- ❝We have laws in this country: you break 'em, you pay your fine. You break G-d's laws - that's a different story. You can't kidnap a civilisation and sell them into slavery. No amount of money'll make up for it and all you have to do is look 200 years later, at race relations in this country❞
ARREST AT FRAT PARTY ATTENDED BY PRESIDENT'S DAUGHTER COULD BE EXPLOSIVE; CARL LUMBLY ('CAGNEY & LACEY') GUEST-STARS -- When Zoey (guest star Elisabeth Moss) attends a college fraternity party in which one of her friends is busted for using illegal drugs, C.J. (Allison Janney) struggles to keep the embarrassing story out of the press while the White House staff celebrates the confirmation of their nominee, Judge Mendoza (Edward James Olmos, not seen), for the Supreme Court. An uncomfortable Josh (Bradley Whitford) is assigned to talk with the administration's controversial nominee (guest star Carl Lumbly, "Cagney & Lacey," "EZ Streets") for assistant attorney general for civil rights who advocates that African-Americans receive financial reparations for slavery. Elsewhere, Sam (Rob Lowe) crosses swords with Mallory (guest star Allison Smith) over the issue of private school vouchers while Mandy (Moira Kelly) lobbies to secure two new pandas for the National Zoo.
As the episode opens, White House staff are celebrating the confirmation of Roberto Mendoza, which is playing out on the televisions. Toby comes in and admonishes everyone to wait until it is a done deal. Josh and Donna are discussing a message from Mandy as they walk over to the confirmation vote hearing. Leo is on the phone and he gets off to go and watch the vote. Mallory shows up to tell Sam, "I despise you and everything you stand for." As the vote reaches 51, Toby opens a bottle of champagne to celebrate.
Leo and Josh talk about the nomination of Jeff Breckenridge (Carl Lumbly), who is to be Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights. Leo tells Josh that Stadler has a problem with some comments Breckenridge made and appear on the cover of a book jacket. Leo asks Josh to go and talk to Stadler. They leave to go to the press room, as C.J. is going to do "The Jackal." In Sam's office, Sam and Mallory are arguing / discussing a position paper he wrote on school vouchers.
Danny comes to see C.J. to tell her that he heard on his police scanner that David Arbor was arrested for drugs at a frat party, where Zoey was also present. C.J. works on spinning it as a non-story for the press in the morning. Mandy comes to see Josh about getting a new panda bear for the National Zoo, he tells her that Toby will help her. Zoey gets cornered by a reporter (that Gina puts up against a wall) and asked about the drug arrest at the party the night before.
Mallory makes an appointment with Sam to work on changing his mind on school vouchers. They go back and forth about the issue. At C.J.'s suggestion, Sam suggests they have lunch and Mallory goes to Leo to ask for permission, "because she always gets her father's permission before she has lunch with fascists." Leo tells Mallory that Sam is really not in favor of school vouchers, it was just opposition research. Mallory softens and agrees to have lunch with Sam.
Josh meets with Breckenridge about his nomination troubles. Breckenridge is firm about his position on reparations for slaves and won't back down. He believes that "someone owes me and my friends $1.7 trillion dollars." The two of them discuss the issue, running the gamut of similar issues (Japanese internment). Breckenridge gets Josh to come around to his position and the two of them go off to lunch.
Charlie comes to see C.J. to tell her about the reporter asking Zoey the question (Zoey had called Charlie). C.J. goes to see Danny and she reacts upon hearing that Zoey answered the question as she did (she said she didn't know Arbor was going to be there). Zoey comes to C.J. (at C.J.'s request) to ask why she lied (she knew that Arbor was going to be there - she had his car keys).
Toby arrives for work, clearly happy - still feeling the high of the Mendoza confirmation. When Mandy comes to see Toby about the panda - it begins to turn his mood. He is completely apathetic about the topic and really doesn't want to deal with it. Mandy asserts that it would be good for China-U.S. relations. In the course of the conversation, Toby learns that Josh set it up and that Josh played Mandy to get at her. The two devise a plan to get back at Josh.
At a meeting of Secret Service agents, they are discussing the current issues and threats, primarily those against Charlie and Zoey. C.J. comes to see Gina about the party the night before. Gina refuses to provide any details because of protection protocols. C.J. then sees Sam and he tells her that she is going to have to keep it away from the President, or she is going to have to "get in the President's face" to keep him from overreacting.
Charlie comes to see the President and tells him that C.J. is waiting to see him. C.J. tells the President that Zoey lied to a reporter. He explodes and threatens to go and yell at the assembled press corps. C.J. has to talk him back down, which she does.
