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Studio 60 Fodder

Studio 60: K & R Part II

This has nothing to do with nothing, but the first time through this episode, I had to watch part of it with the sound off. As much as I love hearing Aaron Sorkin's dialogue, watching it is fairly amusing. Usually one little bar at the bottom of the screen covers the dialogue for a show. There were times when three characters had lines on the screen at the same time. Whoa, nelly!

Right. Down to actual business. Part II picks up, oddly enough, where part I left off. It's 12:55 am, in the hospital. A janitor is buffing the floor. Sadly, it is not Dr. Jan Itor. Bummer. Danny is sitting alone in the waiting room next to a less-than-cheery vase of sunflowers. Junior Emergency Doc comes in to talk to him. Jordan's in surgery but is otherwise fine, and Danny wonders if this hasn't taken a real long time. JED says this is his first c-section. Um...there's candor, and then there's just needlessly freaking out the family. He continues to demonstrate why he shouldn't do comedy. He finally says that Jordan has internal bleeding. Danny offers to make him bleed internally. But it's okay. She's "gonna" be fine (I'd say something about how that's an un-doctorly thing to say, but sadly, it's not). JED suggests that Danny go get a drink, which Danny says is kind of contraindicated by his alcoholism. JED says this is a bummer. JED may want to consider going into some field that doesn't involve actual interaction with patients and family. I don't know about sports medicine, but in general medicine, this sort of bedside manner could eventually lead to a lawsuit. Or at least a punch in the mouth. Danny apologizes for ripping on JED's age, which seems premature, considering what a tool JED continues to be. Then JED reveals his name is Jess. Jess? This is not a name that inspires confidence in me in many professions. And medicine is pretty close to the top of that list. JED bears my immediate suspicions out by sort of neglecting to mention that the baby has been born. Danny wants to see the baby, but she's in the NICU. But that's only because she's a little premature and they want to keep an eye on her. JED then suggests that Danny calm down (see? Total tool) and wonders if there's anyone who can sit with him and calm him down. On cue, Matt and Harriet show up, being their usual calming influences (though to be fair, hardly anyone Danny knows is very calming, and the ones that are are either under anesthetic or dealing with family trauma, and those folks aren't that calming). JED runs away. He's a tool, but at least a smart tool .

Danny brings Matt and Harry up to speed and then, in much the same way that JED revealed that the baby had been delivered, Danny mentions offhandedly that he's engaged. Apparently Matt had been working on writing a proposal for Danny to use. I suppose when one doesn't start writing one's nationally televised live program until Wednesday, one has plenty of time to craft wedding proposals for one's friends. I think perhaps we should keep this news away from Jack and Jordan. No matter. Danny winged it. Harriet is actually the voice of reason here, telling the boys to shut up when they start bickering about the quality of Matt's writing. This, of course, is before she smacks Matt (across Danny) for not telling her that Danny was going to propose. She then wraps things up for us: Danny's engaged and there's a baby, and none of that was true an hour ago. Well, things are moving fast tonight.

Harriet suggests Danny not worry about Tom for a while. Danny says the baby isn't his stepdaughter, she's his daughter (of course, there are a variety of reasons why that ain't technically right, but logic is apparently not Danny's best trick), and then he screams that he'd like to meet her. Because screaming in a hospital frequently gets you what you want. At best, it usually gets you escorted out. On the bright side for those of use who are really, really into Bradley Whitford, the way he throws his head back to scream shows off his pecs. And his package. Anyway, Danny escorts Matt and Harriet out, suggesting Matt try to "normalize" things back at the theater. Harriet wants to know if Danny and Jordan have set a date yet. Okay, she now loses her "voice of reason" title. Regardless, Matt has her stay at the hospital with Danny. She wants to know if Matt needs anything from her. Stop being cutesy, maybe (and yet, darned if they aren't cute. Oh, sure, now, as the show is almost over, now they're successfully cute)? Or at least give him the car keys.

