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View Full Version : The West Wing - Things Fall Apart (Contains Spoilers!)


Sean Factotum
03-31-2005, 06:39 AM
Oh CJ, you are going to be in so much trouble when the season finale rolls around next week!

I said it before, and I'll say it again - the woman has no sense of National Security. Even after Toby told her that his (late) brother the astronaut would have insisted on protecting a secret as big as the military space bomber to the point of dying in space, she goes and leaks its existance to the New York Times. Just because the President hasn't made a decision doesn't give her the right to force one on her.

In other news, Santos turns down a sure thing (VP to Russell) to keep on with his Cinderella story campaign. And since Russell's next choice is Al Bundy, it looks like Vinick and his West Virginia goon are going to walk away with the general election.

And is Charlie seriously considering marrying Zoe? And why does he think Barlett wouldn't approve? The President gave Charlie his favorite carving knife one Thanksgiving.

fiddlesticks
03-31-2005, 11:28 AM
I appreciate the fact that they are trying to build some tension here going into the final episode...

...but then the preview for the finale/next season says something along the lines of "Alan Alda...Jimmy Smits...who will be the next president?..." Okay...so guess that means Bingo Bob Lumbergh isn't an out (shocked, I tell you, SHOCKED!). Sigh. Come on folks...

And why wasn't throwing a spare billion to the Russian space program to get a Soyuz off the ground an option rather than blowing the cover on a military asset so secret CJ doesn't have clearance for it? Sigh again.

Little Nemo
03-31-2005, 11:52 AM
Keep in mind that this isn't a real election. A handful of writers and producers are going to decide who's the next President, not the voters. So while Bob Russell or John Hoyne would have defeated Matt Santos, Gary Cole and Tim Matheson never had a chance against Jimmy Smits. And by the same principle, it'll be a wide open race next season between Vinnick and Santos. Supposedly the show has not yet decided who will win.

I do think Vinnick's speech came off on a false note. Despite Bartlet's observation that Vinnick was trying to get Democratic votes, no candidate is going to open such an important campaign speech with prolonged praise for somebody from the opposite party.

I also like how the sidestories in this episode (the shuttle and Charlie's relationship with Zoe) actually seemed to be part of ongoing storylines rather than the filler we've seen too often.

Podkayne
03-31-2005, 12:14 PM
I was driven to distraction by the stupidity of the ISS plot.

Anybody who knows BEANS about the ISS knows they have a Soyuz TMA as a crew return vehicle. They rotate it every six months, with the astronauts coming up in a new Soyuz TMA which becomes the new CRV, and the returning asteroids taking the older capsule down. If there was an emergency, the crew would just return in the Soyuz capsule in exactly the same way that astronauts return to Earth on a routine recrewing mission.

How deeply, irrationally, IRRESPONSIBLY STUPID would it be for them to have people up IN OUTER SPACE with no way of bringing them back to Earth on short notice in case of an accident?!? 'Cause, like, how unlikely would it be that something would go wrong out in, you know, OUTER FREAKIN' SPACE?

Cripes, all they had to do was say, "Oh, and, by the way, something's wrong with the CRV, too." Viola: instant dramatic tension. But, no, they were either ignorant of the CRV, and to lazy/stupid/apathetic to look it up, or they figgered that the audience wouldn't care; why bother when we can spend more time on the always-thrilling Zoe/Charlie subplot?

I'm forced to assume from here on in that every crisis the writers manufacture is founded firmly in bullshit. And with the rotten writing recently, I'm already having frequent suspension-of-disbelief failures.

BobT
03-31-2005, 12:18 PM
I couldn't figure out why CJ got so worked up about such a matter. It's sad to say, but people who sign up to be astronauts know that there are a LOT of risks in the job. She put her personal feelings above national security, which way make her sleep well at night, but it wouldn't make me sleep well at night knowing that such a person has a position of responsibility in the White House.

Could you picture somebody like Kissinger telling Nixon, "Um, Mr. President, I was feeling sorry for Brezhnev and his economic problems, so I told him that he didn't need to work on any ABMs because ours don't work very well either."

amarinth
03-31-2005, 01:46 PM
They're pulling West Wing before May sweeps?

