Review of Dogs of War
Written by Toniann
In the end, despite the resolution of Zoey's kidnapping and Walken's
presidency, the hour ended abruptly, with a feeling that all was not quite
right with the world. Intentional?
Leo still wears his wedding ring.
Josh has one of the most annoying cell phone rings I've heard in a long
time. I think I've got that ring on my phone, but I'd never use it.
Toby's gesture of offering the house to Andy for her and the twins
surprised me not in the least, and I was disappointed that she didn't take
it. Barring further development of that storyline this season, I confess
that I don't understand what the deal is with Andy, really. I was reserving
judgment through last season, and I guess what she said to him just before
going into labor, no matter how much she regrets saying it now, is really
how she feels about him. It's strange to think, though, that she chose to
have children with him regardless. I don't get it, and I suspect, given the
nature of this show, we aren't likely to get clearer answers than this
anytime soon. Anyhow, I thought she should have taken the house.
I think Abbey's hair is different than it was last May. I mean, no big
deal, real life-wise, but I'm assuming that within the context of the plot,
Abigail wouldn't have taken the time in those 50 or so hours to get a new
New intern Ryan Pierce looks oddly familiar, but I think it's just that he
reminds me oddly of the guy who played Xander on Buffy.
Overall, I have to confess I was left with little grudge against Walken.
His scenes with CJ last week and tonight with Debbie showed a human and
decent side to his personality. His scene with Leo tonight, though, was the
one time he came across to me as heavy-handed and antagonistic. I'm not
usually one to play the gender card, but on the other hand, I couldn't help
but notice that he was more approachable, calm, and reasonable when dealing
with the women in the West Wing than he was with the men. That may have been
an unintentional circumstance of plot, I suppose; the press secretary and
the presidential secretary are two people he undoubtedly had to work very
closely with; they were also, I thought, two people who were noticeably
keeping their cool and acting professionally themselves.
Not that I'm picking on Josh. :-) I couldn't help thinking, in that early
scene in his office with Amy, when he asked if she had a shower and a shirt
in that bag, that perhaps now he was putting too much faith in the power of
a clean shirt.
Kudos to the writing staff for providing a written-in exit for
Fitzwallace. Boos and hisses that John Amos is leaving.
In both the opening scene and later, when Bartlet quoted Martin Luther
King, we heard a bit about how the presidency is a job with few allowances
for principles or peace. A bit of foreshadowing for the season to come?
You know, I found myself believing Walken's Republican staffer -- I think
his name might have been Scott -- in that scene in the men's room (as a
woman, I'm not even going to comment on the issue of confronting someone
while they're still at the urinal, but, you know, someone else with more
field experience should feel free to do so). Josh was Chicken Little for
these two episodes, as someone always is, and he was of all the staff the
most appropriate character to take that role. And as Toby said, some of his
concerns had merit. But the truth is, there wasn't much political hay to be
made by the Republicans out of this situation, at least, none that wouldn't
have backfired on them in the end.
Favorite moment of the episode: when Josh came out of the men's room to
find the West Wing in turmoil, a small bit of chaos having erupted in the
few moments he was in there. Big things happen in small amounts of time.
Color me unobservant. Somehow, I never caught on to the fact that Zoey's
kidnappers had never left the country. I should have: they talked about
closing the airports, back last season, and she was holding a copy of the
USA Today. Anyhow, if I understand it correctly, the FBI got a tip from
someone who saw something and called it in on her cell phone. They went in,
killed Zoey's captors, and recovered her. The reunion scene with the Bartlet
family was... strange, and that seemed fitting to me. What in the world,
after all, could ever be more surreal than a situation like that one?
As a side note, I personally applaud TPTB for bringing all of the members
of the Bartlet family into this story arc. Ellie and Elizabeth didn't have a
single line in this episode -- nor did Charlie, who in many ways qualifies
as family for many more reason than just his relationship with Zoey. They
there, and realistically, they would have been. Shows often present some
kind of life or death crisis, and don't bring all of the family members into
the mix, even just as a presence in the background, I assume because of
casting circumstances. I understand that, pragmatically, but it's one more
level I then have to suspend my disbelief on. The extra effort here was
Jed Bartlet is once again the president, but he seems profoundly
changed -- which is hardly surprising. Leo, the staff, they were all so
palpably happy and relieved to have him back -- and yet he was holding
himself apart from them in a way I think we're going to see unfold in the
next few episodes.
"Do you guys always walk so fast?"