On Valentine's Day, an Iranian fighter jet accidentally shoots down a British passenger plane -- killing 100 people -- but C.J. is reluctant to awaken the President even as the hawkish British prime minister considers bombing Iran's nuclear reactors in retaliation. After learning that the passenger jet was mistaken for a U.S. spy plane, Bartlet calls in British ambassador Lord John Marbury, as they debate whether a strike is the perfect excuse to wipe out the atomic sites or if it will set back reform movements in the rogue nation. Elsewhere: Abby and C.J. war over the President's schedule for rest; Toby and a legal professor try to pound out a new democratic constitution with representatives of Belarus -- and everyone keeps dodging the traditional White House appointment with Miss Universe.




Special Guest Stars

Guest Starring



Lawrence Lessig is a real-life constitutional scholar who was involved in drafting an early version of the Georgian constitution. Episode writer Josh Singer took Lessig's Constitutional Law course at Harvard, and remembered an anecdote told during class. Lessig approved the script, which he felt captured 90% of what was important about "constitutionalism": building a society that respects the rule of law.

The tune Annabeth is humming for Valentine's Day while handing out chocolates is "My Funny Valentine," one of the most beloved songs on Kristin Chenoweth's first solo CD, Let Yourself Go. [1]

A running gag done by Annabeth is that she uses the word "ticktock." This is yet another sly reference to Kristin Chenoweth's character, Glinda, in "Wicked." [2]

The first time we see the British Prime Minister, Maurneen Graty. Although we first heard her on the phone to President Bartlet in "The Dover Test", this is the first time she is named.


The times between the US, the UK and Iran are skewed. C.J. is awakened at 03:45 Eastern time by Kate telling her about the British plane being shot down. This would have been 08:45 GMT and 12:15 Tehran time, indicating the Iranian Air Force shot down the airliner in the middle of the day, which seems unlikely if they were thinking it was a U.S. spy plane. Later, when the radio transmissions come through to the President and Lord John Marbury we are told the Iranians can shoot the plane down at 02:33 GMT which would be 21:33 Eastern. [3]


President Bartlet: She didn't wake me up this morning. I could have—
Leo McGarry: What? Prime Minister Grady thinks you are an intellectual snob. A Yankee Doodle windbag. Likely as not you would have made things worse.
President Bartlet: If an American dies and there is even the slightest suspicion of international intrigue, she's supposed to wake me.
Leo McGarry: Since when? If I had used that rule, you'd be dead by now of sleep deprivation.


"The West Wing" The Wake Up Call (2005)
The West Wing: The Wake Up Call
Movie Mistakes


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