Title: The Drop-In
Jess Another Unofficial Rates It: 3.5 stars out of 5.
The show starts with Leo entering the situation room. They are testing a program to intercept an Intercontinetal Ballistic Missile. Leo, like always, bounds into the room asking, "What's going on?". No one seems to answer him, so he continues asking, "Why aren't we hearing anything?", directed towards anyone. They (Sit Room people) busy themselves, until a voice breaks through on the radio finally. Two-minutes ten seconds till interception, Leo leaves to get the president.
The president is talking to an Amassador of Tailand as he accepts his credientials and snaps a few pictures. He is asking him the usually "who cares questions", but they are always interesting. Bartlet says that Golf isn't a sport that men do. Funny, because if you know anything about Martin Sheen, you'll know about the Caddie career. Bartlet may denounce it, but I'm sure Sheen wouldn't.
Outside Oval (Reception)
Leo comes into ask Charlie if he can have the president for a moment in the situation room. So he's off to summon the president. Mrs. Landingham is sitting at her desk staring down McGarry.
"What are you looking at?" He asks her.
"You're testing that preposterous contraption again." She replies.
"It's not preposterous and it's not a contraption and mind your own business."
"In my day we knew how to protect ourselves."
"In your day you could pretty much turn back the Indians with a Daniel Boone muskat , couldn't ya?"
"Ahhh sarcasim, the grumpy mans wit."
"Sharpen a pencil wouldn't ya."
By this point the president walks in. Leo informs him that the interceptors about to launch. The president remarks that soon after someone will inform him it didn't work. So, as far as we now know, Leo is all for this project and the president isn't. But, Bartlet being Bartlet follows Leo down to the Sit room anyway. During there walk Bartlet has fun poking fun at Leo for not knowing anything about Charlie Brown, one of my favourite West Wing Comedy Filler's by the way.
So not long after their walk they arrive at the Sit room. We also find out this project is called the NMD system during this conversation. The missile is launched, and like Bartlet predicted it missed.
"By how much?" Leo asks a military person.
"137" He answeres.
"We missed by a 137 feet." Leo informs the president.
"Miles." The guy corrects Leo.
Leo turns back to the guy, not impressed. "We missed it by 137 miles?"
Bartlet speaks up. "When you consider the size of outer space Leo, it's not too bad."
"Sir...." Leo begins.
"By the way, the words you're looking for are 'Oh good grief'." Bartlet comments, refering to the previous Charlie Brown conversation. Bartlet leaves.
CJ is giving a press briefing about the Amassador protocals. How they are seen, what they do, that kind of stuff. The press wants to know who is going to be the new British Amassador. The press seem to be uninterested in this subject. CJ is rather diappointed because she learned all this information and no one wants to know it.
Sam catches up to her after the briefing. He is informing her they accepted an invatation to the GDC, after the keynote speaker dropped out. They are going to disscuss the Clean Air Rehabilitation Act. Where, as CJ said, "They clean the air and rehabilitate it."
We break off to the Roosevelt Room. Sam starts working with people to finish the speech for the GDC. Everyone is talking about this being one of Sam's greatest speeches.
Toby is seen in the hall, and Sam goes out to talk to him. Sam informs Toby they are doing the speech. Toby is pissed because no one called to tell him when he was in Kansas. Toby says that this a problem. "Number one, we already blew off the AFI-CLO telling them the president was going to be in South America.....He's the President of the United States, he's no body's understudy."
He's standing against a wall talking to CJ through a speaker phone about the British Amassador who no one knows about yet.
CJ: "What are you going?"
Josh: "I'm standing against a wall."
Josh: "I was told by doctors it would relax me."
Donna walks in a the door slams Josh in the face. CJ hears the thud and hangs up. Donna is asking about Lord John Marbury, and if Leo hates him.
Donna: "Is it true Leo can't stand a guy named Lord John Marbury?"
Donna: "A reporter asked me."
Josh: "What's a reporter doing talking to you?"
Donna: "He's a friend of a friend."
Josh: "Leo McGarry has nothing but respect and affection for John Marbury."
Donna: "That's what I said."
Josh: "Leo thinks he's a lunatic."
Donna: "He's very handsome."
J: "That may be so, but Leo thinks he's a lunatic."
D: "Are you threatend by his brilliance?"
D: "You seemed threatened by his brilliance."
J: "How'd you know he's brilliant?"
D: "I've seen his picture."
J: "I'm not threatened by his brilliance, nor am I threatened by his good looks."
D: "What about his charm?"
