Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Comments on "West Wing" Episode 5 "Here Today"

Recap from the "West Wing" Continuity Guide.

has posted his lengthy recap at Television Without Pity.

From TV Squad

From TV Guide

(Houston Chronicle)
Comment from the GW Hatchet
San Jose Mercury News
Progressive U
San Francisco Chronicle:
"This season's "West Wing" has a plotline about a government official's leak to the New York Times. Toby Ziegler (Richard Schiff), the fictional White House's director of communications, got fired on Sunday's episode for his breach. In the life-imitating-art game, the show got a jump on special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, who was widely expected to hand down indictments of Bush administration officials for their purported leaks to Miller and other reporters this week. Stay tuned. Reporters, all of a sudden, are squarely in the spotlight."

Comment from TV Guide's Matt Roush
"Lots and lots of mail on this episode, making me wish I'd had time to file a separate dispatch this week. But I agree this was a standout episode, and the show in general is much improved from the last few seasons. I am surprised to find myself making an appointment to watch it on Sundays, after more often than not letting it slide on Wednesdays over the last year or so. I was especially impressed at the quiet intensity of the fall-of-Toby episode sustained in its White House scenes, and agree it would have been nice to leave the campaign trail for this full hour (though I often feel the Bartlet scenes nowadays stop the show dead, but not this week). The minute Toby confessed, it was over for him. Another take on the episode from Kelly, who wrote: "The meeting with the president was brutal, and I agree — someone should thank Toby for his service. So my question is this... am I the only one who got choked up? Okay — I confess, I actually shed a few tears and had to get a tissue." I won't go so far as to say it had me in tears. More like Gil's response: "It had been a long time since the show had affected me in any real way. It was a very well-directed, extremely well-acted episode that brought home a conclusion to a story line that I didn't really care about until they ended it. It was nice to wake up the day after an episode and want to talk to someone about what I had seen on The West Wing. It had been a while." Isn't that the truth?

In conclusion, while I empathize with Sylvia's feelings that longtime fans are being robbed of a cathartic final year with the old gang, what makes this season stand out is that it doesn't feel as stagnant as it did a year ago. In large part, that's because of the Santos-Vinick story lines, which brought much-needed new blood into a tired and tiring show. (For the record, the "17 People" episode referenced above was the one in which Toby discovered the president had MS and fretted with Leo over the legal implications. Kinda ironic, no?) As for Leo's future on the show: I suppose it will be pretty limited, but as the show heads toward its final bow, I imagine Richard Schiff will be seen again."

There is more discussion of this episode at Television Without Pity.

Comments from other bloggers:
Hard Cutting
Throwing Things
Electric Desert
Abby After_All
Curt's Thoughts
WNY Progress Report
Heimlich Maneuvers
The Political Game (also comments on episodes 3 & 4)
Coming Out of Left Field
West Wing Fans
Eye of Polyphemus
The Flack
Hughes for America
Angelic Paranoia

Comments on Last Week's Episode

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