The West Wing Season 1 Episode 11 Review: Lord John Marbury

at .

What's a little nuclear war between India and Pakistan when Josh get a subpoena about his investigation into illegal drug use in the White House? 

Are we going to have time to answer questions from the press when the press secretary is the least trusted member inside or outside the administration?

These are valid questions that come to light on The West Wing Season 1 Episode 11 when war outside the capitol seem far less severe than what's going on inside the building.

Kashmir Getting Nuked? - The West Wing

It's strange that there are still websites dedicated to what will happen in the event of a nuclear war between India and Pakistan, so things haven't changed much. Whatever has happened in these 17 years, let them continue. No news is good news, I suppose.

Maybe the flippant, cigarette wielding Lord Marbury is out there somewhere sharing his advice. He was a bit of a caricature, but it worked for some comedic relief in an otherwise dramatic episode.

The India/Pakistan skirmish started a situation inside the white house when all the menfolk were discussing what to do about it and purposefully left CJ out of the discussion "until morning."

It seemed innocuous at the time, but there was a lot more behind the move than we knew at the time.

Too Friendly - The West Wing Season 1 Episode 11

CJ was asked directly by a member of the press at a briefing about India invading Pakistan. Since she had no idea, she was left flying in the wind, even making fun of the guy in the process. It makes her look uninformed, and the only person other than CJ who seemed to think it's a problem was Toby.

Except we learned later that it was all Toby's idea to leave her in the dark. 

When Toby said, "There's a concern that you are too friendly with the press," my heart sank. There is nothing worse than being blindsided by concerns about your performance on the job while performing your job. 

CJ: You sent me in there uninformed so that I would lie to the press!
Toby: We sent you in there uninformed because we thought there was a chance you couldn't.

CJ was immediately defensive, wondering if it had something to do with Danny. It did. Her goldfish was on the desk between her and Toby like a giant reminder of the man and how close they have become in such a short time.

As CJ pointed out, she started her position as a nobody. Any credibility she had built up was just dashed. She's going to have to work very hard to get it back again if she even can.

CJ's job isn't easy. There are so many positions like hers that cross the line when you have to represent or be present for two sides. As a former human resources director, I understand fully how hard it is to work for while representing and explaining information to people who count on you. 

Although CJ and Toby discussed their predicament a bit, it will be interesting to see how this effects the way CJ does her job going forward. 

The other story I found most interesting was Josh being called in by whatever committee first demanded an investigation into illegal drug use at the White House.

Bad Deposition - The West Wing Season 1 Episode 11

Josh didn't quite take the subpoena seriously at least not any more seriously than he did his investigation into the use of drugs.

The man doing the questioning was not only incredulous there were no records but that Josh didn't take it seriously and told Sam Seaborn, the Deputy Communications Director, about said subpoena.

Honestly, I still cannot understand this entire story. The initial inquest, investigation, and now the subpoena all focus on illegal drug use in the white house. The questions, though, are not about illegal drug use, but about legal drugs and whether or not Josh considers the use of said legal drugs to be problematic.

I don't think you can ask someone to make a call on whether or not an employee is an alcoholic. The set definition I have been taught makes almost everyone I know an alcoholic. The same would be said for the White House staffers.

Then the man specifically brought up Leo's name, making it more of a witch hunt.

Leo spent time in a facility before entering the White House. Therefore he no longer drinks nor does he take valium, both of which are legal, by the way. Whether he was taking them in the prescribed dosage isn't something that Josh could possibly investigate. Nobody asked if Leo had a valid prescription.

The investigation was into drug use IN the White House. There shouldn't be an investigation into people who have taken the appropriate steps to take care of their condition after the fact.

Troubled Times Coming - The West Wing Season 1 Episode 11

That's tabloid drama and should be done during the vetting process for the President and all of his pals. Why would you want to kick out the Chief of Staff for drug use he controlled unless he lied about it?

If that's a story that's coming up, they haven't made that clear as of yet. I'm waiting for whatever is coming, but so far, I'm not impressed.

If Leo did time in a federal penitentiary for selling valium on the streets, then we might have something to talk about. Heck, even if he was arrested for not having a prescription and his records were not made available to the public. Those are issues. 

Not voluntarily offering his past if it wasn't necessary isn't a thing to worry about just isn't a thing.

And that's all I have to say about that.

Lord John Marbury Review

Editor Rating: 3.75 / 5.0
  • 3.8 / 5.0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (5 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

Show Comments
Tags: ,

The West Wing Season 1 Episode 11 Quotes

CJ: You sent me in there uninformed so that I would lie to the press!
Toby: We sent you in there uninformed because we thought there was a chance you couldn't.

President Bartlet: Every time he talks about colonial western imperialism, I want to remind him that the United States is also a colonialism that threw off its imperialist masters.
Leo: Why don't you?
President Bartlet: I keep forgetting.