Season In Review: The West Wing (S3)

3×01 – Manchester: Part One

The staff is hunkered down in the Bartlets’ hometown of Manchester, N.H., where they work with political consultants Bruno, Doug and Connie on the president’s official announcement that he’ll be seeking a second term; meanwhile, they all lament various W.H. events of the previous four weeks, including a huge strategic mistake by Josh, a pivotal FDA announcement scheduled for the same day as the president’s speech, an ongoing battle between then president and first lady, and a major press room gaffe by C.J.

  • What a badass moment. So satisfying seeing not only does Barlet declare he’s running but that he’s winning.
  • Connie Britton is in this! And her character’s name is Connie too?
  • I already don’t like this Bruno guy.
  • I don’t see any way that Bartlet running again doesn’t disrupt his marriage to Abby.
  • It’s kinda sad that it took so long for anyone to congratulate Bartlet on deciding to run again.
  • Toby and Leo joking about being marriage counselors because they both are divorced was a nice blink and you’ll miss it type of jokes.
  • I like how the show blending the present with the four weeks ago timeline. It makes the two timelines more compelling.
  • ”I think The President is relieved to be focused on something that matters.” – That’s was pretty bad. Obviously understood what CJ meant, but that’s a terrible thing to say under the circumstances.
  • But there’s an obvious out there, CJ said she thought that about The President. She can throw herself under the bus if necessary for mixing her opinion about the matter with Bartlet’s.
  • I like how there’s still tension among the staff. I hate when important things like that are swept under the rug in TV shows so I’m glad that Bartlet hiding he has MS is still causing friction among everyone.
  • The images of Air Force One seen as the staff climbed on board in the opening sequence were computer-generated. A sly reference to this was made in the next scene where C.J. says she “cannot computer generate images of the first lady”

3×02 – Manchester: Part Two

With the staff all bickering with one another in Manchester, especially adversarial speech writers Toby and Doug, who angrily disagree about whether Bartlet should make a public apology for lying about his MS, and with the president sniping at everyone, the second-term announcement speech is locked. Abby ultimately forgives the president for deciding to run again without discussing it with her, and he ultimately apologizes to the staff in private for keeping his condition from them, which they expect will soon lead to a whole slew of grand jury subpoenas.

  • I love seeing Bartlet and the rest of the staff at his ranch. Nice change of setting.
  • The tension between the staff, especially Leo and CJ is in full effect.
  • This is only Bruno’s second episode and he is already the thorn on everybody’s asses.
  • I love the staff, but I agree with Doug. They can be pretty arrogant at times. They are all very flawed, part of the reason why I like them as much as I do.
  • Geez, Bartlet and Abby’s marriage is so on the rocks that he didn’t know she would be introducing him. Let alone that she would be there at all.
  • Sam is feeling how the whole staff is feeling but he’s the only one who’s even hinted at it.
  • Doug is 100% correct in everything he said. I couldn’t have said it better myself.
  • The Bartlet for President signs were pretty funny.
  • Watching season three in the middle of an election season hits different.

3×03 – Ways and Means

Special prosecutor Clem Rollins announces the grand jury subpoenas in the case of president’s failure to disclose his MS to the public, and the list includes pretty much every West Wing staffer and Bartlet family member; Sam and Connie meet with an important Latino activist from Calif. who is considering supporting a primary challenger to Bartlet; C.J. convinces everyone that the special prosecutor is too reasonable, and that the W.H. needs a “better enemy” in the investigation, prompting the staff to provoke a Congressional inquiry.

  • Hearing the list of names that knew has the feeling of things are getting real now.
  • Donna is adorable when she’s spiraling.
  • I love the idea of Josh as a ballerina.
  • Yay Ainsley is back!
  • Toby ranting about the meeting only to find out it’s been cancelled was priceless.
  • Connie Britton was a brilliant addition to the cast this season.
  • Did Donna massively f*ck up there? I’m not sure what she said, but that seems like something that could come back and haunt her if she isn’t careful.
  • It’s interesting seeing the staff having to earn back the trust and loyalty of their supporters after everything occurred last season.

