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The Four Levels of Comedy: Make your friends laugh, Make strangers laugh, Get paid to make strangers laugh, and Make people talk like you because it's so much fun.
(16 hours 30 minutes)
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Synopsis: Bartlet's campaign is in full force and he has to battle to keep the job he currently has. Then the season ends with him having to decide whether to give it up anyway.
Reaction: The show continues some great stories and doesn't show any sign of stopping.
Personal Rating: ...
Random Trivia For This Title:
- Guns Not Butter - The episode title refers to a common economic model that gives an example of how a country can apportion limited resources on either defence (guns) or production of domestic goods (butter) or a combination of both but to increase one you need to reduce the other
- The Long Goodbye - Both Allison Janney and Martin Sheen were born and raised in Dayton, OH. Rob Lowe was raised there as well having moved to the city as a small child.
- Arctic Radar - President Bartlett asks Leo if adultery is illegal under the Uniform Code of Military Justice and Leo answers that it is not. In reality adultery does in fact violate Article 134 of the UCMJ.
- Twenty Five - While Toby is in the hospital room with his babies, the television is playing what is supposed to be home movie footage of Zoey as a child with her father. Even though the younger Jed Bartlet in the home movie is only seen very briefly, he is played by one of Martin Sheen's real-life sons, actor and director Emilio Estevez. This is the second time in their careers that Estevez has played a younger version of the same character that Martin Sheen was playing; the first time was in Nightbreaker.
- Commencement - In this episode Zoey was kidnapped whilst going to the restroom in a club party. This scenario was depicted by President Bartlet when he was angry at Zoey in Season 1's The West Wing: [Mr. Willis of Ohio].
- Inauguration: Part 1 - When Donna is describing the uniform Jack will be wearing she refers to the pants having 13 buttons. Dress Blue pants do have 13 buttons, but only for enlisted personnel, not Officer's uniforms.
- Commencement - In the DVD commentary for this episode, Aaron Sorkin says that during shooting, he found out that Elisabeth Moss (who plays Zoey Bartlet) had never been high on illicit drugs, so Sorkin counseled her on how to play the scene in which Zoey has been drugged by Jean-Paul.
- Twenty Five - Series creator Aaron Sorkin and Thomas Schlamme final episode.
- Martin Sheen's somewhat unusual way of putting his jacket on is caused by an injury to his arm sustained at his birth.
- Evidence of Things Not Seen - In The West Wing: [20 Hours in L.A.] at the LA party, Donna walks away from Josh to go stalk Matthew Perry. Matthew Perry appears as Joe Quincy and Donna comments on him being considered cute by most staff. He will also appear in Sorkin's next TV show [Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip].
- The character of Amy Gardner was temporarily written off the show, because Mary-Louise Parker was visibly pregnant, and the producers couldn't hide it anymore.
- 20 Hours in America: Part I - When Toby and Josh are headed to the airport, they are pushed an hour back because Dearborn County, Indiana does not observe daylight saving time. As of 2006, every County in Indiana observes daylight saving time. Only Arizona, Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands do not.
- College Kids - The "Rock The Vote" event shown at Cambridge, MA is aimed at encouraging young people to vote in the US general election. The band playing at the event, Barenaked Ladies, are all born and raised in Canada.
- 20 Hours in America: Part II - When Toby and Josh are discussing governor Ritchie's intelligence on the train, Toby laments that Ritchie thinks [?] Neville Chamberlain led Britain during WW2. Chamberlain did in fact lead Britain in WW2, but only for the first 8 months before giving way to Winston Churchill. However, the reference Toby makes is to Richard Chamberlain.
- Swiss Diplomacy - This was the second of only three episodes to not have a writing credit for Aaron Sorkin during the first four seasons, the others being season one's The West Wing: [Enemies] and this season's The West Wing: [The Long Goodbye].
- Swiss Diplomacy - When Will Bailey (Joshua Malina ) is asked about who is helping Sam (Rob Lowe ) he mentions that his Political Director is Tom Baker, [?] Tom Baker was actually the name of the the Fourth Doctor in the original 1960's version of [Doctor Who].
- In the DVD extras for season four, John Spencer and Stockard Channing both say that in the Abbey-Jed-Leo relationship dynamic, Abbey is (of course) Jed's wife, and Leo is Jed's mistress. Spencer hastened to add that he meant "political mistress", but Channing did not qualify the assessment.
