Review of The Long Goodbye

Written by Toniann

I wish I could say I enjoyed this episode, but I didn't. I think it's fair to say that straight off -- and while I'm planning to be fair in my comments at well, if you loved it and don't want to hear criticism of it, well, then, move on to the next post.

I scanned through some of the earlier posts on this episode and I saw a lot of mention of ER in comparison -- but surprisingly, not the one storyline I think most relevant, the one which centered around guest star Alan Alda's character, a couple of seasons back, a brilliant doctor suffering the onset of Alzheimer's. I'm sorry to say, I think ER did a fantastic job with the topic while The West Wing, in my opinion, came close... but no cigar. I do say, hats off to Allison Janney, and to the actor playing her father, Donald Moffat. The scene where they went fishing, and he forgot who she was - dark and powerful. I was stunned. Overall, though, it just didn't pull it off for me as well as I've seen this difficult topic broached elsewhere.

It was the plot I had trouble with -- the reunion we all knew CJ would skip out of at least part of (I was surprised she actually gave the speech), the quick hook-up, the abrupt ending. That, and frankly, I missed the rest of the cast. The interaction. The relationships. We learn a lot about characters through their interaction with others -- I feel like I've gotten a clearer understanding of CJ through how she interacts with Toby, with Danny, with Bartlet, than from an episode where she was away from them all. But that's just me.

  • Did you see how disappointed the WH Press Corps was when they learned they weren't going to get Josh for the briefings? Well, who can blame them -- that was just downright fun, last time around. For them, anyhow.

  • Who travels in heels that high?

  • I don't have an opinion about Matthew Modine either way, but any character who was once in a band called the Mollusks of Love has to have something going for him. You know, though, the advance press on this show kept saying he was going to be some rich, successful guy or something -- far as I could tell, he was an ex successful stock guy who now fixes watches. Which is great, and all (well, not the prison part) but not exactly what I expected.

  • Archimedes is a great name for a cat.

  • You know what Toby really needs for his next birthday? A hands-free headset for walking in the hallways. I know, I know, he'd probably never want to use it, but the way he was holding the phone, neck all scrunched up, just looked really uncomfortable.

  • Speaking of Toby, though, wow, that press briefing he did... I liked the part where things were stated clearly over and over again. Yeah.

  • Was that "I Wanna Be Sedated" playing as CJ & Marco sat in the parking lot outside the reunion? Ironic.

    "Stop it, both of you -- I'm very upset and I don't want to laugh."

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