3×04 – On the Day Before

While the W.H. is hosting a gala dinner for Nobel Prize winners, Leo and the president learn of a suicide bomb in an Israeli cafe that took the lives of two American students in Tel Aviv for a soccer match, and the staff attempts to manage the president’s first veto, of a House bill eliminating the estate tax, and the threat of an override the same night. Sam and Toby first try to sway a contentious Dem. From Tennessee who wants a whole list of farming and ranching concessions in exchange for his vote and three proxies; after a pep talk from Leo, they devise a substitute plan that may prove even more effective, if it works. Josh takes the governor of Indiana into a private meeting to determine if the man plans to challenge Bartlet in Democratic primary. C.J. takes heat from a smarmy Dallas entertainment reporter who is in town for the Nobel dinner but winds up having to cover the veto and override vote.

  • I always enjoy seeing the staff get dressed up, well more dressed up than they normally are.
  • Between this, the shooting at the end of season one, and the terrorist episode they aired after 9/11, The West Wing was on the pulse of talking about terrorist attacks on the show.
  • CJ showing up Sherry for her comments was exactly how I imagine CJ would go about that.
  • Ending the episode with a sober phone call between Bartlet and the parents who lost two children felt very fitting to wrap the entire episode up.
  • When the cast and crew finished the cold read (first read-through of the script), a producer told them that a restaurant in Israel had been attacked by a suicide bomber with 15 civilians killed–including an American citizen. The cast was stunned not only by the tragedy but how closely it mirrored the events of the script, with Richard Schiff calling the news “mind-blowing.”

3×05 – War Crimes

After a fatal shooting in Texas, the president asks Hoynes to go down there and speak out for gun control, in spite of his history opposing it. Donna makes a gaffe in front of the Congressional committee. Leo argues with an old friend about the creation of an international war crimes tribunal.

  • CJ describes a mass shooting in Texas where a child is killed feels painfully real.
  • Donna being interviewed by her “boyfriend” just feels like a massive oversight. I know he’s just apart of it, but I feel like there’s bleach of something by allowing him to take part in interviewing her.
  • Bartlet believes he’s going to hell. If that’s the case, I think all politicians are.
  • President Bartlet asks Vice President Hoynes to split a beer with him. It has previously been established that Hoynes is an alcoholic, which is presumably why he does not accept the offer. This indicates that Bartlet is unaware of Hoynes’s addiction. – Interesting, I wonder why Bartlet doesn’t know about his addiction. That seems like something that would come up by now.
  • Forcing Hoynes to speak about gun control when he doesn’t want to seems like a sure-fire way for things to backfire on them.
  • Oh boy, did Donna f*ck up again? What’s in her diary that she would lie about having one?
  • Haynes is absolutely correct, the NRA always shouts when liberals are taking advantage of a mass shooting by making it a gun control issue. It happens every time there’s a mass shooting even today.
  • Donna lying about the diary feels like a massive f*ck up, but one that can be cleaned up right?
  • Now Leo could be charged with a war crime? What is going on…
  • Josh, Cliff, and Donna act as if they’re doing a drug deal. Obviously, this is more important than that, but that’s what it looks like.
  • I understand why Josh fixed Donna’s mistake, but I do wish she could have clean up her mistake without the help of Josh of any man for that matter.
  • The fountain that Josh and Donna meet Cliff Calley by at the end of the episode is the same fountain used in the opening credits of Friends. This can be seen by the same buildings in the background.

3×06 – Gone Quiet

When the military loses contact with a submarine in hostile waters, the President must choose between risking the lives of the crew and provoking North Korea. CJ relishes the Majority Leader’s flubbing of an interview. Babbish informs Abby that she is the weak link in the President’s legal defense.

  • Why is CJ listening to “I’m Too Sexy” ?
  • Now CJ is singing it! I love it! That’s what brings a smile to my face.
  • Stockard Channing really did break her ankle in real life (it was a hiking accident). Rather than shelving the character or severely limiting where she could be shown, it was decided to give the First Lady the same injury in the show.
  • I don’t understand why Abby would be the weak link in Bartlet’s administration. Out of everything that has come out about Bartlet in the last year, and she is going to hurt his campaign?
  • Geez, Donna, and Josh are way off their balance. I guess that’s to be expected after what happened.
  • The gif of Bartlet banging his head onto the table is from this episode!

3×07 – The Indians in the Lobby

On the day before Thanksgiving, CJ has to deal with two Stockbridge-Munsee Indians who won’t leave the lobby until they get an answer on an application their tribe submitted 15 years ago. Josh tries to arrange the extradition of an underage boy whose parents sent him to Italy after he killed his teacher. The President learns why Abby wants to have Thanksgiving at Camp David this year, and places an anonymous call to the Butterball Hotline.

