Monday, September 26, 2005

Mystery Solved > The West Wing

If you don't want to know who leaked the super-secret shuttle to the media, don't read this. Or watch last night's episode of The West Wing, which sent signals so clear that it would be dishonest to the audience if they weren't accurate.

Last season ended with a shot of C.J. looking troubled about the leak, and everything pointed to her being the source of the reporter's information--a fact that was noted repeatedly last night as the White House Counsel interrogated her. But it ain't C.J., folks--she looked genuinely stunned to realize that she's considered a suspect.

It's Toby! And, really, how can we be surprised? His brother is an astronaut--think he's gonna let other astronauts die in space over a little national security concern? He has the knowledge of the shuttle and he has the motive to reveal that knowledge and force Bartlet's hand into launching it on a rescue mission, thereby revelaing its existence to the rest of the world.

But if you're not convinced, watch the beginning of the episode. Three years later, at the dedication of the Bartlet Presidential Library, we learn a great deal about what the future holds for our favorite staffers. Jed is older and grayer, looking like the MS has not been kind to him, and Abby is nowhere to be seen. C.J. is married--to Danny! Will Bailey is in Congress. Charlie is--well, it's not clear what Charlie is doing, but he doesn't have Zoey on his arm, so there goes that fairy tale. Kate Harper has written a book. Josh is still hyperactive--he runs in and bounds up the stairs to tell everyone that the President has arrived for the dedication, though it's not made clear who that president is. (If Josh is running in to tell them, isn't it likely it's because Santos wins?)

Toby is at Columbia, which seems to agree with him. And he thanks Jed for inviting him. No one else does this. One could interpret this as a sign that he will not part company with the rest on the best of terms.

Still not convinced? Richard Schiff is leaving the show a few episodes in. (So are Martin Sheen, Stockard Channing, and Dule Hill.) He's said that he's not happy with the way his character's departure was handled.

Of course, the thing that got me the most in last night's episode had nothing to do with Toby. While the Danny-C.J. attachment pleases me, it was the scene between Josh and Donna that captivated me most. Donna comes to Josh looking to be his deputy, and he reads her a list of things she said about Santos while working for Bingo Bob. All of this is very standard--but Josh cracks. "If you don't think I miss you every day..." he says, before Donna walks out amid his offer to "make some calls" for her. He follows, looks after her as she walks away, and makes that face he makes every time he looks after Donna and thinks about his love for her.

This doesn't make me optimistic that things are ever going to work out between the two of them, but it was nice to at least hear Josh acknowledge how much he misses Donna. Considering that this is now a John Wells show, I have little doubt that we'll see more of the Josh-Donna plot before the series ends.


Jamie said...

leo isn't there in three years, either, implying that he is probably busy as the VP.

Richard said...

Or--and I hate to say this, though I have been hard on Leo in the past--dead. He does have health issues of his own. The fact that Josh came running in could mean a lot of things, really...though I still suspect that in the end Santos will beat Vinick and Josh will finally get the top job he's been wanting for so long.

Zaki said...

Whichever way you look at it, it's gonna be Santos. Like I've said on my own blog, a Vinick victory basically tells the viewing public they were schmucks for rooting for that Bartlet guy for the past seven years.