Template:EpisodeNewTitle The entire White House staff bristles with activity when it's learned that the President injured himself during a bicycle accident, and his absence becomes a factor as chief of staff Leo McGarry must juggle a host of impending crises, including a mass boat lift of Cuban refugees approaching the Florida coast and the reaction of conservative Christians to a controversial televised comment by Deputy Chief of Staff Josh Lyman. Meanwhile, Sam Seaborn , the trouble-prone Deputy White House Communications Director, unknowingly spends the night with a call girl and then makes another critical error during a children's White House tour. [1]


It's night in Washington, DC. Sam Seaborn is sitting with reporter Billy Kentworthy. Billy is pressuring Sam into saying something on the record regarding Josh Lyman's future in the White House after a recent scandal. After refusing several times, Sam notices a woman staring at him and shares a smile with her.

The following morning, Leo McGarry is complaining to his maid about an error in the New York Times crossword puzzle when his wife informs him that he's got a call from POTUS. Meanwhile, CJ Cregg is using the morning to exercise in a gym and hit on a man exercising next to her. Josh Lyman is still at work, asleep, and awoken by his beeper going off and Toby Zeigler is aboard an airplane antagonizing a stewardess over his use of his laptop during landing when a message was delivered to the cockpit: POTUS in a bicycle accident.

Sam, we find out, ended up going to the apartment of the girl he met in the bar - Laurie. As Sam discusses the impressive show facilities she owns, Laurie mentions that Sam received a page in the shower: POTUS in a bicycle accident. Sam immediately starts dressing, to Laurie's horror, and asks for her number saying he has to get to work despite it being 5:30 in the morning. As he's leaving, Laurie tells him to tell POTUS that he has a funny name, to which Sam replies "He's not my friend, he's my boss and it's not his name, it's his title.... President of the United States"

Leo walks into the West Wing of the White House and has a brief word with the security guard, Mike. He is approached by Bonnie, who requests he not kill the messenger. Leo says good morning to Emma, Wilson and Jeffrey, but calls Jeffrey Joe. Leo doesn't seem to care. He is going to the desk of Donna Moss, who he asks if Josh is in yet. She says yes, and calls for him. Donna asks about the accident, but Leo insists it was a mild sprain, and that he will be back later.

Josh exits his office and walks up to Leo. Leo asks about the status of the Cubans, and Josh says that a number of Cuban refugees are coming over in anything they could find, but is unable to provide any more information. Josh wants the Coast Guard or D.A. to go in to help the refugees.

Josh finally asks if he said anything, and Leo says the President is pissed and so is he. Leo says they need these people, and while Josh says that they need Al Caldwell, they don't need Mary Marsh or John Van Dyke. Leo makes a reference to football and walks off. Josh admits it was stupid, but says he was right. Leo agrees.

Leo walks into a room where Delores Landingham, the President's personal secretary, is waiting. She asks about an X-Ray as they enter the Oval Office, and Leo says the only thing that is broken is the bike he loaned to the President. He then calls the President a klutz, to which Mrs. Landingham requests he keep that talk out of the Oval Office. He walks into his office, and talks to Bonnie about some meetings. He then asks Margaret to call the New York Times about the misspelling in the crossword puzzle.

The senior staff begins to enter Leo's room, where they begin a meeting. C.J. asks if there's anything else she can say about the President's accident, to which Leo says he has nothing. They discuss the situation with the Cubans, to which Josh still wants to help them while Toby is more concerned about what happens once they land. Sam suggests they send in the military, and the staff is shocked. Toby said it's a miracle they got elected, and Sam leaves to talk to his guy from the Center for Disease Control. Leo says they have to talk about Josh.

Billy walks up to Bobbi in the briefing room and tells her that Josh is going to be fired. Bobbi says he won't fire Josh, but Billy says he has to. C.J. walks in and begins a briefing. She says that Dr. Randall Haymen looked at the President's ankle and diagnosed it as a mild sprain. She then passes out photos of the President refusing help from the Secret Service, then falling down again. Chris tries to ask a question, but C.J. says to wait for the end of the briefing.

Josh is in his office watching the tape of him on the show telling Mary and him arguing on Capitol Beat. Donna walks in and is bringing him coffee. Josh seems confused by this and shuts the door. She admits that she just wants to know if he's fired. Josh says he doesn't know, but will have to live with the decision regardless. The door knocks, it's Toby. Donna asks if Josh thinks he'll get fired, and Josh says no.

Toby walks in and yells at Josh for "being cute with Mary Marsh," but offers him a way to save his job, and mentions a Presidential address of family values. Josh is upset that the event is even scheduled, but Toby says it's his fault. Toby says that Mary and Al are coming for coffee, and that Josh should come and be nice. Josh protests, but Toby says that it's the only way for Josh to keep his job. Toby hands Josh a newspaper clipping about someone they obviously both know. She's starting a job in town. Josh says that the photo is a good one.



Guest Starring



Rob Lowe says the line, "Alger Hiss just walked in with my secret pumpkin." Hiss was a State Department official in the 1940s accused of spying for the Soviet Union. His accuser was Whittaker Chambers, who hid copies of government files in a pumpkin on his farm before giving them to then Rep. Richard Nixon, a member of the House Un-American Activities Committee. The line most likely refers not to the original incident, but to North by Northwest (1959), in which Cary Grant's character asks, "Did you get the pumpkin?" [2]

The Lambs of God are based on a real life group "The Lambs of Christ." (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

The Press Briefing Room shown early in the Pilot is a different set than the one used in subsequent episodes.


It is mentioned that the Roosevelt Room is named after Theodore Roosevelt. The Roosevelt Room is, in fact, named after both President Roosevelts. Normally, when Democrats control the White House, the portrait of Theodore Roosevelt is replaced with the portrait of Franklin Roosevelt [1]

Honor Thy Father is the fifth commandment.

Near the very start of the episode Josh and Leo are talking and walking. They then stop and Josh rests his arm on the glass wall. The next shot is of Leo, through the glass and over Josh's arm, but when the shot changes again (into a wider one) Josh's arm has changed position into a higher one that would have blocked Leo's face.

The US military doesn't use the Exocet, a french-built anti-ship missle whose uses against aeroplanes is limited, preferring sea-launched Tomahawk missles.

The Governor of Florida is named as Pat Thomas, but later on the series it is established that Robert Ritchie is Governor of Florida, having been elected in 1996.

See Also

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External Links

"The West Wing" Pilot (1999)
The West Wing Episode Guide


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