Back in Matt's office, the TV shows that the airmen are still missing. Since these are fictional airmen, I'm going to make a terribly inappropriate and tasteless joke that I would never, ever make about real kidnapped...well, anyone: No they're not! We know where they are. They're sitting in front of the guy with the axe! Tom reveals that his parents are in the green room (which didn't seem that private back during "The Disaster Show," but I suppose it's better than on stage) with the chaplain, Lt. Pierce. His mom has been given a medical sedative, while his dad is drinking heavily.

Mark's (Tom's brother) commanding officer, Capt. Boyle, wonders how famous Tom is. He says he's not all that famous, but there's nothing going on. Capt. Boyle says that A) there are two wars going on, and B) does he have any relatives who could get kidnapped in the 9th ward in New Orleans. Hey, I may not have made the least tasteful joke today! Of course, his cuts more to the truth, but it's not really appreciated by Tom. Capt. Boyle isn't real good at making idle conversation or comforting the families. However, it's fairly amusing inept comforting in that bittersweet humor that Aaron Sorkin writes, so I enjoy it regardless.

Okay, I know I've gushed a lot over the last three episodes about how good Nate Corddry has been in these scenes, how powerful his performances as the helpless, sometimes angry, sometimes despondent brother have been, but he continues to be really excellent. As back at Christmas, I fall in love with him once again. He wants to know if Mark is getting beaten up, and Capt. Boyle suggests that engaging in hypotheticals won't help. He does wonder if Tom wants to hit him. It's okay, he says, he thinks he can take a hit from Mr. Sketch-TV-Boy.

Tom, going to get booze, says that Capt. Boyle is a jackass. Capt. Boyle wonders that they made him a captain. The jerkwad in me wants to suggest that that's why they made him a captain.

Down in the writers' room, Lucy, Andy, and for some reason Dylan, are studying their computers. Simon comes in to tell Lucy that she can see Tom soon. She wants to see him now, but that's not happening. Darius is in with Tom's parents. Simon wonders what everyone's up to. Though not what Dylan is doing with the writers. Everyone is just surfing the 'net for information. Because about three hours after the news breaks, there's going to be really solid information out there.

However, the Internets do reveal that conservatives weren't thrilled about the show's cold open. Which would be the one that Jordan told Danny not to run. Everyone suggests that perhaps Lucy shouldn't read all this stuff. Hey Lucy! Read my blog! No, wait, don't. I'm making inappropriate jokes.

Matt and Cal come down, and Matt gives the run-down on what's happening with Jordan. Cal sits at the table and even puts his arm on it, and it actually stays intact. If people weren't so worried about Tom and Jordan and their respective crises, I'm sure they'd be stunned by this.

Matt says the baby is 16 lb. Andy finds this slightly unlikely. Hey, maybe she'll have a great career appearing on Maury as the gargantua-baby! Cal sets us all straight. Matt also tells them that Danny and Jordan are engaged, and Andy comes close to half-smiling right before Lucy hurls her computer to the floor. Well, that killed the mood.

Dylan says he told her not to read the web page she was on. Of course, that was after he gave it to her to read. Again, I'm wondering what the hell he's doing in the room. He's not a writer (writer-performer, maybe, but it's not the "writer-performers' room"), and he's not super-helpful. Apparently the "Angry Pajama People" wrote that Hollywood is evil and uber-liberal, you reap what you sow, and Mark Jeter is paying the price. Interestingly, there is a Pajamas Media out there that may or may not be to whom Aaron Sorkin is referring, but they certainly think they are.

There's also a group of people out there who think that the whole thing is a publicity stunt to raise ratings. Which is not only insane, but if that were the case, why would they have waited until right after the show aired in some markets to do it? Oh, wait, I'm being too logical again, aren't I? The sort of people who buy into that level of conspiracy aren't really into logic either.

Danny wants everyone to stay at the studio and stay busy (they might start writing before Wednesday? Allors!), so Simon wants to write sketches relating to what they're reading online. Cal says this isn't the week for that. Matt got "sucked" into this six years ago, to which Matt takes umbrage. After all, he walked into it.