J: "I'm not threatened by his charm."
D: "I'm sorry I meant Leo."
J: "Neither Leo nor I are threatned by his brains, his looks or his charm. He is, however, a lunatic Brit and we're gratefull there is an Ocean between us. "
D: "There isn't anymore."
J: "There isn't what?"
D: "An ocean between you."
J: "Please don't tell me....."
D: "He's the new British Ambassador to the United States."
Donna seems very happy with the way this conversation went. I laughed my head off. It was a true blue Sorkin scene: quick talking, flashing back and fourth camera, wit. I loved it.
Josh's Office again.
I'm guessing a new day, or later in the day. It's still sunny out, but Josh is now at his computer. Toby comes in to tell him that they are doing the GDC. Josh tells him he didn't think it was a good idea. Josh jokes they can try insulting them, but Toby is serious about the notion. Toby wants to bring up a few violent protest issues from the GDC at the dinner in the speech.
Leo is on the phone with someone from the NMD. He doesn't seem happy. Toby comes in as the conversation finishes. Toby brings up the GDC speech. This seems to be the 'thing' right now. Toby asks how this happened. Leo says that Sam pitched it and the president bought, and "There is a limit of the number of rooms I can be in at once." Toby mentions "screwing the enviromental lobby", which is the GDC by bringing up the violent protests. Leo thinks it's a good idea and he'll pass it to the president.
Sam is here with CJ and some other staffers working on the speech. They are breifing CJ so she can answer these question in her next briefing when they announce attending the GDC. Josh pops in and asks to see CJ.
In The Hallway
Josh tells CJ that Lord John Marbury is it. Josh isn't thrilled, but CJ extracts the same liking to Marbury as Donna. Josh wants CJ to met with Corrie Cykes.
We follow Josh and Donna shows up. She wants Josh to introduce her to Marbury and some of his royal friends.
Bartlet is talking to another Amassabor, the Amassador of Sweeden. Leo shows up, and waits to the side. He comes up to congradulate the Amassador.
They all file out and it's Leo and Bartlet. Leo is trying to tell Bartlet the results of the NMD test.
L: "Sir, I really think you should know that 9 out of tens criteria that the DOD lays down for succes in these test were meet."
B: "The tenth one being?"
L: "We missed the target."
B: "Damn. So close"
B: "It's that tenth one."
L: "Mr. President...."
B: "See if there were just nine."
Leo is trying to convince him this project will work and it needs money to continue. Bartlet doesn't share the same good faith that Leo does.
So Leo continues with the GDC speech. How they (white house) are giving them (GDC) what they want, that they should also show there independence by mention the violent protests. Bartlet asks if Toby wants it in the speech, Leo says no, that it is a drop-in.
Bartlet walks out, leaving Leo to go to his office. Bartlet meets up with Toby. They, once again, discuss the GDC. Bartlet says he isn't doing it for the politics, but because it's the right thing to do. Toby cares less and says he's doing it for the politics.
Bartlet leavs the scene and CJ joins in with Toby. She dressed to go out. Toby notices this and when asks, she says she is going to New York to recieve the Matrix award for Women in Communication. He dumbly asks why. She's also meeting with this Corrie guy for Josh.
Someone walks by and hands Toby Sam's speech. "It's a good one" she adds.
Sam and Toby are talking inside Sam's office. He's getting ready for the GDC dinner. Toby is briefing him on the Clean Air Rehabilitation Act before he leaves. Sam nails every answer, he is really passionate about this subject.
Leo is telling Josh about the NMD. He's talking about how he is going to turn the president around on the project. Margaret comes in to tell them Lord John Marbury is there.
JM of screen: "Gerald!"
L: "Oh god."
JM walks in: "Gerald, old friend."
I like this little conversation. John Marbury seems to be drunk. He hands Leo his credentials. Leo tells them the do it a little later. Leo congradulates him. Leo is hoping for Marbury's support in the NMD.
JM: "You can hope for it, but you will not have it."
L: "Why not?"
JM: "Because the NMD is an absurdly wasteful military boondoggle that will never produce a working missile. It violates any number of elemts of the ABM treaty and any arguement you make in it's defense will surely be moronic. "
JM: "I'm sory Gerald."
Leo is annoyed. If you don't already know, Marbury for some strange reason (perhaps because he is strange) calls Leo 'Gerald'. He obviously know that this isn't his name.
