West Wing Wiki
West Wing Wiki

Season 3 was the third season of The West Wing. It consisted of twenty-one regular episodes and two special episodes. The first of these, Isaac and Ishmael, was created in the wake of the tragedy of 9/11 and served as the series opener after being written and filmed in two weeks.


Despite his concealing a serious illness from the American people, President Bartlet will run again, and he intends to win.

It may not be that simple. First, his decision causes serious friction with his wife, Abbey, who had made the President promise to only serve one term. Next, a team of election consultants led by Bruno Gianelli clashes with the idealistic and resentful staffers. Meanwhile, the House of Representatives begin their probe into the cover-up of Bartlet's illness, with both Donna and Leo finding themselves in sticky situations. To end it all, Bartlet is forced to make a difficult decision.

The staffers' personal lives are not any less complicated, either. Josh finds himself drawn to women's activist Amy Gardner while Toby confronts the President about his sacrificing of political ideals in order to be liked, which causes a rift between them. Sam is confronted by several challenges, including having to deal with his ex-fiancée and a betrayal by a friend that hurts him deeply and embarrasses him publicly.

Finally, C.J. receives a death threat after making pointed comments about Saudi Arabia, threats so serious that they require the protection of the Secret Service.

The President is forced to make a deadly decision when it is uncovered that a foreign diplomat is also a terrorist that has plans to attack the U.S.


Rob Lowe as Sam Seaborn
Stockard Channing as Abigail Bartlet (10 episodes)
Dulé Hill as Charlie Young
Allison Janney as C.J. Cregg
Janel Moloney as Donna Moss
Richard Schiff as Toby Ziegler
John Spencer as Leo McGarry
Bradley Whitford as Josh Lyman
and Martin Sheen as President Bartlet
Special Guest Stars
John Amos as Percy Fitzwallace (3 episodes)
Marlee Matlin as Joey Lucas (3 episodes)
Roger Rees as John Marbury ("Dead Irish Writers")
Ron Silver as Bruno Gianelli (6 episodes)
Mary-Louise Parker as Amy Gardner (6 episodes)
Oliver Platt as Oliver Babish (3 episodes)
Emily Procter as Ainsley Hayes (3 episodes)
Tim Matheson as John Hoynes (3 episodes)
Mark Harmon as Simon Donovan (3 episodes)
Michael O'Keefe as Will Sawyer ("War Crimes")
Gerald McRaney as Alan Adamley ("War Crimes")
Hal Holbrook as Albie Duncan ("Gone Quiet")
Adam Arkin as Stanley Keyworth ("Night Five")
Hector Elizondo as Dalton Millgate ("Dead Irish Writers")
Laura Dern as Tabatha Fortis ("The U.S. Poet Laureate")
Ian McShane as Nickolai Ivanovich ("Enemies Foreign and Domestic")
Lily Tomlin as Deborah Fiderer ("Posse Comitatus")
James Brolin as Robert Ritchie ("Posse Comitatus")