  • Yay a Thanksgiving episode! I always love a holiday episode of my favorite shows.
  • I love how everyone thinks Josh is about there being Indians in the lobby because he would make a joke about that.
  • I love it when Barlet pretends to be a citizen. It’s a hilarious bit.
  • When the Butterball hotline operator recognizes President Bartlet’s voice, he thinks fast and makes up that he sounds familiar because he “does radio commercials for… products” (instead of the real reason, which is that he is the president). Martin Sheen, who plays Bartlet, has actually done many radio voice-overs for products such as Midas Auto Shops and causes such as Catholics for Working Families. He is also a frequent guest performer on the radio variety program “A Prairie Home Companion.”
  • Bartlet calling Abby his ”little cheese” hahaha!
  • Martin Sheen has had brilliant moments in every episode, but this one, in particular, is a clear standout.
  • I know that it was Thanksgiving, but I really do wish more could have been done for the Indians. But alas we can’t always get what we want.

3×08 – The Woman of Qumar

CJ cannot control her outrage when the US agrees to an arms sale to Qumar, a country that brutally abuses women. Josh meets with Amy Gardner, a leading women’s group lobbyist. The content of a Smithsonian exhibit draws protest from a veteran’s group. Leo and the President discuss options when the possibility of a Mad Cow infection strikes the US beef industry.

  • Well, seatbelts are an absurd reason to sue The President.
  • Yeah, I can see why the phrase ”forced prostitution” would cause some outrage.
  • Did I hear the word quarantine? Yes, yes I did.
  • Hiding about a possible positive case would also have a bad look at the administration. Keeping secrets is not a good look especially considering after Barlet’s MS reveal.
  • Love seeing Josh be uncomfortable while getting a lecture by Amy.
  • CJ: You know if I was living in Qumar I wouldn’t be allowed to say ‘shove it up to your ass Toby.’ But since I’m not, shove it up your ass Toby.
  • Bartlet is right, the woman suing him is merely trying to find a person to blame while she’s grieving.
  • Who started the rumors that Josh is dating Donna?
  • It was kinda funny to see Josh nearly get hit by a water balloon.
  • I wish CJ’s concerns about the women of Qumar being abused by the men were taking more seriously than they were because she is absolutely right about everything she said.

3×09 – Bartlet for America

In an episode dotted with flashbacks, Leo and his attorney Jordon Kendall face a Congressional inquiry into whether the president lied to the American people regarding his MS, but this particular day of hearings concerns itself more with Abby and her secretly medicating Jed, and later with Leo’s having fallen off the wagon during the campaign.

  • This episode has a big episode feel to it with it being Leo’s testimony and all. Also, it’s a Christmas episode (kinda).
  • Flashbacks! We have flashbacks!
  • Mrs. Landingham! Oh, this is a huge episode!
  • It seems like Bartlet never even thought about running for President before Leo suggested it.
  • Bartlet for America = Let Bartlet Be Bartlet. Right? I can’t be the only one that sees the similarities. I assume it’s on purpose.
  • I wonder if anyone has ever pieced together all the flashbacks of The West Wing chronologically? That would be cool to see.
  • This hearing is probably the tensest thing this show has done yet.
  • It’s so weird seeing Leo so unlike himself and not kept together.
  • We knew about Bartlet collapsing because they have mentioned it before, but seeing it was scarier than just hearing about it.
  • It’s hard to see Leo make a mistake like that when under normal circumstances that would have never happened.
  • This was definitely my favorite episode of the season so far.

3×10 – H. Con-172

In a private, late-night meeting, Cliff Calley informs Leo and Jordon he has negotiated a settlement in the Congressional witch hunt over Bartlet’s MS: Bartlet can accept a joint congressional censure (House Concurrent Resolution 172, or H.Con. 172); Leo initially refuses to bring it to the president, insisting it will devastate the president and affect him for the rest of his life, but he does mull it over, and consults with Josh and repeatedly with Jordon about it; Josh begins his romantic pursuit of women’s issues advocate Amy Gardner.

  • I truly do believe that Leo would take a bullet for Bartlet, but I wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss if Bartlet would take one for him.
  • Josh with a crush on Amy, how cute.
  • Aww, Charlie got Bartlet a gift. That’s was pretty sweet of him.
  • It’s nice to see Josh be so unlike himself by being so awkward and not confident when talking to Amy.
  • I understand why Leo is apprehensive about Bartlet taking the blame for hiding his MS, but it’s the quickest way they can get this over with so they should do it.
  • Bartlett talking about taking responsibility for your actions was so good. I wish we had a President that would come to that same conclusion.
  • Toby says he watched the President’s favorite movie the night before. He does not name the movie, but his description identifies it as The Lion in Winter (1968).