We're back in the past. We know it's the past because Matt is casually dressed and has a backwards baseball cap on. Oh, and there are more than five people in the writers' room. Jack Rudolph is making them go on the air, and they aren't allowed to make fun of Bush, the White House, America, etc. Most of the ideas come perilously close to ripping on Bush. One of the writers says that Karl Rove wants studios to make more patriotic movies. While Matt has been telling the writers to drop it, he suddenly seems interested in this. Andy gives him a look. He knows what's going on. Oh, now I fall in love with Andy.

Still in the past, Matt is hanging out in Danny's office watching his TV. This may be his office in the present, but I mostly only recognize it as the room where Matt revealed to Jack about Danny's coke relapse in the pilot. Matt is stunned that the war is expected to be over in a matter of weeks. He also keeps pushing that they need to delay the premiere. Which is probably true, but that fight has been lost, so it's time to start writing. Danny says that the two of them are doing okay and will totally be ready to run the show when Wes retires. Irony! Matt says Wes will never retire. More irony!

Matt talks to Danny about the Rove story. Danny points out that it's an old story, but Matt just read it just now. It's a weekly show. By the time it airs, most of the sketches will be about old stories. Danny says that Matt hasn't interpreted the story correctly, that Rove was invited out by a writer and several executives, one of whom was Jack. Matt wants to write a sketch about it, and Danny points out that this is exactly what Jack said not to do. Matt, on the other hand, said Jack said to rip on Hollywood, and that's all he's doing. He's got spunk. Whaddaya wanna bet Jack hates spunk? Also really broadly interpreting his instructions. I'll bet he really hates that. Matt also says that if they do sketches that aren't about The World, they're irrelevant. Danny hates being irrelevant. He wants a first draft from Matt for him to run by Wes. He also wants Matt to try not to get them fired. Oooh, more irony!!

Back in the present, Danny is telling the television show-mandated grumpy nurse that he wants to see his kid. Grumpy Nurse says he can't do that without an ID bracelet to show that he won't steal the baby. Grumpy Nurse is actually a fairly amusing Grumpy Nurse. She indicates that the baby's biological father could see the baby, and Danny expresses annoyance that the biological father got to sleep with his fiancee. He wasn't even into her yet. And she certainly wasn't into him. Well, no one ever accused Danny of being the most logical guy going. But he wants the baby to see that there is a "big, grown man" (I'm struggling very hard to hold my tongue here) who is going to be there for her right away. On the bright side, newborns don't have very good vision. She'd be able to see a big, grown person-colored blob, but that's about it. Regardless, I fall in love with Danny again. Grumpy Nurse, on the other hand, has clearly not fallen in love with him, and maintains that he really won't see the baby without the ID bracelet. Now Danny actually wants to steal the baby.

Harriet talks to Grumpy Nurse woman to woman. Luckily for the hospital (though not so much for Danny), Grumpy Nurse has read her HIPAA rules handbook, so Harriet's womanly wiles don't work any better than Danny's shouting wiles. Grumpy Nurse does like Harriet's work, though.

Harry offers Danny a Mento. At least I'm slightly less annoyed by this particularly egregious product placement than I would have been back when Mentos had those insanely annoying ads. Danny is back to worrying about Tom.

Over in Matt's office, Capt. Boyle wants to smoke. They're in California. Isn't there no smoking, like, anywhere in California? I mean, I realize it's an emergency and he can't leave the building without getting attacked by the press, but he could at least go to the roof or something. Then again, I suppose breaking the no-smoking law is the least of our collective worries at this point.

Tom says he's the black sheep of his family, and Capt. Boyle tells him what a good engineer his brother is. Also a conscientious one.

Simon comes in. Tom wonders why everyone is still there, and Simon says that no one's leaving until he's out of the woods. They're collective good eggs. I fall in love with everyone. What the heck, why not? Tom's mom is passed out (well, asleep) and Lt. Pierce the chaplain took Tom's dad, who's probably kind of wasted, to a nearby chapel. Which must have been fun for the press to watch, drunk dad being led around by the chaplain. Simon asks Capt. Boyle a ton of questions, most of which have already been asked by Tom and none of which can be answered any better now than they were an hour ago. Simon tries to be a Tough Guy, which, strangely enough, doesn't really sway Capt. Boyle.

