Impact Winter (Episode 609)
First Aired: Wednesday, 15th December, 2004
Writer: Debora Cahn
Director: Lesli Linka Glatter

Monday, Monday
Josh's office. Josh and Donna sing a classic from The Mamas and the Papas as he reads the morning paper and Donna butters a muffin for him.

JOSH: Monday, Monday ...
DONNA: ... La la, la la la la ...
JOSH: ... So good to me ...
DONNA: ... La la, la la la la ...
JOSH: ... Monday morning ...
DONNA: ... La la-- (the ringing phone interrupts her harmonizing) Josh Lyman's office.
JOSH: ... Everything I hoped it would be ...
DONNA: (into the phone) He's got a lunch, but this afternoon's wide open.
JOSH: Who is it?
DONNA: Didero's office. (into the phone) Three o'clock? Done. (she hangs up)
JOSH: Who's my lunch?
JOSH: We're having breakfast.
DONNA: We need to be able to have a conversation.
JOSH: What are we doing now?
DONNA: We get interrupted.
JOSH: Nothing's going on here today.
DONNA: This lunch has been cancelled six times--it's going to kill you to buy me a salad?
JOSH: Monday, Monday ... (he waits for Donna to start singing, but she doesn't. Josh watches her out of the corner of his eye as she studiously ignores him and puts milk and sugar in her coffee, then stares at him with an unreadable expression on her face) ... La la ...
(at the same time, the phone rings and Annabeth knocks on the door)
DONNA: (into the phone) Josh Lyman's office.
JOSH: Come on in. (Donna hangs up) Who is it?
DONNA: Wrong number.
JOSH: It's a quiet day.
ANNABETH: Would you like to do the briefing?
JOSH: I really wouldn't.
ANNABETH: You'd be quite good.
JOSH: The press room's a mausoleum. Everybody's on the plane. You got nothing to worry about.
ANNABETH: I'd just be more comfortable if--
JOSH: I'm acting Chief of Staff, I don't want to be acting Press Secretary on top of it.
DONNA: They don't like him.
JOSH: Just run through the schedule, and then you can skip out and do your Christmas shopping. Let me see.
ANNABETH: President in China, six days of negotiation ... day one--trade, WTO, partridge, pear tree.
JOSH: Stellar.
ANNABETH: You think I should tease the North Korea stuff?
JOSH: No. If the Chinese won't deal, we don't want it to be obvious that everything else on the agenda was a lead up to the North Korea stuff.
ANNABETH: So I'm making this put out the garbage week, what with everyone gone.
JOSH: Take out the trash.
ANNABETH: I'm sorry?
JOSH: Announcements we hope nobody hears?
JOSH: Take out the trash, not put out the garbage.
JOSH: I'm just saying. It has a name.
DONNA: (into the phone) Josh Lyman's office.
ANNABETH: You don't have anything else for me?
JOSH: Slow day.
DONNA: (into the phone) Hang on. CJ, you've got Josh and Annabeth.
CJ: (from Air Force One) In about four minutes, the wires are going to report that the President's in the midst of a pronounced multiple sclerosis episode and for the moment does not have the use of his legs. We're ditching the sightseeing, we're staying three days not six, but the substantive portions of the China summit will continue as planned.
JOSH: They will?
CJ: We're playing it by ear. You got a pen?
DONNA: Yeah.
CJ: State, Treasury, Hutchinson, the VP ... Berryhill's office knows, but I don't know if anybody got the ambassador.
JOSH: We'll call. Is he okay?
CJ: The President's condition in no way affects his ability to conduct the--
JOSH: We got it. This is me asking.
CJ: I don't know. His arms are working--which is good, they weren't an hour ago, so maybe he's up doing the polka five minutes from now, otherwise ... I don't know. I got to ...
JOSH: Go. (to Annabeth) Your office, five minutes. (she nods and leaves)
DONNA: (into the phone, presumably she dialed whilst Josh was speaking to Annabeth) Josh Lyman for the secretary, please? Right away. (she passes the phone to Josh)
JOSH: Mr. Secretary. Uh, happy holidays to you too, sir. (he begins writing something on a pad of paper) I'm going to need you to take me off the speakerphone for a second, if that's okay?
(Josh turns the pad of paper to Donna and taps it with his pen: "Get Leo". Donna nods and runs out of the office)
JOSH: The President's had an MS episode on the plane. He's not able to walk.