3×11 – 100,000 Airplanes

On the night of the State of the Union, Sam has to explain the process of writing the speech and grading reaction to it to a magazine reporter throughout the evening; C.J. arranged the coverage aware that the reporter, Lisa Sherbourn, is Sam’s ex-fiancée; flashing back to the speechwriting process, we see the president dining with several of Abbey’s medical colleagues, and they ponder the future of cancer research, motivating Bartlet to ask that a section be added to the SOTU in which he calls for U.S. scientists to find a cancer cure by 2012; the staff, convinced that the Congressional censure is weighing heavily on the president, tries to talk him out of this bold but risky proposal.

  • Bartlet and the staff always delivers a great State of Union address. They always end up making me inspired.
  • Can I just mentioned how much I love Joey Lucas’s new look? I love her new hairstyle and I don’t usually notice this stuff. But I really like her look.
  • Sam is being interviewed by his ex-fiancé, which got to be awkward.
  • Bartlett taking charge during this dinner. We don’t usually see him command people like that.
  • If Bartlet really was in charge, I doubt we would have cured cancer by now, but I do believe we may have gotten further research-wise.
  • Joey is absolutely right if Bartlet said that it would be a ”duh” moment. And will make people think has he not thought about curing cancer before now?
  • You can’t say you’re going to cure cancer in ten years because you can’t keep that promise. Simple as that.
  • Seeing the staff celebrating was so satisfying. We don’t see them celebrating their victories enough.

3×12 – The Two Bartlets

Toby is concerned when President Bartlett forgoes an opportunity to speak out in favor of affirmative action during the Iowa caucuses and confronts the President on the real reasons underlying his Dr. Jekyl & Uncle Fluffy personality shifts. Meanwhile Josh makes plans for a vacation with Amy and then must cancel them.

  • I love seeing Amy badger Josh. It keeps him off his toes which is a rarity for him.
  • Josh just played himself. That’s hilarious!
  • I dread ever having to do jury duty.
  • Poor CJ, I hate that she has to deal with her potentially being sick on top of having to deal with this election.
  • You know that Josh is serious about a woman that he goes as far as to turn off the news for her.
  • I didn’t realize the staff had seen Barret as two different versions of himself, but that makes sense.
  • I’m surprised Bartlet allowed that conversation to continue for as long as it did.
  • Maybe there was some truth in what Toby said to Bartlet. He seems to be rethinking it over as the episode was ending.

3×13 – Night Five

Josh covertly brings a psychiatrist to the white house to meet with the President who has been unable to sleep for five days.

  • Will this be the episode that deals with the trauma Toby was alluding to in the previous episode?
  • We’re getting into President Bartlet’s psyche, this will get interesting very quickly.
  • Ainsley! I always love it when Ainsley makes an appearance.
  • Donna wouldn’t leave her job at the White House, would she?
  • I might have a problem with what Sam said if I didn’t already know the relationship between him and Ainsley. And of if Ainsley was offended by his comments which it seems like she wasn’t.
  • Toby is about to get an earful.
  • It’s always funny hearing shows to talk about the Internet and the varying ways accuracy they get.
  • Sam ignoring what Ainsley is saying is more demeaning than what he actually said.
  • Bartlet had to have known he would have to talk about the conversation he had with Toby. It’s what brought this all on.
  • Though I didn’t agree with everything said in that conversation about feminism, I’m glad that it was had. I found it interesting to see the different sides of it addressed.
  • I figured we wouldn’t get a happy ending about the American being kidnapped, but it hurt any less seeing his wife’s reaction to the news.
  • The President does need a person who doesn’t care that he’s the President. Dr. Keyworth may be that person.

3×14 – Hartsfield’s Landing

A fictitious small town in N.H. is the site of the first presidential primary vote, and the results from Hartsfield’s Landing, announced at 12:07 a.m., will dominate the news all day until the final tally, so Josh wants favorable press for the president, prompting to ask Donna to persuade a local couple she knows to reconsider their vote. Elsewhere, Bartlet has just returned from India with a collection of antique chess sets he gives as gifts to the staff.

