. But in a good way.

  • While on the subject of Charlie, I think I've almost got it now. Debbie Federer (then DiLaguardia) worked in the White House Office of Personnel. For McKittredge? And McKittredge wanted her to hire a young relative of his for the job of presidential personal aide? And she didn't, and hired Charlie instead, and that got her fired? She refused to tell the president this, and he was impressed not just by her decision to hire Charlie but her discretion in not giving up her former boss' bad habits? This one is for the FAQ, guys, so I need to get the details straight and I think I'm off on a few.

  • The song playing during the pipe bomb scenes was Tori Amos' cover of "I Don't Like Mondays", referred to earlier by Donna and Josh. That version can be found on Tori's album, "Strange Little Girls".

  • "Just rock and roll, Sam". Kind of a strange Sam (or should I say, shmutsy pants) episode. He wasn't where I thought he'd be -- it almost seemed like they were distancing him already. Did TPTB know Lowe was leaving when they wrote this episode? Are we seeing seeds of that already, or am I projecting? Is it great to have Mallory back, or is it just to make up for Ainsley joining that Great Mandy Black Hole In The Sky?

  • Even the president can't keep Ed and Larry straight. He should ask Margaret -- that's who we go to for these things. Don't forget, in a pinch, she can sign the president's name, too. - You called me Medea -- boy, it's fun to see Abbey & Jed trading quips and barbs. She almost had me going for awhile there. Barbecuing, huh?

  • You know, while we're on the subject, cooking shows are great, and I don't even cook. I just watched this dessert show on making vanilla soufflC, it was terrific. Not that I could do it. On the other hand, I don't know what show it is that Leo's watching, but I'm not all that interested in seeing lamb be massaged.

  • Loved Donna's bit with Josh and Toby at the end. She didn't tell them to get along, she didn't argue their points. She just pointed out everything they'd been missing in the past twenty hours. Of course, the fact that they found a hard-working, average American, congenial fellow to chat with in the bar just a few minutes later was rather plot-fortuitous, but still, I liked how she said what she did. Also, my mother pointed out that the song playing in the background during that scene was "Wanderer". By Dion? Not sure. It's the little things.

    "This is me lightened up."

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