Talking Points (Episode 519)
First Aired: Wednesday, 21st April, 2004
Writer: Eli Attie
Director: Richard Schiff















I Brought My Luggage Too, You Know
Corridors of the West Wing. Josh exits the Roosevelt Room to find Donna, and they walk and talk.

DONNA: They're up to 200 tractors--it's on TV.
JOSH: I know.
DONNA: Bill Parsons called. What are European farmers so upset about?
JOSH: That they can't cling to a dying way of life, that free trade means that some of them may have to wear neckties, that they can't beat Pentium chips back into plough shares--take your pick.
DONNA: USTR says India's signing on.
JOSH: You're kidding.
DONNA: I barely know what that means, how could I be kidding?
JOSH: India has all kinds of problems with this trade deal--why would they--
DONNA: USTR says India's in.
JOSH: Ask Ed and Larry to poke around the India thing.
DONNA: (firmly) I brought my luggage too, you know.
JOSH: (watches her as she walks away) Yeah, I'm still working on that.











The President's Bashing The Clock Industry In There
Outside the Oval Office. The President meets with Josh, CJ and Leo, but through the open door, Donna indicates to Josh he is needed elsewhere.

JOSH: (as he exits the Oval Office) The President's bashing the clock industry in there.
DONNA: (nudges her head towards where Ed and Larry are waiting) India.











I'm Not Talking To You
Josh's Office / Bullpen / Corridors of the West Wing. Josh and Donna walk and talk--er, argue--er, not talk.

DONNA: (follows Josh into his office) The Speaker's coming in at 3:15, Parsons called again twice, plus the President sent you a gift.
JOSH: Make sure Ed and Larry are calling Democrats. I want some votes in my pocket when I meet with the Speaker. He's going to hate these labour side agreements. My charts--the JCN lobbyist is coming in, I need those charts on everything we gave tech versus light industry in this trade round. (Donna looks down at her notepad and doesn't move) If you're all out of joint because we favoured tech over light industry--
DONNA: You're leaving in eight hours--any progress getting me on the trip?
JOSH: You don't want to go to Brussels--
DONNA: --Which is why I asked 15 times!
JOSH: It's Presidential hand-holding! (in the middle of his diatribe, Donna walks out of the office) It's a motorcade to a hotel room to a battle with balding Belgian finance ministers--it's Pittsburgh with an accent!
DONNA: (walks back in again) Which I'd know if you'd taken me on the Pittsburgh trip!
JOSH: This isn't taxpayer-funded tourism--we got jobs to do.
(he walks out of his office into the Bullpen and Donna follows)
DONNA: And I'm trying to grow in mine--I've been helping on these trade talks for months! How are you going to manage by yourself?
JOSH: I'll grab someone off the advance staff, I'll be fine. The ... charts?
DONNA: (with a sarcastic smile) Grab someone off the advance staff--maybe they can find them for you. (she holds up a folder presumably containing the chart and looks at Josh pointedly)
JOSH: (agitated) I didn't mean to--I'm busy, okay?
(he walks out of the Bullpen into the corridors and Donna follows)
DONNA: Maybe if you shackled me to my desk, it would speed up my typing.
JOSH: This isn't a workers' collective, don't get all Woody Guthrie on me. I've got a situation here.
DONNA: You're the oppressor.
JOSH: That's Latin for "boss."
DONNA: I'm not talking to you.
JOSH: Fine.
Side-by-side, they stomp down the corridor in silence (Donna in full pout mode), come to an abrupt stop, glance in each other's direction out of the corner of their eyes, and stomp off in opposite directions.











Harpo Speaks
Bullpen. Ryan acts as interpreter during Josh and Donna's tiff.

DONNA: Would you please tell Josh--
JOSH: Harpo speaks.
DONNA: (she pauses, turns, glares at him, then turns back to Ryan) Would you please tell Josh that Bill Parsons with the CWA will be here any minute, and his 3:30 with Congressman McKenna has been moved to 3 o'clock?
RYAN: Your 3:30--
JOSH: McKenna's lucky if I only keep him waiting a half-hour out of spite.
RYAN: He says Congressman McKenna--
DONNA: Tell him the Social Office wants to remind him about your going-away party.
RYAN: The Social Secretary--
JOSH: Tell Miss Mozzarella a pack of wild bison on stilts couldn't drag me to your party.
RYAN: He said that actually, he'd be quite tickled ... stilts?
DONNA: Tell him McKenna's got an issue with his beloved trade deal.
RYAN: She thinks--
JOSH: Tell her McKenna can take a cheque, and I can handle a ninth-string congressman.
DONNA: Tell him there's something he ought to know about that meeting, and I've got half a mind to--
JOSH: Tell Donna wherever Skippy the translator's going (he brushes past Donna on his way out of the Bullpen), she ought to go, too.
RYAN: He says give that dashing young Ryan a great big--
DONNA: Harpo can hear, bright boy.











This No Talking Thing Isn't Working For Me
Bullpen. Josh is headed for his office, when Donna walks past him. He does an about-face and goes to her office, where she glances at him then studiously ignores him as he watches her work.

LARRY: Josh? ... Josh? (Josh turns around and walks towards him) This job story's killing us with the Democrats.
JOSH: Yeah.
ED: Think the Speaker's going to smell blood in the water and spike this thing? (Josh is distracted; he looks beyond them and continues to watch Donna work in the background) The Belgian Prime Minister's letting tractors into the Place des Palais.
LARRY: Two hundred and sixty tractors, right next to the site of the ceremony.
ED: It's like the Hayseed Olympics out there.
LARRY: Maybe if we plant a row of corn--
JOSH: Stop mocking the farmers, they're just trying to scratch out a living. (he pushes past them, over to Donna's desk) This no talking thing isn't working for me.
DONNA: (looks at him, then looks down at her papers for a long beat ) You have a 3 o'clock, I need to brief you, and they won't leave your office.
JOSH: I know.
DONNA: (sighs) I tried to move them. Do you want me to call the Secret Service?
JOSH: No.
DONNA: I just want to grow with my job, do something meaningful--do more than earn a paycheque until I die.
JOSH: (frowns) Why are you saying that?
DONNA: I only have one career and I want it to matter, or I might as well be a soda jerk. That's why I wanted to--
JOSH: Let's go back to not talking for a while.
(he keeps walking into the corridor, while Donna freezes, speechless behind him)











What I Did Wrong Wasn't Breaking My Word--It Was Making A Promise I Couldn't Keep In The First Place
Donna's desk. Josh approaches her as she works, his hands behind his back.

DONNA: (without looking up) They're still in your office.
JOSH: Yeah.
DONNA: What are they doing?
JOSH: Waiting by the sea.
(Josh produces a small red object which he places in Donna's line of vision. She looks at it, then looks up, startled.)
DONNA: What's this?
JOSH: Your diplomatic passport.
DONNA: (grins) You got me a seat on the--
JOSH: No ... I even had to give mine to McKenna--I'm going on the press plane.
DONNA: (disappointed) Oh. Well. You tried.
JOSH: You're going on a CODEL to the Middle East with Fitzwallace and Andi. No Presidential hand-holding--you're going to see what's going on, brief me and Toby about it. (she stares at him incredulously) What I did wrong wasn't breaking my word--it was making a promise I couldn't keep in the first place.











This Josh and Donna scene doesn't have any dialogue, but it's still important because it shows them back in sync once again after their argument, effortlessly juggling luggage back and forth.




Many thanks to Misdirection for the wonderful screencaps!

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