OMG, we really really REALLY want to be the West Wing Three Letter Day” at the Kirkman White House, and PJB has selected, um, three letters from random citizens for his senior staff and pet FBI agent to look into. It’s not entirely clear to me why the National Security Advisor would be one of the people tasked with this, but since he and Emily are on Team Letter One together, I’m initially quite pleased because this has to mean the insane Aamily freeze-out is finally over, right? Wrong. Somehow, despite working together and sharing a number of scenes in the process, Aaron and Emily manage to avoid talking directly to each other throughout the whole episode YET AGAIN. There’s even a remarkable scene where, while SITTING NEXT TO EACH OTHER, they manage to have a “disagreement” entirely by proxy – addressing their respective, opposing arguments to PJB instead of each other, for all the world as if they’re ten year olds giving each other the silent treatment. WTF is going on with these two? Is it all in my head? HELP ME.
Sigh. Team Letter Two, Lyor and Seth, obviously have no such communication issues. In the week’s “comedy” storylines, they have a rip-roaring time investigating something to do with the mass murder of bees, which is mildly entertaining – the story, not the bee murder – but undercut by Seth moping around wondering whether PJB is going to fire him. And to be honest, I really wish PJB would. I loved season one Seth, but the season two version has been doing my head in for weeks. More screentime for a popular character is a great idea if you can write well for him on a larger scale, but if not….. well, you get season two Seth.
Sigh again. Anyway, Seth isn’t fired and he and Emily make up, and I hate this sub-plot, so I’ll move on to Team Letter Three, which has World’s Busiest Lawyer Kendra Daynes teaming up with Agent Q to re-investigate a murder case where the accused is facing imminent execution. This storyline is fine too, I suppose, although it would have been significantly better and braver if the show had had the courage to leave the question of the man’s guilt unanswered and look at the philosophical issues behind the death penalty and questions of due process instead. Plenty of other shows have done it, I know, but turning it into a neat and tidy little episode of Law and Order: DC and tying it all up in a supposedly satisfying bow rather than asking difficult questions about the system as a whole is a complete cop-out, as far as I’m concerned.
Speaking of which… FLOTUS continues to rage against her subpoena and this whole “witch hunt”, by which she means a law enforcement agency as entirely legitimately investigating credible evidence of her and FMILOTUS’s potentially felonious behaviour. Emily and co join in, and have the audacity to try and impugn Reed Diamond’s motives when, frankly, he is the only one doing his actual job right and everyone else can suck it. VOTE FOR REED DIAMOND. It’s worth the several minutes of me yelling at the tv in the end, though, as someone finally – FINALLY – points out what we’ve been saying for weeks. “The point is that your mother committed a federal crime. 30 years ago, maybe, but she committed a crime and there are consequences. I can’t just change the rules because it suits us!” says PJB of all people. THANK GOD, and AT LAST.
Which means we go into next episode’s mid-season finale with the Kirkman marriage on shaky ground and Team White House’s counter-investigation of the truth behind the Icarus allegations pretty much drowning in quicksand. You’d have thought Q would have realised that people in tv drama only announce they’re going to the loo for one of two reasons – either they’re about to be assaulted in some way, or they’re calling to tip somebody off. Good job Chuck’s on the ball, even if nobody else is.