Oh, Phuket

I was really pleased with West Wing this week. The confrontation between C.J. and Abby Bartlett was very well written and acted. It's also an intereting illustration of the sort of power struggle that can happen when the President is in a weakend state. I'm surprised Abby didn't put up more resistance when C.J. finally pressed her. Two possible explanations for that are:

1) She is planning on passively resisting by going back to Jed and getting him to over rule or ignore C.J. This is somewhat reinforced by her refusal to go to the opera. It wasn't a direct reproach of what Claudia Jean asked for, but it was more her taking it out on Jed he is perfectly willing to risk his health for his job, plus just unleashing some anger.

2) She knew that C.J. should be making decisions like that, not her, and was just testing her limts.

Obviously, the dicussion of setting up a constitution for Belarus is meant to contrast with showing how the day to day workings of the office don't include people like C.J. exercising a great deal of power, while the President is limited by his illness. They made this somewhat less subtle by specifically mentioning the emergency powers provision.

What was going on with the Christopher Lloyd character, a law professor helping to write the Belarussian constitution, being named Lawrence Lessig? Lessig is of course, a real live law professor who is renowned for his work on internet law, copyright law, and work relating to the intersection between the two. He has a column in Wired, is a key member of the Electronic Freedom Foundation, etc. (apologies to readers who can't imagine not knowing who Lessig is). The Lloyd character wasn't anything like him, as far as I know, other than also being a law professor. And it's just weird doing an homage like that to a real, live, fairly well known person. It took me out of the show's reality for a couple of minutes.

I was happy to have Lord John Marbury back. He's a little grating, but he also serves as a pleasant reminder of the show's past greatness.
The ending fight between Abby and Jed should have been shown, since both actors do great work off of each other.
Leo's reaction to the Ms. World contestant was great.
I don't want to give this episode an A-, but it was a good deal better than the other two episodes I've graded, so imagine that I'm downgrading both of those when I give this a B+.