No, I Think It Makes Him Look Young And Vigorous
Corridors of the West Wing / Bullpen. Donna hovers in the background as Josh and Will grapple over the Vice President's remarks about calling a Cabinet meeting.

JOSH: Watch yourself, you and your candidate.
WILL: You done?
JOSH: No! Free advice for the campaign trail: Stop with the ceaseless mentions of his tennis game. It doesn't make him look young and vigorous, it makes him look like a dilettante who can't settle down with a thick book.
(Josh and Donna walk back towards the bullpen)
DONNA: Wheels down in Beijing in a minute or so.
JOSH: (disgusted) Cabinet meeting.
DONNA: You really think all the talk about tennis makes him look flaky?
JOSH: No, I think it makes him look young and vigorous.

Tomorrow. Lunch. Definitely.
Josh's office. Donna follows Josh into his office to try and have her important conversation, once again.

DONNA: Can we do this now?
JOSH: What?
DONNA: The conversation that was supposed to happen over lunch, but that ship sailed so let's just have it now.
JOSH: Can't. World ending.
DONNA: I thought it wasn't hitting.
JOSH: Might.
DONNA: I thought there was nothing you could do.
JOSH: There isn't. Doesn't mean the situation's not to be monitored closely. Tomorrow. Lunch. Definitely. (he strides out of his office, leaving an increasingly dismayed and frustrated Donna behind)

I Quit.
Corridors of the West Wing / Bullpen. Donna ambushes Josh for a conversation that has been a long, long time in the making.

DONNA: I need you.
JOSH: (to Will) See? Tell them to put me on the list.
DONNA: We're having our conversation now.
JOSH: Don't you think it would be irresponsible for me to leave this administration before the end of the second term?
DONNA: It's a conversation about me, not you.
JOSH: I got to get over to the OEOB.
DONNA: You have to sit down and talk to me, that's what you have to do.
JOSH: You're very demanding today. Even Leo thinks I should be wandering the American byways in search of the next President.
DONNA: I quit.
JOSH: What? (she stops dead) Come on! No you don't. Walk with me.
DONNA: Look at my face. I'm not messing with you.
JOSH: Donna--
DONNA: There's going to be a temp here tomorrow.
JOSH: Oh, for ... we were supposed to have lunch ... I cancelled ... it was crappy of me.
DONNA: This is what we were going to talk about.
JOSH: I-I-I ... tomorrow--
DONNA: We were going to talk about where my job was going. Because though working for you is an honour and a privilege, I'm ready for more and it's not happening here and I've started looking and--
JOSH: Slow down. Slow down. We'll talk about it. Absolutely. You're right. Tomorrow. Lunch. You and me. (he walks away, yet again, muttering to himself in disbelief, as Donna sadly looks after him from the Bullpen) She quits. Oy.

After Josh announces to the Bullpen that the asteroid has missed the Earth and "the world is not ending today", he does a double-take at the temp sitting where Donna should be and realises that perhaps his world might be.

A Josh and Anti-Donna scene that probably best illustrates that old axiom "you don't know what you've got until it's gone".

I've Got Her Cell If You Want To Give Her A Call
Bullpen. Josh approaches Marla the temp (a.k.a. the Anti-Donna) to find out her predecessor's whereabouts.

MARLA: Can I help you?
JOSH: Where's Donna?
MARLA: Who's Donna?
JOSH: You're sitting in her chair.
MARLA: The blonde girl?
JOSH: Yeah.
MARLA: I'm Marla Worski. I'm covering this desk for a few days. You need something?
JOSH: I'm Josh Lyman. What are you--(comprehension dawns on his face)--you're a temp. She'll--she'll be back in a few days, you said?
MARLA: She got a new job, I think. I've got her cell if you want to give her a call. (she writes Donna's number down and holds it up on a Post-It note, which Josh stares at in disbelief)

Again, not a Josh and Donna scene, and yet ...

Donna Quit.
Leo's office. Josh enters, looking and sounding absolutely forlorn.

JOSH: Donna quit.
LEO: Donna Moss?
JOSH: She's gone.
LEO: You piss her off?
JOSH: I don't know. She has a new job.
LEO: Good for her. See, I tried to tell you this. (he brushes past Josh on his way out the door) People move on.

Many thanks to The West Wing Collection for the wonderful screencaps!