I’ve been watching the West Wing on my downtime again. I’ve lost count how many times I’ve watched it. Put on any episode and I have my favorite scenes. I’m probably watching it now as a way to subconsciously cope with this election season.
Posse Comitatus is the title of episode 23 in Season 3 of “The West Wing.” It’s the one where they kill Omar Shareef. The almost overt signaling and symbolism they have is comical, but it works. On paper, it makes no sense:
- There’s a war is happening with Qumar and its defense minister.
- They go to watch “War of the Roses”.
- Agent Donovan gets shot in a deli and a bucket of roses are tipped over.
- Hallelujah is playing in the background.
- The episode ends with a song President Bartlett was singing that morning he went to watch the show, “Victorious in war will be glorious in peace.”
On paper, it feels so… cheesy? So obvious? Yet on screen, with characters we love it’s everything we want.
The lesson I’m learning is: be shameless when you know people love what you do. After three seasons, the senior staff could have said they were superheroes in a season finale, and I would’ve been excited for the next season.
(After season 4, the show goes downhill because Aaron Sorkin isn’t at the helm. He set up season 3’s ending enough for the next one to run on its momentum but then… eh.)