- Rob Lowe as Sam Seaborn
- Moira Kelly as Mandy Hampton
- Dulé Hill as Charlie Young
- Allison Janney as C.J. Cregg
- Richard Schiff as Toby Ziegler
- John Spencer as Leo McGarry
- Bradley Whitford as Josh Lyman
- and Martin Sheen as President Bartlet
Special Guest Star
- Mallory O'Brien: Wow.
- Sam Seaborn: What?
- Mallory O'Brien: For a guy who's trying to date me, that was pretty snotty.
- Sam Seaborn: Well, hang on. These are office hours. If I'd know I was working on that I would have had a whole different attitude.
- Mallory O'Brien: How could you write that position paper?
- Sam Seaborn: Which position paper?
- Mallory O'Brien: Don't play dumb with me.
- Sam Seaborn: No, honestly I am dumb. Most of the time I'm playing smart.
- Gina Toscano: I'm gonna look through an FBI photo album of teenage Nazis.
- C.J. Cregg: Why?
- Gina Toscano: I'm on a break.
- ❝Mandy – I think we should get a panda bear
- Josh – You say that now, but I'm the one who's gonna end up feeding him and walking him❞
- Margaret Hooper: Hey, Toby.
- Toby Ziegler: Hey there, Margaret.
- Margaret Hooper: You all right?
- Toby Ziegler: Of course I'm all right. Why wouldn't I be?
- Margaret Hooper: You don't usually say "Hey there Margaret."
- Toby Ziegler: What do I usually say?
- Margaret Hooper: You usually growl something inaudible.
- Toby Ziegler: Not today... You on the other hand should turn that frown upside down.
- Margaret Hooper: Excuse me?
- Toby Ziegler: Let a smile be your umbrella.
- Margaret Hooper: Okay, now you're scaring the crap out of me.
- (They walk off in separate directions.)
- Toby Ziegler: (Singing) Gray skies are going to clear up... Hi Bobby. Put on a happy face. Hi Janet.
- ❝You're talking to me during "The Jackal"?!❞
- —Toby to Josh
- ❝President Bartlet – (quoting from a book by George Washington) "In public, put not your hands on any part of your body that is usually covered"
- C.J. – Well, I do what it takes to keep the press corps happy, Mr. President❞
- ❝ Sam – It's my day of jubilee
- Mallory – I despise you and everything you stand for
- Sam – All right, my day was a little bit better a few seconds ago❞
- Mandy Hampton: I was thinking that it would be a good idea - as a symbol to signal how serious we are about our relationship with China - if we asked them for another bear.
- Toby Ziegler: I think it would be a good idea - as a symbol to signal that China is serious about a relationship with us - if they stopped running over their citizens with tanks.
- Mandy: Toby...
- Toby: Mandy! Call the embassy; have them send us over a damn bear! What's the problem?!
- Mandy: First of all, Pandas are very rare. And there are maybe a thousand of them and they're only in China.
- Toby: We only need one.
- Mandy: We need two.
- Toby: Why?
- Mandy: Because the other one will get lonely.
- Toby: (Simultaneously) The other one will get lonely. Then have them send us two.
- Mandy: Second of all, China's not inclined to give us gifts right now.
- Toby: Then get us 2 regular bears, a bucket white paint, a bucket of black paint, bam bam next case!
- Mandy: It's hard to believe that the Wildlife Lobby was nervous about you.
- Josh gets so threatened by the racism white people are responsible for that he attempts to whitesplain white soldiers' white saviour "legacy" in the Civil War to Breckenridge, who actually allows him to say that and move on.
- The staff making a big deal about C.J. singing "The Jackal" is similar to another Sorkin show's episode plot. In the Sports Night episode "Dear Louise" the staff of the show makes a big deal about Dana (Felicity Huffman) drinking Margaritas and singing "Boogie Shoes."
- Mandy and Toby both vow to get revenge on Josh after he set the two up to have a meeting about the panda bear. However, no such retribution has ever taken place on screen.
- Sam Seaborn's middle name is Norman.
- President Bartlet tells Charlie that George Washington copied down the rules of civility at age 14. However, George Washington was only 13 when, in 1745, he jotted down a lengthy set of social rules in his school workbook.
- Josh's grandfather was once imprisoned at the concentration camp Birkenau but survived before moving to the US.
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Six Meetings Before Lunch
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 "The West Wing" Six Meetings Before Lunch (2000) — Quotes and trivia copied from IMDb