Recurring cast

NiCole Robinson as Margaret Hooper (15 episodes)
Anna Deavere Smith as Nancy McNally (7 episodes)
Renée Estevez as Nancy (7 episodes)
Thomas Kopache as Bob Slattery (5 episodes)
Guest Starring
Connie Britton as Connie Tate (4 episodes)
Glenn Morshower as Mike Chysler (4 episodes)
Mark Feuerstein as Cliff Calley (4 episodes)
Michael O'Neill as Ron Butterfield (3 episodes)
Evan Handler as Doug Wegland (3 episodes)
Bill O'Brien as Kenny Thurman (3 episodes)
Gregalan Williams as Robbie Mosley (3 episodes)
Dennis Cockrum as Military Officer (2 episodes)
Joanna Gleason as Jordon Kendall (2 episodes)
Kurt Fuller as SitRoom Civilian Advisor (2 episodes)
William Thomas Jr. as David (2 episodes)
Ajay Naidu as Rakim Ali ("Isaac and Ishmael")
Jonathan Nichols as Agent Cleary ("Isaac and Ishmael")
Jeanette Brox as Student ("Isaac and Ishmael")
Victor McCay as Peter ("Manchester (1)")
Jim Beaver as Reporter Carl ("Manchester (1)")
Earl Boen as Reporter Paulson ("Manchester (1)")
Miguel Sandoval as Victor Campos ("Ways and Means")
Nicholas Pryor as Clement Rollins ("Ways and Means")
Thom Barry as Mark Richardson ("Ways and Means")
Edmund L. Shaff as Bill Horton ("Ways and Means")
Kevin Tighe as Jack Buckland ("On The Day Before")
H. Richard Greene as Robert Royce ("On The Day Before")
Cliff DeYoung as Kimball ("On The Day Before")
Scott Michael Campbell as Donald Dolan ("On The Day Before")
John F. O'Donohue as Mr. Koveleski ("On The Day Before")
Mary Mara as Sherri Wexler ("On The Day Before")
Bob Glouberman as Terry Beckwith ("War Crimes")
Valerie Mahaffey as Tawny Cryer ("Gone Quiet")
Gary Farmer as Jack Lone Feather ("The Indians In The Lobby")
Georgina Lightning as Maggie Morningstar-Charles ("The Indians In The Lobby")
Armando Pucci as Alberto Fedrigotti ("The Indians In The Lobby")
Jenny Gago as Bernice Collette ("The Indians In The Lobby")
Shashawnee Hall as Russell Angler ("The Indians In The Lobby")
Dave Hager as Mark Faragut ("The Indians In The Lobby")
Christian Clemenson as Evan Woodkirk ("The Women Of Qumar")
Dinah Lenney as Mary Klein ("The Women Of Qumar")
Ty Burrell as Tom Starks ("The Women Of Qumar")
Bradley White as Man with "joke" ("The Women Of Qumar")
Bruce Kirby as Barney Lang ("The Women Of Qumar")
Sid Conrad as Ed Ramsay ("The Women Of Qumar")
Bill Erwin as Ronald Kruckshank ("The Women Of Qumar")
Clark Gregg as Michael Casper ("Bartlet For America")
James Handy as Joseph Bruno ("Bartlet For America")
Steven Gilborn as Paul Dearborn ("Bartlet For America")
Doug Ballard as Edward Pratt ("Bartlet For America")
Todd Waring as Rathburn ("Bartlet For America")
Mark Hutter as Erickson ("Bartlet For America")
Kathryn Joosten as Dolores Landingham ("Bartlet For America")
Ashley L. Clark as Alan ("Bartlet For America")
Carlos Jacott as Allen ("Bartlet For America")
Randy Thompson as CEO ("Bartlet For America")
Dennis Haskins as CEO ("Bartlet For America")
Ellis E. Williams as Algiss Skyler ("Bartlet For America")
Traylor Howard as Lisa Sherborne ("100,000 Airplanes")
Nancy Linehan Charles as Oncologist 1 ("100,000 Airplanes")
Howard S. Miller as Ken Walker ("100,000 Airplanes")
Nicholas Hormann as Bobby ("100,000 Airplanes")
Brian Baker as John Tandy ("100,000 Airplanes")
Charles Walker as Oncologist 3 ("100,000 Airplanes")
Sam Lloyd as Robert Engler ("The Two Bartlets")
Kathleen York as Andy Wyatt ("Night Five")
Alanna Ubach as Celia Walton ("Night Five")
Carmen Argenziano as Leonard Wallace ("Night Five")
Nancy Cassaro as Janet Price ("Night Five")
Basil Wallace as McKonnen Loboko ("Night Five")
Paul Fitzgerald as Casey Reed ("Night Five")
James Hong as David ("Hartsfield's Landing")
James Keane as Registrar ("Hartsfield's Landing")
Robin Thomas as Jack Enlow ("Dead Irish Writers")
Yolanda Lloyd Delgado as Terry ("The U.S. Poet Laureate")
Beth Littleford as Leslie ("The U.S. Poet Laureate")
James Eckhouse as Bud Wachtell ("The U.S. Poet Laureate")
David Dunard as AA member ("Stirred")
Randy Oglesby as AA member ("Stirred")
Felton Perry as AA member ("Stirred")
Jim Jansen as Bill Fisher ("Stirred")
Peter Scolari as Jake Kimball ("Enemies Foreign and Domestic")
Gregory Itzin as State Department Official ("Enemies Foreign and Domestic")
Bill Cobbs as Alan Tatum ("Enemies Foreign and Domestic")
Svetlana Efremova as Ludmilla Koss ("Enemies Foreign and Domestic")
George Tasudis as George Kowzlowski ("Enemies Foreign and Domestic")
Evan Rachel Wood as Hogan Cregg ("The Black Vera Wang")
Patrick Breen as Kevin Kahn ("The Black Vera Wang")
Gerry Becker as Network News Director ("The Black Vera Wang")
Leon Russom as Network News Director ("The Black Vera Wang")
Michael Holden as Network News Director ("The Black Vera Wang")
Ned Schmidtke as Admiral ("The Black Vera Wang")
Juan Garcia as Rick Pintero ("We Killed Yamamoto")
Christopher Curry as Colonel Lee ("We Killed Yamamoto")
Annika Peterson as Jane ("We Killed Yamamoto")
Nicki Micheaux as Muriel ("We Killed Yamamoto")
Bob Morrisey as Harry Conroy ("We Killed Yamamoto")
David Huddleston as Max Lobell ("Posse Comitatus")
Armin Shimerman as Richard III ("Posse Comitatus")
Andrew McFarlane as Anthony Marcus ("Posse Comitatus")
Fred Sanders as Ted ("Posse Comitatus")
Wren T. Brown as in Josh's meeting ("Posse Comitatus")
Ken Thorley as in Josh's meeting ("Posse Comitatus")
Basil Hoffman as Congressman ("Posse Comitatus")



