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SPOILER ALERT - SPOILERS BELOW
Note on the nature of Spoilers:
Spoilers are often taken from first drafts of scripts and those are often not the shooting script and even when you see a shooting script, that can be changed by the director during shooting and then changed again by the editing of the episode. No one here makes any guarantee that the information presented will remain in the episode exactly as presented.
- Season 7 / Seven, (Seventh Season) Spoilers:
- December 7, 2006 - See NBC West Wing Merchandise for Christmas
- We have new links to the current West Wing Merchandise.
- September 14, 2006 - Charity Auction:
- Items Bradley Whitford wore to the Emmys are up for auction.
- September 8, 2006 -
- Check out the information on the Complete West Wing Series on our home page and don't forget our guide to the new Aaron Sorkin series (also linked from the home page).
- June 13, 2006 - Of course there are no longer any spoilers but this is the most popular page in the site so I think I may continue to post interesting items here.
- TV Guide has an interview with NiCole Robinson that gives some background that we didn't have before. People who are still interested in the show may find some nuggets here: her audition, her submission for an Emmy this year, he relationship with John Spenser, etc.
- May 21, 2006 - Aaron Sorkin is developing a new show and we are starting a website about it. This site is very preliminary but there is some information up. See Our Guide to "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip":
- Show stars many West Wing alumni. Bradley Whitford, Matthew Perry, and Timothy Busfield.
- May 1, 2006 - Our News page has a link to an auction for the second to last episode (next week's?).
- April 30, 2006 - Our News page has a link to the Warner Brothers site where they allow you to see the special features that are on the U.S. DVD sets.
- April 21, 2006 - "Pop Culture Freak" posted on the Television Without Pity's West Wing Forum a link to:
www.thefutoncritic.com which gives this information:
- SUNDAY, MAY 7 (8-9 p.m.) "Institutional Memory"
CJ IS FORCED TO LOOK AT HER FUTURE -- As Bartlet's administration prepares to transition to the Santos administration, CJ (Allison Janney) ponders what to do with her future. Meanwhile, Will (Josh Malina) is also in a position of uncertainty about what is to come. Richard Schiff and Mary McCormack also star.
SUNDAY, MAY 14 NBC SPECIALS (7-8 p.m.) "The West Wing Retrospective" (working title)
CAST OF 'THE WEST WING' REFLECTS ON SEVEN YEARS OF EMMY-WINNING DRAMA -- The cast of the Emmy Award-winning "The West Wing" pauses to reflect on the evocative drama's seven years on NBC with a retrospective of many emotional and touching scenes that made the President Bartlet's administration come alive to millions of Americans. The critically acclaimed series also became a popular hit and earned a record-tying four Emmy Awards as Outstanding Drama Series. The series finale follows.
SUNDAY, MAY 14 (8-9 p.m.) "Tomorrow - Series Finale"
SERIES FINALE OF EMMY AWARD-WINNING 'THE WEST WING'; ROB LOWE MAKES A CAMEO — After seven seasons of the Award-winning drama series, the Bartlet Administration prepares to leave the White House and The West Wing. While Santos and his winning camp are nervously gearing up for the presidential inauguration, current President Bartlet (Martin Sheen), CJ (Allison Janney) and the others fondly look back as they prepare to leave the White House forever. Guest star Rob Lowe guest-stars as Sam Seaborn. Alan Alda, Joshua Malina, Mary McCormack, Janel Moloney, Richard Schiff, Bradley Whitford, Kristen Chenoweth, Jimmy Smits and Teri Polo also star.
- April 16, 2006 - for those not able to see the clip f the scene between Josh and Sam "Artlawprod" transcribed it and posted that transcription on the Television Without Pity's West Wing Forum:
- J: You knew you'd hear from me.
S: It gave me a chance to hone my turn-down.
J: It's why I didn't do it over the phone.
S: You're showing up does have a nice nostalgic signature.
J: Style points!
S: If nothing else.
J: Substance too. This guy's the real deal.
S: You said that last time.
J: Yeah, and look at how right I was. (pause) Tell me you don't miss it.
S: I don't miss it.
S: Attorney. Amazing thing you did.
J: That's the easy part. It's what you do with it that counts.
S: You know how much I make now?
J: It's going to make me want to puke.
S: Not ³make you want,² you'll actually puke.
J: So you can afford to come back to Washington and work for a government wage.
S: I can afford to do good work right here. You wouldn't believe what I've gotten the firm to do. You should come work with me.
J: Democratic house — we never had that.
S: Republican senate.
J: I almost lost (garbled) you know. You should appreciate the shot.
S: Can't do it.
J: Can't just be the money.
S: There's my love life.
J: It's a moveable feast.
S: Not entirely, I'm getting married.
J: I've heard that before.
J: I mean congratulations is what I mean.
S: What about your life?
(Josh says nothing)
S: What was I thinking?
J: I've been somewhat busy.
S: That explains the...uh....
J: The what?
S: Your general...
J: What the...it's the hairline!
S: It's retreating.
J: It's routed, like Napoleon out of Moscow.
S: There's also the pallor issue.
J: You live in melanoma central. Healthy glow is an oxymoron.
S: I'd be glad to help with the inaugural speech.
J: Great, but that's not what I flew out here to ask. Deputy Chief of Staff. You're me to my Leo. Think about it.
J: At least give me that. I did...
S: Fly all the way out here.
J: It's how much I want you, I'm willing to channel my mother.
S: I'll think about it.
J: Great. (pause) You done?
J: What's there to think about? Really!
S: For one thing, whether I want to end up looking like you.
- April 15, 2006 (2nd) - "The Bullpen" posted on the Television Without Pity's West Wing Forum a link to:
- The NBC West Wing page which now has a link on the lower right to an upcoming scene between Josh and Sam.
Editor's note: We hear this clip is made to play in Internet Explorer and people with other browsers may have trouble.
