Season In Review: The West Wing (S2)

2×01 – In The Shadow of Two Gunmen: Part I

The President is rushed to hospital following a shooting; staffers field questions on protection measures and executive authority. Flashbacks show how key staff members joined the Bartlet campaign.

  • I watched this almost immediately after the season one finale, because that cliffhanger was torture. I don’t know how people could stand not knowing for months.
  • This episode is already as terrifying as I thought it would be.
  • Toby’s reaction to Josh feels like a stab in the heart.
  • I like the parallel between the absolute panic because of the shooting and the calm of the emergency room.
  • And that calm is quickly disrupted.
  • The hospital set seen in this episode and part 2 are the same sets used in ER (1994). The two sets did look similar.
  • I thought it was weird that everyone outside the bubble didn’t have a clue what was happening. Nowadays the news of shooting would have been known by everyone within minutes, but this before the days of social media I must remember.
  • I know Josh won’t die, but wow is my heart in my stomach right now.
  • I love seeing Josh being recruited. I love all the origin stories of the team in general.
  • The snap back to reality was a great transition despite changing my entire demeanor.
  • You can just see Donna’s heart break in real time.
  • In the DVD commentary it is mentioned that when shooting the scene in which Donna learns about Josh’s serious injury, Richard Schiff, instead of using the line in the script, told Janel Moloney, playing Donna, that “Bradley Whitford died”, prompting her absolutely devastated expression in the scene. – Are you kidding me? No wonder why she looked so devastating.
  • Jane Lynch cameo!
  • Speaking of guest stars this episode apparently contains the largest number of guest stars in the entire series.
  • These origin stories/flashbacks have really done a great job of enhancing these characters I already love.
  • The dialogue may not the focal point of this episode, but there have still been some terrific bits of dialogue.
  • Sam was right, Josh does have a terrible poker face.
  • Leo’s words about Bartlet resonated for me.
  • I wonder if episode one and two of this season was aired back to back. Because if not, having to suffer a week not knowing if Josh would be okay or not would’ve been plain mean.

2×02 – In the Shadow of Two Gunmen: Part II

A suspect in the presidential shooting is caught; staffers anxious await news on Bartlet and Josh’s injuries; flashbacks show how C.J. and Donna joined Bartlet’s campaign.

  • Scary to think a killer can be so near you. Especially one who just tried to kill the President.
  • I don’t know how they found him so quickly, but I’m glad that didn’t drag the racist being on the loose out long.
  • That is something I didn’t need or want to be a full-fleshed out storyline.
  • No words were necessary for Sam to join the team. Just Josh’s trustworthy poker face.
  • CJ’s origin story! I’m not sure if they mentioned this before, but if they did I definitely forgot CJ was in public relations.
  • It’s so nice to see how the team all came together, all in their unique ways.
  • CJ falling into the pool was hilarious, a much-needed laugh within these first two episodes.
  • Of course, the racist had a racist motive for the shooting. Who would have thought?
  • It’s sad and it’s pathetic that race targeted mass shootings aren’t a thing of the past. I could say that about all mass shootings, but I wanted to emphasize the race targeted in particular.
  • Josh and Donna first meeting! It perfectly captures their relationship.
  • I’m not surprised that Sam was the one who pushed CJ down. Makes all the sense of his character.
  • I knew with all the mentions of Josh’s father these past episodes, I knew we would have seen this moment of Josh finding out.
  • I loved that this was Josh and Bartlet’s first bonding moment with each other.
  • Josh is okay, I knew he would be but I won’t take that for granted nonetheless.

2×03 – The Midterms

With the midterm elections coming up, Toby looks for a way to stop hate groups; Charlie and Zoey decide whether to continue their relationship; President Bartlet discovers the egg cream and is concerned about an ultra-right-wing candidate running for school board in his old district in New Hampshire, and Sam is asked to put White House help behind an old friend running for Congress.

