Coming Out of Left Field

Monday, October 17, 2005

The West Wing: "Mr. Frost"

Aside from the title, which applies to only one of the plotlines ("I.D." would've been a better choice), this was an excellent episode. Lots of wit, sharp writing, and drama on both a personal and political scale. Santos is sounding better and better, especially in his response to the intelligent-design advocate -- smart, articulate, and respectful without being pandering. One can see why Josh would choose to work for him instead of Bingo Bob.

~spoiler alert~

I also liked that we got to see some of the White House doings too. The leaker's identity was finally revealed, and unfortunately it wasn't much of a surprise. It's true that all the signs (the subpoenas, the conversation with Brock in which she says "Reveal your source") seemed to point to C.J. But the "West Wing" writers aren't usually that obvious, and Toby has given away stuff before. Still, it'll be sad to see him go.

What I don't know is how Richard Schiff will get in the rest of his appearances this season. He's signed up for 11 episodes, and this was only the fourth one. I wondered if he would join Santos' staff, but they already have a communications director, and as my wife pointed out the last thing the campaign needs is a PR scandal.

~spoiler alert~

Other thoughts:

-- I enjoyed seeing Leo, who was his usual crusty self. Loved the bits between him and Annabeth.
-- The wife and I both miss Donna, though it seems like she'll join the Santos campaign two episodes from now.
-- Aside from Kate Harper (whose name I had to look up, because I can never remember it), all these characters are much more idiosyncratic and interesting than those on "Commander in Chief". Even the new ones like Louise Thornton are quickly established, though it probably helps that she's played by Janeane Garofalo.

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Will there be another season of the West Wing? I just don't see where it could go after this season without jumping the proverbial shark, if it hasn't done so already. Actually, I don't suppose where it's really going to go after January. Are they going to bring in the new administration?

I wish I knew. As much as I'd love to see Santos in the White House for his four years, I don't know how much more steam the show has, given that it's lost so many viewers this season. Maybe the best thing to do would be to do what Barlett is doing, and just wind things down.

Either way, I think they'll draw out the campaign as long as they can. I know for sure they're planning to have Santos and Vinick do a live debate during November sweeps.

Well, they've picked up at least one new viewer, as I finally bade farewell to Charmed and changed the Tivo Season Pass to West Wing. I got hooked on all the reruns over the summer, and after watching the first couple of totally bland, same-old same-old episodes of Charmed, I've cut the cord.

Too cool! Now we have someone else to talk about the show with. :)

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