There are a lot of people down in the writers' room now (At first I thought we were in another flashback, there were so many people in there). Matt tells them all that basically they don't know anything, but at least Jordan's had a beautiful baby girl. Well, we assume she's beautiful. No one's seen her, either. So, she's probably beautiful in that way that all babies are, beautiful while still resembling ET. It's really a pretty good trick.

Once again, Matt forgets to tell the room that Danny and Jordan are engaged. I suppose it's probably that he's upset that Danny didn't use his proposal, but there's an evil part of me that thinks that Matt's just jealous of Jordan. Oops, did I write that out loud?

Alex wonders why there's a smashed computer in the corner. Hey, I know: Everyone's trying to stay busy. Someone could keep busy by cleaning that up! Lucy and Andy explain why, and Jeannie immediately knows that it was the Pajama People that got Lucy so upset. It's a big 'net out there. Is there really only one web site saying things liable to upset someone close to Tom? I'm not saying that's a positive thing. But I'm not buying that she would just know that's who it is. Oh, wait, sorry. This is one of those, "Because otherwise, Daniel, there wouldn't be a show" moments, isn't it? I knew that.

Matt wants to do the Sunday morning postmortem right now, since they need to keep busy. I think that's what he wants, anyway. The camera angle that's meant to show Andy mainly shows Jeannie's breast. It is a nice breast, I suppose, but I'll bet that's not where my attention is supposed to be. Matt wants to know, starting from the top, what they did wrong. Hey, this isn't going to be uncomfortable at all. Right away Herb The Announcer points out that he got the show's name wrong. Matt abuses him for a moment before asking "what's next?" Whoa, Matty! Wrong Sorkin show!

Andy wants to know why Jordan is still in the OR. I love Andy, but sometimes having a professional worrier around isn't all that helpful. At least he isn't worried directly at Danny. Jeannie supplies the word "placenta" for Matt when he can't find it. She's good tonight. I didn't know what he was going for, and I've already heard the explanation twice. Maybe she's psychic. Anyway, Andy's wife had the same condition back in the day that Jordan has right now, and he doesn't think she should still be in surgery. Something's going wrong that they haven't told Danny. Now Andy and Matt are freaking out. Quietly, but freaking.

Matt tries to divert by mentioning the messed-up announcement again. Herb is going to be haunted by this for the rest of his life. He's announced it successfully for 20 years. It'll probably be okay. Plus, what with everything else that has happened since the start of the episode, I doubt anyone will remember that. Matt agrees with me on the 20 years point. Cal points out about a technical sound issue that they had that will be fixed for syndication.

Matt goes back to Andy about Jordan's surgery. Andy points out that he isn't a doctor. Oh, that's right, he's not! Matt calls Danny, who at least now has other people in the waiting room with him besides Harriet and those sad, sad flowers. However, just as Matt is calling, Junior Emergency Doctor comes out. JED says he'll tell Danny what's going on, but he's going to use some words that will freak him out. I don't think he needs much help in the freaking-out department, but okay. Basically, Jordan's blood won't clot. They have a specialist working with her, and while Jordan is conscious, she's groggy, and they won't de-groggify her in case they have to take her back into surgery. JED promises that he'll let Danny know when it's time to panic. Really? 'Cause he didn't even remember to let Danny know when the baby was out.

Meanwhile, I can't help but think of some work from earlier in Bradley Whitford's career, namely a first-season episode of ER called "Love's Labor Lost." For those who don't remember, Brad played a young father-to-be. The mother had to have an emergency cesarean, which Dr. Greene (and I think possibly Benton, but it's been a while) screwed up, and the mother died. It's really tragic and awful (and an exceedingly well-done episode from the days when ER was good and hadn't jumped a whole school of sharks), and it's just about all I can think about during this scene.

