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The West Wing Transcript Archive


STORYLINE INFORMATION

SEASON ONE | SEASON TWO | SEASON THREE | SEASON FOUR | SEASON FIVE | SEASON SIX

source: NBC


PILOT
Original Air Date: September 22, 1999

WHITE HOUSE STAFF HOLDS DOWN FORT UNTIL INJURED PRESIDENT RETURNS IN PREMIERE OF 'THE WEST WING' -- The entire White House staff bristles with activity when it's learned that the President injured himself during a bicycle accident, and his absence becomes a factor as chief of staff Leo McGarry must juggle a host of impending crises, including a mass boatlift of Cuban refugees approaching the Florida coast and the reaction of conservative Christians to a controversial televised comment by deputy chief of staff Josh Lyman. Meanwhile, Sam Seaborn, the trouble-prone deputy communications director, unknowingly spends the night with a call girl (guest star Lisa Edelstein) and then makes another critical error during a children's White House tour.


POST HOC, ERGO PROPTER HOC
Original Air Date: September 29, 1999

WHITE HOUSE STAFFER JEOPARDIZES HIS BRIGHT FUTURE IN PURSUIT OF CALL GIRL -- Despite warnings from fellow office workers, infatuated White House staffer Sam Seaborn presses his luck when he continues to publicly pursue a high-priced call girl (guest star Lisa Edelstein) with whom he shared a night of passion. Press secretary C.J. Cregg tries to defuse a potentially nasty public clash between the President and his willful Vice President (guest star Tim Matheson) concerning the Veep's quotes about a bill favored by the chief executive. Exasperated political consultant Mandy Hampton drowns her troubles when her only client ignores her advice and agrees to bottle up a key bill in committee that could have been costly for the President if put to a vote. The President forges a kinship with a young African-American Navy captain (guest star Reuben Santiago-Hudson) who's substituting for his regular White House physician - so much, in fact, that he asks him to assume the position on a full-time basis.


A PROPORTIONAL RESPONSE
Original Air Date: October 6, 1999

ANGRY PRESIDENT SEEKS VENGEANCE FOR DOOMED JET -- Still seething over the downing of an fully loaded American jet in the Mideast, a vengeful President Bartlet overrules the joint chiefs' plan for a "proportional" military strike and demands a more severe attack that would result in thousands of enemy and civilian casualties. While Leo and other advisers try to cool off the Commander-in-Chief, Press Secretary C.J. scolds a wayward Sam over his potentially explosive private crusade to rescue a well-known call girl from her profession. Feeling overlooked during the hubbub surrounding the military options, Josh interviews a shy African-American teen as a potential personal aide to the President. John Amos guest-stars as the chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff.


FIVE VOTES DOWN
Original Air Date: October 13, 1999

PUSH FOR GUN BILL PASSAGE PROVES COSTLY; STORY BY POLITICAL INSIDERS PATRICK CADDELL AND LAWRENCE O'DONNELL -- Presidential chief of staff Leo McGarry needs five more House votes to pass a bill restricting the sale of automatic firearms -- but the cost might be too high, especially if he has to go to the unpredictable Vice President (guest star Tim Matheson) to help put them over the top. The staff's annual financial disclosure statements prove to be thorny for Toby, whose innocent technology stock purchase last year proved to be wildly profitable, which raises eyes due to his association with an expert in the field. In addition, Leo's long hours on the job cause an unforeseen crisis at home, and the President unintentionally mixes up the potent medications he receives for his ailing back.


THE CRACKPOTS AND THESE WOMEN
Original Air Date: October 20, 1999

JOSH FEELS GUILTY OVER SPECIAL PRIVILEGES -- Josh is troubled when he receives a special card informing him of where to safely go in the event of a nuclear attack -- a privilege denied to most of his White House co-workers -- while Leo instructs the senior staff to meet with various special interest groups, some of whom have wacky agendas. Prior to an important press conference, Toby voices strong opposition to many of President Bartlet's plans for an upcoming California trip and later checks out the rumor that he was not the chief executive's first choice for the job. The President, meanwhile, virtually orders his staff to sample his prized chili when he arranges a reception for his Georgetown-bound daughter (guest star Elizabeth Moss).


MR. WILLIS OF OHIO
Original Air Date: November 3, 1999

WHITE HOUSE STAFFERS COURT VOTES BEFORE COUNTING CENSUS IN -- Toby and Mandy work to convince some congressmen -- including the nervous Mr. Willis (guest star Al Fann), who assumed his late wife's office -- to approve a commerce bill that includes a vital census-counting provision, while the President's daughter (guest star Elizabeth Moss) gets into an ugly fracas in a Georgetown bar along with Josh and Sam. Elsewhere, C.J. swallows her pride and asks Sam for help to understand the basic components of the administration's stance on random census-taking in 2000, and a peeved President Bartlet scolds Leo when he learns that Leo's wife has left him.