  • You know Josh is okay because he’s already working (through CJ of course).
  • Physicians, not psychics. Though I understand the confusion.
  • The numbers would improve after the President being shot.
  • Obviously, there would be tension between Charlie and Zoey after the reason for the shooting was revealed.
  • I see both sides of the coin. I understand why Toby would want to be aggressive after extremist groups and why CJ wouldn’t want the staffers to become the focal point of the story.
  • Bartlet has three daughters? When are we meeting the other two?
  • I notice what you’re doing show, pulling out of frame when Zoey talks about Charlie.
  • There are definite psychological aftereffects within the staffers. They are just hiding it well.
  • Yeah, Tom got screwed by the White House. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him and his wife again to screw over Sam.
  • Am I going to have to try this egg cream that Bartlet likes because it does sound disgusting.
  • You gotta love Bartlet dunking on this woman, I know I did.
  • President Bartlet criticizes a religious fundamentalist radio talk show host named Jenna Jacobs with his detailed knowledge of scripture. The segment was adapted from a famous Internet chain letter allegedly sent to Dr. Laura Schlessinger, on whom the Jacobs character was based, and several of Bartlet’s questions are identical to the questions posed in the letter.
  • I’m glad to see this situation won’t further disrupt Charlie and Zoey’s relationship.
  • “Everyone should stay inside for three months so that they truly appreciate the outdoors”. This is a real quote! I’m not making this up! Well it took twenty years Toby, but you finally got your wish.
  • I love the visual of the team on Josh’s steps drinking beer to end the episode.

2×04 – In This White House

After a Republican commentator trounces Sam on television, President Bartlett decides to hire her over the objections of the staff. Josh and Toby mediate a conference between U.S. drug companies and an African President whose country is dying of AIDS.

  • Don’t you just love when men underestimate women and the women process to dunk on them, because I do.
  • Oh, Sam you knew everyone had to have been watching that.
  • Oh, CJ! She let something slip to a reporter. Hopefully he’s clueless and doesn’t what he was told.
  • A republican in the White House, that won’t go over well with the team.
  • CJ got lost on her way to the White House? Ha ha ha. I see Sam isn’t the only punchline in this episode.
  • Indeed the team aren’t happy about Ainsley, just like we thought.
  • Well Ainsley definitely fits in with the other staffers just based on how she converse with other people.
  • I appreciate how open minded Bartlet is to civic minded republicans. It’s the ignorant ones he can’t be bothered with.
  • Did this guy seriously just pulled a “you people”?
  • Ainsley letting CJ know she has nothing to worry about is a good example as to why she would be useful at the White House.
  • The scene about gun control is still so painfully relevant.
  • She took the job! Yay!
  • The whole situation with President Nimbala was far too sad especially with how it ends.

2×05 – And It’s Surely to Their Credit

Sam helps Josh battle his health insurance company; Ainsley Hayes encounters her firebrand boss and hostile colleagues; Abby gives the President some good news about his health; C.J. discovers a retiring General intends to publicly criticize the president.

  • Leaf peaking? I don’t blame Bartlet for laughing at that. I mean seriously what is that?
  • We knew people wouldn’t be a fan of Ainsley being apart of the staff. They’ll get past it eventually.
  • If Lionel is this scary in person, I can imagine how looked on television.
  • Is there ever a good time to speak to the President for anything.
  • I find it hilarious that Bartlet can do anything, but not get this two minute radio speech down.
  • Bartlet and the First Lady scheduling time for alone time is very presidential.
  • Lionel is being unnecessarily rude to Ainsley. Hopefully he’ll warm to her.
  • The President still hasn’t gotten the radio speech yet. Hahaha!
  • CJ showed the General up so good! Even if I didn’t follow everything she said it was badass.
  • And Bartlet was so close to spending some alone time with his wife, but he had to go and mess it up.
  • Sam and Lionel standing up for Ainsley was great.
  • Bartlet finally got the radio speech, just had to tweak it a lot. Now he can some personal time with his wife.
  • I figured Josh wouldn’t go through with suing those white supremacists. It never seem like he wanted to go that route.
  • The ending was a very nice thing the staff did for Ainsley. I can see her fitting with them like a glove.

