acrimonyastraea: Fang from Final Fantasy 13 (Fang)
[personal profile] acrimonyastraea posting in [community profile] thewestwing
"A Proportional Response” (transcript here) has everything we expect in a West Wing episode: Walk and talk, Josh is mean and unprofessional to Donna, CJ rules all, and Bartlet takes the moral high ground after some pompous speeches! On to the recap....

The episode begins with Donna needling Josh for a raise and letting him know he is in big trouble with CJ, who apparently knows that they've been keeping secrets about the accidental prostitute incident. Josh scurries off to hide from CJ in his office. Where he finds CJ with her (glorious) legs up on his desk.

CJ: Wow, are you stupid.

And credits. Which take us... back to the same scene where CJ continues to chew Josh out for not telling her about Sam's accidental prostitute. Then we move to a scene between Bartlett and Leo talking about some guys Bartlett is pissed at. I've never really been able to piece together what this is all about, but it has to do with the attack on the helicopter. Leo thinks that Bartlett is taking it too personally and he's probably right.

Bartlett shouts for Mrs. Landingham because he can't find his glasses. This will be A Thing. And your humble recap-writer realizes she needs to summarize more or this will be as long as the episode.

Staff meeting. They discuss a fellow Democrat who suggests the President wouldn't get out of his district alive and the possibility that there will be a retaliatory strike. After the meeting, Toby sews the seeds of trouble by suggesting to the press that the Democrat is being investigated by the Secret Service.

CJ confronts Sam about the accidental prostitute. CJ reads Sam the riot act act about informing her when he gets into things that could harm the president and Sam insults CJ and things just generally go very badly.

In the war room, the President gets his options presented to him. This is where we get to the title of the episode, with a debate on the merits of proportional response. When we see him later we will find out that he finally decides on the “proportional” response that has been recommended.

And then we finally meet Charlie Young, as he's interviewed by Josh. Charlie thinks he's interviewing for a job as a messenger, and finds out he's being considered for personal aid to the president. And he breaks our heart when he tells Josh his mother was shot in the line of duty and he's now taking care of his little sister. Later, Sam interrupts to bring his personal issues to the interview!

There's stress over how to announce the strike, Sam apologizes to CJ and we find out the press knows about Sam and the accidental prostitute. And then we have Surprise!Mandy in Josh's office! Josh and Mandy banter back and forth in a scene that doesn't seem especially relevant to your humble recap-writer.

Some other stuff, and the missing glasses are mentioned again. No one can find them! No time to get new ones! Charlie picks up on a clue and helps them find the missing glasses, yay! The president is rude to him, boo!

Time for the pompous speech about some obscure bit of history and a debate on the use of force. Bartlett realizes he was a little rude to Charlie, so he comes back to be inspiring and heroic, yay!

Bartlett: Leo McGarry filled me in on the situation with your mother. I'm so very sorry. I hope you don't mind, but I took the liberty of calling Tom Conley, the FBI director, and we had the computer spit out some information. Your mother was killed Western .38 Revolver firing K.T.W.s, or what are known as 'Cop Killer bullets'. Now we have not had a whole lot of success yet in banning that weapon and those bullets off the streets, but we're planning on taking a big whack at it when Congress comes back from recess. So what do you say, wanna come help us out?

Then Bartlett announces the strike in Syria. And end credits.

Some questions/areas of discussion:
1. What do you think about the way CJ is asserting her authority and struggling for the respect of her coworkers?

2. What do you think about the debate on proportional response strategy? Do you think various points of view were adequately represented? What other points of view weren't discussed? Did you relate to Bartlett, Leo, the Admiral or none of the above?

3. Raise your hand if you love CJ ;)

4. I mentioned that Mandy's scene didn't serve much purpose, in my opinion. What do you think about Mandy's character and how she's used on the show?
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The West Wing

November 2012

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