Monday, 2 July 2012

S01E13: Take Out the Trash Day

The concept of take out the trash day is as old as the hills. What surprises me is how blatant they are about it in this episode. Isn't this exactly why people hate politicians? As an aside, a senior political advisor in the UK lost their job over suggesting in an email that the day after 9/11 would be a good day to bury bad news. I know that's an extreme example but I think the repugnance of the entire concept is pretty universal.

Of course, the episode title works on many levels. The issue with Leo could be considered an annoying piece of rubbish that needs to be dealt with. It's messy to deal with, but it gets done. Sorkin also wraps the the entire Claypool subplot up in this episode by dealing with the issue of the leak and its resolution.

Leo's speech about his addiction is basically Sorkin revealing his views on his own addiction(s). As such it feels really cathartic and and very "real". What's not so real is him reinstating the staffer who sold him out.

As an episode it feels a little disjointed to me. I'd struggle to say whether the major plot was the Lydell's or Leo's situation, and there were a myriad little things going on in the background that made me feel like the episode was constantly jumping around, almost haphazardly. There seem a lot of out of character moments too, and this the very episode after I'd said the actors were really beginning to get a feel for their characters. Thank goodness for Timothy Busfield, who was the standout performer this week (the Republican interrogator was pretty good too).

Random observations:

If he's dotting the i's and crossing the t's then shouldn't they have 16 pens? I guess he's just using one stroke for the t's.

CJ goes overboard in the briefing about the Lydells. When two reporters query the situation she should immediately realise something is going on - not squish it.

Gail's bowl has something in it - I'm just not sure what.

Does this episode have the only scene in the entire history of the show with a conversation between all the secretaries of the main cast?

I think Leo's line about "how enlightened do you think he's gonna be" is absolutely awful. However, it sets up the old switcheroo excellently. I just wish they'd had a reporter say that line, not Leo.

The Republican who tears a strip off Sam and Josh is probably the most well written Republican in the show so far. Conversely, Simon Bligh is the most awful Democrat to appear on the show to date.

If CJ thinks Danny couldn't have gotten that story without her help she must have a dreadfully low opinion of his skills as a reporter.

Episode grade: C-

So what did you all think?

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