2×06 – The Lame Duck Congress

The administration considers recalling Congress to pass a nuclear test ban treaty; a Ukrainian politician arrives unannounced at the White House; Sam reluctantly asks Ainsley to summarize a position paper; C.J.’s personal and professional relationship with Danny becomes more complex.

  • Josh is surprised at how Donna can change subjects fast. Hello! You all change subjects pretty fast.
  • I too would need an aspirin if everyone was bickering and talking over each other over the nuclear test ban treaty.
  • The interplay between Sam and Ainsley is endearing to say the least.
  • I wonder whose’s vote they lost.
  • Showing up the White House while drunk asking to see the President would definitely deem someone crazy.
  • The incident with the Ukrainian politician is based on an anecdote told by Republican consultant Marlin Fitzwater (who was also a consultant to the West Wing), about Boris Yeltsin’s first visit to the White House. Yeltsin was a member of the Russian Parliament at the time, and he wanted to meet President Bush, but the president thought Gorbachev would take offense if he received Yeltsin in the Oval Office. “Yeltsin refused to come in the building, in effect, unless he could meet the president,” Fitzwater recalls. A compromise was struck: Yeltsin agreed to meet Bush in the national security adviser’s office, “so he could say he met the president and we could say he never got into the Oval Office.”
  • Of course, they put the drunk belligerent person in Tony’s office.
  • “I hear things, I don’t understand most of it, but I hear it.” Boy how I relate to that quote.

2×07 – The Portland Trip

C.J. joins the President on a flight to Portland after a wisecrack about Notre Dame; Josh seeks to defeat an anti-gay marriage bill; Sam wants to rewrite an education speech; an oil tanker appears to be violating UN sanctions; Josh teases Donna over her dating record.

  • I am absolutely clueless about sports so I’m not sure if they Oregon they are referring to is a basketball team or baseball team or football team.
  • Damn, Donna! She looks absolutely stunning in that red dress.
  • Josh may have been too truthfully about Donna’s taste in men.
  • I know this often happens in real life with Republicans who happened to be gay, they are usually are closeted and vote for hateful bills because of their parties. But, I can’t at all understand why openly gay Republicans would vote for these awful bills that are attacking who they are.
  • CJ having to sing this Notre Dame fight song is giving me The Jackal flashbacks in the best way possible.
  • Did Donna’s date think she was Ainsley? Or something along those lines? Because otherwise I have no other clue why she suddenly thought she and Ainsley looked alike.
  • “Excuse me, I need to go look like an idiot.”
  • I love Donna and Josh’s relationship so much.
  • I can’t imagine Bartlet as a priest at all.

2×08 – Shibboleth

Dozens of Chinese stowaways are discovered in a container ship in California; Toby looks to pick a fight over school prayer with a recess appointment; Thanksgiving at the White House sees C.J. in charge of turkeys and Charlie looking for the ultimate carving knife.

  • Have I mentioned how much I love Sam’s hair this season? Well I do.
  • Sneaky, sneaky boys, putting the turkeys in CJ’s office.
  • Bartlet obsessing over what knife he should use for turkey cutting is very Bartlet.
  • I didn’t understand why Leo’s sister would be a conversational choice for an education, but her being anti-religious would do it.
  • The idea of Toby being bullied at school for not being apart of the voluntary prayer makes me so sad.
  • CJ being giddy that Toby asked her to his, Sam, and Josh’s Thanksgiving thing was adorable.
  • CJ buying both turkeys so the other doesn’t get killed is equally as adorable.
  • Aww, Bartlet passing along his family knife to Charlie is also incredibly sweet and adorable. Everybody is being so kind to each other in this episode.
  • Hahaha, Donna really thought Bartlet could pardon a turkey.

