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"Previously on the West Wing" spoken by Toby

Josh fears the worst after a political miscalculation costs the Democrats dearly as the President is preoccupied with a killer tornado in Oklahoma and flies there to lend his support but his compassion overrules good judgment and he stays longer than planned. Meanwhile, a worried Leo has several crises back home that need the president's immediate attention. Donna keeps an eye out for Josh's welfare after he becomes Washington's latest persona non grata.



Donna and C.J. are talking about how Senator Carrick's defection is going to play out and how Josh will be affected.  C.J. tells Donna that she is going to have to "handle" Josh to help him get through this. 

Later, Donna greets Josh and walks with him into the White House.  She tells him that he has a conference call with the Chair of the Idaho Democratic Party.  They arrive in the bullpen and Donna looks at the TV and sees coverage of a massive tornado, which has just struck the Midwest.

Act I - Monday Morning, 7:12AM[]

Josh, Toby, and C.J. are walking toward Leo's office talking about the tornado.  C.J. asks if the President is planning to go to Oklahoma - the Senior Staff differ on whether the President should or not.  They decide the Vice President should go instead. 

Toby and C.J. leave and Leo tells Josh that he is going to have to bench Josh for a while - to let this blow past.  Josh comes back to his office and Donna is relieved that he hasn't been fired.  He tells her to plan some meetings for him to show he is still working on issues.

C.J. comes into the Press Room to deliver her briefing and fields questions on several topics.  In Toby's office, he and Toby are watching the briefing on the TV.  Josh tells Toby that Leo is scaling back his portfolio.  Josh asks if Toby knows who Leo is thinking of bringing in - Toby doesn't.

In the Oval Office, the Senior Staff is briefing the President on a move by Congress to push a capital gains tax, which they think they can approve now with Carrick on the other side of the aisle.  C.J. tells the President that he should go to Oklahoma - the President agrees.  Leo is worried - and tells C.J. to have the President back in five hours.

Act II - Tuesday Morning, 10:44am (2 minutes behind schedule)[]

The President has arrived in Oklahoma and is touring the devastation.  The President greets the Governor and FEMA director and hears specifics about what has happened.

At the White House, Toby and Josh are looking over a list of names that are rumored as being considered to come and work in the White House.

11:03am (16 minutes ahead of schedule)[]

The President is continuing to look at the damage - and asks where all the people are.

11:23am (on schedule)[]

The President has come to a Red Cross shelter and is talking with people who have taken refuge there.  C.J. tells someone from advance to get the Press here to cover this, then she calls Leo to tell him they've made this unplanned stop - but she will get the President back on time.

Leo gets off the phone and resumes his meeting with General Alexander, the new Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and Secretary of Defense Miles Hutchinson.  They are briefing Leo on national security issues.  After the Secretary leaves, General Alexander asks Leo if he is aware that Secretary Hutchinson has asked all generals in line for another star to be interviewed.  Leo says he will look into it.

Leo heads to his next meeting on the budget negotiations - and sees Josh to tell him that he is going to sit out of these meetings for the time being.  Leo goes into the meeting with Congressman Singer, where Toby is already - and Singer assures them he is not planning to vote against the budget bill.

12:38pm (38 minutes behind schedule)[]

The President is still talking to people in the shelter.  C.J. is on the phone with reporter and she is apologizing that the reporter had to hike through a field to be able to cover the President's visit to the shelter.  She goes over to talk to Charlie to ask how the President is doing with the people.

Back at the White House, Toby and Leo walk back to his office, while Toby vents at Leo about the Republicans trying to steamroll them on the budget.  They arrive back in Leo's office, where Angela Blake is waiting.  Leo tells Toby that Angela is coming on board to help.  Angela tells Leo and Toby they need to move fast if they are going to keep a coalition together that can vote for the capital gains tax.

2:44pm (1 hour 59 minutes behind schedule)[]

Toby calls C.J. to find out where they are - C.J. tells them they are still in Oklahoma.  Toby hands the phone to Leo, who tells C.J. to put the President on the phone.  Leo tells the President that he needs to come back to Washington - but the President wants to stay for the memorial service the next day.  Leo tries to impress upon the President that he needs him back - but the President hangs up the phone.

