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The Studio > > > Recaps & Reviews > > > Anna's Recap of "The Apology" Episode
Anna's Recap of "The Apology" Episode
by Anna Swiberg

Dan's standing in the office, twirling those little Zen balls in one hand as Casey interrogates someone over the phone. Natalie's in the office, trying to hurry the guys along, as the show is about to start. As she questions Dan about whether or not he is nervous, she makes it known to the audience that there is a piece coming out the next day in Esquire, which we have to presume is about Dan, hence his nervousness. It's this piece of information that is the one to keep from this intro, which is chock full of action that goes nowhere. No need to mention what Casey is doing on the phone, as it is a piece of the story that gets not even one mention past the intro, despite the big deal Casey seems to be making of it. There is some fun and games with names as Dan thinks he has a stalker from the building named Mandy, which does get mentioned throughout the episode, but ultimately goes nowhere.

As far as humor in this intro goes, there is one standout that I loved. As Dan and Casey finally make it to the studio, we stay with the camera in the control room, as Elliot comes in and lets everyone know that Toby Benes has a no-hitter in the seventh. Dana tells Casey to tease it, but Jeremy, who must still be pretty new, as he's just hanging around the room without a spot to sit, shows concern that they shouldn't tease it, as it is bad luck. Dana does her cool boss thing where she essentially says that it's not her problem and she doesn't really care. Casey goes ahead and teases it (in a slow and stilted manner, I might add... I thought he was supposed to be good at this anchor thing), which causes Jeremy to throw Dana a troubled frown, which made me chuckle a little. As the tease ends, Jeremy leans forward to let Dana know that he respects her decision, despite not agreeing with it. We get a clear view during this, from a camera angle over Dana's shoulder, of her face as she gives Natalie a "what's with this guy?" look, which I absolutely loved. It's very well done. In the end, Benes loses the no-hitter, and Jeremy leans forward to pat the back of Dana's hand in condolence, and I snicker.

As we get into the main story line of the show, Casey is sitting in the newsroom reading the Esquire piece, and fretting that he doesn't come off as cool. Dan's in trouble, but Casey isn't concerned about him. Okay, there's really only one thing I have to say here... anyone who worries so much about being cool cannot be cool. It goes against the whole natural order of cool versus uncool. Plus, there's his haircut.

Dana and Casey head into the conference room, and Dana asks Casey about how much trouble Danny is going to be in. Hey, I have a question. How come Dana needs to ask Casey? Isn't she his boss? Wouldn't she know more about it than he would? Anyhoo, eventually we find out that Dan made known in the Esquire article that he is a member of a group that is working to legalize marijuana, but Casey thinks it's not a big deal, not compared with the problem of him not seeming cool. Another note here, anyone who says, "I'm completely cool, huh?" gets banned from the cool table for life.

As we move on, a side story gets added as Natalie ask Casey to check Jeremy's first highlights tape, which he will be cutting that day. Casey agrees as she follows him into the office. There is some cute interaction here, as Natalie describes her new feelings for Jeremy. It gives a nice example of the sort of sibling-like connection between the two. As she describes her feelings as "growing inside her like a rush or a surge," Casey hastily tells her that it's more than he needs to know. The moment is reminiscent of what my older brother would act like if I tried to talk about my new boyfriend with him.

Dan comes into the office as Natalie hops off, and we learn that Dan is supposed to be in a meeting at that moment to discuss the article, but is making them wait, as part of his strategy. Casey comes over to question Dan about why he didn't let Casey know that there was going to be this much trouble and we finally learn what it was that Dan actually said, which all in all, didn't sound bad. Casey agrees that they missed the point, and I'm unclear if he means that the writers of the magazine missed the point, or that the bigwigs at CSC missed the point. In either case, Casey quickly moves on to a more important point, and wants to know how he can become cool. This is where we learn that Casey has "Afternoon Delight" by the Starland Vocal Band playing in his car, and the fact that Casey says that it wasn't like he "went out and bought the single" is enough to let the audience know that he knows nothing about the music industry. Bought the single? Has he even been in a music store within the last decade?

Eventually we get one of those tried and true moments that has been done in thousands of t.v. shows, making this number 17,592, as Dan unwittingly talks about how Isaac isn't mad, but is actually hip to his battle plan, while Isaac stands behind him the whole time. The only thing that makes me want to keep watching the scene is the fact that it's Isaac, who rocks, and that I get to here him say, "sorry ass," which also rocks.