JED does get Grumpy Nurse to agree to let Danny press his nose to the window of the NICU to look at his kid. Harry assures Danny that JED didn't seem nervous (a good trick, since he probably knows he's in danger of being punched by a stressed-out executive producer). Danny calls Matt back and is actually reassuring him. Meanwhile, the studio is completely surrounded by press. Both guys agree to keep calling each other. Matt says if he doesn't hear, he'll come over with a police escort, which he'll get by committing a crime and leading the cops in a high-speed chase (I don't think that's technically an "escort"). And I fall in love with Matt. Danny tells Harry she'll never find a guy better than Matt. Even on the drugs, apparently. Harry wants Danny to wash up because he's about to meet his kid. I actually manage to fall in love with her. I'm stunned.

Back in the postmortem, Cal owns up to blowing a camera cue. How big of him! He couldn't snap his fingers, so he couldn't give the cue. Perhaps they shouldn't have buttered popcorn in the booth (That why he couldn't snap). Hopefully they don't have Pepsi up there. If it gets spilled on the board, it'll be pandemonium, and the show's nuclear core will melt down (Haven't you all missed my nonsequitirs? At least this one is related to a Saturday Night Live sketch, so it's almost even on-topic).

Simon has come into the room, and he wants to stay on that Tony Snow sketch. He says the sketch was wrong. After all, painting a rosy picture of things is what press secretaries do (Though I venture to point out that some have done it more artfully than most working for the current administration). They should, Simon says, focus on the people who buy into it. Andy takes note of Simon's point, and suddenly Dylan asks Cal what Matt meant earlier when he said he "walked into it." Hey, this sounds like a good time to do another flashback!

And I'm right! In the past, everyone is out working in the studio doing the table read, and Harriet is smooching on Luke Scott. That's appropriate. And not at all nauseating or annoying. Matt looks annoyed. Luke keeps ripping on Harry's impression of Holly Hunter.

A Studio Suit comes over to talk to Danny. In fact, it's the same suit that made Wes pull the "Crazy Christians" sketch in the pilot. He has a different hairstyle and a creepy mustache, but it's definitely the same Jerry The Suit. At least he's been consistently obnoxious over the last six years.

Apparently unable to deal with annoyingly cute Harry and Luke, Matt angrily wants to know what Jerry the Suit's damage is. Danny, Matt, and the Suit go into the hall to confer. Jerry the Suit has read ahead and is concerned that there is a Karl Rove sketch coming up. Karl Rove sketch? There's no Karl Rove sketch. In the packet, Jerry the Suit says, it's titled "Karl Rove Sketch." Oh, you mean that Karl Rove sketch! Well, we just named it that so we'd know what sketch we meant. Matt can totally change the name of it. Danny says that just one sketch out of 47 can't be so bad, and besides, they haven't even read it. Jerry has. Yeah, but if the cast reads it out loud, it's way different.

Jerry believes the sketch is anti-American, and both Danny and Matt have to disagree with that one. Of course, they do it at the same time, so I don't know that it makes any impression on Jerry, who also thinks it mocks patriotism. Matt resents the implication. The sketch, he says, mocks patriotism being good for business, which, by the way, is what's happening at this moment. Jerry basically tells them to suck it. Besides, he has 12 other shows to vet. He's such a big man.

Danny isn't totally sure this is Jerry's call. It's not a standards issue, after all; no one's taking their clothes off (which, in a sketch centering around Karl Rove, is a good thing. The only thing worse would be Karl rapping. No, wait, we've done that) or teaching how to make meth (Which I don't see making for real good comedy). Danny thinks Jerry the Suit is just taking advantage of the fact that Wes isn't around because he would throw Jerry out on his ass. He says that he and Matt are for all intents and purposes Wes, and that's what they're doing. Jerry says that since they may one day executive produce the show (irony!), they shouldn't do things stupidly now. Jerry the Short Suit stalks off, and Matt looks thoughtful and determined.

We fast-forward to the present. The staff/cast photo, which in the flashback said Wes was the executive producer, now says Matt and Danny are. Well, sure, because I wouldn't have known we were back in the present without that. I would have thought Matt just transported into that suit. Matt goes for his drugs, which are in a very nice case, but is interrupted by the sudden appearance of Mary Tate, Hot Lawyer. Her kidnap and recovery folks are talking to each other. Meanwhile, in the mirror behind and between Matt and Mary, there's a poster of Tom peering peculiarly at them. They walk away from it. Matt wonders if this is a good idea (the K&R effort, not walking away from the disturbing Tom poster), and Mary just wants them to find out details.

