Writer: Peter Noah, Director: Julie Hébert
Dulé Hill as aide Charlie Young
NBC Photo: Michael O'Neill
- Takes Place: Into the seventh year of the Bartlet Administration (see timeline).
- Broadcast: November 17, 2004
- Query: Where does the title come from? "Hubbert was a geologist who predicted, pretty much right on the money when U.S. oil production would peak and then decline.... And the world wide Hubbert peak may have already hit but no one thinks it is more than 20-30 years off.... Exploding demand hits plummeting supply. And whether we've ever fought one over it up to now, the next war will be about oil," Kate tells Josh.
- Query: What are CAFE standards? "Corporate Average Fuel Economy"
- Query: Has "this administration had seven years to make fuel efficiency a priority." or "seven years of a hostile congress"?
- Query: Does Josh wear pajamas or not? We have seen him in pajamas: when recovering from being shot and while dating Amy.
- Josh is in a car dealership initially looking at a Prius hybrid car. The salesman tells him that this car is,
- "...Perfect for D.C.... loves gridlock."
"And with gasoline at an all-time high."
"They're not, actually. The record high was in '81. Adjusted for inflation gas was $2.80 a gallon in today's money.... In the 50s prices were equivalent to what they are now. A little more even. But per capita real income was less than half what it is today." Then Josh learns of the waiting list on the hybrid. And as he glances up, a huge SUV catches his eye. And testosterone kicks in. That's the vehicle he decides to test drive.
And while talking to Donna on his cell phone Josh's SUV test drive destroys someone's new Prius.
As Kate later says, "This is hilarious but not actually funny."
- C.J. is settling in to what used to be Leo's job. Even to pushing the President, who says to her (and Charlie),
- "I'm noticing a distinct slackening of awe, a certain lack of trembling in my presence."
- When C.J. finds out about Josh having hit the Prius, she assigns him to head up the White House Task Force on alternative energy. As Toby walks with Josh to the first meeting of said task force, he asks how Josh thinks Toby's press briefings are doing.
- "Yeah, they're getting better."
"Good." Toby, soon to face another briefing, then comes back for more information. "On a scale of one to ten --- ten being C.J. and one being a chimp throwing feces --- where do I rank?"
"They're getting better." Josh then heads for the meeting. "I gotta go get my ass kicked."
"Yeah, me, too."
- Kate comes by to ask Donna how she is doing and to offer herself as a person she can talk to. Donna claims she is fine. C.J. is planning a lunch at Leo's place since Leo is claiming he is up to it. Josh is making things worse on the accident by his dealings with a blogger. And the President and the staff, with help from Zoey, pull off a surprise graduation party for Charlie. Bartlet tells him,
- "Congratulations.... You know what this means right?"
"Yes, sir." Charlie had an agreement with the President that when he graduated, he would get another job.
"Enjoy your party. I think everyone's blocked off all of eight minutes."
- Toby has hired Annabeth Schott, as deputy press secretary, to find the new press secretary and to maybe help him in the meantime. But he doesn't like her suggestions. She follows him back to his office and comes at it from another angle.
- "How do you get women?"
"Briefing the press is a seduction. You've got a hot ex. How'd you get her."
"Get out of my office."
"Know what she says?"
"Oh, my God, you called Andy."
"Smart and funny. That how guys who, no offense, don't look like Jude Law or Denziel Washington get babes."
"Are you trying to get fired?"
"I'm trying to help you...."
"Briefing the press isn't a seduction. It's war...."
"Smart and funny. Seduce them. Worked on your wife."
"Living with you's a whole nother ball game. I get that already," she says as she walks out on him.
Later Toby asks Josh, "How do you get women?"
"Smart and funny. Right?"
"Plus, I've got that, you know, boyish thing."
"I don't have that."
Toby then asks his new deputy press secretary what else she might suggest. She says, "...Body language.... Projecting comfort and command."
"I don't do that?"
"One might say."
Toby finally asks for help. Then he rejects it. But later he uses some of the very suggestions he had rejected.
- Charlie doesn't want to leave his current job but he is forced to pass out resumes to see if anyone around knows of a job for him. Well, C.J. has a suggestion.
- "Can I think it over?" he asks her.
Later Charlie tells Zoey, "I got an interesting offer that you're pretty much responsible for.... In appreciation, I'd like to tell you about it over dinner."
"Are you asking me on a date?"
"A thank-you dinner."
"It's a date."
"So far it isn't anything. You haven't said that you'll go."
Zoey pauses for a moment and then says, "Sure."
- Donna seeks out Kate to tell her,
- "I'm not ready. I have spoken to experts and they've told me what to look for and I don't have to look very hard. I do get angry over everything, cry over nothing, right down the list. Rejecting offers of help, that's on there, too. I'm sure talking to you would be helpful. Actually," she pauses to be more honest, "I'm not sure of that. I'm not sure of much of anything. Except that I'm not ready."
- Josh's meetings resulted in nothing. He tells C.J. and the President overhears it.
- "The fuel alternatives are even less ready than you thought."
"It's all economics," says the President who used to be a economics professor. "Why do the Saudis fight to keep oil prices from rising?"
"To discourage conservation," Josh says.
"And the development of alternative fuels," C.J. adds.
"...And it works. 'Cause we let them. Economics."
"So, what do we do?"
"Veto the omnibus transportation bill...."
"Sir, there aren't the votes to sustain it. They'll just override...."
"Better fuel economy's an idea that just has to reach its tipping point."
"A veto maybe nudges it a little closer."
"And keep having those meetings," the President tells Josh. "We wait until the alternatives are perfect, it's all going to be too late."