Saturday, 10 November 2012

S02E09: Galileo

It's no surprise in this episode when we find out that Jed geeks out over space related trivia. However, it's more of a surprise to hear that he's no fan of obscure symphony orchestras (no offense intended, Icelandic readers; I've personally visited Reykjavik and think it's a wonderful place). It just seems like the kind of thing he'd go for.

I love that the episode has so much going on, all of which is fairly interesting. Potentially the most boring of these is the stamp thing, so Aaron chooses wisely in giving this to the dynamic duo of Josh and Donna. Their natural chemistry along with some nice one-liners enables me to be entertained while simultaneously learning something, and I just love that.

After giving Mallory barely a mention for what seems like an age, she pops up again here. I've been critical before of the way they wasted the chemistry between her and Sam, so I should at least acknowledge that Sam comes out with a reasonably feasible reason why she's been absent for so long. I can see why being photographed hugging a prostitute may diminish other romantic possibilities. Having said that, she knew he'd actually slept with one before developing an interest, so I think it's clear she can't be referred to as prudish.

With all this going on (and I haven't even mentioned the green beans) a far more serious situation arises with the oil refinery/missile silo fire. What I really like is that most series would let all the more mundane subplots fade into the background as soon as something of this magnitude crops up, but The West Wing makes this the subplot. There aren't many shows that would have the guts to do that.

Random observations:

Did Jed really convert to celsius in his head, or did he just happen to know the figures in celsius rather than fahrenheit?

Would someone from NASA's PR team really be such an awful writer?

Toby gets something wrong again in this episode. Phobos and Deimos were Mars' sons, not his horses. Get it together Toby.

Gail makes an appearance and I think there's some kind of buggy in her tank, presumably relating to the space mission.

Is it just me or does the music playing as CJ and Charlie walk out the theatre sound like it's come straight from a Bond movie (mixed with a little whalesong)?

This episode would get an A if it weren't for CJ's little meltdown in the oval office towards the end of the episode. I don't like being lectured, but I especially don't like being lectured in a really obvious and patronising way.

Episode grade: A-

So what did you all think?

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