THE STATE DINNER
Original Air Date: November 10, 1999

OSCAR NOMINEE STOCKARD CHANNING GUEST-STARS -- As that night's stylish state dinner honoring the Indonesian president looms in the background, President Bartlet keeps his eye on a spate of potentially explosive problems: an FBI hostage standoff with dozens of militant survivalists, a Class-4 hurricane bearing down on a carrier group at sea and an impending national trucker's strike. Behind the scenes, the gracious First Lady (Oscar nominee Stockard Channing) prepares to host the dinner, a pushy reporter (guest star Timothy Busfield) flirts with C.J., Josh and Toby corner an Indonesian government official to ask a favor, and a surprised Sam spies his call girl friend Laurie (guest star Lisa Edelstein) at the event.


ENEMIES
Original Air Date: November 17, 1999

POLITICAL OPPONENTS SEEK TO DERAIL PRESIDENT'S KEY BANKING BILL -- A crucial banking bill is at risk when political rivals of environmentally sensitive President Bartlet attach a land-use rider to it that would allow strip-mining some of the Montana wilderness while C.J. tries to stamp out rumors -- however true -- that the Chief Executive chastised the Vice President (guest star Tim Matheson) during a cabinet meeting. An overworked Leo isn't too keen on his independent daughter Mallory (guest star Allison Smith) dating the handsome Sam. C.J. continues to fend-off the romantic charms of a perceptive reporter (guest star Timothy Busfield) with a knack for sniffing out juicy stories. Former lovers Mandy and Josh clash over the administration's attempt to jettison the land-use rider that might ruin passage of the more important banking bill.


THE SHORT LIST
Original Air Date: November 24, 1999 PRESIDENT'S NOMINEE FOR SUPREME COURT JUSTICE HITS A NASTY SNAG -- When a Supreme Court justice retires, President Bartlet has a golden opportunity to impact the court's composition by nominating a favorite judge (guest star Edward James Olmos) -- but when further study reveals the candidate's conflicting ideology and cloudy social affiliations, the President might change his mind and opt for another judge. In addition, a headline-seeking congressman (guest star Holmes Osborne) on the House Government Oversight Committee accuses the White House staff of substance abuse -- a dicey issue for one important member.


IN EXCELSIS DEO
Original Air Date: December 15, 1999

WHITE HOUSE WHITE CHRISTMAS BRINGS GLAD -- AND SAD -- TIDINGS -- As Christmas Eve approaches, President Bartlet eagerly sneaks out of the White House for some last-minute Christmas shopping, while a haunted Toby learns more about a forgotten Korean War hero who died alone on the district's cold streets while wearing a coat that Toby once donated to charity. In other hushed corridors, Sam and Josh ignore Leo's advice and consult Sam's call girl friend (guest star Lisa Edelstein) concerning her confidential clientele when one political rival hints at exposing Leo's previous drug problem. C.J. wonders aloud about the President's public response to a notorious hate crime while her personal resolve weakens as a persistent reporter (guest star Timothy Busfield) continues to ask her out.


LORD JOHN MARBURY
Original Air Date: January 5, 2000

INDIA-PAKISTAN BORDER WAR POSES THREAT OF NUCLEAR CLASH -- The Kashmir border powderkeg becomes more explosive when the Indian army invades Pakistani-held territory, making the threat of a nuclear confrontation frighteningly real to President Bartlet, who calls in Lord Marbury (guest star Roger Rees), an eccentric British diplomat with ties to both warring nations -- and a weakness for booze. An angry Josh is subpoenaed to testify as the investigation into substance abuse among White House staffers grinds on towards its inevitable target: chief of staff Leo McGarry. Mandy floats a trial balloon among the staff to test their reaction to her notion of representing a liberal Republican. The President is surprised when Charlie asks him if he can date his willing daughter Zoey (guest star Elizabeth Moss).


HE SHALL, FROM TIME TO TIME
Original Air Date: January 12, 2000

CRISES ABOUND AS PRESIDENT TAKES A TUMBLE -- The White House staff is in full crisis mode when President Bartlet is found unconscious as he prepares for the State of the Union speech while the India-Pakistan border skirmish flares again when a fearful Pakistan gives its field commanders control of its nuclear arsenal. While the President's condition is officially blamed on the flu, the First Lady (guest star Stockard Channing) knows better, and Toby is too busy to notice as he polishes his boss' upcoming address. Equally distracting is the inevitable disclosure of Leo's former substance-abuse problem by political rivals, as well as the reappearance of the amusing Lord Marbury (guest star Roger Rees) -- a besotted ladies' man who doubles as a key adviser on the India-Pakistan conflict. Despite the crises, C.J. and Mallory (guest star Allison Smith) express their romantic feelings about two very different men.