Sean Factotum
03-31-2005, 02:20 PM
They're pulling West Wing before May sweeps?
Yeah. Apparently back-to-back episodes of The Apprentice will draw higher ratings. It's all very sad.

I hope CJ gets fired for this. I really do.

ISiddiqui
03-31-2005, 02:25 PM
Meh... if Santos wins (and it sure looks it, doesn't it?) that may be waaaay too much suspension of disbelief for me. Vinick was already kind of strange (pro-life Republican who just said he wasn't religious... wha?) and now some no-name Congressman becoming the Dem nominee? Do these writers even pay attention to real life politics?

Oh well... something tells me that Santos will end up winning somehow. They've built up Vinick as this amazing machine rolling over everyone and Santos as the little engine that could, I don't think they can resist.

MovieMogul
03-31-2005, 05:34 PM
I couldn't figure out why CJ got so worked up about such a matter. Well, because at her worst (which seems to be more and more frequently now), she's an hysterial, patronizing, knee-jerk emotional, irritatingly self-righteous thorn in the administration's side. She won't get fired for this (since that would be fodder for the GOP campaign machine), but I do hope she gets torn to shreds by Jed for it, so that her tail's between her legs for the duration of his term.I do think Vinnick's speech came off on a false note. Despite Bartlet's observation that Vinnick was trying to get Democratic votes, no candidate is going to open such an important campaign speech with prolonged praise for somebody from the opposite party.Actually, this is wholly consistent with Ron Silver's campaign advice last episode--being a uniter, not a divider. I think Alda's being portrayed as a guy who takes that mission to heart, and who may well try to build bridges in a non-negative campaign that's designed for maximum cross-party appeal.

But what I suspected would be his biggest obstacle was also confirmed last night--those may be his intentions, but his party's out for blood, and the red meat that was such a large part of the convention may dictate the actual tone his campagin ends up sending. Getting so close to being elected may compel him to cave, relying on the darker impulses of the lobbyists and special interests backing him. Contrast this with Santos, who is standing up to the pressure he's facing within the party, even standing up to the President for what he believes in. There aren't many episodes left before the election (especially with such a long summer break), but it'd be interesting to see if this divergence of styles and philosophies is played out as the make-or-break element in who ends up getting elected.

chique
03-31-2005, 06:07 PM
From the day Bartlet walked into a White House office saying, "I am the Lord your God..." I've thought that The West Wing (the higher points, at least) was politics as it should be, not as it is. So when I readI do think Vinnick's speech came off on a false note. Despite Bartlet's observation that Vinnick was trying to get Democratic votes, no candidate is going to open such an important campaign speech with prolonged praise for somebody from the opposite party.I thought, "But....wouldn't it be nice if that happened in real life? Candidates actually appreciating the gravity of the office rather than treating human beings as sport?"

BobT
03-31-2005, 06:09 PM
I had to suspend disbelief that any presidential candidate, let alone who had the nomination sewn up, would not have his religious practices scrutinized for quite a while. Especially a Republican.

Does Santos go to church? There would be a presumption that a Latino candidate would be Catholic. That would make for two consecutive Catholic Democrats in the White House!
I bet Santos doesn't speak Latin like Barlet does.

I found the casting of Ron Silver's character as a Democratic strategist turned Republican to be about the only realistic thing in the campaign.

Is there ever, ever, ever going to be a party convention that isn't a foregone conclusion anymore? Do even the Libertarian or Reform Party conventions go more than one ballot?

carnivorousplant
03-31-2005, 09:41 PM
...either ignorant of the CRV, and to lazy/stupid/apathetic to look it up, or they figgered that the audience wouldn't care...

I'm forced to assume from here on in that every crisis the writers manufacture is founded firmly in bullshit.

Amen, brother.

Ass For A Hat
04-01-2005, 07:38 AM
Bob Russell or John Hoyne would have defeated Matt Santos, Gary Cole and Tim Matheson never had a chance against Jimmy Smits. And by the same principle, it'll be a wide open race next season between Vinnick and Santos.Which is why Santos will win. Alan Alda has at most done short term, recurring guest roles on shows in recent years. It doesn't seem likely to me that he's going to take on a full time role on the show.