  • I’m so curious to see why this episode out of all of them, they chose this particular episode to re-create in 2020.
  • It’ll be interesting to see if this at all connects with what’s happening today in 2020 politics wise.
  • Oh, I’m assuming this is an episode all about voting. Gotcha, very timely indeed.
  • I would love to live in a town where they were only 42 people. That sounds like a dream.
  • Is Charlie still with Zoey? Or did I miss something?
  • Hahaha, Josh getting hit by the door.
  • I do not care about chess, but surely The West Wing will get me invested in these games Bartlet is having.
  • Donna is so adorable even she telling Josh that people aren’t voting for them.
  • CJ took the President’s schedule. It’s pretty, but it’s very much in line with her.
  • Even without the news about them redoing this episode as sort of a play, I would still think that this episode feels like a play.
  • There are particular sets and locations they revisit throughout the episode and they stick into one singular storyline.
  • I agree with CJ, I like how the sound of voting in Hartsfield’s Landing works.
  • I like this prank off between CJ and Donna that is going on.
  • Now I want pizza…
  • You could hear a pin dropped when Toby called Bartlet’s dad stupid.
  • Did those guards seriously not recognize CJ. She is the press secretary after all.
  • Seeing CJ and Charlie behave like children was satisfying because most of the time they all act so professional. It’s a nice to act immature from time to time.
  • How did Charlie mess with CJ’s desk so fast? He couldn’t have had that much time to do that.
  • The fictional town in the episode is based on Dixville Notch, an unincorporated small village in the Dixville township of Coos County, New Hampshire, USA. Dixville Notch is best known in connection with its longstanding middle-of-the-night vote in the U.S. Presidential Election, including during the New Hampshire primary. Since 1960, voters cast their ballots at midnight and polls officially close one minute later. Ever since 1968, the candidate who comes out on top in Republican Primary has been the eventual Republican nominee for President. Twenty-six voters took part in the 2004 elections.

3×15 – Dead Irish Writers

Another lively episode centered around a lavish W.H. party, this one for Abbey’s birthday the night before a N.H. medical board begins hearings on whether to suspend her license over her secret treatment of her husband’s MS. Abbey repairs to the residence with C.J. and Amy Gardener to get blitzed on wine and discuss her concerns about her medical career. Donna is restricted from joining the party because a decades-old cartography error puts her birthplace in Canada. 

  • It’s Abby’s birthday!
  • Bartlet should know not to tell a woman especially his wife she’s old on her birthday.
  • I had forgotten Abby is technically responsible for Josh and Amy.
  • Happy Birthday, Abby, you could your medical license tomorrow! Yay…what a fun conversation that will be for Leo and Abby.
  • Donna is having a crisis and Josh brought her olives? Seriously, Josh?
  • I agree with Abby and Amy that more women should be on the campaign.
  • The women getting drunk, Donna should join them!
  • I don’t blame Amy I would take notes of this once in a lifetime encounter too.
  • I was right! Donna did end up joining them.
  • I love how despite the women being drunk. They are still talking about politics. They just can’t escape it no matter how much they try.
  • The ending with Donna being Canadian and the Canadian anthem playing was the hardest I have laughed watching this show yet.
  • That’s a really big step for Abby to give up their license voluntarily.

3×16 – The U.S. Poet Laureate

Poet laureate Tabitha Fortis visits D.C. to attend a White House dinner in her honor, and Toby develops a bit of a crush on her, but he also must admonish the somewhat flighty beauty against publicly criticizing the president for his refusal to sign an international anti-land mine treaty; Donna discovers a website devoted to Josh.

  • Why does everyone in the show write slated on a notepad every time they use one?
  • Toby’s default mode is irritation, not happiness.
  • I knew Bartlett would slip up one these times making a joke about his opponent. He was bound to f*ck up one of these times.
  • Laura Dern is in this episode!!!
  • Josh would have a fan page. He is one of the likely ones on the team to have admirers.
  • An apology for that joke? Unbelievable and unnecessary.
  • Josh wanting to respond to his fanbase is the 00s version of wanting to reply to fans on social media. You can only take so much.
  • Josh falling afoul of posters on the message board at ‘’ was taken from Aaron Sorkin’s own experiences dealing with the message board at the TV site
  • Laura Dern is the poet!!! This is a dream come true. I love her and she already fits this role perfectly.
  • Poor Ainsley! Her vacation was 40 hours. You can’t do anything in that amount of time to be considered a vacation.
  • Josh would not survive in today’s age of social media at all.
  • Geez, days have passed by and they are still in this controversy.
  • CJ yelling at Josh was so satisfying to watch.
  • Wait, you’re telling me Bartlett did that on purpose? That was real sneaky of him. He outsmarted us all.