TAKE OUT THE TRASH DAY
Original Air Date: January 26, 2000

PRESIDENT MUST DEAL WITH NEW SEX STUDY AND BACKSTAGE DISCORD OVER HATE CRIMES BILL CEREMONY -- While President Bartlet and his staff debate the appropriate response to a controversial new sex education study, there are fears that the parents of a murdered gay teenager should be excused from attending the signing of a hate crimes bill because of the father's embarrassment about his son's homosexuality. Josh and Sam meet with an appropriations subcommittee which is investigating Josh's lack of cooperation in the White House staff drug probe -- all of which is designed to expose Leo's former substance-abuse problem. The President tries to convince daughter Zoey (guest star Elizabeth Moss) to drop a sociology class taught by a professor whose ideas offend him -- not to mention her new best friend Charlie. Toby relishes his verbal duel with some congressmen who have held up the newest appointments for the Public Broadcasting Corporation. C.J. is advised to save a few embarrassing stories for release on Friday to blunt the effect on the media over the weekend, but she also finds time to continue her frisky flirtation with a White House reporter (guest star Timothy Busfield).


TAKE THIS SABBATH DAY
Original Air Date: February 9, 2000

OSCAR WINNERS MARLEE MATLIN, KARL MALDEN GUEST-STAR -- After the Supreme Court refuses to stay the execution of a Federal prisoner convicted of killing two drug kingpins, President Bartlet must decide whether or not to commute his sentence in less than 48 hours, so he calls upon his sagacious childhood priest (guest star and Oscar winner Karl Malden) for guidance. Meanwhile, even Toby feels the heat over the controversial issue when he hears a sermon on capital punishment from his rabbi (guest star David Proval). Elsewhere, a hearing-challenged, combative campaign manager (guest star and Oscar winner Marlee Matlin) begs for an audience with the President when her Democratic congressional candidate has purposely been underfunded by his party before the upcoming election to unseat an incumbent.


CELESTIAL NAVIGATION
Original Air Date: February 16, 2000

EMMY WINNER EDWARD JAMES OLMOS, CCH POUNDER GUEST-STAR -- Sam and Toby are dispatched to Connecticut for some damage control and to secure the secret release of President Bartlet's primary choice (guest star Edward James Olmos) for the Supreme Court, who has been jailed for alleged drunk driving and resisting arrest. Meanwhile, Josh is a guest lecturer at a college class to talk about working for the President and he recounts the previous week's flare-ups, which include: his feeble attempt to fill in as the White House spokesman at a press conference where he promises that the President has "a secret plan to fight inflation," and the media glare that engulfs the African-American HUD secretary (guest star CCH Pounder) who publicly labeled a prominent Republican as a racist.


20 HOURS IN L.A.
Original Air Date: February 23, 2000

JAY LENO, MODEL/ACTRESS/WRITER VERONICA WEBB, DAVID HASSELHOFF GUEST-STAR -- President Bartlet and several of his staff head to Los Angeles for a whirlwind visit that is topped off by a star-studded fundraiser hosted by a wealthy film honcho (guest star Bob Balaban) who threatens to cancel the bash unless Bartlet announces his opposition to a congressional bill banning gays in the military. Back in Washington, Leo tries to convince a stubborn Vice President Hoynes (guest star Tim Matheson) to break the Senate voting deadlock over an ethanol tax credit favored by the White House. Elsewhere, Josh learns that feisty campaign manager Joey Lucas (guest star Marlee Matlin) is staying in his Los Angeles hotel and he eagerly anticipates seeing her again. The President takes a meeting where he is warned about not supporting an amendment banning flag-burning and later checks up on Secret Service security for his daughter Zoey (guest star Elizabeth Moss) -- and is unafraid to close down a celebrity-filled restaurant where she's lunching. Jay Leno, Model/Actress/Writer Veronica Webb and David Hasselhoff guest star as celebrities attending the Hollywood bash.


THE WHITE HOUSE PRO-AM
Original Air Date: March 22, 2000

ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN VS. ALL THE FIRST LADY'S WOMEN -- The President's and First Lady's (guest star Stockard Channing) staffs feud over rival agendas when her public statements about foreign child-labor abuse inspires a Congresswoman (guest star Amy Aquino) to attach an amendment that will surely torpedo a long-delayed international tariff bill favored by the President. What's more, when the revered chairman of the Federal Reserve dies, the President is under pressure to name the former head's top lieutenant as his successor -- the same handsome man who seriously dated the First Lady in college. Away from the White House, Zoey (guest star Elizabeth Moss) clashes with her boyfriend Charlie when she suggests that they not step out together at an upcoming club opening at the request of the Secret Service which is concerned about recent hate letters concerning their interracial relationship. Josh asks opinionated Toby to mind his manners prior to parleying with two important Congressmen.


