Coming Out of Left Field

Monday, March 13, 2006

The West Wing: "The Cold"

First of all: WW is back! Yay!!!! *jumps up and down in celebration*

Now that we've gotten that out of the way -- I was excited to see this episode, but also worried. Even though only a week had passed in West Wing's universe, it's been nearly two months since Duck and Cover aired. So the writers and producers could've taken the easy way out and made this a catch-up episode. But either they knew better or just wanted to pack as much drama as they could in WW's final weeks, because a lot of things have developed very quickly.

It was good to see more of the goings-on in Vinick's camp; even though I think he'll still lose, the staff shake-up and refocusing on "values" will make for an interesting race. One really felt for Vinick, particularly in the last shot of him standing alone in the street, as his former campaign manager is driven away. And as a Democrat, I did find myself cheering the uptick in Santos' poll numbers, and then cheering some more when Josh and Donna looked as if they might (finally!) start something.

The crisis in Central Asia, even apart from the obvious parallels to Iraq, is rather scary. Martin Sheen has always done an excellent job at conveying just how much the presidency weighs on Bartlet, and this was no exception. It's probably unrealistic to hope that the conflict gets resolved quickly (a la "Commander in Chief" or our commander-in-chief), but I'd hate for the series to end with that hanging over its characters.

Other comments:

-- The swirling cinematography was back, but not in every scene (thank heaven).
-- The Kate/Will relationship is cute. I could've done without the lost bra incident, though.
-- Did anyone else yell at Josh, "The key! Grab the key, dammit!"?
-- I hope the last few episodes have at least one scene with Josh, Louise and Sam Seaborn -- three characters extremely sharp of mind and quick of wit. Bet the writers would have fun with that one.

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