- April 15, 2006 (1st) - More from I. Oliveros from Long Beach, CA.:
- Episode #22 - Tomorrow — Airing May 14, 2006
Written by John Wells
Directed by Chris Misiano
"It's Inauguration Day — the final hours of President Jed Bartlet's extraordinary presidency and Matthew Santos’ first steps into the halls of history. A day of goodbyes and new beginnings. Memories and traditions. Everyone preparing to leave the life they know for the next uncertain step. As Santos and Helen prepare themselves for the biggest adventure of their lives, Bartlet makes one final tour of the White House, saying goodbye to Will, Charlie, and all the people who have been his family for the past eight years. But amidst the chaos and ceremony, one last act of the Bartlet administration remains: Presidential pardons. The White House buzzes with news that a last minute name has been added to the list: Toby Ziegler — added by request of the President himself. Toby's future now rests in the hands of a man he served, loved and ultimately disappointed. As Josh, Donna, Lou and others prepare to begin the Santos Presidency, Bartlet struggles with the Toby decision up until the final moments of his own. Then, finally, he affixes his signature to the document, making his last act as President a reflection of his greater legacy of thoughtful action and relentless compassion. As Santos takes his oath of office and Bartlet and Abbey fly back to New Hampshire to begin the rest of their lives, we say final farewell to the people we've come to love on this remarkable journey."
- April 14, 2006 - More from I. Oliveros from Long Beach, CA.:
- Episode #21 - Institutional Memory — Airing May 7, 2006
Written by Debora Cahn
Directed by Leslie Glatter
"As her final days as Chief of Staff dwindle away, C.J. and Danny struggle to define the future of their relationship. In the midst of uninspiring job offers, she's suddenly approached by one of the world's wealthiest men, Franklin Hollis, with an unbelievable proposition. Take over his charitable foundation and he'll give C.J. ten billion dollars to solve whatever world problem she wants. But before she has time to mull over Hollis’ offer, Matt Santos asks her to say on as his Special Counselor to the President. For two years. And while the thought another two years in the White house is daunting, it's an offer C.J. doesn't believe she can refuse. When Danny discovers that she's made the decision without him, he ponders if they can really have a future together. Meanwhile, Toby's ex-wife drops in to ask C.J. for a rather large favor — approach the President about pardoning Toby. Since Toby didn't apply for a pardon, C.J. decides to talk to him about it before she even considers the request. Topy insists he doesn't want a pardon; he knew what he was doing. He is prepared to pay the consequences. C.J. returns to Danny with two confessions. First, she's not good at this. Relationships. She doesn't know how to do them. She's not sure she can still learn, but she wants to try. Second, she doesn't want to work in the White House anymore. She's ready for something new, for the next chapter of her life — with him."
———Another episode summary to come.
- April 13, 2006 (3rd) - More from I. Oliveros from Long Beach, CA.:
- Episode #20 - The Last Hurrah - Airing April 30, 2006
Written by Lawrenece O’Donnel, Jr.
Directed by Tim Matheson
"With just weeks to go before Inauguration, everyone is being forced to rapidly adjust to unfamiliar territory. As Matt Santos surrenders his life to the Secret Service and the press corps, Arnold Vinick finds himself in an equally unfamiliar position — bored. And although Vinick has piles of job offers to sort through, the one position he really wants still looms in the distance. While his waning staff is busy sorting job offers and packing up boxes, Vinick is calling party officials and analyzing exit polls. Finally, it occurs to them — he's thinking about running again. It seems he is convinced it's his job to save the soul of the party, and nothing will change his mind. Except perhaps, a call from President-Elect Matt Santos. After weeks of deliberation, Santos has decided he wants Baker to be his Vice President, but the Republican Senate will never confirm him — he's too strong a candidate. Santos seeks Vinick's advice on the confirmation process, and in the course of their conversation is reminded what a brilliant political mind Vinick is. Santos decides he needs Vinick in his corner and asks him to be Secretary of State. Vinick is skeptical. It's probably just a ploy to make Santos look bi-partisan. He can't accept. Won't accept. But he can't help being a little intrigued by the idea. As Vinick deliberates, Santos comes up with a strategy to get Baker confirmed. Threaten to go through the Electoral College, get Congress to swear to a quick hearing, then push Baker through. It's their best shot to get the guy they want. Finally Vinick, still unconvinced, comes to Santos and lays out his demands. No politicking. No Democratic fundraisers. No campaigns. And he will not be worked around. He'll only take the job if he actually gets to do the job. Santos complies, increasingly certain this is their guy. And in the end, it's an offer Arnold Vinick just can't refuse."
———More episode summaries to come.
- April 13, 2006 (2nd) - "mgoshawk" posted on the Television Without Pity's West Wing Forum:
- Spoilers from TV Guide Print Edition:
Lowe's return as former White House staffer Sam Seaborn comes after the election that replaced the Bartlet Administration with President Matt Santos and his crew. Former Bartlet Chief of Staff Josh Lyman (Whitford) who works for the new regime, flies to L.A. to convince his old buddy Sam to come on board.
"Sam doesn't want to do it," says Wells. "He's gotten on with his life. He's working for a law firm and is engaged to be married." But Josh
persists, offering Sam the opportunity to become deputy chief of staff. "In
other words," Wells says, "Josh wants Sam to become his Josh."
But Josh doesn't make such an enviable role model. "We see Josh as he
has never been before," says O'Donnell. "He's out of control, he's enraged. It becomes clear that he cannot run the White House without Sam. Sam is the
only person who knows how to manage Josh." Sam also has some personal advice for Josh, who is having relationship troubles with Donna. "Josh has to make a decision about their relationship," says Janel Moloney, who plays Donna. "Sam influences him and tells him: 'You are not just your job.'"
But what about Sam's potential new job? Will he, or won't he? Josh will get the answer when Lowe makes his final visit to the West Wing for the May 14 finale....