SIX MEETINGS BEFORE LUNCH
Original Air Date: April 5, 2000

ARREST AT FRAT PARTY ATTENDED BY PRESIDENT'S DAUGHTER COULD BE EXPLOSIVE; CARL LUMBLY GUEST-STARS -- When Zoey (guest star Elisabeth Moss) attends a college fraternity party in which one of her friends is busted for using illegal drugs, C.J. struggles to keep the embarrassing story out of the press while the White House staff celebrates the confirmation of their nominee, Judge Mendoza, for the Supreme Court. An uncomfortable Josh is assigned to talk with the adminstration's controversial nominee (guest star Carl Lumbly) for assistant attorney general for civil rights who advocates that African-Americans receive financial reparations for slavery. Elsewhere, Sam crosses swords with Mallory (guest star Allison Smith) over the issue of private school vouchers while Mandy lobbies to secure two new pandas for the National Zoo.


LET BARTLET BE BARTLET
Original Air Date: April 26, 2000

WHICH WHITE HOUSE INSIDER WROTE DAMAGING MEMO ATTACKING THE PRESIDENT? -- Rumors percolate about a scathing memo that outlines the weaknesses of President Bartlet's administration for his political rival and grip the White House until C.J. learns it came from one of the trusted staff. C.J. finally discovers that the memo is in the possession of one reporter and tries to dissuade him from publishing it. Meanwhile, Sam and Toby meet with opposing military officers and congressmen to discuss amending the current "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy towards gays in the armed forces. When two members of the Federal Election Commission resign, Josh sees opportunity and moves fast to meet with contentious senators to suggest that the President appoint two Democrats as replacements instead of sharing one spot with the Republicans. Leo not only has trouble with the White House's faulty e-mail system, he confronts the President and issues a challenge that could define or destroy his administration.


MANDATORY MINIMUMS
Original Air Date: May 3, 2000

MARLEE MATLIN REPRISES HER ROLE AND JOHN DE LANCIE GUEST-STARS; RE-CHARGED PRESIDENT GOES FOR BROKE -- A newly energized President Bartlet bucks tradition and throws down the gauntlet when he names two Democrats -- both campaign finance reformers -- to the Federal Election Commission despite threats from his political opponents to introduce embarrassing legislation that would dare him not to sign. Early reactions to his announcement are not encouraging, especially from top-notch pollster Al Kiefer (guest star John de Lancie). However, Kiefer's arrival means his attractive cohort, Joey Lucas (Oscar-winning guest star Marlee Matlin), accompanies him, and she again draws a smitten Josh's attention. Toby agrees to seek out his ex-wife (guest star Kathleen York), a breezy congresswoman, to gauge her response to any future narcotics legislation that would emphasize prevention over enforcement. Leo, uncomfortably aware of his own brush with drugs, agrees to be the Chief Executive's front man for positioning the high-voltage issue of revising the drug laws.


LIES, DAMN LIES AND STATISTICS
Original Air Date: May 10, 2000

PRESIDENT ANXIOUSLY AWAITS POLL RESULTS -- While President Bartlet and his staff nervously await the results of a poll to determine his favorability rating, he begins a heady transfer of ambassadors and members of the Federal Election Committee designed to kickstart campaign finance reform and defuse a embarrassing incident overseas. Specifically, wheeler-dealer Bartlet recalls the married ambassador to Bulgaria (guest star Lawrence Pressman) who is discovered to be romancing the daughter of the country's prime minister, but faces another crisis at home when Sam is photographed by a newspaper giving a graduation gift to a known call girl (guest star Lisa Edelstein). Meanwhile, C.J. anxiously paces the White House corridors and wonders if she is being marginalized by Leo for past mistakes. In addition, Josh clashes with opinionated pollster Joey (guest star Marlee Matlin).


WHAT KIND OF DAY HAS IT BEEN
Original Air Date: May 17, 2000

PRESIDENT AND STAFF CONFRONT CRISIS; TIM MATHESON GUEST-STARS IN SEASON FINALE -- In the season finale, President Bartlet prepares for a town hall meeting with college students while the U.S. military races to find a downed American pilot in the Iraqi desert before the Iraqi military captures him. C.J. doesn't relish the notion of misleading the press over rescue preparations. Likewise, Toby tries to ignore updates from the distressed orbiting space shuttle which includes his brother, a payload specialist aboard the craft which cannot close its cargo doors. Meanwhile, a huffing Josh is dispatched to run down and convince the wayward vice president (guest star Tim Matheson) to re-think his position on campaign finance reform.


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