0 Isaac and Ishmael 3 OCTOBER 2001 Aaron Sorkin
A special episode dealing with some of the questions and issues currently facing the world in the wake of the recent terrorist attacks on the United States. "The West Wing" creator and executive producer Aaron Sorkin wrote the script.
1 Manchester (Part I) 10 OCTOBER 2001 Aaron Sorkin
In the season premiere, flashbacks reveal how the President will officially announce his plans to run for re-election, which sends his staff into disarray as they work on the speech. But two problems dog them when Sam realizes that Bartlet never apologized for not disclosing his multiple sclerosis while C.J. makes a crucial gaffe during a press conference.
2 Manchester (Part II) 17 OCTOBER 2001 Aaron Sorkin
Flashbacks reveal the President as he refines his speech for a major re-election announcement while his staff works uneasily with a heavyweight political strategist (guest star Ron Silver) over whether Bartlet should include a public apology in his remarks.
3 Ways and Means 24 OCTOBER 2001 Aaron Sorkin
S | E. Attie & G. Sperling
When a fearless special prosecutor (guest star Nicholas Pryor) begins investigating the President's (Martin Sheen) non-disclosure of his illness and issues subpoenas to the White House staff, C.J. (Allison Janney) cannily tries to light a backfire by dropping clues to the press that might ultimately force the replacement of the prosecutor with someone more favorable to the Administration.
4 On the Day Before 31 OCTOBER 2001 Aaron Sorkin
S | P. Redford & N. Chitre
As a State Department dinner nears, President Bartlet boldly vetoes the "death tax" bill but his staff must hustle when they are surprised to learn that the House of Representatives have enough votes to immediately override the veto. Charlie is strongly urged by his fellow White House teammates to ask for immunity in his upcoming testimony into the President's non-disclosure of his illness.
5 War Crimes 7 NOVEMBER 2001 Aaron Sorkin S | A. Abner
The President asks the reluctant Vice President (guest star Tim Matheson) to speak at an anti-gun rally in Texas after a church shooting but the uneasy allies have a starkly candid showdown. Leo debates an old friend and Air Force officer (guest star Gerald McRaney, "Major Dad") about the United States' future stance regarding the War Crimes Tribunal
6 Gone Quiet 14 NOVEMBER 2001 Aaron Sorkin
S | J. Dahl & L. Glasser
When an American spy submarine suddenly goes silent in hostile North Korean waters, an angry President receives advice from the Assistant Secretary of State (Emmy Award-winning guest star Hal Holbrook, "The Bold Ones") and must decide whether he should notify the enemy or attempt a risky, secret rescue.
7 The Indians in the Lobby 21 NOVEMBER 2001 A. AbnerK. FallsSorkin
While President Bartlet frets about where to spend Thanksgiving -- and how to best cook a gourmet turkey -- C.J. powwows with two Native Americans (guest stars Gary Farmer, "The Score," and Georgina Lightning) who are camped in the lobby and promise to cause a media dustup if they can't meet with a bigwig about receiving better public health projects on their reservation.
8 The Women of Qumar 28 NOVEMBER 2001 Aaron Sorkin
S | WillsonGlasserDahl
At the First Lady's urging, Josh meets with a powerful women's caucus over the proposed language of a U.N. treaty banning prostitution while the President grapples with the possibility of a Mad Cow epidemic and ponders how much the public should know.
9 Bartlet for America 12 DECEMBER 2001 Aaron Sorkin
While the White House is festooned with Christmas finery, Leo fears the worst when he testifies in the Congressional investigation into the President's possible lack of public disclosure about his illness while flashbacks reveal the background leading to Bartlet's decision as governor to not come forward with the damaging information.
10 H.Con - 172 9 JANUARY 2002 Aaron Sorkin S | Eli Attie
A defiant Leo rejects the Congressional Oversight Committee's offer of a presidential public censure that would finally end its investigation of Bartlet's concealment of his illness -- and spare Leo of any possible personal repercussions -- while the staff reacts to an insider's tell-all book published by a fired White House photographer.