2×09 – Galileo

The President and NASA plan a TV event for a probe’s landing on Mars; satellite photographs show a suspicious-looking fire in Russia; Leo asks Toby and Josh to decide on the next postage stamp; Sam and C.J. have personal reasons for not wanting to accompany the President to a concert.

  • I’m not typically into planets, but if a President did a broadcast similar to this I would have probably loved it.
  • This is why we don’t laugh at people in front of their faces because we end up having to choose an official stamp.
  • Malory and Sam was a loose thread from last season they never finished up with. I guess now is their chance.
  • They lost the Galileo signal. I actually feel bad for those kids.
  • I aspire to be as snarky and sarcastic as everybody on the show it is.
  • Welp, Malory, and Sam both definitely haven’t gotten over their fling from last season.
  • Being qualified for a job doesn’t make you worthy of deserving of said job. Some people are just that entitled huh?
  • I can’t believe CJ ever went out with jerk like that.
  • I’m glad CJ encouraged Bartlet to still do the presentation for the kids.

2×10 – Noël

Josh speaks to a psychiatrist about the events of the last three weeks: Toby hired musicians for the foyer, an Air Force pilot disobeyed orders, Yo-Yo Ma performed at the White House, and Josh managed to cut his hand quite badly.

  • We’re getting another Christmas episode! The one from season one was great I expect this one to be as well.
  • It’s a Christmas episode and a Josh centered episode? Well, this just may end up becoming one of my favorite episodes of the show.
  • I’m glad we’re coming back to potential trauma from the shooting especially with Josh. We never really saw how any of them including Josh dealt with it.
  • I love it when the show tells how something came about through flashbacks to the previous few weeks or days prior to the event.
  • Josh clearly started to connect himself with the pilot while trying to learn about him.
  • I love that Toby is trying to be in the Christmas spirit, but bagpipes really?
  • The team is close, I’m not surprised that they were quickly concerned for Josh.
  • Josh being upset with Donna is a huge red flag that something is wrong with him.
  • Yelling at Bartlet is yet another huge red flag.
  • Yeah, Josh is showing all the classic signs of PTSD.
  • Watching Josh relive the shooting during the performance was brutal.
  • Music is Josh’s trigger which is a terrible trigger.
  • Aww! Leo telling Josh that’s he’s been where Josh is and that he’s going to have his back. Very heartwarming.
  • And of course, Donna was the one to guess.
  • Don’t think I didn’t notice the sirens mixed with the music at the end.
  • This was indeed one of my favorites of the show thus far. I really loved it.

2×11 – The Leadership Breakfast

Toby wants to use a bipartisan breakfast to discuss real issues instead of making it a staged event; Sam floats the idea of moving the press room across the street; Leo wants Josh to apologize to a columnist on his behalf; Leo and Toby realize they need to start thinking about reelection.

  • This was the last episode to air during the Bill Clinton administration.
  • That’s a fireplace is decorative, isn’t it?
  • Good going Josh and Sam, you made Charlie have to wake Bartlet up.
  • Josh and Sam try to light a fire in a White House fireplace only to find that it is only decorative when they set the fire alarms off. In January 2009, life imitated art when the Obama administration’s new Director of the Office of Management and Budget, Peter R. Orszag, tried to light a fire in a fireplace in his office that filled other office suites with smoke and set the fire alarms off. – Hahahaha!
  • How bad was the remark about her shoes!
  • Ah, sudden Felicity Hoffman!
  • Oh Sam you made an idiot of yourself with Karen again didn’t you?
  • Something tells me that Toby is going to regret that decision.
  • The fact that this is making Toby and CJ fight tells me it’s wasn’t a good idea.
  • This is not good!
  • Haha, Donna. That’s embarrassing, but it happens not to me but it happens.

2×12 – The Drop In

Toby conspires to toughen a speech that Sam has written for the President to give to the environmental lobby; Leo continues to support a missile defense shield that has yet to produce results; the President meets with several new ambassadors including one from Great Britain; C.J. goes to New York to ask a comedian for political favor.

