"The West Wing": And the winner is...
After dominating the final two seasons of “The West Wing,” the Presidential election is finally over and Congressman Matt Santos has been declared the winner.
But after almost two years of drama, the only think I can think to say is who cares.
First of all, it’s no real surprise that Santos won since Jimmy Smits was given way more storyline than Alan Alda and the Santos campaign had series regulars. However, the show did its best to make it as dramatic as possible, holding the results until the very end (I certainly hope someone was doing the math to make sure all those electoral votes added up since I find it hard to believe that you could lose California and Ohio and still win.).
But the lack of suspense is not what is keeping me from caring about the result. It’s the lack of John Spencer.
Let me say it one more time. I miss John Spencer. And I know I’m not the only one, because it was pretty hard to watch the cast as they dealt with the death of Leo when you know they were still dealing with the death of John.
But they handled it with dignity, grace and respect. It was the kind of goodbye I wish “Law & Order” had given Jerry Orbach. When Josh looked at the picture of Santos and Leo at the Democratic National Convention and said “Thanks, boss,” I just bawled.
You can guarantee I’ll never make it through next week’s memorial service without a lot of tissues.
Still, I can’t help but wonder what the writers had originally planned. I know that Leo and Annabeth (Kristin Chenoweth) were headed toward romance, but how would the election results have played out differently? No doubt Santos would have still won, but what obstacles would have stood in his way?
I have to say if the show was going to continue another season, I would be disappointed in the results—not because of Senator Vinick’s politics, but because I found his character much more fascinating, thanks to a great performance by Alan Alda (I would be VERY surprised if we didn’t see his name among the Emmy nominees come August.). It was nice to see Vinick go against his advisers and refuse to challenge the election on the basis of Leo’s death.
So now we head into the home stretch of both the Bartlett administration and “The West Wing” itself, as Santos prepares to take office. Of course, the first thing he will need to do is find a new Vice-President. Could this be another position C.J. takes that she’s not qualified for?
And will Leo’s death convince Josh that life is too short to not finally admit his feelings for Donna?