No Exit (Episode 520)
First Aired: Wednesday, 28th April, 2004
Teleplay: Carol Flint & Debora Cahn
Story: Carol Flint & Mark Goffman
Director: Julie Hebert

Yet The World Keeps Turning
Bullpen. Josh and Donna discuss the President's speech after returning from the Correspondents' Dinner.

DONNA: He used your other stuff.
JOSH: That's not the point!
DONNA: It's not?
JOSH: The point is, the line worked. I liked it, the President liked it--the President had nine laugh-out-louds! He could have had ten.
DONNA: Yet the world keeps turning.
JOSH: Look it up.
DONNA: (grabs a folder and begins looking through the speech papers inside) This is me looking ... Here we go ... Line twenty-seven ... "Delete per NSC. Code 2.2-A indication ... Commander Harper."
JOSH: The NSC? The NSC killed my Panama joke?
DONNA: Was it a joke about warheads?
JOSH: Call Colonel Klink over there. I want to know what happened.
DONNA: Now? (Josh gives her a pointed look) I'm calling.
JOSH: (as he exits into his office) Two-point-two my a--
DONNA: (into phone) Josh Lyman's office for Commander Harper, please?
(Josh returns from his office with fishing gear)
JOSH: On your way out, give this (he hands a fishing rod to Donna) to CJ.
DONNA: Really.

He Didn't Press Hold
CJ's office. CJ is about to hang up the phone to Josh, when Donna indicates she wants to speak with him.

DONNA: Did you know I'm taking Jack Sosa's place on the trip?
JOSH: Are you?
DONNA: He was on press detail.
JOSH: Bummer.
DONNA: Now I'm on press detail.
JOSH: Bring him back a key chain with a pyramid on it or something. Whoops, I got another line flashing--what do I do?
DONNA: Press hold and--(Josh hangs up) He didn't press hold.

Not a Josh and Donna scene, but possibly the most important "Josh-and-Donna" scene of the entire series thus far.

Let's Not Do This
CJ's office. CJ and Donna dance around a very awkward conversation.

DONNA: Did Josh know we could only send one person?
CJ: On the CODEL? Probably.
DONNA: (offers CJ a chocolate) He said he was sending me so I could report back to him and Toby on meetings and what they were talking about.
CJ: Ugh! (spits out the chocolate) This is carob.
DONNA: I just don't know how much I can report if I'm in the copy room.
CJ: Fitz is going to fill them in.
DONNA: Sure. (beat) I just don't know why Josh told me that ... whatever.
CJ: The Israeli embassy's going to give you four people, so for that leg of the trip you could sit in on a couple of meetings.
DONNA: Really?
CJ: Mmm-hmm. Page twelve. (hands Donna a thick open binder)
DONNA: Great ... that's great.
CJ: Josh Lyman needs a smack on the head.
CJ: He sold you a bill of goods.
DONNA: Not at all. (smiles) He's gone out of his way to give me every opportunity he can. He has.
CJ: Okay.
DONNA: Hasn't he?
CJ: Absolutely.
CJ: If he was giving you every opportunity, you would have grown out of this job three years ago. You can't blame him--he's never going to find anybody else as capable as you. I wouldn't let you go, either.
DONNA: (changing the subject) It's not a false alarm--it wouldn't take this long.
CJ: Wish I'd filled this damn canteen.
DONNA: You know, you can't blame Josh. It's not his job--
CJ: I don't blame Josh. It takes two of you--you choose to stay.
DONNA: (she looks a little taken aback) It's the White House.
CJ: It's not the White House--it's him.
(there is an awkward pause, then Donna begins closing up the binder)
DONNA: Okay. I don't really want to--
CJ: Why didn't you get a drink with the guy from the Post Intelligencer? You know what's on your desk, you know what's on Josh's desk--it wouldn't wait til Monday?
DONNA: Why did you cancel your camping trip? If we're going to be out of here in a few minutes, you're going home to a rerun of Letterman.(beat) I'm sorry. I just ...
CJ: You what?
DONNA: Nothing.
CJ: (softly) You what, Donna?
DONNA: I think Ben's great. I think you guys are great together. I hope it works. (gets up out of her chair)
CJ: Have you seen us together?
DONNA: (quietly) Not really. (CJ nods curtly, and Donna goes to sit on the arm of CJ's sofa) What should I be doing ... instead of this.
CJ: Anything ... (stands up) You should ... go to lectures and symposia and look for opportunities with non-profits and have one-night stands with reporters from the Post Intelligencer and go on dates with ... uh, whatsisname, from the Solicitor General's office, and anything that doesn't have to do with Josh Lyman.
DONNA: Wow. (she smiles self-consciously, part angry, part humiliated and part embarrassed, and looks down at the floor) Okay. (softly) Let's not do this. (she moves to a chair in the corner of CJ's office and busies herself with looking through the binder as CJ watches her)

After being given the all-clear, Donna returns to the bullpen when Josh bellows for her from inside his office.

(Donna pauses, the CODEL binder still clutched to her chest, then quietly walks out of the Bullpen)
(Josh comes out of his office to find an empty Bullpen, and looks around most confusedly)

Many thanks to Misdirection for the wonderful screencaps!

For fan fiction relating to this episode, visit Those Stories, a Josh and Donna post-episode fiction archive.

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