  • Bartlet explaining Charlie Brown to Leo is great.
  • Leo really is Charlie Brown in this situation.
  • Donna hitting Josh with his door is such a good symbol for their relationship.
  • John Marbury! This is going to be interesting.
  • Marbury may be out there, but he is charming.
  • Toby lying to Sam made the whole situation worse than it would have been if he had told Sam the truth.
  • This Toby and Sam fight just reinforces the fact that I don’t like it when any of the staffers are fighting with each other.

2×13 – Bartlet’s Third State of the Union

While a live TV show is broadcast from the West Wing following the State of the Union, the staff must covertly deal with a hostage situation in Colombia. CJ learns that a special guest at the state of the union has a black mark on his record that could taint the administration. Ainsley Hayes is afraid to meet the President in person.

  • Ooh, another State of the Union episode!
  • I love these hectic event episodes because I love seeing the characters rushing and panicking for whatever reason and everything works out in the end.
  • Bartlet stopping to tie his shoe was improvised by Martin Sheen.
  • Don’t you love remembering hearing the President speeches and getting chills from them? Yeah, me too.
  • Joey Lucas is back!
  • I love the idea that CJ isn’t wearing pants.
  • The First Lady is back!
  • Hi Aaron Pierce! Okay, it’s not the same character from 24, but he could’ve been. Was the actor typecast as someone who works closely to the President?
  • The media will definitely spin Jack Sloane’s story into something bigger than what it is.
  • Ainsley!!! Everyone I like is back in this episode.
  • It’s cute that Ainsley is scared to meet Bartlet.
  • Josh reminds me of me, we’re both quite impatient.
  • Welp! He won’t be getting the numbers in five minutes.
  • I’m an empath, so I can feel things that other people feel. So, you can bet I felt every bit of that secondhand embarrassment for Ainsley.
  • Now I understand why Abby was so upset.

2×14 – The War At Home

President Bartlet is fighting a war on two fronts as he tries to rescue hostages in Colombia and deal with explaining to his wife why he’s breaking his word to her by running for a 2nd term.

  • Bartlet smokes? I feel like he’s one of those Presidents that would smoke weed once he’s done with his term(s).
  • Toby smokes? This was supposed to be a joyous night, but everyone is smoking from stress.
  • Donna just trying to be your wing woman Josh. Also what he described is totally jealousy.
  • That embarrassing was 100% Sam’s fault.
  • It’s kinda like Josh wants Donna be jealous of his relationship with Joey…mmh.
  • I’m getting that secondhand embarrassment for Ainsley again. This time much worse.
  • I don’t think I seen Bartlet this angry before.
  • I’m with Bartlet, I wouldn’t be able to release this guy.
  • Bartlet definitely getting a second term, but it will be interesting to see how badly his MLS gets by then.
  • Oh, Joey figured it out! She put it out there about Donna and Josh.
  • It was a tough choice, but I understand the decision that Bartlet made.

2×15 – Ellie

The surgeon general makes some controversial comments about marijuana, leading to an attack by family values groups and an unsolicited comment by Bartlet’s middle daughter, Ellie, to Danny Concannon that her father wouldn’t fire the s.g. The president summons Ellie from med school in Baltimore to the W.H., and we learn that she, unlike her parents and sisters, is shy and reticent, and has always felt like the family outcast in Jed’s eyes. Elsewhere, Sam gives a visiting movie producer a verbal lynching for publicly calling the president a coward after Charlie turns down a W.H. screening of his salacious new film.

