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

Thorny issues encircle the White House as the President (Martin Sheen) and his staff grapple with breaking the news of his illness in an exclusive national broadcast while the newly elected president of Haiti flees for his life and asks for sanctuary in the U.S. embassy -- which would place the compound under army attack.

C.J. (Allison Janney) and Leo (John Spencer) weigh the dicey arrangements of keeping the blistering news a secret until the telecast while White House counsel Oliver Babish (Oliver Platt) finds a disturbing detail in the First Lady's (Stockard Channing) medical treatment of Bartlet that could have huge ramifications. The President hadn't broken any laws that Babish can yet see, but Abbey violated medical ethics by treating her husband and not keeping medical records.

Elsewhere, a frustrated Josh (Bradley Whitford) needs $30 million more from a Senate committee to continue the Justice Department's case against Big Tobacco companies but hits a roadblock when he solicits the crucial votes of two Democratic Senators.

Toby (Richard Schiff) tells Donna (Janel Moloney) about the President's MS. Josh confronts Toby about this, and when Josh asks him how she's taking it, he responds, "If everybody out there takes it the way she did, we may be okay. If a few more people in here took it the way she did, that'd be all right, too."

The President's long-time secretary Mrs. Landingham (Kathryn Joosten) pays sticker price for her first new car because she fears anything less will violate federal stipulations about receiving gifts. While driving the car back to the White House to show it to the President, she is struck by a drunk driver and killed.


Opening - The White House, 1:20amEdit

Leo and the President walk to the Oval Office and the President questions Leo on the nature of the poll they put in the field.  Leo tells the President about the poll and then takes him to the basement to discuss the results.  Sam and Toby are also headed to the basement to hear the results. Sam doesn't believe the numbers are going to mean anything - that they will be useless to them - he is still angry at being the last one to find out.

In the room are Josh and C.J. and Kenny and Joey, they all wait for the President and Leo to arrive.  Once they arrive, she gives them the results:

  • 1, 170 registered votes were polled in Michigan, giving their governor a degenerative illness.
    • Do you agree it's ok for the governor to lie about his health? 17% agree, 83% disagree
    • Would you as likely or less likely to vote for the governor now that you know of his illness?  71% less likely
    • The largest bloc of voters are women over 55 - 78% of them would not vote for a canidate with MS
    • 74% of respondents believe MS to be fatal.
    • 62% of Democrats will not vote for the President
    • 65% of those identifying themselves as Liberal will not vote for the President because he lied.

Act IEdit

In the Oval Office, the President is receiving a briefing on a coup d'etat that took place in Haiti overnight.  The President-elect of Haiti is currently missing.  The President decides to evacuate the non-essential personnel from the embassy.

Toby, Josh, C.J. and Sam, are strategizing how to proceed with announcing the story.  They decide on a joint interview (the President and the First Lady) with a newsmagazine to be followed by a Press Conference.  Sam wonders aloud about the first question that any reporter, assuming it almost certainly will be, "Mr. President, do you plan to seek reelection?"

Charlie and Mrs. Landingham are discussing her purchase of a new car.  Josh comes by Leo's office to talk about the big tobacco case and the plans taking place in the basement.  Josh warns Leo they are going to need a clear decision from the President on reelection.  Margaret comes in and gives Leo a message, who then leaves the room to find the President.

Act IIEdit

The President arrives in the Oval Office and Leo tells him that President-elect Dessalin is likely on his way to the American embassy in the trunk of an American government official's car.  The generals caution about involving themselves in an "internal matter."  The car arrives at the gates of the embassy and Bartlet says to let them in.

Back in the basement - C.J., Toby, and Sam are continuing to discuss the situation - including whether the Vice President should be present for the Press Conference. 

Josh goes to the Hill to meet with a Congressman on the tobacco case.  The Congressman tells Josh that his committee cant vote it out - the nose count is 8-7, with 2 Republicans voting aye and 2 Democrats voting no.

Back in the West Wing - Toby tells Donna about the President.  Charlie and Mrs. Landingham continue to discuss her new car.  Mrs. Landingham paid sticker price and Charlie can't believe it.