Sean Factotum
04-01-2005, 07:42 AM
Ummm, who edited the thread title? How can we have spoilers in this when we're discussing an episode that already, and are just making guesses about the next couple?

Labdad
04-01-2005, 09:27 AM
Pure speculation on my part here - don't accuse me of unboxed spoliers!

If Vinick were to win the presidency, won't they have to replace the entire cast of the show? No matter how much of a "uniter" Vinick may be, he's not going to have a Democratic staff!

It seems to me if Santos wins, they at least will keep Josh, probably as Chief of Staff. Josh could talk Toby into sticking around - maybe even Donna (inasmuch as she intimated last episode she may have doubts whether she's working for the right candidate). Will Bailey is toast, no matter who wins.

CJ? That's anybody's guess. Not sure what her position would be in a Santos White House. And Leo? Relegated to "special guest appearances."

Sean Factotum
04-01-2005, 09:30 AM
As far as I've heard, the only people signed on for the next season are Alan Alda and Jimmy Smits. I'm pretty sure Martin Sheen will have one or two cameos. But you're right, no matter who wins, the cast is in for major replacing.

carnivorousplant
04-01-2005, 09:43 AM
As far as I've heard, the only people signed on for the next season are Alan Alda and Jimmy Smits.

Does that imply that Vinick is president with Santos as his VP, or the campaigns of Vinick and Santos will run into next the season for several episodes?

ISiddiqui
04-01-2005, 09:44 AM
That assumes they are going to continue after the election. The election campaign for the new President may just be the last season for WW. Though if they continue and Santos wins... that'll just be a biiiit too much for me to take.

Dancer_Flight
04-01-2005, 10:17 AM
Ummm, who edited the thread title? How can we have spoilers in this when we're discussing an episode that already, and are just making guesses about the next couple?

Some of us time shift The West Wing (I can't get the original broadcast in my timezone). I generally watch the episode the next day, and no doubt there may be others who do so as well.

-DF

Sean Factotum
04-01-2005, 12:19 PM
Some of us time shift The West Wing (I can't get the original broadcast in my timezone). I generally watch the episode the next day, and no doubt there may be others who do so as well.-DF
Yeah, but we've had one of these threads (this time around) for the past two months, and no one had it changed before. Oh well, it at least seems to have helped bring the Viewed count up a few compared to past weeks.

Does that imply that Vinick is president with Santos as his VP, or the campaigns of Vinick and Santos will run into next the season for several episodes?
A couple of weeks ago NBC announced that TWW was picked up for next season. They also announced that both Alda and Smits are signed for next year, but there were no contract lengths mentioned that I saw. I don't think that both would be Pres/VP together, even in the world that contains The West Wing. So it seems that a few episodes next season will be continuing the race for the Oval Office.

Little Nemo
04-02-2005, 10:48 PM
Next week's episode is the season finale, isn't it? So this season will end with the Democratic Convention and the nomination of the Democratic candidate. The presidential race itself will be the focus of next year's season (along with the final days of the Bartlet administration) and will probably have the election as its climax. Based on the recent upswing on the show, I'd guess the series may get some new life and be renewed for at least another season after that with a mostly new cast based around the newly elected President and his White House staff.

BobT
04-03-2005, 01:51 PM
They've have brought in some fairly experienced TV actors for some of the members of Vinick's staff, such as Patricia Richardson and Stephen Root.

Have we ever seen a press spokesperson for Santos?
For a candidate that managed to pick up enough delegates to force a brokered convention, he still seems to have a staff of about 6 people.

Little Nemo
04-03-2005, 02:18 PM
For a candidate that managed to pick up enough delegates to force a brokered convention, he still seems to have a staff of about 6 people.
That's nothing. Jed Bartlet's running the whole country with a staff of about twenty people. And still critics complain about bloated government.

BobT
04-03-2005, 03:35 PM
Not to mention the fact that for his entire 8 years in office, Jed Bartlet has seemingly never gotten along with his Secretary of Defense.

His Secretary of State couldn't become VP, so he apparently resigned and became the "24" Secretary of Defense.

Perhaps next week's finale will involve Jack Bauer swooping in and saying "Sorry, Mr. President, but I have to take you out of here. This show has gotten a little too talky for my tastes."

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