- 20 Hours in America: Part I - A line from President Bartlet's speech memorializing the bombing victims, "the streets of heaven are too crowded with angels tonight," was taken from Tom Hanks's 1993 acceptance speech for his Best Actor Oscar for Philadelphia. Ironically, this happens in the same episode in which Sam says, "Good writers borrow from other writers. Great writers steal outright". This is a variation on a quotation by [?] Pablo Picasso: "Good artists copy. Great artists steal." (Ironically, one of Sorkin's lines from this episode--"Every time we think we've measured our capacity to meet a challenge, we look up and we are reminded that that capacity may well be limitless"--was plagiarized during an NBC sports feature airing directly before the 2006 Kentucky Derby. The freelance writer who wrote the line was fired.
|Episode Name||Disc||Disc Order||Directors||Writers||Synopsis||IMDB|
|20 Hours in America: Part I||1||1||Christopher Misiano||Aaron Sorkin||After Bartlet gives a campaign speech at an Indiana farm, Josh, Toby and Donna are left behind by the presidential motorcade and must work their way across the state with the help of the farmer's daughter and, later, a teenage campaign volunteer, enduring many setbacks along the way. Josh and Toby obsess and bicker over how best to play the president's intellectualism, viewed by many as snobbery, against Republican opponent Robert Ritchie's "regular guy" persona, while Donna must keep them on track and communicate with the real Americans they encounter along the way.||8.8|
|20 Hours in America: Part II||1||2||Christopher Misiano||Aaron Sorkin||Donna teaches Toby and Josh an important lesson as their trek homeward continues; Sam staffs the President in Josh's absence and welcomes an old friend home; Bartlet hires a secretary and C.J. finds a Big Brother for Anthony; the situation in Qumar continues to escalate; Bartlet gets spooked by a photo op as the Dow continues its dive; and a pipe bomb kills 44 students at a Midwest university swim meet.||8.9|
|College Kids||1||3||Alex Graves||Aaron Sorkin||Josh and Toby have a plan to make college cheaper. Leo starts talking to a lawyer about the Shareef assassination. A judicial ruling on third-party candidates has troubling implications for the campaign.||8.1|
|The Red Mass||1||4||Vincent Misiano||Aaron Sorkin||A possible third-party candidate threatens to upset the President's lead in the polls. As Qumar threatens to blame Israel for Shareef's death, Leo must convince the Israeli ambassador not to respond. Charlie teaches his new ward a lesson in basic government. When the committee in charge of presidential debates rules that there will only be two, Sam and CJ propose a risky strategy.||7.9|
|Debate Camp||2||1||Paris Barclay||Aaron Sorkin||Sequestered in North Carolina to prepare for the one and only debate between Bartlet and opponent Robert Richie, the staff and several consultants (incl. Andrea Wyatt and Joey Lucas) flash back to the days just before and after the president's first inauguration, which were marked by an ill-advised choice for attorney general and ongoing concerns about fertility for then-married Toby and Andrea. In the present, Sam plays Richie in mock debates and raises Bartlet's ire.||8.2|
|Game On||2||2||Alex Graves||Aaron Sorkin|
|Toby falls prey to a practical joke by the rest of the staff, after which everyone but Leo takes off for the debate in San Diego. Sam makes a side trip to Newport Beach to explain to the congressional campaign manager of the late Horton Wilde why the campaign has to fold even though Wilde is still on the ballot; what Sam doesn't expect is a stalwart named Will Bailey who, determined to keep the ideas of the campaign alive, continues to hold campaign events and do door-to-door canvassing. In San Diego, a nervous w.w. staff readies itself to spin for the president.||9.0|
|Election Night||2||3||Lesli Linka Glatter||Aaron Sorkin||As results come in across the country, Sam is focused on a single congressional election that will determine his own future. After realizing she accidentally voted for the Republican nominee, Donna tries to find a Ritchie supporter who will "swap votes" with her. The President tries to hide a recurrence of his M.S.||8.6|
|Process Stories||2||4||Christopher Misiano||Aaron Sorkin||Sam finds himself in a tricky position after the election in Orange County takes an unexpected turn. Toby and his ex-wife also find themselves in a delicate position, but decidedly one of their own making. And CJ tracks down the self aggrandizing source of some Process Stories.||8.0|
|Swiss Diplomacy||3||1||Christopher Misiano||Eli Attie|