Leo is in the Situation Room - the American Embassy in Port-au-Prince has been surrounded.  Leo asks Nancy about how they would find out if the embassy is going to be taken.  Nancy tells Leo the embassy is going to be taken.

Act IIIEdit

C.J. is briefing the press on the situation in Haiti and has few answers to give.  After the briefing she goes to the Mural Room to meet with the NBC television executive to ask for thirty minutes on their network without telling them why (until Wednesday morning).

Josh meets with the two Democrats who have "ideological" questions about the tobacco case.  They refuse to change their votes and Josh leaves in disgust.

Back at the White House, Abby comes to the basement to see Sam to talk about the interview she and the President will do.  Sam and the First Lady discuss the progression of the disease.

Charlie and Mrs. Landingham continue to go back and forth about her new car and the price that she paid.  Leo arrives and goes in to see the President.  Three Haitian soldiers were shot by American soldiers after the Haitians boarded the plane to try and keep it on the ground.  The President agrees to give up the Haitian President-elect to the junta.  He then talks with Leo about the reelection and the President wants to have a discussion with staff about how to proceed.

Act IVEdit

The President comes to see Mrs. Landingham as she is getting ready to go get her new car.  The two have a discussion about her having a new car - the President tells her to come back to the White House, there's something he wants to talk to her about (he is planning to tell her about the MS).

Abby and Sam are continuing their discussion when Oliver Babish comes in.  He wants Abby to get her own lawyer and he further believes she should not do the interview.  He tells her that she violated the state medical boards of three different states and violated ethical standards by treating one of her own family members.

Donna comes to see Josh and she tells him that she knows.  He asks if she's OK.  Josh asks Toby why he told Donna instead of him - Toby says that Josh hadn't yet.  C.J. is briefing the press on developments in Haiti and she calls a full lid.

Toby is in Leo's office wanting to know what the plan is regarding reelection - Leo tells him there will be a meeting tonight.  Josh talks to Leo about two Democratic Congressmen who oppose the tobacco case - Leo tells Josh to take it to them and get them to agree.  C.J. tells Leo about the planned interview but doesn't want to do the press conference until there has been a discussion about reelection - they tell her that a meeting will be held later tonight.  Sam arrives to tell them about his meeting with the First Lady.

Leo comes to the Oval Office - Charlie is standing there with the phone in his hand.  Leo asks Charlie what's wrong.  He tells Leo there was an accident and Mrs. Landingham is dead.  Leo goes into the Oval Office to tell the President.


Nancy McNally:  Embassy Marines aren't lawn jockeys, they're not decorative.  They're trained in restraint, and they're trained well.
Leo McGarry:  Nancy, if they take the embassy, are we gonna know?  They gonna send some kind of note?
Nancy McNally:  There's no note, Leo, they're taking the embassy.
Paul Hackett:  C.J., between friends, is the water over your head?
C.J. Cregg:  No, the water is exactly at my head.

Trivia / GoofsEdit

  • The only "18th and Potomac" intersection in DC is at 18th St SE and Potomac Ave SE. It doesn't have a traffic light, it's in the Southeast quadrant of DC (The White House is in the Northwest quadrant), and, to convey a sense of what that neighborhood's like, just a block away is the DC Jail. So it's extremely unlikely that Mrs. Landingham would have had a reason to drive through this intersection after picking up her new car and then heading back to the White House to show the car to the President (who told her he'd like to see it and "kick the tires").
  • The code to get into the room is "Sagittarius", which is why Josh reacts to this word from Donna later.
  • When the President asks who the U.S. is using to negotiate in Haiti, Leo tells him the Canadian Ambassador.  During the Iranian hostage crisis, the Canadian Ambassador harbored several Americans who escaped from the U.S. embassy, depicted in the 2012 movie, Argo.
  • When talking about what the Haitian military has the advisor says, "2 Bradleys with 120 mm cannons."  The Bradley fighting vehicle carries a 25mm cannon.  The M1A1 tank carries a 120mm cannon.  It is also unlikely Haiti would be able to buy either. 

Cast Edit


Special Guest StarsEdit

Guest StarringEdit


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