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 "Previously on the West Wing" spoken by Toby

White House Counsel Oliver Babish questions Toby about the military shuttle leak until Toby realizes he should probably retain counsel.  Meanwhile, Josh realizes that everyone involved in the Santos campaign is young and inexperienced, forcing him to make some tough decisions.


Toby confesses to C.J. that he was the source of the classified military shuttle leak.  While Toby's office is cleared out, he is debriefed by White House Counsel Oliver Babish.  He answers Oliver's questions and insists that he and he alone orchestrated and executed the leak.  Toby's attorney, Alana Waterman, arrives at the White House and insists that he not answer any more questions.  At this point, Oliver debriefs C.J., whose account of what occurred matches that of Toby's.

On the campaign trail, the Santos campaign is still nine points down, and Josh and Lou realize that a change is needed.  Noting that several of the staffers are young and not built for a national campaign, they decide to let several of them go.

Back at the White House, C.J. and Oliver break the news to the President that Toby was the source of the leak and Will Bailey is promoted to Communications Director.  During a tense conversation in the Oval Office, Bartlet tells Toby that he's always been headed for this "crash and burn" because of his moral superiority.  Toby offers his resignation, but Bartlet refuses to accept it and fires him instead, "for cause".  As Toby turns to leave, Bartlet makes it clear that he (Bartlet) won't be among the people who will think of Toby as a hero.  Toby surrenders his credentials and is escorted out of the White House.



Special Guest Stars[]

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  • The plot was likely inspired by the CIA leak investigation and the Valerie Plame affair.
  • Richard Schiff hated the leak storyline, feeling that Toby would never betray the President in such a manner.  He justified his character's actions by deciding that Toby was really covering for someone else.
  • Unless Toby left instructions with security for Alana Waterman to be given an entry pass it isn't likely she would have been able to get into the West Wing and walk into the Roosevelt Room unannounced.
  • The White House storyline of the episode picks up immediately from the previous episode and it is stated that the time from Toby's confession to Bartlet's announcement is less than an hour, meaning this part of the episode's events happen almost in real time. However, the Santos campaign storyline departs strongly from the end of the previous episode, where Santos' campaign had scored a hit on Vinick over education and intelligent design and had "movement in the polls", instead still being stuck nine points down.


Helen: I thought you liked it when I got loud?
Santos: In this, as in all things, context is the key.

Waterman: You have to listen to me now. If you were truly the only one involved...
Toby Ziegler: I was.
Waterman: Well, then, that's unfortunate because it means that you have no bigger fish to turn over to the prosecutor, which is what he and the Congress will be looking for, and obviously would have been the best and fastest way to make a deal.
Toby Ziegler: I don't care about that.
Waterman: Well, it's my job to.  And we're not starting with a lot of bargaining chips and we have less every time you open your mouth.
Toby Ziegler: I'm not looking to cut a deal.


"The West Wing" Here Today (2005)