Episode Summary (from Wikipedia):
After a hurricane affects the state of Florida, an oil tanker off of the coast of the state is damaged. Large amounts of oil are spilled into the sea and though the ship stops leaking oil, it is only a matter of time before some hairline fractures break and more oil spills. President Allen is presented with two options: sink the ship in the hope that such a move would not rupture the hull or take it to a Florida port where it can be repaired. She orders it to return to Florida, so that should there be a further oil spill it will damage only a localized part of Florida as, alternatively, the oil could be carried with the Gulf Stream, which would carry the spill to a great part of the eastern coast. Nathan Templeton persuades the Governor of Florida to go to court so that the ship won’t be allowed to go to port and it’s instead forced to be sunk. However, the President then declares the ship part of the Coast Guard so that she can legally bring it into a naval port, which is federally controlled.
At the same time, there are controversies within the First Family, when the First Gentleman is considering to accept the office of Commissioner of Baseball, an action which disturbs the President, since her husband did not tell her about this offer and his serious consideration of it before telling their children and White House officials. The President’s daughter Rebecca convinces her security officer to allow her to have ten minutes alone with her boyfriend outside of the view of the Secret Service which is making her self-conscious. However as a result of this the first child is swarmed by autograph-seekers and the First Gentleman removes the security officer from the presidential detail as a result.
The episode ends with President Allen reaching an agreement with Templeton and the Governor of Florida; the president will work with more funding for the state and will ensure that military bases which are being shut down elsewhere are transferred to Florida, providing thousands of new jobs, while the Governor allows the damaged tanker to enter a port in Florida.
Discussion under the cut!
So, there were two things that struck me in this Episode as worth mentioning:
Rod’s behavior re: being the “First Gentleman” and grappling with the decision to take the Commissioner of Baseball position seemed uncharacteristic for him. It felt as though Mac and Rod were a couple that discussed the decisions to be made in their lives – and Rod should understand that Mac is the PRESIDENT. Every move she or her family makes is under constant scrutiny. Do you think that this is simply the effects of feeling second-tier? Or was Rod supposed to represent the way a “man” would feel in this position? I can’t decide.
I was also struck by the lack of judgement and respect Rebecca had for the Secret Service detail when she begged to be allowed to go off on her own. She is old enough and smart enough to know that if they let her out of their sight for 4 seconds, they could get fired. And they did. And guess what? Joan got fired. And Rebecca got in trouble. To what? Make out with Fleming against his Jeep? Girl, get yourself in check. You’re not just any 16 year old. I do understand her struggle though – she wants to be normal, but she can’t be without breaking the rules. It’s gotta be tough.
One thing that my friend Rebecca pointed out while we were out our weekly free movie (this week it was Our Idiot Brother, which was amazingly fantastic and (I thought) featured some excellent female characters who were flawed in a natural way that was realistic and made them feel fully fleshed out) – They gave Geena Davis’ character the most masculine name possible – Mac. Do you think that this was a commentary on gender politics? Or just a cute nickname? I’m not sure, but it’s definitely interesting.