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Recap: Sports Night S 02 E 01 Special Powers
As Neil Finn's "She Will Have Her Way" plays in the background, we see a Montage of scenes of Casey trying, and failing, to write a note to Dana, or to ask her out on a few different occasions.

The song ends, and we see Casey and Dan in the studio preparing for the show. Dan reminds Casey it's been 90 days, but Casey doesn't want to talk about it, admitting he's scared.

Dana comes into the control room, asking where the network feed is. Chris tells her it's lumber sports. Dana accepts this, and tells everyone she's shuffling the 10 block. She tells Casey and Dan they're going to lead with DeNardio. Casey thinks the Jets are a better story, but Dana overrules him. Jeremy brings in a story about a Chinese swimmer who's swimming from Taiwan to mainland China, and who might be barred from the mainland by the Chinese government; Dana doesn't think that's a story to go before DeNardio either. While Dana checks the sound room briefly, Natalie, who is pointedly not talking to Jeremy, tells Casey and Dan about a pitcher named Nieuwendyk who's on pace to break the single-game strikeout record, and they think it should be the top story, but when Dana returns, she says they'll cut to the story if he does break the record and they're still leading with DeNardio. Casey and Dan think they can do all this without a script. Naturally, when the broadcast starts, they both Speak In Unison for several seconds before finally stopping, and Casey finishes it. After the teaser is over, Casey and Dan each blame each other for the gaffe.

In the control room, Dana calls Isaac and apologizes for the teaser, but realizes too late she's not talking to Isaac. Jeremy tells her they changed the inter-office system, and Dana heads out to go to Isaac's office. In the studio, Casey tries to point out to Dan he's not good at taking risks.

Isaac is sitting in his office when Dana walks in. Isaac updates her on Nieuwendyk (14 strikeouts), and Dana apologizes for the teaser. Isaac tells her they're not on the air yet. Dana doesn't know what he's talking about. Isaac explains the broadcast was delayed 10 minutes because of lumber sports, and it was on the network feed. Dana admits they didn't have the network feed on because Will is afraid of lumber sports, but she's more concerned with the fact Isaac forgot to tell her the show was pushed back. Isaac says it's no big deal, he just forgot. Dana leaves the office.

Casey and Dan continue to talk about Dana when Dave cues them in to start up the broadcast again. Casey is starting to give details about someone who's signed a five-year contract with a major broadcast network when Dana walks into the studio, walks in front of Casey and Dan's desk, and tells everyone Casey took gymnastics for seven years when he was younger. She then tells everyone the telecast got pushed back 10 minutes, but not to worry about it. Casey and Dan follow her into the editing room, and she confesses Isaac acted like he didn't care. Dan says they should stop worrying about Isaac, but Dana disagrees, telling them to keep an eye on Isaac, and Casey agrees. Casey is about to say something to Dana, but thinks better of it, and she leaves. Dan tells Casey that was a missed opportunity for him.

A little later, the show is in full swing, and Dan updates the audience what will be on the show when they come back from break. Once they break, Dana confirms to Dan that when Nieuwendyk gets 19 strikeouts, they'll cut into the broadcast. Jeremy asks to speak to Natalie, and she motions him outside. In the conference room, Jeremy tells her he's right and she's wrong, and "they" were just going to make her a weather girl. Natalie testily corrects him she was going to get to do local sports and human interest stories. Jeremy wants to know why they're still fighting when she turned down the job, and Natalie points out Jeremy's being incredibly patronizing about the whole thing. Jeremy points out she wasn't going to get to do any real writing and reporting; Natalie points out she knew that ahead of time, but Jeremy was acting upset that she got the job offer at all. Jeremy says she's wrong, and he was really more upset about having to move to Galveston, Texas, but Natalie doesn't believe him.

When the show continues, Casey tells the audience they're going to cut to San Francisco, as Nieuwendyk has just struck out his 19th batter (one more strikeout ties the record, two more breaks it). Once they cut the feed, Dan again tries to get Casey to talk to Dana, but Casey points out he's not as confident around women as Dan is.

A little later, Dan goes into Isaac's office. Dan wants to know why Isaac is working full time five months after his stroke, but Isaac insists he's fine, the mistake he made was just like ones he made before his stroke (and just like the one Casey and Dan made in the teaser), and Dan and everyone else should stop treating Isaac like he was their forgetful grandfather. Dan agrees, and leaves.

Jeremy and Natalie are alone in the control room, and Jeremy thinks Nieuwendyk doesn't look so good on the mound. Natalie thinks Jeremy was upset because she got offered the job and he didn't, but Jeremy says that wasn't it; he would have been willing to follow her to Galveston because that's how much he loves her, but he'd have been forced to give up his dream job to move to a place where he wouldn't have been able to get a job in broadcasting, and in weather he didn't like. He does admit he should have expressed that better before and acted out of line. Natalie appreciates the fact he's apologizing like a man, and lets Jeremy proclaim the fight is over. Elliot comes in and tells them Nieuwendyk isn't looking good, and Natalie asks for audio.

Casey walks into his office and discovers Dana is there. Dana admits she was waiting for him. Casey says Dan told him he should wait 90 days after Dana broke her engagement off with Gordon to ask Dana out. Dana tells him the statute of limitations is really 60 days, and she's been waiting for him to make a move. Casey says he wants to kiss her, but he'll wait after the show. He walks out, but as Betty Everett's "It's In His Kiss" plays over the soundtrack, Casey walks back in to give Dana a Big Damn Kiss. After they kiss each other for several seconds, Casey breaks it off, and says he's going back to the show. Dana smile, collects herself, and follows.

In the studio, Casey and Dan talk about how much Nieuwendyk self-destructed. Dan wants to know why Casey is smiling, and Casey just says he feels good. Natalie tries to get Dana on the phone to get her to come back to the control room, just as Dana walks in. Dave counts Casey and Dan back, and Casey welcomes the audience back to the show.

This episode contains examples of:

  • Call Back: To Isaac's stroke, and Dana and Gordon breaking off their engagement.
  • Continuity Nod: Dan still doesn't think much of soccer.
    Isaac: "Make the nets bigger"?
    Dan: Either that or a lot smaller and get rid of the goalies.
    Isaac: Dan, this network has a 3-year deal with major league soccer.
    Dan: I know, that's why I'm trying to help out.
  • Demoted to Extra: Though Elliot, Kim, Chris, Dave and Will were always supporting players, they were usually allowed to participate in Aaron Sorkin's banter throughout each episode. Starting here, and continuing through most of the season, they were relegated to bit player status, just saying things like, "Sound's up on 23."
  • Foreshadowing: Natalie wanting to go on the air, she and Jeremy having more serious fights, and the fear the network thinks it can push the show around more all become important stories throughout the season.
  • Laugh Track: Averted throughout the season.
  • That Came Out Wrong:
    Natalie: "They want you because you're cute"?
    Jeremy: They wanted you because they're idiots.
    Natalie: Thank you.
    Jeremy: You know what I mean.
  • Title Drop:
    Jeremy: Women don't have special powers.
Sports Night S 01 E 23 What Kind Of Day Has It BeenRecap/SportsnightSports Night S 02 E 02 When Something Wicked This Way Comes

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