- April 13, 2006 (1st) - character list from tv.com
Marlee Matlin (Joey Lucas), Mary-Louise Parker (Amy Gardner), Melissa Fitzgerald (Carol Fitzpatrick), NiCole Robinson (Margaret), Nina Siemaszko (Ellie Bartlet), Renee Estevez (Nancy), Teri Polo (Helen Santos), Tim Matheson (John Hoynes), Timothy Busfield (Danny Concannon), Ramon De Ocampo (Otto), Allison Smith (Mallory O'Brien), Anna Deavere Smith (Nancy McNally), Elisabeth Moss (Zoey Bartlet), Emily Procter (Ainsley Hayes), Gary Cole (Bob Russell), Karis Campbell (Ronna), Kathleen York (Andrea Wyatt), Annabeth Gish (Elizabeth "Liz" Bartlet), John Aylward (Barry Goodwin)
- April 12, 2006 - More from I. Oliveros from Long Beach, CA.:
- Episode #19 — Transition - Airing April 23, 2006
Written by Peter Noah
Directed by Nelson McCormick
"It's crunch time for the Santos team, and no one is feeling the pressure more than Josh. With a hundred positions to fill and a phone sheet a mile long, his nerves are retreating about as fast as his hairline. His first order of business: a trip to California to convince Sam Seaborne to be his Deputy Chief of Staff. Sam tells him he needs to think about it. Back in D.C. Josh convinces Lou to sign on as Communications Director, and is about to ask Donna to be Deputy Press Secretary when she drops a bomb on him — she can’t work with him. The First Lady has asked her to be her Chief of Staff, and while she's not sure that's what she wants, she knows that whatever's going on between the two of them will make a working relationship nearly impossible. Also, whatever is going on between the two of them must at some point be discussed and defined. She gives him four weeks. If four weeks from now they haven't figured out what they want, then it just wasn't meant to be. So while Josh frantically attempts to piece together his personal and professional lives, Santos busies himself playing good cop-bad cop with Bartlet and the Kazakhstan crisis. The two have, unbeknownst to their staffs, coordinated a strategy using the inherent awkwardness of a Presidential transition in an attempt to scare Russia and China into a peace agreement. Finally, just about the time the staff thinks Josh may actually implode, Sam comes to the rescue. Arriving unannounced in D.C. he tells Josh he'll come back on one condition — that Josh takes a much-needed vacation. Josh reluctantly agrees to Sam's terms and soon finds himself on a plane to somewhere warm and sunny, with Donna by his side."
———More episode summaries to come.
- April 11, 2006 - I. Oliveros from Long Beach, CA. writes us: "A reliable source from the WB set gave me the following detailed information regarding the remaining episodes of the West Wing."
- "Episode #18 - "Requiem" - Airing April 16, 2006
Written by Eli Attie & Debora Cahn & John Wells
Directed By Steve Shill
"Now that the ballots have been cast and counted, friends, family, colleagues and dignitaries gather to say goodbye to Leo McGarry. A great man. A great politician. A great friend. And while everyone who knew and loved him would like the world to stop for just a few moments, the days following an election afford no such luxury. Santos and Josh will have to choose a new VP, appoint a Cabinet, and trek through the murky terrain of a White House transition. Santos appoints Barry Goodwin to head the transition team without consulting Josh, which creates some tension between the President-Elect and his Chief of Staff. The tension only escalates when Goodwin and Santos disagree with Josh on whether or not to endorse the Congressman's old friend for Speaker of the House. After a heated argument with Santos, Josh is left wondering if it was ever this difficult for Bartlet and Leo. C.J. assures him that it will get easier. And at day's end, as the world of governing and politics continue to swirl around them, the people Leo left behind gather to share memories, laughs and a few tears over their great loss."
————More episode summaries to come.
- April 9, 2006 -
- We do have a page up on the latest episode. We know we are behind in previous episodes but this website was started because another West Wing website suggested that Leo was a very minor character on the show. Leo was the center of the show.
- April 8, 2006 - David Lomazoff sent us the following from TV Guide's AskAusiello:
- Question: Can you shed any light on who'll win Sunday's West Wing election? — Thomas
Ausiello: Get out your dry-erase board 'cause Ask Ausiello is calling Texas for Santos and — holy crap — California for Vinick! Talk about a nail-biter!
- April 4, 2006 - "Nonredhead" posted on the Television Without Pity's West Wing Forum:
- "For those missing the ed n' Larry love I found this on Internet Movie DataBase:
Season 7, Episode 22: Episode #7.22
14 May 2006
John Balma .... Cartwright
William Duffy .... Larry
Rob Lowe .... Sam Seaborn
Peter James Smith .... Ed
- April 3, 2006 - "Vladimir" posted on the Television Without Pity's West Wing Forum.:
- TWW Episode Guide is reporting writers, as well as directors, for some upcoming episodes:
"Election Day Part II"
Written by: Eli Attie & John Wells
Directed by: Christopher Misiano
Written by: Eli Attie & Debora Cahn & John Wells
Directed by: Steve Shill
Written by: Peter Noah
Directed by: Nelson McCormick
"The Last Hurrah"
Written by: Lawrence O'Donnell, Jr.
Directed by: Tim Matheson (John Hoynes himself!)
Written by: Debora Cahn
Directed by: Lesli Linka Glatter
To which "WithPantsOn" added "Chris Misiano is apparently directing 'Tomorrow' as well."
- April 2, 2006 - "JoeBethersenton" posted a list of the writers of the upcoming seventh season West Wing episodes on the Television Without Pity's West Wing Forum.:
- Election Day I- Lauren Schmidt
Election Day II- Eli Attie and John Wells
Requiem- Eli Attie, Debora Cahn and John Wells
Transition- Peter Noah
The Last Hurrah- Lawrence O'Donnell
Institutional Memory- Debora Cahn
Tomorrow- John Wells
- March 28, 2006 - "Escardonme" posted on the Television Without Pity's West Wing Forum.:
- "Here's a little something-something from Mr. O'Donnell from the Al Franken Show:"
Lawrence O'Donnell: "...in The West Wing, between now and the end of the season, you will see a nude scene.... A beautiful nude scene."
Al: "We have nudity coming up... you're not saying which show."
LO: "I'm not saying which show. I want to be deliberately coy about that."
Al: "Ok. But that means you have to watch all..."
LO: ..."Yeah, all seven...."
