Random Thoughts on Memorial Day

Written by Toniann

  • Despite the press hubbub it caused, and was bound to cause indeed, I hardly blame Bartlet for changing up the speech's language at the last minute. It sounded like bad Tolkien.
  • Last episode ended with the president telling Mrs. Fitzwallace we'd find the people who were responsible for her husband's death. She responded, wisely, by saying "Don't promise me that -- I live in the world." Lo and behold, though, apparently in this world it's not so difficult to find a needle in a haystack because -- hey! Coincidentally, right after the president just finished chastising the Israeli ambassador for their hasty pursuit of a criminal they thought they had no real chance of locating -- we found our guy, too! Who'd have thunk? And, my goodness, that does put the president in a pickle, considering! Sorry for the sarcasm but, well, it was mighty convenient, plotwise.
  • You know, I could have sworn that was Connie Chung giving the news report at one point.
  • Amazingly, this episode made me slightly more sympathetic towards Kate Harper, for two reasons -- one, because whether I agreed with her or not, you've got to respect someone who speaks out against the room, as long as it's with rationale and intelligence, which she had. Secondly, I thought Leo's little Sit Room chat with her was completely out of line and bullying. Clearly he thought she was wrong, and telling her so would have been acceptable. Telling her that, essentially, she didn't have any business giving the president her advice was going too far. That's what the office of the National Security Advisor is there to do; in fact, it's her job to advise the president, and Leo knows that. Imagine him having that little heart to heart with Nancy McNally -- she would've blasted him back into Sunday. Which brings me back to what I've said before: I may be thawing towards Kate Harper, but I find her presence to be a bit contrived. It should and would have been Nancy in those scenes, which would have changed the entire dynamic.
  • Clearly, Leo's motivation in confronting Kate had quite a bit to do with his growing unease over not having the president's ear on this one, and blaming that on Ms. Harper. I don't buy her as having that much influence with Jed -- but still, easier to believe that someone is influencing the president rather than, he just isn't valuing your opinion the way he used to, I'd wager. Which is what the flashbacks were all about, I guess. A fallout between Jed and Leo isn't an uninteresting plot development to me, but the timing here seems off. Plopping it down in the middle of a season finale, with no real hints in recent episodes we were leading up to it, makes the whole idea seem choppy and abortive. Is this going to be a big theme next year? Or just a blip, forgotten over the summer? Hard to say.
  • Weren't we supposed to see Fitz's funeral in this episode?
  • Joshua, Josh, Josh. He can't even watch blood being drawn, he still has one of the more annoying cell phone ringtones on the planet (kudos on the continuity, though), and he makes a lousy Secret Agent Man ("Is it the guy in the toupee? Cause he's really obvious."), but he is pretty devoted to the girl, I'll give him that much. I begin to strongly suspect that this whole storyline of Donna being injured and simultaneously being involved with Sexy Suave Camera Guy, added to the earlier noises about Donna wanting to advance beyond being just Josh's secretary, exists to set-up the further development of some kind of romance with them. (You think?) I've never been sure about the whole Josh/Donna 'ship: on one hand, there's a certain fun chemistry with them and frankly, relationships do happen. On the other, I fear seeing TPTB take that first step down the slippery road that's left ER one big huge "who's sleeping with who next?" fiesta. Having said that, the one thing I give them credit for is addressing the boss/employee issue first, and setting up some possibilities for removing that obstacle instead of just ignoring it.
  • Finally, as season finales go, this one was literally packed with complex politics, strange personal dynamics, and the ever-confusing flashbacks, but there were a slew of delightful moments that made it all worthwhile:
  • That's all she wrote -- a good summer to you all.

    "Sure, in a bodice-ripping, Heathcliff on the moor, I'm too sexy for my camera kind of way."

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