She looks like she's about to walk away, and then asks how Jordan's doing. Mary actually knows a little something about her complications. Matt tells her that Danny and Jordan are engaged (though he's still miffed that Danny didn't use his material), and that they're going to let Danny see the baby in a minute. Matt lights up in a really sweet way. I already fell in love with him earlier this episode, but what the heck, I fall in love with him again. However, Mary kills the mood, saying that Danny shouldn't see the baby in case something should happen to Jordan, because being engaged gives him exactly zero rights to the baby. Matt looks stunned and horrified, and I continue to fall in love with him.

Over in the hospital, hands in pockets, Danny wanders by the huge plate glass window in front of the NICU. They wheel the baby in front of him (I assume it's not a real baby, but you can see its little tummy rising and falling as it breathes). He says hi to the baby, and says it's going to be okay, and he's got her back. He smiles very sweetly at her, and I fall in love with him some more.

Back in Matt's office, Tom wants to know if Mark's had any training for this sort of situation. Simon has come up from causing trouble down in the writers' room to support Tom again. Mark has gotten, among other things, the appropriate articles of the Geneva Convention. Given the way the US has treated the Geneva Convention, Tom doesn't find this particularly reassuring.

Simon notices Russell, a guy that worked for the show for a few months when Tom and Simon started with the program, on the news. Capt. Boyle wisely advises that Tom not listen to this guy, who they clearly have on because they've run out of actual experts. Of course, Tom pays about as much attention to this advice as Lucy did (They have complementary personalities, then. That's nice). Russell claims to have been Tom's boss, which Tom doesn't actually remember. Russell then says that Tom and Mark have been estranged for a few years, which gets Tom's dander up. Then Russell says that "pretty much everyone" at the show was against the war. Now both Simon and Tom are upset. Capt. Boyle turns off the TV. So he's not especially comforting, but he is practical.

Tom wants the story corrected, and he starts to go out to tell the reporters himself that he and his brother aren't estranged. Boyle tells Tom he can't go, gives Simon a Knowing Look, and Simon says he'll do it. There's a reporter out there from The Post that he knows, and he'll talk to him and get all the reporters to get the story right.

Simon has George, the show's security guy in the front lobby, find Leon Cushman, his contact at The Post and have him meet Simon privately off in the alley. He's meeting a reporter with whom he Has A Relationship in the alley? Okay, I clearly need more sleep. I'm making all sorts of things more Questionable than they actually are. Shame on me.

Back in the postmortem, Andy is pointing out that a rewrite of a sketch never made it to the floor. Well, that seems like a problem. Simon bursts into the room and takes Jeannie away with him. He explains the situation and says he wants Jeannie there when he talks to Leon Cushman. Evidently Leon wants to sleep with her, so having her there will...I guess, keep Leon from walking away from what's basically an exclusive story? Jeannie doesn't believe Leon wants to sleep with her (she apparently didn't see that shot earlier that was supposed to feature Andy, but mostly just featured her bosom), and Simon says everyone wants to sleep with her. Jeannie wonders if talking to press is a good idea. She's remembering what happened six years before. Which sounds like an invitation for another flashback.

And it is an invitation for another flashback! Matt is lying on Danny's couch, and Jerry the Suit comes in to the room with a fig leaf. He still has that creepy mustache, too. He claims that the fig leaf is proof of his sense of humor. I think the mustache is a better indicator of a sense of humor, but I don't think he was trying to be funny with that. Besides, Danny points out, that's poison ivy. So apparently Jerry the Suit is as popular with the prop department as he is with executive producers and directors. Matt seems amused, and Danny points out that Jerry probably meant an olive branch anyway, and what does he want?