As we begin the scene in Isaac's office, we see Dan fighting it out with a couple of network bigwigs. They verbally spar a bit before getting down to the rub, which is that Luther Sachs wants Dan to make on-air apology. They point out that Dan said in the article that the last time he used drugs was eleven years ago today, which is info that a recovering drug abuser would have at his fingertips. Dan scoffs at that. Gee, it sure is convenient for the story line that today is the anniversary, isn't it?

Isaac stands up to bring the meeting to an end, and tells Dan that he'll apologize, because that's how television is done. Dan goes ahead and compares himself to Rosa Parks, saying he doesn't always like how things are done. Oh, no he di-in't! Isaac wisely ignores the comment for a moment as he kicks the big wigs out of his office. Dan admits that he has no idea what he's going to say, and Isaac basically says, "Figure it out." Then he brings Dan down a notch on the whole Rosa Parks comment. As Isaac leaves the office, Dan looks suitably chastened.

We move on to a scene where Jeremy is eating an egg at the craft service table, and Casey surprises him by coming up and saying hey, just as he's putting the egg in his mouth. I can honestly say that I feel for Jeremy here, as I hate it when people surprise me while I'm eating. One time, after I had just transferred to the store I'm working at now, we had a meeting. Just as I'm chomping down on a donut, our city manager takes that moment to officially introduce me as a new member of management. I try to wave even though my mouth is full and I have a half eaten donut in one hand. Then he has to take it a step further by asking if I want to say anything to the group, so I have to try to hastily swallow a big lump of glazed donut, just to say that I didn't have anything I wanted to say. God, I hate moments like that. In Jeremy's case, he almost chokes on the egg, before he manages to remover. Now, this scene has all sorts of sports lingo in it, and I'm not even going to pretend that a know what most of it means. I know nothing about sports. What the scene boils down to is that Jeremy's highlights tape is too long. Casey says, "Make it shorter," about 103 times, and Jeremy just can't figure it out. They move on to the editing room, as Casey decides to help him out.

I'm not going to delve too much into the next scene. It's essentially presenting a story line that ends up running through most of the series, which is that Natalie thinks that Casey wants Dana, and Dana just doesn't see it. Natalie insists that she missing the signs. It's presented with the feeling that this is already something Natalie has brought up before, as Dana tells her at the beginning, "Don't start that." In the end, Natalie has managed to perk Dana's interest a bit.

We join Casey, Jeremy, and some unknown woman in the editing room, as they try to cut stuff from Jeremy's tape. I love how rumpled and sweaty Jeremy looks, as if he was trying to keep a man off death row, as opposed to just choosing what to cut from his tape. Natalie comes along to check on them, and makes me laugh out loud (and gets a big roar from the canned audience) as she tells Jeremy not to worry what Casey says because he listens to the Starland Vocal Band. Casey tells her to go away. Dana comes in and cuts the whole thing short, saying just what she wants on the tape. She and Casey leave the room, as Jeremy bemoans his fate.

As they leave, Dana stops and questions Casey about spoons and a fork, instead of just asking what she wants to ask, which is, "Do you need a woman?" She doesn't manage to get that across, and Casey misses it completely. Eventually, she gives up, and they move on to get ready for the show.

Finally, we get to the climactic, and best, scene of the episode. It's time for Dan to make his on-air apology, as Casey kicks it over to him. I can already feel the tension building as Dan intros his apology by mentioning that some members of the audience may have misunderstood his comments in the article. He then pauses, for a really long time, especially for live television. (21 seconds... I counted.) Everyone in the control room starts to sweat, and I notice that I'm holding my breath. Eventually, Dan breaks the silence by telling the story of his younger brother Sam, only he talks about him in the present tense, so that we are all the more shocked to find out that he is dead. That kind of annoyed me, but I let it go because of how well the rest of the scene is done. Josh Charles' acting here is top notch, as his eyes tear up slightly while he apologizes to his brother for letting him down. It's blame city, people. Everyone is silent as he wraps up his apology and sends it to a commercial. It's quiet for a moment longer, before Casey eases Dan back into a conversation, causing him to smile as Casey asks a question about the Starland Vocal Band. We outtro on them discussing what is and isn't cool. Zamphir is cool? I'm sorry, but as far as flutes go, I think Jethro Tull takes the cake. We fade to black on the sweet, sweet croonin' of "Afternoon Delight."

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