We’ll always have ‘The Jackal’
I’m still here. And for those who asked/wondered, yes, I watched the series finale of The West Wing. I actually watched most of the final episodes this season, and thought that one of the best scenes by far was the one between C.J. and Toby in the second-to-last show. (Everything about it crackled, except when C.J. said she wanted to make a chicken like that…I’d think she’d know already — after all, she offered to cook Christmas dinner for Leo once.)
Back to the final episode, though. It made me wistful — it made me remember just how much I loved the characters — the old band, to borrow a phrase. I won’t quibble about it or how the series changed (now, anyway), but I will say that it was interesting to see how everything got wrapped up.
My favorite moments:
President Bartlet walking through the west wing and thanking the staff. It was especially nice to see some of the past recurring characters, e.g. Ed and Larry, Ginger, and Nancy (with an amusing inside-joke greeting to her mother — Nancy was played by Renée Estevez, Martin Sheen’s daughter). One of the strengths of the earlier seasons of the show was how well the minor characters were written.
C.J. finding herself walking into the empty press briefing room, and then standing at the podium. I didn’t expect it — it was a nice touch.
Over winter, I got a chance to watch the season 1 DVDs — what a treat. It’s hard to believe that it’s been over six years already. They were engaging, but it was a more than a little bittersweet seeing John Spencer on screen — he will be missed (I watched the DVDs just a few weeks after he died). Such great writing, and the conflicts used to be countered with such fun. “Take This Sabbath Day” and “In Excelsis Deo” rank up there with some of the best television ever created. Thanks to DVDs and digital magic, they’ll live on. And of course, we’ll always have “The Jackal.”