11 100,000 Airplanes 16 JANUARY 2002 Aaron Sorkin
While the staff furiously labors over the President's crucial State of the Union speech, Bartlet suddenly demands to include a passage that ambitiously promises a crusade to cure cancer within 10 years while Sam is interviewed for a Vanity Fair profile by a woman (as Lisa, guest star Traylor Howard) whom once was his fiancée.
12 The Two Bartlets 30 JANUARY 2002 Falls & Sorkin S | Sperling
While the President and his staff ponder whether to counter a verbal assault on affirmative action by a fast-rising Republican presidential candidate, Josh must postpone his tropical vacation with a women's rights advocate (guest star Mary Louise Parker) to defuse a risky powderkeg on an island that serves as the Navy's firing range.
13 Night Five 6 FEBRUARY 2002 Aaron Sorkin
President Bartlet consults a a psychiatrist (guest star Adam Arkin, "Chicago Hope") for a troubling sleep disorder -- and gets a sobering personal assessment -- while C.J. lobbies hard to help secure the release of a White House reporter who's been taken hostage on assignment in the Congo.
14 Hartsfield's Landing 27 FEBRUARY 2002 Aaron Sorkin
The President engages both Sam and Toby in intricate chess matches that underscore the wily game of brinkmanship Bartlet is playing with the Chinese, who threaten to turn their war games in the Taiwan Strait into the real thing if Taiwan begins test-firing their new U.S. Patriot defense missiles.
15 Dead Irish Writers 6 MARCH 2002 Aaron Sorkin
S | Paul Redford
Many issues are in play during a White House party to celebrate the argumentative First Lady's (Stockard Channing) birthday as she contemplates the likely loss of her medical license the next day while the President (Martin Sheen) is visited by proper British Ambassador Marbury (guest star Roger Rees) who argues against Bartlet's meeting with a murderous Irish terrorist.
16 The U.S. Poet Laureate 27 MARCH 2002 Aaron Sorkin
When the President is overheard making a disparaging comment on an open-mike about the potential Republican nominee, C.J. does damage control for days after while Toby tries to finesse the newly named poet laureate (guest star Laura Dern, "Jurassic Park") from spealing out against the United States' lack of support for a land-mines treaty.
17 Stirred 3 APRIL 2002 Aaron Sorkin & Eli Attie
S | Dee Dee Myers
The President's staff reacts to the crash of a heavy rig bearing uranium fuel rods in a remote Idaho tunnel that could pose an environmental -- or terrorist -- crisis, while in another room, electoral strategy is stealthily mapped out that could include jettisoning Vice President Hoynes (guest star Tim Matheson) from the next ticket.
18 Enemies Foreign and Domestic 1 MAY 2002 Paul Redford & Sorkin
As Sam works out the President's final maddening details of an important upcoming summit with the Russian president, satellite photos reveal an Iranian nuclear bomb facility built with Russian technology -- a revelation that could torpedo the leaders' meeting.
19 The Black Vera Wang 8 MAY 2002 Aaron Sorkin
The President and his staff scramble to head off a predicted terrorist attack over a broad area while C.J. chafes under the protective collar provided by a handsome but capable Secret Service agent (guest star Mark Harmon, "St. Elsewhere"). Also, Toby plays hardball with network executives over future political convention TV coverage.
20 We Killed Yamamoto 15 MAY 2002 Aaron Sorkin
The President is torn over forfeiting the principle of diplomatic immunity for an important Middle Eastern official known to be plotting terrorism while Josh duels with his feminist activist/lover (guest star Mary Louise Parker) over a key welfare reform bill.
21 Posse Comitatus 22 MAY 2002 Aaron Sorkin
In the season finale, President Bartlet encounters Ritchie (guest star James Brolin, "Pensacola: Wings of Gold") -- his Republican presidential rival -- when they attend a Broadway play while the President faces a terrorist threat after he discovers that a high-ranking Middle Eastern official has been supporting terrorism.