yvi: (West Wing - CJ & Donna)
[personal profile] yvi posting in [community profile] thewestwing
Welcome to the first rewatch post in [community profile] thewestwing! This is your friendly mod [personal profile] yvi doing the recap. I am trying to keep my squee contained, but it might not be possible. Good for you that this episode doesn't have a lot of CJ in it.

If you are unable to view the episode, you can also take a look at the transcript.

We open to a mysterious conversation between two men in a bar, which I, to this day, don't understand. It ends with the young attractive guy smiling at a woman.

In the next scenes, various people (Leo, CJ, and Toby) get phone calls or beaper messages from from "Potus", who is obviously very important. Then we go back to the young attractive guy from earlier waking up next to the girl from the day before. We get to know that "Potus" was in a bicycle accident, which causes the guy to rush out, but not before revealing that we are talking "President of the United States" here. As all good guys do, he at least promises to call her before heading out.

At the white house, we get to know even more people, with names and everything! Viewers, meet Donna and Josh. Cue one of my favorite lines from this episodes:

Leo: He was swerving to avoid a tree.
Donna: And what happened?
Leo: He was unsuccessful.

And, finally some political issue: there are Cubans coming over in fishing boats. Well, not actually fishing boats. Or so says Josh. But there's more: Another mysterious exchange in which we learn the President is pissed at Josh for some reason. There is something about the Christian Right and Josh concludes that what he did was stupid, but he was still right.

Now we meet Mrs. Landingham! ♥ And Leo utters the words "He's a klutz, Mrs. Landingham. Your President's a geek." How can one not love this show? CJ, meanwhile, is wondering how to stop the press from laughing at the President hitting a tree with his bike after which we are finally back at politics with Leo, Sam, and Toby.

Cue our first press conference! CJ's being awesome.

Meanwhile, we see what the stupid thing Josh said was. "Lady, the God you pray to is too busy being indicted for tax fraud." Ouch. Donna and Josh have a Moment over coffee before Josh gets chewed on by Toby and gets told the woman he said that to will be around for the next round of coffee so he can apologize. He's looking forward to that

And now, meet Mandy. Mandy is... a bit hectic and loud. We learn that she runs some kind of exploratory committee for "Lloyd Russell, newly crowned prince of the White suburban woman, the upper middle class Black man and teacher's union". Oh, and she used to be Josh's girlfriend. Who's now dating Lloyd Russell. This si going to go so well.

Sam, in the meantime, is talked into giving giving some students from Leo's daughter's class a tour because he once hit on Leo's wife. Let's not go there.

Let us, however, go into how Sam just totally slept with a prostitute and swapped pagers with her afterwards. Yep, slept with a prostitute. I hear that's not a good idea in the US, especially if you work for the President.

Leo is trying to get the Christian Right to at least not hate them anymore. He doesn't seem to have that much success.

Sam is now swapping pagers with Laurie, who, as it turns out, really is an escort on top of being a law student. Ouups.

Next come two crucifications: Josh's for which he gets himself dressed up nicely - well, with Donna's help - and Sam's. Sam is trying to give the kids a tour, obviously knowing nothing about the building he works in. Thankfully, Mallory pulls him aside before it gets too embarrassing and asks him "I'm sorry to be rude, but are you a moron?" Then he tells her a bit of a sob story in which he mentions he just slept with someone who also works as a prostitute. Turns out Mallory is his boss's daughter.

At least Josh also gets slaughtered. At least Toby gets in a few good punches first, then we have a wonderful bout of "these people" from Marx. Interestingly, these members of the Christian Right don't seem to know the order of the 10 commandments (I am an ex-Christian Atheist and even I know them...), but hey, the President is there to teach them! And also tell them, because a nice group sent his 12-year-old granddaughter a nice little doll with a knife stuck through its throat. And then he throws them out.

The President then continues to rock my world for a bit, before we get Back To Business. And that's it for the first episode!

A few questions to warm you up:

1. As far as pilots go, how would you rate this episode?
2. If the pilot was the first episode you ever saw, did it get you hooked on the show?
3. Do you think this episode stroke the right balance between personal issues, introductions and political matters?
4. Who's better at getting himself into messy situations: Josh or Sam?

Also feel free to discuss any part you want to on in addition to this / instead of this.

(And if you want to volunteer to write one of these recaps, there are still plenty of episodes available at the sign-up post)
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