CJ is talking to this Corrie guy. Turns out there was a problem awhile ago. This is about an upcoming dinner, and the White House wants this guy to not accept the invitation to host the dinner. There was an incident before during an election dinner. This guy was telling jokes, one being about New York cops shooting blackmen, (also point to mention he is a blackman, and a famous comedian.) The president did laugh at the joke, but there was a big deal made about this joke. So in defensive-mode, they told the press that Governor Bartlet (at the time governor) didn't laugh at the joke. This, apparently, didn't make Corrie to happy. He tells her he'll pass on the dinner.
He wants to know when the president is on stage. He gets in his office and Sam calls. He pissed because Bartlet admonlished them. He isn't happy at all.
Toby tells him: "This is what you say: Friends are honest with each other. The president has always spoken out on moderate groups not taking resposibily on terrorism and he isn't going to stop at the enviromental lobby."
Toby asks what's happening. Sam looks over at the stage as Bartlet exits. "They aren't standing." He reports. He is referring to the level of the speech, Excellent being a standing applause.
It's a small informal reception for Amassadors waiting to see the president. Donna is with him asking questions about his royalty. She's question his relationship with anyone. Basically, she wants him. Charlie comes to tell him the president is ready.
CJ and Sam join up. They are walking towards her office. He ask if she heard the news about the GDC. She tells him exactly what Toby told him, the whole "friends are honest..." thing.
Here is the deal. Everyone decided on this without consulting Sam. Toby went behind his back to destory possibily the most impactin speech he has written. Deflated the ballon by having the president admonish the GDC.
Sam is starting to put two and two together, CJ and Toby's identical response.
Him and Leo are discussing the NMD thing. Leo is trying to convince everyone this thing will work with time. Even Toby isn't for it. Sam walks by and Toby calls to him, Leo dismisses himself back to his office.
Toby's asking if anyone is asking questions about what happened. Sam is pissed and quickly rattling off the list. Toby knows it and is trying to act casual. Toby asks what did he say. By this time Sam is behind his desk.
Sam: "I said: 'Sometimes friends have to be honest with each other.' I said exactly what you told me to say. Which, coincidentally, is exactly what CJ told me to say. Which is remarkable considering CJ was in New York and didn't hear about the event and didn't speak to you afterward. I mean it's almost as if people already knew this was going to happen. " Sam slowing made his way up to Toby's face.
Sam: "Get away from me." And he leaves to go to the Oval Office.
Reception Outside The Oval Office
Sam arrives outside the door, the door is closed and Charlie isn't there. Charlie comes out, Sam asks to see him for a second. Charlie looks over Sams shoulder to see Toby nodding his head 'no'. Charlie acknowledges and tells Sam he's busy. Sam follows Charlie's gaze and Toby is standing in the door way. Toby disappears and Sam marches out.
Donna and Marbury are at it again. Donna is asking about other royalty she maybe able to date. He tells her about a man, then casually mentions he is 5. Leo shows up, again. And is bringing up the NMD. He is one determined little bugger, proves just how stubborn McGarry is.
Restaurant/Bar (I think this is in the White House or something similar because of the plastering)
Toby's telling him to never go in the Oval Office mad. They are talking about the GDC, Sam is defending it and Toby is telling him they got what they want and so did the Bartlet Administration.
In the end Sam's pissed because they left him out. Sam points out that Toby thinks it's his fault for them getting beat at the Leadership Breakfast. It seems to settle towards the end, Toby says he just going to sit around and drink his drink.
Bartlet comes out of Leo's office. Josh and Leo are there in the Oval. He's telling them about the conversation he had on the phone with all the people that are pissed about the GDC.
Bartlet hails for Nancy (note: Nancy is played by Renee Estevez his real life daughter). He tells her she's ready. In the meantime Bartlet and Leo are at this damn NMD conversation. Curse Aaron for adding this storyline.
Josh pipes up: "You know, can I say this? What don't we just give the $60 billion dollars to North Korea in exchange for not bombing us?"
Bartlet: "It's almost hard to believe you're not on the National Security Council."
Josh: "I know. I feel like they are missing an important voice."
John Marbury walks in. They do the little thing.
Bartlet asks: "Where are you on the missile shield?"
JM: "Well I think it's dangerous, illegal, fiscally irresponsible, technologically unsound and a threat to people everywhere."
Leo: "I think the world invented the Nuclear Weapon. I think the world owes it to itself to see if it can't invent something that would make it irrelevant."
JM: "Well that's the right sentiment, and certainly a credible one for a man who's fought in a war. You think you can make it stop? Well, you can't. We build a shield, somebody will build a better missile."
Bartlet continues on with accepting Marbury's credentials.
FADE TO END