|A 15 year old boy needs a heart and lung transplant. He also happens to be the son of the Iranian Ayatollah who is not a supporter of the Bartlet Administration.||7.7|
|Arctic Radar||3||2||John David Coles||Aaron Sorkin||Women's groups, by default including the majority of the First Family, react passionately as a renowned female fighter pilot is sanctioned for an affair with a senior officer. Meanwhile Sam prepares for his campaign.||7.9|
|Episode Name||Disc||Disc Order||Directors||Writers||Synopsis||IMDB|
|Holy Night||3||3||Thomas Schlamme||Aaron Sorkin||Toby's estranged father appears in his office a couple of nights before Christmas. Leo and Jed find themselves trying to fix problems as well as their consciences.||8.2|
|Guns Not Butter||3||4||Bill D'Elia||Eli Attie|
|A fight for Foreign Aid brings the staff together. Meanwhile Danny is uncovering evidence that is making certain members of the administration increasingly uncomfortable.||7.8|
|The Long Goodbye||4||1||Alex Graves||Jon Robin Baitz||C.J. takes a short trip to her home in Dayton to check on her father, who is suffering from Alzheimer's Disease, and to give a speech at her high school reunion; at the Dayton airport, she meets an old high school acquaintance and they have a quick fling.||7.5|
|Inauguration: Part 1||4||2||Christopher Misiano||Aaron Sorkin||It is the day of Bartlet's second inauguration and yet the celebrations stutter as the staff are stunned by a betrayal in their midst.||8.0|
|Inauguration: Part 2 - Over There||4||3||Lesli Linka Glatter||Aaron Sorkin||Will struggles to find the words when the Inauguration speech seems to avoid current heart breaking issues.||8.2|
|The California 47th||4||4||Vincent Misiano||Aaron Sorkin||The president, first lady and w.w. staff travel to Orange County, Calif., to campaign for Sam's bid to win the 47th District congressional seat -- the Nov. winner in the heavily Republican district was, amazingly, a liberal Democrat who, more amazingly, had died a few weeks prior. The president orders Toby to fire Sam's campaign manager, a staunch realist, and take over the campaign with a more idealistic approach. Some conservative voters approach Andrea Wyatt in a bar and give her grief about her out-of-wedlock pregnancy, and Toby and Charlie step in forcefully.||8.0|
|Red Haven's on Fire||5||1||Alex Graves||Aaron Sorkin||Military action in Africa has unforeseen repercussions. Sam and Toby work together on the Orange County Campaign. Will has to find his leadership skills quickly as he is left with no one but interns to prepare remarks on the dry subjects of Taxes.||7.9|
|Privateers||5||2||Alex Graves||Paul Redford|
|Amy is challenged and tormented from all sides in her first day as Chief of Staff to the First Lady. Her first task is to prove that Abbey's relative was a privateer and not a pirate. And a glacier melts!||7.5|
|Angel Maintenance||5||3||Jessica Yu||Eli Attie|
|The President, C.J. Cregg, Will Bailey, and others are returning from a long flight overseas. As Air Force One is about to land, the indicator light for the nose wheel fails to come on, prompting pilot Colonel Jessie Weiskopf to call off the landing, and notify the President of the possibility of terrorism. The White House Press Corps is on board, therefore CJ and Will must keep the story under wraps, due to it being a world market event. This becomes a challenge when a F-15 Eagle jet is sent to inspect the nose wheel on AFO.||7.7|
|Evidence of Things Not Seen||5||4||Christopher Misiano||Aaron Sorkin||Trying to participate in a late-night staff poker game proves difficult as news arrives that an unmanned U.S. spy plane has crashed in a remote part of Russia, and Bartlet and Leo have to deal with an incensed Russian President Chagorin and convince him via phone to let the military go in and recover the plane; C.J. obsesses over the fact that on the exact moment of the spring equinox (today), you can stand an egg on end; Toby and Will have a card-flipping contest in the press room, during which someone from the street fires several bullets into the room.||8.2|
|Episode Name||Disc||Disc Order||Directors||Writers||Synopsis||IMDB|
|Life on Mars||6||1||John David Coles||Aaron Sorkin||On his first day on the job, the new deputy counsel uncovers a trail of clues to a scandal that will end one person's career.||8.7|
|Commencement||6||2||Alex Graves||Aaron Sorkin||The assassination of Shareef threatens to become public, the president speaks at Zoe's graduation, and the unthinkable happens.||9.0|
|Twenty Five||6||3||Christopher Misiano||Aaron Sorkin||In the wake of his daughter's kidnapping, Bartlet must make a decision between being a father and being President.||9.2|