West Wing Wednesdays are hosted by Lisa the Nerd and Laura of A Little Mole. For previous West Wing Wednesdays, click on the “West Wing Wednesday” label at the end of this post. For the details on what exactly West Wing Wednesdays are, check out the original post.
Mr. Willis of Ohio
-This episode opens with my favorite scene of the series thus far. The staff are playing poker with Prez Jed–who asks them all TRIVIA QUESTIONS in between hands! He’s my hero. First, he asks what is the only fruit with seeds on the outside (totally stumped me), CJ guesses the kumquat, but alas, it’s the strawberry. Toby’s predictably sick of trivia and asks the Prez what his move is. The Prez tells Toby that it depends on if the staff could come up with all 14 punctuation marks in the English language. The cool kids CJ, Sam, Leo and Josh manage to pull together 7 of them then old-man Toby saves the day by rattling off the last 7 in a gravelly monotone. Show off.
-CJ sheepishly approaches Sam to admit that she doesn’t understand anything about the census, and needs some tutoring from Sam. Sam gets sassy with CJ and thanks her for showing up to the party at all, late as her arrival may be. This scene makes me love CJ even more, its so cute and human (albeit totally unbelievable) that she’s been faking her way through census briefings for the past 4 weeks.
-A Secret Service man approaches Prez Jed to tell him that a mentally unstable 40 year old woman attempted to enter the White House in pursuit of his daughter Zoey. Yikes.
-Time for another meeting. Josh and Mandy are sitting down with a few congressman–Congressman Willis of Ohio being one of them. However, when Josh addresses him as Congressman, Willis corrects him, saying that his name is Joe, he’s an 8th grade social studies teacher, and that his position as a representative is only temporary. His wife was a Congressman Willis and when she died a month ago he stepped in in her place.
-Toby, tells the Congressmen, and Joe as he prefers to be called that they are going to have a tough fight in front of them to get their bill signed unless they drop an amendment that would make changes to the census process. Toby tells them he doesn’t feel guilty about exploiting the fact that they all have non-refundable plane tickets for the weekend. Then Joe Willis wins my heart forever by shutting Toby the hell down. “I’m staying in town for the weekend, so there’s no need to rush on my account”. Love you Willis, seriously.
-CJ tells Sam that she doesn’t like not knowing something, because it makes her feel submissive. This is the only good part of this scene, because then Sam proceeds to explain the census to CJ (but more the audience) in terms so simplified that a third grader would understand. We get it, Sorkin!
-The President asks Josh to take his assistant Charlie out for a drink, and tries to give Josh cash to pay for a few beers, which is the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. Zoey wants to go along so she can flirt with Charlie, and Mallory (Leo’s daughter) wants to have Sam come along so she can flirt with him. Girls.
-Mandy’s badgering the congressmen telling them that their amendment is constitutional even though they calim it isn’t, so she actually reads a passage of the constitution aloud to them, which seems really condescending, but it’s Mandy so there we are. THEN Toby says “She left out a line, didn’t she Mr. Willis” and quotes the bit of census law that says each person who isn’t free shall be counted as 2/3 of a person, and that their amendment would similarly limit the government’s ability to count the impoverished members of society. The two congressmen who aren’t Mr. Willis brush it off saying that they won’t be changing their votes, but Mr. Willis quietly says that he would. The congressmen try to badger him out of it, but Mr. Willis insists that it’s his choice and he won’t be bullied.
-Out at the bar Zoey volunteers to get the group another round, but takes her panic button out of her pocket lest it ruin the lines of her outfit. Some college guys swoop in on her at the bar, surrounding her and asking her for her name. Charlie rushes over to her defense and they start breaking out the weirdest racial slurs I’ve ever heard. They call Charlie superfly, Ice Tray, G-Funk and Doctor Huffy-Puffy-Dred-man, Doctor Doolittle-man. Seriously. Finally, they call him a faggot and Sam and Josh come over. Josh says “you guys don’t realize it, but you’re having a pretty bad night” so cooly, and then the Secret Service busts in and cuffs the guys.
-The Prez tells Zoey he’s going to up her security, which is fair, but Zoey’s pissed that she can’t have a normal life, also fair.
-The episode closes with Toby watching CSPAN, and we hear that Mr. Willis of Ohio has changed his vote to yea. There’s probably a freeze frame.