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

Final preparation goes into President Bartlet's visit to China when he accepts a flag from the Taiwanese delegation representing the Taiwanese Independence Movement, prompting China to prepare for military action.


Opening - Friday Night

The television is on, showing Former Vice President Hoynes on a talk show touting his new book, an apologetic tell-all to rehabilitate himself in the eyes of the American voter.  The President is dressing for a formal affair - and having difficulty with his bow tie.  In his office, Josh is also watching the talk show.  C.J. comes to see Toby, who is reading a copy of Hoynes' book.  Josh opens his copy of Hoynes' book - in which the former Vice President has inscribed - "Josh - Time to Lead - John"  C.J. gets a call from Hoynes in her office.

In the residence, Charlie comes to see the President - asking the President where Curtis, his new body man, is.  Charlie helps the President to tie his bow tie.  Abbey comes in to see what is taking so long.

Josh goes to meet with Hoynes, who asks Josh if he saw the interview or read the book.  Josh says no to both and tells Hoynes that he has no idea why he's there - Hoynes tells him that he does.

Act I - Thursday Morning

Josh arrives at the office - there is a buzz about, as the President is preparing for a trip to China.  Josh has a meeting with Chinese officials to plan the events, and another meeting that Toby and Kate are already making their way through is in the Roosevelt Room.  Toby comes to C.J., begging to be pulled out of the monotony of the meeting.  Senator Hunt grouses to Josh about the sale of planes to Taiwan that the Chinese are not going to like.

In the meeting with Toby and Kate, the Chinese receive a call and abruptly stand up and leave the meeting.  In C.J.'s office - Josh is talking with C.J. about the China trip, when Carol comes by to ask about a flag the President accepted at the National Prayer Breakfast that morning - a flag that turns out to be the Taiwan Independence Movement Flag.  Josh says they need to get the flag back before anyone finds out about it - as Toby pokes his head in to tell C.J. and Josh the Chinese officials just walked out.

In the Oval Office, Debbie is having the President sign some papers when C.J. and Kate come to the Oval Office to ask the President about the flag.  He has no recollection of receiving the flag.  Charlie will investigate where it may have been taken.  As the President leaves, C.J. asks if the President is reconsidering the US policy on Taiwan.  He repeats that he didn't notice the flag.

Act II

Charlie comes to the gift office to find the flag and Bernard Thatch (who is now in the Gifts Unit) refuses to give it back - it is too historically significant and of such value that it cannot be returned.

The entire Chinese delegation arrives at the White House to meet with Toby and Josh - who are trying to fix the flag problem.  The Chinese Ambassador gives them the statement they have released to the press and Josh promises the flag will be returned (as soon as it is located).  As a consequence, the Chinese have some "alterations" they wish to make, including welcoming the President in Tienanmen Square.

In C.J.'s office, Kate is telling C.J. about the various incarnations of Taiwanese flags, when Josh comes in to report on what happened with the Chinese.  Toby comes in with news of Senator Hunt planning to go to the floor of the Senate to ask the President to display the flag in the State Department.  Things are quickly getting out of control.  C.J. asks Josh what he wants to do.  Josh tells Toby to go to the Chinese Embassy to play down the actions of Senator Hunt and that when the flag is returned everything goes back to normal - no changes to the schedule.  C.J. tells Josh that he needs to go see Hunt instead.  C.J. tells Toby to prepare for the possibility of the President being welcomed in Tienanmen Square.

Will comes to see Josh (who is on his way out to see Hunt) about the President's planned photo-op with representatives of the National Constitution Center, to whom he is lending the letter that temporarily removed him from power.  Will wants the Vice President to be part of the ceremony, because one of the Trustees of the Constitution Center is Pennsylvania Governor Eric Baker.  Toby gets involved in the conversation and they both shut Will down.  Josh tells Toby that Hoynes has called him a few times.

Josh comes to see Senator Hunt, who is not backing down - but tells Josh if he can find a way to return the flag, he might reconsider taking to the floor the next day.

Act III - Friday Morning

Act IV

Trivia / Goofs

  • Toby's perusing of the Hoynes book is a very "Washington thing" - flip to the index and see how many entries you have in the index.
  • Some of the soldiers in the "terracotta army," referred to in the meeting with Toby and Kate, were exhibited at the National Geographic building in Washington DC and other locations in the United States in 2009-2010.
  • A Senator refers to "3-PC Orion" airplanes being sold to Taiwan. The correct designation for this airplane is "P3-C Orion".
  • We find out in this episode that Hoynes had a vice-Presidential debate with his Republican opponent in the 1998 election. You can see a entry in Hoynes book index under, "First Vice-Presidential debate".
  • This episode marks the first time that President Bartlett admits to suffering from specific, physical issues brought on by Multiple Sclerosis.


Toby Ziegler: Want to know how many times you're mentioned?
C.J. Cregg: No.
Toby Ziegler: Want to know how many times I'm mentioned?
C.J. Cregg: Not really.
Toby Ziegler: Want to know how many times Josh is mentioned?
Toby Ziegler: Hoynes called you?
Josh Lyman: Yeah. I haven't called him back. I'm not interested.
Toby Ziegler: Interested in what?
Josh Lyman: In anything having to do with John Hoynes.
Leo McGarry: I lived through the first Cold War. One was enough.



Special Guest Stars

Guest Starring

Special Musical Appearance By



"The West Wing" A Change Is Gonna Come (2004)
The West Wing Episode Guide

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.