  • Ah, I just mentioned weed and then there’s an episode about weed.
  • I totally thought the administration would be for the legalization of weed.
  • Ask her to resign?! That’s outrageous! I’m glad she stood her ground against Josh.
  • Are we getting to meet another one of Bartlet’s daughters?!
  • Does Bartlet have a good relationship or relationship at all with Eleanor?
  • Yay, we get to meet Eleanor!
  • So a distant relationship would be my answer to my previous question.
  • Elizabeth is the name of the other daughter! I hope we get to meet her at least once too.
  • Looks like Bartlet and Eleanor haven’t had the best relationship ever.
  • I love it when the staff tells off other people and the same goes for Sam telling that guy off.
  • Of course, Bartlet is one of those guys who talks during the movie.
  • I really disagree with Griffin resigning.
  • Some children just feel closer to one parent than another. It’s natural.
  • I agree with Griffin, it’s obvious that Zoey and probably Elizabeth too that they are the favorites and Eleanor isn’t. Of the little interactions I seen between Bartlet and Eleanor tells me their been some favoritism with Zoey and Elizabeth over Eleanor.
  • The more difficult or distant child is usually the parent’s least favorite for whatever reason and I think it’s clear it’s the same case here. That’s also a natural thing, but Bartlett can’t say it’s not true when the signs say otherwise.
  • Good, I’m glad Bartlet isn’t accepting Griffin’s resignation.
  • Those were the words every daughter needs to hear.
  • President Josiah Bartlet tells his daughter, Ellie, played by Nina Siemaszko, “The only thing you ever had to do to make me happy is to come home at the end of the day.” The first season finale of Sports Night, titled Sports Night: What Kind of Day Has It Been? (1999), featured Nina Siemaszko as a nanny. In the episode, Casey McCall, played by Peter Krause, tells his son Charlie “The only thing you have to do to make me and your mom happy is to come home at the end of the day.” Aaron Sorkin created both series, and wrote both episodes.
  • I feel this is one of those episodes that hasn’t aged well, but that’s the first time I have said that about an episode of The West Wing, 1 out of 37 episodes thus far is not bad at all.

2×16 – Somebody’s Going to Emergency, Somebody’s Going To Jail

On this year’s “Big Block of Cheese Day”, a college friend of Donna’s asks Sam to help her get her late grandfather, accused of being a Communist spy inside the U.S. government, a presidential pardon; dealing with the recent revelation that his father had been having an affair for the past 27 years, Sam faces off with an F.B.I. agent, and later with Nancy McNally, over the pardon. Elsewhere, a group of cartographers completely re-educates C.J. on her perception of the globe, and one-time protester Toby, with the help of a straight-talking female security guard, speaks for the w.h. at a rally to protest against U.S. participation in the WTO and various free trade agreements.

  • Look the White House is basically empty, that’s a first.
  • A 28 year long affair? Holy hell…
  • Josh mentions to Sam that Lincoln signed a pardon on April 14, 1865, the same day he was shot. Until over a decade after this episode was filmed, historians thought this was true. However, in January 2011, Lincoln researcher Thomas Lowry admitted that he had altered the date of the pardon (which he had “discovered” in the permanent records of the U.S. National Archives) from 1864 to 1865 so that it would seem more historically significant.
  • Is that flirting CJ and Toby?
  • Toby sure did give up on the world trade protest quickly.
  • Agents Of Shield guy!
  • Sam is just not having a good involving fathers huh?
  • Josh wearing a blueberry scarf.
  • Sam shouldn’t tell her. Like Donna said nothing good comes for it for his daughter. He’s reflecting his own feelings about his father onto her grandfather.
  • I’m glad Sam didn’t tell her.
  • Aww, I loved that Sam and Donna hug. The staff don’t hug each other enough for my liking.
  • Better getting hit by a banana than a tomato.

2×17 – The Stackhouse Filibuster

Josh finalizes a $6B health care plan that has strong support from both parties in both houses and appears to be a slam dunk for passage, but 78-year-old Senator Howard Stackhouse pulls a last-minute surprise–he wants money added for autism research or he’ll filibuster. Thinking it’s just a bluff, Josh blows off the senator, who then filibusters for more than eight hours while the WW staff waits desperately to begin their weekend with the episode unfolding as staffers write e-mails to their family members describing the evening’s action. Elsewhere, Sam tries to eliminate various costly government documents, for which he’s taken to task by a very young intern.

