"Previously on the West Wing" spoken by Leo

The international crisis concerning the terrorist abduction of Bartlet's daughter Zoey reaches critical mass as Walken presides over the bombardment of Qumari terrorist camps while the kidnappers issue a 24-hour deadline for the unlikely removal of American troops from Qumar. Elsewhere, Josh fumes over his perceived notion that the Republicans will exploit and push forward their own legislative agenda while Toby visits his newborn twins -- even as he oversees the drafting of two presidential speeches that hinge on Zoey's fate.

Summary Edit

Opening - Sunday 11:34pm Hour 24Edit

Leo McGarry meets Angela Blake in a parking garage, where they discuss the ramifications of President Bartlet's decision to invoke the 25th Amendment during the kidnapping of his daughter, Zoey.  She agrees to conduct a poll, but advises Leo to get some photos of the President looking "presidential."  Leo tells her the President won't do it. Angela tells Leo that if Zoey dies, Bartlet's ratings will "go through the roof."

Act I - Monday 6:00am Hour 30Edit

Secretary of State Berryhill and Leo meet with the Qumari Ambassador to inform him that the US is about to bomb his country.  In another part of the West Wing - Josh is asleep when the phone rings.  It is Amy Gardner, who has come to see Josh about the Republicans electing Haffley as the new Speaker and trying to fast track a right-wing agenda.

At the hospital - Andy and Toby are sitting with the twins.  They look up at the TV and see C.J. announcing to the Press the attack on the suspected terrorist training camps in Qumar.  At the Residence, the Bartlet women watch with fear as C.J. continues her briefing and ultimately get up and walk out of the room - leaving President Bartlet alone.  In the Situation Room - Walken and advisors are briefing him on the post attack details.

Act II - Monday 7:30am Hour 32Edit

Josh sees Donna at her desk when she arrives.  In his office is Ryan Pierce, a new intern for Josh, though Josh knows nothing about it.  He walks off, encountering C.J. and then Toby, asking both of them about the Republican plans to move ahead with Walken as Acting President. 

Toby and Josh go to see Leo about the Republicans - Leo tells them not to worry about it - but to come up with three names for VP by the next day.  Josh asks Leo about Ryan Pierce - Leo tells him that Pierce is his new intern.  Leo asks Toby how the speeches are going - Toby replies the second one is hard (the one if she dies).  Toby heads back to Will's office and reads the drafts that Will has been working on - they are better than Toby's.

In the Oval Office - Walken is being briefed on reaction to the bombing in Qumar.  There has been no communication from the kidnappers.  As the briefing ends - Walken is informed that economic advisors are here to see him.  He tells Leo that he is going to move forward with an economic stimulus package.  Leo urges restraint and the two argue.  Leo goes to see Bartlet to try to convince him to take back the office.  Bartlet can't do it.

Act III - Monday 3:30pm Hour 39Edit

Josh is working in his office on VP candidates, while Ryan looks on.  C.J. comes to see him to tell Josh that Steve Atwood gave a quote to the New York Times - Josh hurries off to find Toby.  The two of them make a plan to deal with this.

In the Oval Office - Walken is contacting the families of the soldiers killed in the Qumar attack.  He laments to Debbie that he wants to get to the "fun part of being President."

Josh confronts Steve Atwood about the Republicans apparently testing sound bites for future elections. Atwood indicates that Bartlet's sacrifice (resigning his office to an opposing party's leader) shows a tremendous amount of patriotism and that only someone playing politics would think the Republicans were going to dishonor that sacrifice.

Shortly after, Al-Jazeera releases a tape of Zoey expressing the terrorists' demands in typical terrorist language. More importantly, the tape indicates a 24-hour deadline to remove American forces from Qumar before Zoey is executed.

Act IV - Tuesday 1:30am Hour 50Edit

Mr Bartlet comes to Toby's office where he reviews the speeches Toby is writing for Bartlet's return to office. Bartlet asks to see the speech he'll give if Zoey is killed and he is visibly shaken before stepping out of the office, taking the speech with him.

In the FBI Command Center, a staff member walks into the office of the agent in charge and says, "I think we may have something." Shortly after, the situation room of the White House is informed that the FBI believes they've found Zoey. Mr Bartlet and the First Lady are put on Marine One and taken to the scene, where Zoey is sitting in an ambulance and her parents rush to her. She has been injured (a broken clavicle, cuts, and bruises) and drugged, but is otherwise okay, while the terrorists were all killed during the rescue.

Back in the White House, Bartlet walks into the Oval Office and signs the letter reclaiming the presidency from Walken. Bartlet offers to campaign for Walken if he runs, but Walken says, "I'm not sure if that'd be a plus in my district." Bartlet resumes the presidency and prepares for his press conference, where he gives Will's speech prepared in case of Zoey's death, rather than the triumphal one Toby wrote for her safe return. The president's speech serves as the background to a scene of the Bartlet family at Zoey's bedside in the hospital. The episode closes with the first lady staring out the hospital window.

Trivia / GoofsEdit

  • President Franklin Pierce was also from New Hampshire.
  • Barbara Bush is a descendant of Franklin Pierce - though Ryan Pierce's claim that Franklin Pierce was his great-great grandfather is murky.
  • There is no Pierce Bedroom in the White House.

How was Zoe Bartlet Found?Edit

Agent Casper explains part of the story in the helicopter ride, but he is barely audible over the rotors: "A Virginia state Trooper responded to a domestic disturbance call outside of Calverton. They both got drunk. He had let her out by the side of the road in the middle of nowhere, so she called 911 on her cell. The trooper couldn't find her. She had wandered off somewhere to try to get out of the rain. Guy checked an old barn across the road from where she said she'd be."

Quotes Edit

Angela Blake: If she dies, his approval ratings will go through the roof.
President Bartlet: 'The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral. Returning violence with violence only multiplies violence adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.'
Leo McGarry: Dr. King.
President Bartlet: I'm part of that darkness now, Leo. When did that happen?
Leo McGarry: Dr. King wasn't wrong. He just didn't have your job.
Glennallen Walken: This is a weird-looking room.
Debbie Fidderer: Truman called it the crown-jewel of the federal penal system.
Glennallen Walken: You a Truman fan?
Debbie Fidderer: Yes, sir.
Glennallen Walken: Me, too.
Debbie Fidderer: I would have taken you for an Eisenhower man, sir.
Glennallen Walken: If Truman were alive today, he'd be a Republican.
Debbie Fidderer: Oh, I doubt that very much.
Glennallen Walken: You know, it's funny. This was never an ambition of mine. I never wanted to be President of the United States.
Debbie Fidderer: Neither did Mr. Truman.

Cast Edit


Special Guest StarsEdit

Guest StarringEdit



"The West Wing" Dogs of War (2003)
The West Wing Episode Guide