Wes talked to Jack and said the Karl Rove sketch stays. So Jerry tells Danny that Jack needs Danny to talk to Wes and take the sketch back out because Jack can't tell Wes no. So then Danny says to Jerry he says, that he, Matt, and Wes think the sketch is okay. Jerry the Suit says they should remove the guess work and just cut the sketch. So then Danny says to Jerry he says, they'd rather not be on the air at all, but since they are, they can't just ignore what's going on Out There. Jerry says they're not; after all, they have that "Muslims Say the Darnedest Things" sketch, and then seems a little wounded that it's been cut. Matt's annoyed that that sketch was broad stereotyping of all Muslims and that the network didn't have a problem with it. Jerry even says that it "resonates" and reminds us why we're in this war. We needed reminding? Jerry decides that the sketch isn't going on because Luke wrote it. Jerry isn't just a Suit; he's a total Tool. Matt makes a pretty reasoned argument why the cut has to do with the sketch being a bad idea and not with Luke dating Harry, and Danny just sits back and watches. He's pretty entertained by all this. Jerry the Tool says the network is scared of things like Matt's claim that writing sketches that the network likes amounts to a pogrom. Matt says there are a lot of things he's scared of, but talk isn't one of them. How long has he been in television that he doesn't know how these things work? He refuses to tell Wes they want to cut the Rove sketch.

Danny tells Jerry the Tool to get the ad reps to the dress rehearsal the next day. He's not to tell them anything about the sketch (and we believe that he'll do this?), and if they hate the sketch, they'll cut it. Jerry and Matt both seem surprised about this. Jerry leaves, and Matt wants to know what that was about. Danny says he's scared of "other things," and slams the door.

He slams it so hard, we wind up back in the present day. That's a good slam!

We're at the loading dock, which is apparently the one part of the studio that the press hasn't found out about. Simon and Jeannie come out to meet with Leon Cushman, and Simon tells Leon that the estrangement story isn't true, and it's really bothering Tom. Can Leon fix it? He tells Leon how close all the Jeters are. But then the pack of reporters finally finds the loading dock. Simon leads Jeannie back to the door and, while he doesn't shout "Sanctuary!" he does shout that he isn't answering questions. He then proceeds to answer some questions. One of them is if NBS leaked the fact that one of the airmen is related to Tom to boost ratings. Simon wants to know if the reporter is stupid. Which is a good question, and it does cause me to fall in love with Simon, but it's also probably not a good thing to say in stressful times to people with microphones and cameras. He offers to bust the reporter in his head, which I know isn't a good thing to say to people with cameras and microphones. He's furious that they're turning this into entertainment.

Mary Tate, Hot Lawyer, finds Matt. Her people think that Mark is being held by a Taliban commander who has discovered that kidnapping civilians can help his heroin business, which means he might be willing to deal for the airmen. She thinks he and Jack should talk with someone who knows what they're talking about. He doesn't really hear her, though. Despite her hotness, he's just noticed an angry Simon on TV.

Simon is telling the press that the war never ended; they just got tired of covering it. He then calls the entire country a bunch of idiot teenagers. He then says it'd make him really happy if all the reporters got mowed down by friendly fire. Even Leon? That's harsh.

From the writers' room, Cal points out we've got a whole new story now.

I have seen a speculation on the Interwebs that Studio 60, the show within the show, would be canceled, a la the show outside the show, due to ratings. I'm now wondering if they're going to finish out the series by having the show be canceled due to Simon's inflammatory remarks. It seems like a bit of an overreaction, but it does provide an out. And it could be a combination of the two, the show's lackluster ratings and an angry outburst by a cast member that's interpreted as anti-American. We have two weeks to find out, and this story arc is supposed to end this coming week, with the series ending the week after that. So at least we don't have long to find out.

I know I said I fell in love with a lot of characters this week. I don't think I got everyone, but I got a lot of the ones we actually saw this week. Since they brought the show back to finish out its run, they've really reaffirmed for me how good this show is/was. It wasn't perfect, though given more time, it might have done better finding its stride. I realize that they had more time than a lot of shows that were canceled this season, but many shows take over a season to really figure out what they're doing (*cough* Seinfeld *cough*). I really love this cast. I love the writing. And over this last story arc, starting with "Breaking News," I've especially realized just how very much I'm going to miss this excellent little program when it's gone. The world of television is so rarely fair, and this is just one more case in point.

Posted by on June 17, 2007 10:55 PM
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