  • Now we’re getting a mention of CJ’s father? Sure are getting a lot conversation about fathers on this show lately.
  • The rules of a filibuster are my worst nightmare.
  • I can’t imagine being a filibuster for 20 minutes let alone 8 hours.
  • So everyone is talking to their parents? I like it.
  • Yeah, this intern would be fired on the spot. She’s was being incredibly rude.
  • Stackhouse having a grandchild who is autistic would explain why and how he’s been able to go on for 8 hours.
  • That was a genuine heartwarming ending.

2×18 – 17 People

Following the Vice-President’s remarks to him, Toby realizes the truth behind the President’s illness: multiple sclerosis. Toby, Leo, and Bartlet discuss the possible political implications of this if it goes public including possible jail time for the 17 people who now know about the illness. Meanwhile, Sam, Josh, Donna, and the rest of the staff, unaware of the illness, struggle with a speech the President is to give at the White House Correspondents Dinner.

  • Finally, I have arrived at the infamous 17 People. This is apparently one of the best bottle episodes ever. It’s so good it even has a whole website devoted to it.
  • According to Aaron Sorkin, the reason this is set entirely within the West Wing was due to financial reasons.
  • This episode has the smallest number of additional guest stars than any other episode in the entire series, namely just Emily Procter.
  • Allison Janney was originally in this episode but had to be written out when she had to fly to London, England to film extra scenes for The Hours. – Hey, I just watched that movie! She was great in it.
  • Toby is really getting his money worth with this bouncy ball.
  • And Toby is thinking really hard, too focus in fact. This makes sense why he didn’t have his own family email thingy in the last episode.
  • Toby figured (almost) all of it out. He’s one smart cookie that’s for sure.
  • Aww, Sam and Josh both went to their respective wing women for jokes.
  • Donna and Josh are just so meant to be together it’s insane.
  • This is one of those episodes where I was enthralled with the conversation being had that I didn’t take many notes, but I agree with the hype. I did think is one of the best episodes the show has produced yet.
  • The episode finishes in the same way as ‘The Godfather Part I’. Charlie is also seen earlier reading a biography of Francis Ford Coppola, director of ‘The Godfather’ trilogy.

2×19 – Bad Moon Rising

President Bartlett talks to the White House Counsel about the concealment of his MS. An enraged Toby has CJ grill the West Wing staff to find a leaker. Josh and Donna spar over a financial bailout of Mexico.

  • That broken recorder! That broken recorder is going to play a role in revealing Bartlett MS, isn’t it?!
  • Nevermind the lawyer broke it. Smart move.
  • Toby is clearly projecting his feelings about Bartlet’s MS onto the staff.
  • No matter what happens when Bartlett MS is revealed to the staff and the public, no way will it get any reaction that’s not somewhat if not entirely negative.
  • 18 people.
  • This is going to be a massive feeling of betrayal among the staffers.
  • I’m honestly nervous about what’s all to come.

2×20 – The Fall’s Gonna Kill You

White House Counsel Oliver Babbish interviews CJ once she learns of the President’s condition. The First Lady learns she may be legally vulnerable. Donna frets over the news of a falling satellite.

  • More people know, so I lost count.
  • 4 divorces? Wow, and low blow CJ.
  • Okay well looks Josh has also been told. The number of people in the know is quickly inflating.
  • There is so much that has happened in the Presidency that can get Bartlet or his staff potentially get trouble for possibly lying.
  • I’m with Donna, why is everyone treating this like it’s nothing. Obviously, most of them have other things on their minds at the moment, but still.
  • Maybe with this finally becoming out in the open Barret and the First Lady can get back on track.
  • This trial is going to rip not just Bartlett but everyone who knew anything apart.
  • Oh, you sneaky burger. Getting Donna and me all worked up like that.