- March 27, 2006 (2nd) - "kendrakp" posted on the Television Without Pity's West Wing Forum The final episode titles:
- Election Day
Election Day II
The Last Hurrah
Tomorrow (series finale)
- March 27, 2006 (1st) - "Jessiela" posted on the Television Without Pity's West Wing Forum.:
- "I'm mutual (you know, friend of a friend) friends with the woman who's son played Huck on Sunday (adorable, right?) and she said that TPTB have told her that they might need him again sometime soon. So, it's possible they're looking to do some pick up scenes with the kids for Toby's wrap-up."
- March 26, 2006 (3rd) - TV Guide's AskAusiello:
- "Question: Question: The West Wing is ‹ to quote the youngest first daughter ‹ "death on a Triscuit" without Stockard Channing. When, oh when, is she coming back?! — Lane"
Ausiello: "She'll resurface in both the April 16 episode and the May 14 finale."
- March 26, 2006 (2nd) -
- In the Preview for next week at the end of tonight's episode, we see Josh and Donna in bed together.
- March 26, 2006 (1st) - "Miss Hell" posted on the Television Without Pity's West Wing Forum
- About filming the final episode - bullet points from an extra:
- "I got to work about fifteen feet from Brad Whitford today.... Janel Moloney looked gorgeous. They were sitting next to each other at the Inauguration....
- "Then, all of a sudden, I felt sure I was hallucinating, because there was Aaron Sorkin... across the set from me. I actually rubbed my eyes (we'd been sitting under hot sun for a while, and my contacts were kind of drying out) and looked again.... Right about then the director stopped everybody and said, 'Hey, look, we have a special guest! The creator of the show, Aaron Sorkin!' Everyone applauded; about half stood up.... Aaron shook hands with a couple people, then sat down to get shot in the Inauguration scene....
- "A gorgeous blues rendition of America the Beautiful....
- "The head of Warner Brothers stopping by to give a speech about how the West Wing had made him remember why he loved television, and how much he was going to miss it (this was the last day of shooting)."
- March 25, 2006 - There are spoilers for the Second to Last Episode. This was posted by "Kristen" (who was on the
set) at the Josh/Donna Discussion Group on Yahoo:
- "The episode was focused on CJ and what everyone's doing once they leave the White House. Even though Jimmy Smits is in the episode (in his new president-elect offices across the street from the white house) there's never any mention of a vice president, so there's a chance they either won't name one at all, or we'll find out when he shows up in the last episode when we return to four years in the future. Santos also tells CJ that he's going to be appointing Arnold Vinick the next secretary of state. Josh will be the chief of staff, but nothing was said about Donna. Kate and Will Bailey are still together, but while both want to continue to be together, it's unclear whether they will be for much longer because Will is giving up a job at the DCCC to run for senate in Oregon.
Kate: 'I think you're moving to Oregon.'
Will: 'You could.'
Kate: 'I'm not moving to Oregon.' I do know Mary
McCormack isn't in the last episode, and when Kate leaves Will's office, she gives him a kiss on the cheek that the writer describes as having a farewell kind of feel.
"Everything else about this episode is about CJ. We open in Danny's
apartment in the morning. CJ and Danny have been sleeping together for two
months, and Danny's getting annoyed at the fact that they've been mostly
booty calls. He wants more of a relationship and tries to convince her of
this throughout the episode.
"At the same time, CJ is in total denial about having to leave the White
House in three weeks. She's trying to hunt down everyone's transition memos for the incoming people. She's freaked out to find that Charlie and
Margaret have been packing up her office and is trying to ignore all of the
headhunters that have been offering her massive amounts of money in return
for just a few hours of work each week or so sitting in on the board of
their company. She wants to keep doing real work, and just wants to stop
taking meeting; she's compelled to take one more, however, when a somewhat
eccentric billionaire shows up in the Roosevelt room and offers her $10
million to throw at whatever single major issue she deems most important.
It's an amazing offer but soon comes into conflict with the fact that Santos basically commands her to accept the position of special council to the president for the next two years.. because they really need some seasoned people for the transition. She can't believe she's finding herself in this situation. She's sad to leave the White House, but does she really want to stay?
"Meanwhile, Andie has come to CJ asking for Toby's pardon. He's been
indicted and will have to spend the next 6 years in jail, but he hasn't
applied for presidential pardon, and CJ doesn't know if she should bring it
up to the President. 'Think of our children!' CJ and Toby haven't spoken
since the day he left the building, and after a stressful day of jobs and
Danny accusing her of not really wanting to be with him, she finds herself
on his doorstep with a bottle of wine. After a secret service sweep of his
apartment, she hand him the bottle. 'Thanks.' 'It's not for you. I'm
going to need a drink.' They talk about the pardon, they're pissy, they're
friendly, they're sad that they aren't the friends that they were but still
sweetly remember how good it once was. She mentions Danny, he's already
heard that they're together and reminds her that she and Danny aren't some
sudden fling, but a relationship 8 years in the making. He kicks her butt,
saying she's been surrounded by men who give her validation daily, and there perhaps was no reason to date, but now she's sitting here talking about Danny to him when she should be there talking to him about it. The whole conversation has a great dynamic to it.
"And thus, we return to Danny's apartment. She fesses up to being terrible
at this. 'You'll get better. I'll train you.' 'Danny! You don't have to
train me.' 'Okay, we won't call it training--' She talks to him about her
various job offers. He asks her, 'Do you want to work at the White House?'
She has a hard time admitting with a slow shake of her head that after eight years at the service of the president, the answer is no. Great, sad, sweet episode!"
- March 24, 2006-
||Bradley Whitford as Josh Lyman,
Jon Bon Jovi as himself,
Jimmy Smits as Matthew Santos
NBC Universal Photo: Justin Lubin
- March 23, 2006- New books on "The West Wing" are now out:
- See Mr. Sorkin Goes to Washington
And The Primetime Presidency: The West Wing and U.S. Nationalism
Both books are shown in the right hand column of this page. Both are available in the U.S., Britain and Canada and links are provided under the images of the books to the right.