3×17 – Stirred

On a typical night in the west wing, Sam returns from a hockey game and Josh asks him to meet with V.P. Hoynes about saving an education bill. Back at the W.H., Josh, Toby, Leo, C.J., Larry and Ed all meet about the prospect of replacing Hoynes on the ticket in the next campaign. Bartlet helps Charlie do his federal taxes, and while both think Charlie should expect a refund, thanks to last year’s so-called economic stimulus, he instead owes money to the IRS.

  • Are they serious about kicking Leo out of his group?
  • Bartlett is such a dad helping Charlie with his taxes. It’s adorable.
  • Imagine paying the government by just giving money to your boss who happens to be the President. It would be so easy.
  • Replacing Vice President Hoynes? That seems pretty rude. It’s kinda unbelievable they are even having this discussion.
  • Who would they even replace Vice President Hoynes with?
  • I totally forgot that Bartlett doesn’t know that Haynes is an alcoholic. That just seems like something he would figure out by now.
  • Bartlett’s response to Hoynes being an alcoholic is exactly the response I was expecting from him.
  • Donna speaking to her childhood teacher was a sweet moment.
  • ”Because I could die.” It’s such a sad wake-up call but one the team needed it.

3×18 – Enemies Foreign and Domestic

A meeting with the new Russian president becomes politically dangerous when surveillance photos show Russia building a nuclear reactor in Iran. C.J. is assigned Secret Service protection after receiving death threats.

  • I very timely watched a movie that covered the same issue of women facing violence because they weren’t wearing clothing that covered their entire bodies called Papicha. It was a sad reminder of how little has changed because this still happens every day.
  • Just like CJ, I’m not surprised at all. It’s more of the same violence happening to women that haven’t changed in 20 years.
  • The incident in Saudi Arabia referred to by CJ Cregg in the opening is a thinly disguised version of an actual incident. On March 15, 2002, it was reported that members of the religious police in Mecca had intentionally prevented schoolgirls from fleeing a burning school building because they were not properly attired to appear in public. Fifteen of the female pupils died as a result.
  • I’m actually surprised it took this long for one of the staff received death threats. It seems like something that would have come up sooner other than the attack on Charlie and Josh in season one finale.
  • I understand why CJ feels apprehensive about having bodyguards, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
  • This plot with the Russian President feels very reminisce of politics today with Russians just much less corrupted.
  • Dulé Hill was nominated in 2002 for an Emmy in the category of Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for his performance in this episode and Hartsfield’s Landing. – Well deserved.
  • First appearance of Mark Harmon in a four-episode arc as Secret Service agent Simon Donovan. It was Harmon’s commanding performance that led Donald P. Bellisario to cast him as Jethro Gibbs on NCIS. – A nice steady job he still has 17 years later.

3×19 – The Black Vera Wang

The President and Leo deal with reports of a planned terrorist attack, but more shocking is who is behind it. Sam receives an anonymous package with bad implications for the campaign. C.J. chafes under her Secret Service protection.

  • I like how Sam is still concise of his joking with his assistant after the whole Ainsley incident earlier this season.
  • I knew CJ would go insane having an agent following her around.
  • Is the person who sent the tape to Sam, the same person stalking CJ? Probably not, just curious they both pop up around the same time.
  • Aww, Donna, and Josh are adorable.
  • That’s a terrible gift Josh, but I’m not surprised he gifted that to Donna.
  • I’m also not surprised Donna gave it away.
  • Is it really such a big of a deal that an intern has to be fired. Josh definitely wouldn’t have done that if Donna had been the one who put it on eBay.
  • When Leo tells President Bartlett about how the Secret Service will make the President go to the bunker – “your feet may touch the ground once or twice, but I doubt it” – was related similarly by Vice President Dick Cheney on the day of the September 11 attacks. – They must have added that to the script quickly. The episode aired not that long after the attacks.
  • I love Nora Jones was playing background during the mall scene.
  • I may not like Bruno, but he was right when he told Sam not to talk to his friend. It badly backfired on him and Bartlett.
  • If this episode proved anything was that politics is a dirty business. Friendships and alliances mean nothing.
  • So disturbing how close CJ’s stalker is without the show making his presence known.