2×21 – 18th and Potomac

With hypothetical polling numbers showing them it will be political suicide, staffers prepare to announce the President’s condition. As they do, a military crisis flares up in Haiti and Josh faces off against two senators who are against the Government’s tobacco industry suit. But as badly as the day seems to be going, a tragedy will come from a car wreck at 18th and Potomac that will affect everything.

  • The episode first screened in Australia on the evening of 11 September 2001. A newsflash reporting the events then unfolding in New York was briefly broadcast in the penultimate commercial break.
  • Having a meeting in the basement does make this situation feel sketchy.
  • Those statistics really were as terrible as Joey said they were.
  • There’s even a code word, making it to be worse than it is.
  • Things are going from bad to worse.
  • Now Mrs. Landingham is dead! Can’t any of these people catch a break right now?
  • Anything that could have gone wrong has gone wrong.

2×22 – Two Cathedrals

As the Haitian army continues their seizure of the American embassy there, Bartlet and the staff prepare for the announcement that Bartlet has M.S. and the President must decide whether or he will seek re-election. As the funeral for Mrs. Landingham takes place and the announcement draws nearer, Bartlet thinks back to his past in search of the answer to the question everyone is asking: Will he seek re-election?

  • Something tells me this is going to be an eventful finale, to say the least.
  • Poor Bartlet, he hasn’t even had the chance to fully mourn Mrs. Landingcamp and he still has to come forward with his condition.
  • We’re getting flashbacks of Bartlet and Dolores when they were younger. Oh this episode is going to make me feel all the emotions.
  • Seeing everyone at the funeral is making me cry and these flashbacks aren’t helping me with that at all.
  • I loved that Mrs. Landingcamp pushes Bartlet beyond what he thought he was capable of. She had a huge role in making him the man that he is now.
  • Martin Sheen, that’s it. That’s the note.
  • The President’s tirade in Latin at the end loosely translates as: “Thank you, Lord. Am I to believe these things from a righteous God, a just God, a wise God? To hell with your punishments! I was your servant, your messenger on the earth; I did my duty. To hell with your punishments! And to hell with you!” The sentences, “Cruciatus in crucem. Eas in crucem”, literally translate as “To a cross with your punishments. To a cross with you.” So an idiomatic translation of the last might be “Go crucify yourself.
  • Toby, news director? I don’t see it, but I can see him may not wanting to be apart of the administration anymore.
  • A tropical storm? A media storm? I see the parallels.
  • Bartlet is definitely changing his mind, we have 5 more seasons of this show, so yeah he’s changing his mind.
  • Well, I see why Bartlet doesn’t talk about his father at all now.
  • I have no clue if the conversation between Bartlet and Mrs. Landingcamp was a hallucination due to Bartlett’s condition or maybe not a serious thing at all. But either way it was exactly what he needed.
  • That was a goosebump-inducing ending. I loved it so much. A outstanding season finale to a wonderful season.
  • When Martin Sheen appeared on Inside The Actors Studio, host James Lipton told him that this episode was “one of the best episodes in the history of American television”. – It’s without one of the best I have ever seen.

I thought season two was a big step up from season one and I liked season one quite a bit! Even with some episodes that I felt were more on the filler side, I enjoyed because I adore all the characters. I seriously haven’t loved a group of characters this much in a very long time. My favorite episode is either Barlet’s Third State of Union, Noël, or Two Cathedrals. My favorite main character was Josh, but I loved the new addition of Ainsley. I want to see more of her, but I won’t hold out too much hope in case she disappears like Mandy.

Pros: The characters, dialogue, the premiere and finale episodes, a good mix of dramatic and humorous moments.

Cons: Some filler episodes (but nothing bad).

Other Seasons In Reviews: The Office – S1, 24 – S1, Breaking Bad – S1, Dexter – S1, The West Wing – S1, 30 Rock – S1, The Good Wife – S1, 24 – S2, Six Feet Under – S1, 24 – S3, 24 – S4


6 responses to “Season In Review: The West Wing (S2)”

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