I have my issues with Aaron Sorkin, but there are still times when he grabs me and doesn’t let go. Two brief scenes from the first season episode of The West Wing, entitled “In Excelsis Deo”. The backstory here (among political stuff) is that Toby Ziegler (communications director at the White House) gets a call from DC police because a homeless man has been found dead, wearing a coat that had Toby’s business card in the pocket. Toby realizes that the coat was one he donated to a shelter or something, and the card was still in the pocket; he learns that the homeless guy was a Korean War veteran, and uses the President’s clout to arrange a military funeral, with the guy’s surviving brother (also homeless) in attendance.
Along the way, we learn something of Mrs. Landingham, which is a good reminder that the Christmas season is not always a time of happy memories for everyone. There’s a reason so much joy and so much melancholy tend to coexist at Christmas.