- March 22, 2006- "The Bullpen" posted on the Television Without Pity's West Wing Forum a link to pdfs of several sides for the next episode. Sides are pages of the script tht involve a character they are casting for so they hardly ever include much from scenes where just the regular cast are interacting. A summary of the sides for this episode was put up on this page on December 12. (We were reminded of this by "ColinMeloy" of the Television Without Pity's West Wing Forum.)
- The Sides for Welcome to Whereever You Are.
- March 19, 2006- News: not spoilers:
- If you miss episodes on NBC on Sunday night, you may be able to pick up the episode from Bravo on the next (Monday) night for a one time possibility.
- March 18, 2006 - For those of you who haven't been able to see "The Cold" yet and would like to see screen captures of it, we have a link to a website with such images.
- March 12, 2006 - Ain't It Cool News has spoilers for tonight's episode:
- Learn Of NBC's First New WEST WING Since Jan. 22!!
- March 11, 2006 - mgoshawk of The West Wing News Blog posted a link on the Television Without Pity's West Wing Forum
- "A 'Jen' ...sent me some photos from the shoot, which I uploaded to the West Wing Wiki."
- March 10, 2006 - David Lomazoff sent us this from TV Guide's AskAusiello:
- "Question: I've waited patiently for I don't know how many years, so if you can't promise me that Josh and Donna will share a long, slow, wet kiss that lasts at least two commercial breaks, then I'm done with The West Wing. — Nate"
Ausiello: "Two commercial breaks? That's asking a lot, don't you think? Josh and Donna will finally smack lips this Sunday, but Jimmy Smits interrupts them before they can make it to second base. Josh isn't giving up, though. Something happens at the end of the episode that suggests it won't be long before they start makin' babies."
- March 9, 2006 - the Josh/Donna Discussion Group on Yahoo is discussing pictures from the following link:
- Pictures taken by fans of the filming being done in the D.C. area last week.
- March 7, 2006 - "TheJackal" re-posted on Television Without Pity's West Wing Forum "a vague C.J. morsel from Kristin's E! Online weekly chat transcript,"
- "Kristin: Aside from Rob Lowe coming back, I hear we get a glimpse into C.J.'s future in episode 21 (the second to last episode). She's meeting with a powerful tech company owner who's very interested in her. So, it looks like that's where she may be heading."
- March 5, 2006 - "Lloyd Russell" (see previous post) also posted on Television Without Pity's West Wing Forum about seeing a scene with Josh
- "...on the cell phone talking in front of the WH is a conversation between Josh and Sam. He is telling Sam to 'just get on a plane!'"
- March 4, 2006 (4th)- West Wing News Blog has a long report
- From someone who was at the filming in D.C. today.
- March 4, 2006 (3rd)- "Lloyd Russell" (see previous post) also posted on Television Without Pity's West Wing Forum:
- "In a scene from episode 22, Rep. Matt Santos and Helen Santos walk down the steps of Blair House on their way to the White House. They are guarded by Special Agent Ron Butterfield."
- March 4, 2006 (2nd)- People at the shoot today have been saying things like this from "Lloyd Russell" on Television Without Pity's West Wing Forum:
- "I was just at the WH on location shoot. The winner of the election was exiting Blair House and making his walk to the White House in a scene that is going to air in episode 22." And the people they were filming there (and exterior shots at the captial tomorrow) were Jimmy Smits and Teri Polo (Matthew and Helen Santos).
- March 4, 2006 (1st)- Mark Kremnitzer emailed us a link about which said: A friend of mine went down to the Church on Chalres Street in Baltimore. He snapped some photos;
- March 3, 2006 -
- Shooting location info for today on our news page.
- March 2, 2006-
- Check the news page for infomation on the shooting schedule in D.C. this coming weekend and upcoming character returns to the show.
- February 28, 2006 - Shelley S.... of the Josh/Donna Discussion Group on Yahoo has seen "The Cold" (see yesterday's entry) and has written descriptions of what she has seen. Herewith we have pieces of two sections (some of the teaser and some of Act 2 but there are descriptions of the rest of the episode as well). To read all of the descriptions, please join the group.
- The Teaser
Santos Staff Room
21 Days Till Election
Ronna reading new poll numbers. Up in AZ,NV,VA. She
says California is up by 6. She's positively giddy.
Annabeth (from across the room) says she has CA up by
Donna asks from who. Annabeth replies Gallup. Donna is
thrilled. "Really?" Annabeth assures her it's true....
Ronna reads more individual state polls. Up or tied in
all. Annabeth joins in. Donna seems especially happy
about having pulled into a tie in South Carolina....
Donna and Bram start running down the hallway where
all the staffers are staying and banging on every door
yelling for them to get up and throwing out poll
numbers. Laughing. Smiling. Criss crossing the hall.
Donna stops and knocks at a door and waits for an
answer instead of moving on.
She knocks again.
We hear a sleepy Josh inside. "Yeah yeah yeah I'm
He opens the door... and Donna bursts in. She moves into
the room while he remains standing by the door. She's
spouting results. Tied in CA. She is almost
She lists states they pulled ahead in.
He moves closer.
She says they got the new national tracking poll
This camera work here.... circles them as
they move closer to each other almost as if it's the
centrifugal force drawing them together, It's really
She says yes. They're tied. Nationally.
Both are getting more visibly excited by the second....
Then he grabs the side of her neck, she's still
smiling like the sun, and they kiss. Quick. A
He pulls back, never taking his hands off her neck.
She never stops smiling. They stare at each other.... Donna can't stop smiling....
Then they move towards each other as the singer starts
They touch kips very softly but very intenselty. Pull
back a little. Dip in again. Pull back. And finally a
Then we cut to the shot where we're looking in from
the hall and the door is closing and they're still
Then we see Matt coming up the hall with Bram and
Ronna shouting for Josh. He's jubilant. They all are.
He pushes the door open. We see that Josh and Donna
have pulled apart. Josh is running his hand through
Matt asks if they're kidding him about the numbers and
Josh says no.
Matt hugs him. Then Josh hugs Bram... and the whole staff pours in to start
...cut to titles.