Act III[]

Donna sees Josh and tells him that he needs to get going for his dinner.  He is dismayed that no one has called for him.  As he is leaving, he runs into Toby and the two of them talk.  Josh tells him that he feels there are very few people left he can trust.  Toby does not tell him about Angela Blake's arrival.

6:22pm (6 hours 47 minutes behind schedule)[]

C.J. is talking to a reporter, who is complaining about having to walk to meet up with the President.  C.J. and Charlie talk - the President wants to spend the night in the shelter.

In Leo's office, he is telling Margaret about the schedule when Toby arrives and tells Leo about a general who wants to go on Meet the Press - Leo tells Margaret that he needs to see Secretary Hutchinson tomorrow.  Toby asks Leo about Angela - Leo tells Toby that she is going to lead the budget negotiations and that everyone is going to have to get used to her being around.

Josh is in a restaurant waiting for Congressman Wilcox - when Ryan Pierce shows up and Josh realizes that Wilcox isn't coming.  Back at the White House, the Vice President, Toby, and Leo are meeting with Singer and other Blue Dog Democrats to try and keep them in line on the tax bill.

General Alexander comes to see Leo to tell him that the Greeks and Albanians are threatening each other over a small disputed island.  Leo then gets on the phone with the President and Leo impresses upon him that he needs the President to return to Washington.

10:12pm (10 hours 27 minutes behind schedule)[]

At the shelter, the President walks into the kitchen and encounters a woman who is doing dishes.  Bartlet offers to help.  C.J. comes into the room and overhears the conversation and then leaves.

In Washington, Ryan and Josh are in a cab, when Josh tells the driver to pull over - Josh gets out and yells at the Capitol.

Act IV[]

Angela is waiting for Toby in his office when he arrives.  They talk briefly.  An intern tells Toby that Josh has just cleared the gates.  Donna greets Josh and gives him some pills to help his headache.  Toby arrives in the lobby to greet Josh and they walk to Josh's office, where Toby tells Josh about Angela.

Leo and Will are talking about the meeting last night and Leo tells him not to worry about it.  Margaret comes to Leo to tell him the Secretary of State has called and is concerned the President is not going to make it back for the meeting with the German Chancellor.  General Alexander is waiting in Leo's office - the situation between the Greeks and the Albanians is not getting any better.

7:58am (20 hours 13 minutes behind schedule)[]

In Oklahoma, C.J. is talking with Advance about what the President can do at the memorial service.  Her phone rings and it's Leo - he needs the President back.  He tells C.J. to fix it.

Josh comes to see Leo, who tells Josh about Angela Blake.  Leo tells him that it has to be this way for a while.  Secretary Hutchinson comes to see Leo about the issue that General Alexander raised with Leo - he tells Hutchinson to back off.

C.J. comes to see the President and tells him that he needs to go back to Washington.

9:38am - Wheels Up (21 hours 38 minutes behind schedule)[]

On Air Force One, C.J. comes to see the President and the two of them talk - she tells the President that she needs him to lead.

At the White House, Donna brings a box to Josh of "What a Shame" issues for him to look at.

Goofs / Trivia[]

  • On the news broadcast that Josh and Donna are watching they show an image of the tornado where it is clearly sunny out. However, later in the episode it is revealed the tornado occurred at approximately 5:30am when it would have been still dark.
  • Josh tells Donna, "Sam called...Sam wanted me to remind you: You gotta roll with the punches" - this one of the only active mentions of Sam Seaborn between his appearance in Red Haven's on Fire and his return to the show for Transition at the end of season 7


Leo McGarry: I think the President just went AWOL.
Josh Lyman: Hey! You want a piece of me! I'm right here! I'm standing right here! Come on! Come on!
CJ Cregg: You're the President of the United States. My President. I'm frightened. We're all frightened. This is -- The world is too dangerous now, unpredictable. I need you back. I need you to lead.



Special Guest Stars[]

Guest Starring[]



"The West Wing" Disaster Relief (2003)