West Wing
365 Days

Episode Report Card
LTG: B | Grade It Now!
The Doctor Is In

Open on a talking head wrapping up an interview with Toby, who is identified as "author of President Bartlet's final State of the Union Address." Talking Head thanks Toby for not making the speech too long, and he tells her that they were "aiming for pith." After the cameras stop rolling, Talking Head wants to ask Toby some questions about the prescription drug coverage mentioned in the speech, but he's pulled away by Carol, who tells him that C.J. is waiting for him. In a nice touch of continuity, you can see Annabeth hovering in the background in her role as Deputy Press Secretary for Media Relations.

Walking through the West Wing, Toby runs into C.J., who congratulates him. They then exchange some dialogue that is utterly incomprehensible to me. The only thing I can make out is that C.J. seems to be mumbling some praise, and Toby seems to be muttering some resistance to accepting that praise. Toby asks if "he's here yet," and C.J. tells him that "he" is due any time. Toby wonders if "he" is ready for this, and C.J. says, "He says he is." Toby complains about the meeting's having been scheduled at 7:00 AM, but C.J. says it's the only time that would fit everyone's schedule. Apparently, "he" has some thoughts he wanted to share with everyone. Carol passes behind them, and praises Toby on the speech. Wouldn't she have done that when she saw him moments ago? He deflects the praise, and C.J. calls him on his false modesty as they turn the corner and walk out of sight. Gee, I wonder who "he" could be? Could it be Jed? Or is the animatronic version of Fitz ready to assume its duties? Oh, you say you read the episode description in the media source of your choice and knew it was Leo? Then I guess all this misdirection was for nothing.

Cut to a shot of Leo's bony claw. I'm not kidding -- his hand looks nearly skeletal. It's attached to Leo (natch), who is riding in the back of a limo while a reporter on the radio talks about Jed's asking for the largest expansion ever of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC from here on out, kids -- I don't get paid by the letter). The thing that struck me immediately about this shot is that it was so clearly not shot on location -- the light is completely wrong for D.C. in January. I think they should avoid any shot that calls for natural light in the winter unless they are on location in a place that actually has a winter. Just two seconds after passing a glassy building, the driver stops the car and tells Leo that they've arrived. Again, a telling flaw to anyone familiar with D.C.

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West Wing




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