Ronna telling Josh and Donna what they've set up in CA
so far as they walk along with Santos speaking in the
Bram joins them, says they have a lot of new friends
Bram says Bono called. Ronna and Donna become giddy.
They want details. Bram says Bono wants to meet them
in NY on Fri. Donna says do it. Bram points out that
with the schedule change they won't be in NY on
Friday. Ronna says change the schedule....
As they walk Donna tells Josh there's a press avail on
the tarmac in SD and he needs to be available all day
for phone interviews....
...they stop walking and turn towards each other and
they're standing very close and he leans back a little
and smiles at her... Josh slowly takes off his shades....
He's silent. Staring at her. Obviously has something
to say. She takes a few steps back towards him. He
lowers his voice, stumbles over his words.
um....I'm sorry uh....about this morning it
was....inappropriate. (both eyebrows raised) Donna tells
him not to worry about it. He says it was totally
inappropriate and he feels terrible....
She tells him not to worry. He apologizes again. She
says it was bound to happen....
Cut to Jed and Debbie in the Oval.
She's trying to get him to look at sketches. I assume
for his presidential portrait. She's been trying to
get him to look at them for days apparently. He's been
dealing with an impending war and a nuclear accident
so he's been a little busy. She thinks he's just been
avoiding it and it makes it look like she isn't doing
her job. They look at the sketches. They talk about
the choice to go with no cane. He says it was the
artist's choice, not his. He decides not to decide and
tells her get the Nuclear Regulatory Commissioner on
... someone... tells CJ
Josh is on line two.
She picks up the phone. He asks if he called her or
she called him. She says she thinks she called him.
Says he must be feeling good today....
Josh says "this must be what your first smack high
feels like" and we cut to a view of Donna through his
CJ says she hopes it isn't followed by an ugly crash
and years of rehab and he tells her nothing could ruin
his good mood today but nice try. He says they need
someone to brief them on K-stan. She says how about
the pres. She tells him the pres wants to see the
candidates tonight. He can't believe it. Tells her
this is the first time in the race they're not behind
and they're heading to CA and pulling Santos off the
trail is stupid and they may win Vinick's home state.
She tells him Vinick is coming and asks if Josh wants
the press covering him in the Oval alone with the
He tells her he likes her less and less....
Cut to Vinick's plane
Sheila is telling Bruno and Jimmy James the pres wants
to see the candidates tonight. Vinick wants to go to
CA and they say they're not. Instead they're heading
south. Bruno hates that idea. JJ still wants a media
buy. Bruno says they're saving money for a huge buy
the day before the election. Bruno tells Sheila he
feels uncomfortable about Ray Sullivan's influence
here. Sheila says Ray is just blowing off steam and
assures Bruno no one blames him for this downturn. He
says he doesn't care if he's getting blamed, he just
doesn't want to get shut out....
Cut to Will, Kate and CJ in CJ's office. She's telling
them they are going to coordinate on a briefing and
talking points on K-stan for the campaigns. They're
predictably awkward. CJ asks what's going on and they
say nothing as unconvincingly as a 5 yr old who just
broke the lamp.
CJ says she feels like the heroine of the movie who
doesn't know there's a guy with an ax behind the
Kate says sometimes people feel that way when it's
Kate and Will beat a hasty retreat and Will opines
they are very bad at this clandestine relationship
Cut to Santos rally.
Ronna tells Josh that Joey is working on the new
language. She's gonna meet up with them in CA. Leo is
going ahead tonight to get started. The rest of the
staff will go straight from the WH. Josh suggests they
try to get Helen to CA too.
Josh spots Donna and walks over to her. They walk and
talk while he tells her she has to get on a plane and
liase with the WH. She says Lou told her and she's on
her way but she wanted to tell him about a rumor she
heard first. They stop momentarily at the press center
(? Lots of computers) and Josh looks at something on a
clipboard. Donna tells him she heard the rumor from a
guy at the Sacramento Bee....
They start to walk again. Josh asks about the rumor.
Donna says at first they thought it was allergies
because Vinick has a mold sensitivity and the carpets
on the plane are really old.....
Josh tells her now she's wandering....
She says sorry. She stops in her tracks and says they
think he has a cold.
Josh turns and looks at her with rapture in his eyes
and asks "Vinick?"
She says yes, He is giddy. "Oh my Lord. A cold???"
(ed note: there are more scenes in the entry on the Josh/Donna Discussion Group on Yahoo before the end of Act 2 plus descriptions of the rest of the episode)
- February 27, 2006 - A copy of "The Cold" is "out there".
- It seems to have been given out to the press during a recent Press Tour. Pieces have been uploaded but the links haven't worked for long since it is a copyright infringement to publish it. But some people have seen the whole episode and are describing it. We hope to publish some of these and give links to the rest. Again much information is coming from the Josh/Donna Discussion Group on Yahoo and anyone interested may want to join that group.
- February 26, 2006 - NBC has listed this caption for an image:
- "'THE WEST WING' -- NBC Series -- 'Requiem' -- Pictured: Bradley Whitford as Josh Lyman, Jon Bon Jovi as himself, Jimmy Smits as Matthew Santos
Airdate: Sunday, March 19 on NBC (8-9 p.m. ET)"
- February 21, 2006 - Shelley S.... posted info at the Josh/Donna Discussion Group on Yahoo (This group seems to have a lot going on at the moment and we recommend that if you are interested, you join them to get the information straight from the source as there is a lot more there that we haven't published):
- Here's a breakdown of everything we have on the
Election eps so far....
- Election Day Part 1
- pages 38-39
- Bruno is moving his watch from one arm to the other.
Explains it's one of his election day superstitions to
the amusement of a Vinick staffer.
- Annabeth walks down the hall of the Houston hotel
serving as Santos HQ. She looks tired. She runs into
Lou who is dragging a dry erase board along with her.
Lou says the guys in the war room suggested she might
need to take a break but she can't go anywhere without
- Lou asks if they just got there and Annabeth says yes
and that Leo is upstairs freshening up.
- They talk about the possibility of needing a third
speech in addition to victory and concession. I assume
they're eluding to the race being so close they might
need some sort of no decision yet speech.