3×20 – We Killed Yamamoto

Bartlet and Leo debate on how to deal with the impending visit of the Qumari Defense Minister, whom U.S. intelligence officers have conclusively linked to terrorists. Sam dismisses an ingenious idea to trap Republican presidential opponent Robert Ritchie in an unsavory position over the Everglades, but comes around after talking to Toby. C.J. begins to develop a relationship with Secret Service agent assigned to her, Simon Donovan. Josh and Amy are locked into a battle over a welfare reform bill, whose outcome will cost one of them their job.

  • Originally, Jessica Yu was set to direct ‘We Killed Yamamoto,’ however Thomas Schlamme, anticipating a late delivery of the script before production and thus less preparation, offered to take her place instead, and reschedule her directing for the next season. Yu accepted and Schlamme ended up having less than two days of prep before shooting.
  • This may have been one of my favorite cold opens into the episode. A great intro into the episode.
  • I almost forgot Josh and Amy were together. We haven’t seen them in a minute nor does Josh talk enough about her.
  • Dropping the North from North Dakota just seems unnecessarily confusing.
  • Amy and Josh are never going to last with how many they fight because of their jobs.
  • Amy stopping Josh from speaking to people at the office was childish, but I still loved every second of it.
  • CJ at a shooting range is something I didn’t know I needed, but I desperately did.
  • Aww, CJ and her bodyguard are cute even if nothing comes out of it.
  • The tension is increasing leading up to this finale.
  • Leo claims that the U.S. spent millions of dollars developing a pen that would write in space while the Russians just used a pencil, but this account is inaccurate. The development of the space pen was independently funded by inventor Paul Fisher, who sold them to NASA at $6 apiece. The Russians began buying the same pen a year later. (Prior to adopting the space pen both countries had used pencils in space, but this practice was abandoned due to their flammability and the risk of tips breaking off and floating around in microgravity. Graphite conducts electricity and could short-circuit electronics.)

3×21 – Posse Comitatus

Bartlet, Leo, Sam, Toby, and C.J. travel to New York City for a Catholic fund raiser at a long Broadway play called “The War of the Roses”. Josh steps up his efforts to beat his girlfriend, Amy, in their struggle over welfare reform, which leads to her forced resignation. C.J. and Secret Service agent Simon Donavon grow closer, but a tragic event cuts short their relationship. At the play, Bartlet comes face to face with Republican Presidential candidate Rob Ritchie and faces the decision of whether or not to assassinate the Qumari Defense Minister.

  • We have a stacked cast of special guest stars in this particular finale.
  • I’m sure Josh and Amy will break up by the end of the episode.
  • Lily Tomlin! I just watched Nine to Five so I understand if she doesn’t want to be a secretary.
  • I hope CJ not bringing her bodyguard with her won’t backfire on her.
  • I’m glad Bartlett is still going to therapy. He desperately needs it.
  • I have a bad feeling they don’t actually have CJ’s stalker in custody. I hope I’m wrong.
  • There’s something wrong. Did he walk into a robbery?
  • Damn, this show can’t let anyone be happy.
  • I knew something was going to go wrong. He didn’t cover all his bases and he died because of it.
  • Poor CJ. She didn’t deserve this after everything she’s been through.
  • Why didn’t anyone follow CJ? They should have sent someone to walk with her. She shouldn’t be alone.
  • The West Wing finales keep up their streak of being sad and depressing with S3 now in the books.

Season three of The West Wing while very good didn’t quite reach the same heights as season two of the show did for me. That doesn’t take anything away from season three, but it is a testament of how amazing season two was. I’m not surprised that I prefer season two of the show, but season three definitely had it’s moments and episodes that could rival some season two moments and episodes. But, overall I think season two of The West Wing is still it’s best season at least thus far. My favorite episode of season three would be Bartlet for America. My favorite character of the season would be CJ. I feel like this was her breakout season. I have always enjoyed her, but she became a clear standout from the cast this season in my opinion.

Other Seasons In Reviews: The Office – S124 – S1Breaking Bad – S1Dexter – S1The West Wing – S130 Rock – S1The Good Wife – S124 – S2Six Feet Under – S124 – S324 – S4The West Wing – S224 – S5, Season In Review: The Office (S2)


3 responses to “Season In Review: The West Wing (S3)”

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