"Previously on the West Wing" spoken by C.J.

After a foreign terrorist is caught at the border with explosives, President Bartlet (Martin Sheen) ponders the impact of ordering a heightened security alert for the nation's airports. Toby (Richard Schiff) is shocked to uncover the President's secret affliction with multiple sclerosis -- and he details its political and legal ramifications in an intense discussion with Bartlet and Leo (John Spencer).

In other White House corridors, Sam (Rob Lowe) and Josh (Bradley Whitford) try to punch up an upcoming presidential speech with snappy one-liners while Josh jousts with Donna (Janel Moloney) over many contentious subjects, including the exact start date of her employment. In addition, Sam and Ainsley Hayes (Emily Procter) fuss over the 14th Amendment and equal rights for women.



The Same Night [after the Stackhouse Filibuster]
Toby is in his office bouncing the ball against the wall.
Two Nights Later
Toby is working on a speech and is not happy with any of the drafts.
Two Nights After That
Toby comes to see Leo to ask if there has been a discussion about dropping Hoynes from the ticket in 2002.
The Next Night
Toby is still in his office bouncing his ball against the wall.
The Next Morning
Leo arrives for work and finds Toby in his office - Toby wants to know why Hoynes would put a poll in the field if he's not planning to run for President until six years from now.
That Night
Toby returns to Leo's office to tell Leo that he has learned that Hoynes is planning to give a speech in Nashua, New Hampshire.  Leo tells Toby the Vice President wouldn't give an official speech - he would mask it with something.  Toby tells Leo that it comes in the middle of a three day skiing trip to Killington, Vermont.  Toby asks Leo why the Vice President thinks the President isn't going to run again.

Act I - The West Wing - 11:35pm

Leo comes into the Oval Office to inform the President that Toby has figured it out and they have to tell him about the MS.  Leo sees this as an opportunity to gauge the reaction of the disease.  The President is not convinced that Toby's reaction is going to be indicative of the rest of the staff but tells Leo to go and get him.

Josh and Sam are looking over the President's remarks for the Correspondents Dinner, but "they forgot to bring the funny."  Josh asks Toby if he wants to help but Leo arrives to bring Toby to the Oval Office.  Donna arrives and Josh asks her if she recieved the flowers.  He tells her that he sent her the flowers to mark the occasion of when she started working for him.  She reminds him that she started working for him in February and not April - but he reminds her that she stopped working for him and then came back in April.  He asks her if she wants to help with the speech.

Sam goes to see Ainsley to ask her to help with the remarks for the Correspondents Dinner.  She is working on remarks that she will give at Smith College, her alma mater.  Sam and Ainsley have a discussion in which in becomes clear that Ainsley is against the Equal Rights Amendment, which astonishes Sam.

The President meets with Toby and Leo in the Oval Office and Bartlet tells Toby about his Multiple Sclerosis.

Act II

Toby asks about the difference between Relapsing-Remitting and Secondary Progressive MS and several other questions.  Toby cannot believe what he has heard and steps outside the Oval Office to process it.  Leo comes outside to talk to Toby.  Leo tells Toby about the attack that happened before the State of the Union a year ago.  The two come back inside and Toby asks how this could be kept a secret.  Toby wants to know who else knows - and Leo tells him that he is the 16th person.  The President comes back into the room and the conversation continues - though Bartlet impresses upon Toby that no one was asked to lie about his condition.

In the Roosevelt Room, Josh, Donna, Ainsley, Sam, Ed, and Larry get to work on "bringing the funny" to the Correspondents Dinner speech.  Josh comes to see Charlie to ask how long Toby is going to be.  Charlie tells Josh that he doesn't know.  Josh goes back to the Roosevelt Room where Sam is talking about the ERA - trying to understand how Ainsley could be against it.  They go back to trying to find the funny for the speech.


In the Oval Office, the President and Toby continue their conversation, Toby asks about the episode before the State of the Union last year and if the President is receiving medication and from whom.  Toby starts to lose it - recounting the night of the assasination attempt, when it wasn't clear who was in charge because the President hadn't signed a letter in the event of incapacitation, which Toby surmises was because if there was a letter - people would ask why there was such a letter.  The President has finally had enough and yells back at Toby.  Leo takes Toby outside.

Act IV

The "Bring the Funny" group continues to work on jokes and Sam and Ainsley still argue about the ERA. 

On the collonnade, Toby and Leo discuss what Toby has learned.  Toby asks if the Vice President is one of the 16 people, Leo acknowledges that he is.  Toby asks Leo why the First Lady came to see Toby after the State of the Union - and why she was mad at the President - it was because she was under the impression there wasn't going to be a second term.  Leo and Toby discuss the possibility and the likelihood that Bartlet may not run for a second term. Donna comes to find Josh and she tells him the story about how she came back to work for him. She had been in an accident and her boyfriend stopped to have a beer on his way to the hospital.  Josh tells her, "if you were in an accident - I wouldn't stop for a beer."  She tells him, "if you were in an accident, I wouldn't stop for red lights."

Leo, Toby, and the President wrap up their conversation in the Oval Office.  Toby tells the President they are going to need to talk to some lawyers about how to deal with this.  He then reminds the President that it's 17 people, not 16, they neglected to count him.  Toby leaves the Oval Office and goes into the Roosevelt Room to help "bring the funny."


President Bartlet:  [to Toby] You know, your indignation would be a lot more interesting to me if it weren't quite so covered in crap! . . . Are you pissed because I didn't say anything or are you pissed because there were 15 people who knew before you did?  I feel fine, by the way - thanks for asking.

Toby:  I have no kind of investigative mind, zero.  It took me six days and 23 minutes to figure it out.

Toby:  Well, I suppose one of five things:  the President can decide not to run.  He can run and not win.  He can run and win.
Leo:  And?  What are the other two?
Toby:  Leo . . .
Leo:  You think he's going to need to resign?
Toby:  There's going to be hearing upon hearing upon hearing.
Leo:  He hasn't broken a law.
Toby:  Says you.  You don't have to break the law to be served with Articles of Impeachment
Leo:  Toby, it is never going to get that far.
Toby:  Write down the exact time and date you said that.
Toby:  It's 17 people, by the way.
Bartlet:  I'm sorry?
Toby:  You knew.  We weren't counting you.  It's 17 people.


  • With only three actors in the Special Guest, Guest and Co-Starring credits, it has the smallest guest cast of any West Wing episode.
  • 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.



Special Guest Stars


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