- cut to Santos War Room
- Josh , Ronna Edie and Teddy watching Vinick make last
minute campaign appearances in CA. They weren't on his
- Josh says he should have had Matt in CA today.
- pgs 58-60
- Charlie and CJ watching election results. She is
trying to push some work off (she suggests till after
Christmas) but Charlie is insistent it has to be done
next week. Cute dialog. He tells her he can see her
next position as being world domination. Says he'd
like to keep working for her after they leave the WH.
She tells him to go ahead and pack up some files for
her to take home.
- Cut to Interior Houston Hotel Corridor
- Annabeth approaches Leo's room
- She asks the Secret Service agents if everything is ok
and they say it's all quiet. She knocks on the door,
says she's sure Leo wants to be downstairs for the
excitement. No answer. She asks the agents to let her
in. Says she's not a danger, They tease back that she
is. There's a note about how much the agents like
- Annabeth enters the room. Then a scream. She screams
again for someone to help Leo.
- Cuts to Santos War Room
- VO from announcer on tv that Santos won PA
- Donna is looking for Josh. Concerned. He's standing
quietly in the middle of all the celebrating staffers.
Donna approaches. She's watching him, He tells her he
talked to his mother today. All her friends are
predicting the outcome and she keeps reporting the
news back to him. He is talking electoral math. Second
guessing himself. Donna reassures him that tough
choices had to be made. The script makes it a point to
mention they are like a little sea of calm in the
middle of all the chaos.
- This is actually a really sweet scene. They're
connecting and interacting on both a personal and
professional level. Donna is looking out for him and
he is feeding off her support. He says something has
been wrong with the math all day and he's trying to
figure it out.
- That's all we have for part 1.
- Election Day part 2
- pages 7-9 Teaser
- Josh is in a meeting with Santos' speechwriters about
changing the language in the victory speech. He is
BORED Apparently Donna had promised to rescue him
after two minutes. He stares at door. Still no Donna.
The stage direction actually says kill me now.
- Cut to Santos motorcade
- Bram, Helen and Matt. Bram is telling the congressman
there will be no rope line or press. No one talks to
him till the speech later. Phone rings, It's Josh. He
asks to talk to the Congressman.
- Josh talks to Matt about the language in speech.
Apparently there are too many mentions of sunshine and
light and not enough of burden sharing. Matt points
out it might be best to wait a few hours (till the
results are in) before they really worry about it.
- Down the hallway Donna steps out of a room. She is
shaken, ashen. Josh calls to her.
- He teases her about not saving him. Asks where she
was. As she gets closer he can tell something is
wrong. There is a feeling of rising dread.
- He asks what's wrong. Is it about the campaign. OH?
- She is unable to speak to answer him and the dread
- We won? We lost? We need a good lawyer?
- Tears pool in Donna's eyes.
- She tells him Leo was found unconscious and not
breathing and has been taken to the hospital..
- Smash cut to titles. End of Teaser.
- pg 16
- Interior Methodist Hospital elevator.
- Josh and Donna ride in silence. He is staring at the
floor numbers as they go up. Donna is watching him.
The stage direction says the wait is excruciating.
- The Muzak plays either Hey Jude or Norwegian Wood.
- Cut to shot of exterior of bank of elevators. One
opens. Josh flies out. Donna follows.
- CICU night.
- After visiting hours, the place is mostly empty.
Across the "vast expanse" we see a sea of Secret
Service agents in blue and black and one small blonde
colorfully dressed person sitting in the middle.
- Josh approaches Annabeth has been crying. Mascara
running. He knows by looking at her.
- The stage direction says that time refuses to stop,
reverse or change.
- He reaches Annabeth. She tells him Leo is dead.
- Cut to Santos War Room
- Subdued. Word of the heart attack had gotten out.
They're still carefully tracking results though.
- Lou is handling the math now that Josh is gone. They
- pg 17
- Lou, Edie, Bram and Ronna talking electoral math.
- Phone rings. Bram answers.
It's Josh. He wants to talk to Matt.
- Cut to Matt and Helen in their suite.
- We see Matt's face as Josh tells him the news.
- Cut to Oval Office
- Jed is talking to Abbey on the phone. They don't know
much. He's flying out to Houston tonight. He thinks
Mallory was already there for the election night
- CJ enters.
- Jed says- Can you hang on honey. Puts Abbey on hold.
- Jed stares at CJ sadly.
- page 28
- Sheila and Vinick discuss how to handle the news of
Leo's death, They don't want to appear to be taking
advantage of it, Vinick says he knew Leo for 20 years
and doesn't want to use his death as a step stool.
They're afraid of backlash.
- CA is neck and neck. TX is too close to call.
- Cut to Santos War Room
- Santos staff with dry erase board starting to get
- Lots still too close to call
- pg 29
- Lou and Edie. Lou is worried about the speeches. Edie
is doing the electoral math, Ronna is trying to help
where she can.
- pg 30
- Lou and Edie and some of the Santos crew discussing
why the VP choice is so important in the first place.
Because of what it says about the presidential
candidate. What does Matt picking Leo say? That he's
the most optimistic person on the planet.
- Cut to
Matt and Helen in their suite. Matt on the phone with
a Sen offering his services as VP in case of a win.
The body isn't even cold yet. Matt and Helen seem
- pg 43
- Matt, Helen Bram et al celebrating winning TX. They
are dancing around singing Deep In The Heart of Texas.
- Donna is not singing. She's looking around, asking
where Josh is. No one knows.
- Empty corridor, Elevator door opens. Donna emerges.
Makes her way to Leo's suite door which is still
guarded by Secret Service agents, Asks if they've seen
Josh. One agent points inside.
- She enters and calls for Josh. Another agent points to
the bedroom. She enters and finds Josh sitting on the
foot of the bed.
- Through Donna's eyes we see the "litter" from the
paramedic's work, an open suitcase, papers and glasses
on the night table, and "most poignantly" Leo's shoes
next to bed where he kicked them off when he laid down
- Josh says he called housekeeping so Mallory wouldn't
have to see all the medical litter when she arrives.
