Commander in Chief: Season 1, Episode 8: “Rubie Dubiedoux and the Brown Bound Express”

Episode Summary (from Wikipedia):

At the White House, President Allen names her husband Rod as strategic planning advisor to assist her in transitioning her administration from reactionary to visionary. Gardner protests saying that strategic planning should be the purview of the chief of staff but the President explains to him that as the chief aide to an Independent President, he has a far greater workload in coalition building from issue to issue to fully focus on the big picture.

Using information provided by lobbyists in the pharmaceutical industry, Speaker Templeton learns that Vince Taylor has HIV and plans to exploit this information to embarrass the president. The speaker’s aide, Jane, warns Jim of this as she believes it is taking matters too far. In the meantime, friends of Kelly’s from Florida provide her with a 1965 speech of Templeton’s making strong statements in favor of segregation. The President at first refuses to use the tape against Templeton but when she learns of his plan to embarrass Vince, she shows him the tape and warns him against embarrassing her or her staff. The Speaker fires Jane for having revealed his plan to Jim.

Meanwhile, Rebecca’s boyfriend turns out to have only been interested in sex and tells her that she can give him a call if she is interested in doing the same but in the meantime things are off.

Finally, Horace gets into a confrontation with Rebecca’s former boyfriend as he is spreading rumors that he did in fact have sex with Becca. When Rod confronts Horace about getting an F and plagiarizing an essay, Horace responds, “What’s worse a cheater or a slut?” Rebecca assures her parents that the rumors are false.

The episode ends as the President reveals that she will be holding weekly news conferences and, with Vince at her side, reveals that he has HIV and tells the American people that victims of the disease can be very productive members of society.

Discussion Under the Cut!

So! First of all, about Mike: CALLED IT. Fleming was always a jerk, and he proved it in this episode. Rebecca handled herself so well, and I like her more and more each episode. She stood by her decision even when he dangled breaking up in her face, and her conversation with her mom was perfect – it reminded me of me and my mom talking. Except for the fact that she really could use the Patriot Act to arrest him…

I was shocked by Horace’s reaction to the whole thing. I wished he had stuck up for his sister a little more, and that he didn’t use it as a way to get out of an argument with his father over school.

I’m glad that Rod and Mac are operating in harmony again; but I’m sad to see his role as First Lady fall by the wayside. I would have loved to see him stick it out or start as Baseball Commissioner – explore a side of the role of First Lady that had never been seen before. Hopefully that will come up again!

And Templeton. Oh, Templeton. I HATED his using a Staffer’s private life and history against Mac, but I loved Mac’s handling of the issue. And that comment he made? “Politics is a contact sport. Wear a cup. Or a Chest Protector. Whatever you wear.” – I know that Mac is a woman and we don’t have to ignore it, but there is no need to add an additional snide remark separating her from common sayings or politics every single time you talk to her. I was sad for Jane when she was fired – Politics is a game, sure, but playing for both teams means just that – giving a little bit here, a little bit there. Templeton’s fury at something so small seemed overblown to me, but I could see how it was a trust issue. And he was very sweet with his wife. I’ll give him that.

Thoughts on the episode? Should Horace have stood up to Mike more? Will you miss Rod as First Lady? And what about Templeton’s sexist remarks? Leave it below!


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