Review of Separation of Powers

Written by Toniann

  • This episode's opening, with Chief Justice Ashford's clerks busily discussing policy and papers and cases, slowly panning to the man himself sitting slumped and incoherent in his chair, was one of the sadder things I've seen on this show, and that's saying a lot. Clearly they care about him, as we saw later, but just the fact that they've grown used to his periods of incoherence to that extent... I don't know, it got to me.
  • Having said that, Ashford clearly does bounce back from these episodes, and the vigor he showed in the Oval Office, plus his very real arguments against resignation to the president, swayed me -- and given his complete incapacity earlier, that's surprising. Unless Jed can "get it done", I can understand why Ashford feels, in good conscience, he cannot step down. This is the legacy of accepting Bingo Bob as your VP, I guess, even if we viewers are slowly warming to the guy.
  • Matthew Perry's dry delivery is a delight. I have to tell you, I really hope he switches over to a more full-time commitment on TWW after Friends ends this year.
  • I'm betting it's not just the vow of poverty, or Hippo-Gate, that's making all of Toby's researchers quit... though, geez, I don't know. I realize it's probably easier to say this since I wasn't in their fictional shoes, but I think it'd take a lot for me to quit a job in the West Wing.
  • By the end of the episode, I was starting to think about taking some Vitamin C. Bye bye Miss American Pie, indeed.
  • Zoey is one tough cookie, that's definitely for sure, and I just want to mention that she certainly showed grace under fire regarding those questions about Jean Paul, that turd. I don't think she's just Daddy's little girl, though -- I see more than a little bit of Abbey Tough-As-Nails, I-Asked-Him-Not-To-Come in her as well, just with a little more forgiveness mixed in with love. That's all got to come to a head soon.
  • Nice little internal struggle there with Josh sending Donna to work with Angela Blake. He had to concede to Angela's request, but he sure didn't like it when Donna actually did give her the same level of support she has Josh (which, to clarify, is her job to do). For a moment there, after Donna defended Angela very eloquently, I thought he looked annoyed that she was capable of intelligent speech and isn't merely decorative and useful, which didn't make me like him very much. But he bounced back when he urged her back into the budget negotiations at the end -- he always does.
  • Not to mention, he's got that spiffy positive attitude thing going.
  • Not being a parent but being a loan-laden college student, I'm woefully ignorant of tax laws regarding tuition deductions for parents -- what's the real life status on those? Students, and ex-students, I know, do get a deduction.
  • Oddly, I didn't expect Speaker Haffley to look so, well, young. And on that note, right or wrong, I couldn't help grinning when Jed looked at him like he was a two year-old toddler with the remote control in his hands when he said, "And I said 'no'." :)
  • "It was a ceramic hippo."

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