- Donna says they won TX
- Josh smiles, genuinely happy, But distant. It's
"someone else's good news now",
- Donna says CA would put us over the top.
- Josh smiles but says nothing.
- She tells him he did a remarkable thing. An
extraordinary thing win or lose.
- Josh says he talked him into joining the ticket.
- Donna says no one ever talked Leo McGarry into
anything he didn't want to do.
- Josh wants to believe her
- Donna says he'd want you upstairs.
- Josh doesn't move.
- Donna says He was so proud of you, Josh.
- Cut to Vinick HQ. It's quiet in contrast to Santos'
- Vinick says if he loses CA it's time to pack it in...
- February 20, 2006 (2nd post)- Also at the Josh/Donna Yahoo Talk Group someone posted a link to the actual promo:
- Go to the bottom of this page to the links for "The Cold"
- February 20, 2006 (1st post)- A promo was shown on NBC and someone has posted still screen caps. We discovered this through the Josh/Donna Discussion Group at Yahoo. There is more info there including a link to the full promo if you want to join:
- Promo 1
- February 16, 2006 - "mgoshawk" posted on Television Without Pity's West Wing Forum a link to Military.com which reported:
- "LOS ANGELES Air Force BASE, Calif. - Seven of the base's elite took part in the filming of a primetime network drama Feb. 9 at a local church.
"The Los Angeles Air Force Base Honor Guard supported a request from NBC's 'The West Wing' for an Air Force presence in a television episode featuring the funeral of the series' White House chief of staff....
"The day's production came on the heels of the real life death Dec. 16 of the actor, John Spencer, who played the character.
"'John's character was previously established as an Air Force veteran, and after his unfortunate death, we asked ourselves how could we integrate this into the show,' said Michael Hissrich, the show's producer. 'We wanted to incorporate the Air Force into his (funeral) service....'
"As part of the funeral procession, the honor guard interacted with actors Martin Sheen, Jimmy Smits and Bradley Whitford. Also, the producer said they went back and asked significant players of the series throughout the years, such as Stockard Channing, to be part of 'Leo's Funeral.'
"The show will air April 16."
- February 16, 2006 - "Lizabeth" posted on Television Without Pity's West Wing Forum about Bradley Whitford's talk at American University:
- "Basically tonight at BW's talk at American he confirmed that there were two scenes...
- He said (in response to someone's question about Leo) that they had filmed a funeral, loosely quoted, 'I was a pallbearer at John's funeral, and then one at Leo's funeral.' He also said something about a hospital scene when finding out about Leo.
- In response to the Josh and Donna question, instead of saying something flat out he told a story of how he got home from work and called his mom. She asked how his day was and he said, 'I spent the day naked in bed with a beautiful woman.' Then he winked at the crowd....
- February 13, 2006 - "pumpkinpatch" summarized on Television Without Pity's West Wing Forum information from the Yahoo Josh/Donna Talk Group:
- A brief J/D summary for "The Cold."
Donna and some other Santos staffers are huddled around a computer, watching the latest polling numbers come in from The New York Times tracking. The news is good: Santos and Vinick are tied nationally, but the most interesting state their tied in is California. (Remember this is in the wake of the nuclear reactor incident.) Bram and Donna go running through the hotel, knocking on doors to tell other Santos workers the fabulous news.
- Donna gets to Josh's room, and he answers the door all rumpled and delicious looking. When she shares the news with him, his face is filled with joy. He holds her head in his hands and plants one on her. It's more of a kiss born out of excitement rather than passion. However, when they break that kiss, they stare at each other for a moment then start kissing more passionately. The door shuts behind them and they're still kissing. Santos interrupts them, but he apparently doesn't catch them in this compromising position.
- They share a few awkward scenes together throughout the episode. At some point, Josh apologizes for "this morning." Donna tells him not to worry about it and "it was bound to happen eventually." She shifts back to Professional Donna and walks away, leaving Josh with a hurt expression.
- There are two scenes when Donna talks to her friends about Josh. The first is when Donna approaches Will, asking him if it would've been inappropriate for them to date while she was working on the Russell campaign. Will says it wouldn't have been inappropriate and that she should go for it. The next one, she talks to CJ. Donna gets all flustered when Josh's name comes up. CJ asks if the "Josh Thing" has happened. Donna says not really, and CJ should be concentrating on more important issues. CJ responds by saying she's grateful to think of something nice for a change.
- At the end of the episode, Donna and some staffers are at the outdoor bar at the hotel. Donna puts her card key into an envelope with her room number on it. When Josh joins the gang, Donna slides the key toward him so only he can see it, then she leaves. Ronna notices that Donna forgot her key. Josh says not to worry about it, but some other woman announces she's heading up, so she'll take the key to Donna. When she catches up with Donna in the lobby, Donna looks back at the table to see Josh's sad expression.
- January 28, 2006 -
Wayne LeGette sent us a link to an article from SouthFlorida.com's TV and Radio Writer Tom Jicha January 28, 2006
- "...The West Wing had five episodes in the can when it broke for Christmas. Spencer was a pivotal figure in three of them....
"Spencer's character, Leo McGarry, will die in the series in the same way the actor did, from a sudden fatal heart attack in an episode tentatively scheduled for April 2. However, this created problems peculiar to The West Wing. Leo, the former White House chief of staff, had been tapped as the running mate for Matt Santos, the Democratic presidential candidate played by Jimmy Smits, and his death comes five days before the election.
"Wells had to hit the books to find out how a real-life situation such as this would be handled. "We discovered, sort of surprisingly, that there really is no Constitutional provision for how to deal with the death of a vice presidential candidate during the electoral cycle. If it happens early enough when the ballots can be reprinted, the party can name another candidate."
"An example of this came in 1972, when Thomas Eagleton withdrew as George McGovern's running mate. However, a death as close to Election Day as Leo's throws the situation into flux. "All of the people we talked to said the wisest thing for a candidate to do would probably be to either indicate who they want to replace [the deceased] or just go silent on the issue."
"...The West Wing, which normally airs on Sunday nights, will be pre-empted for about a month because of the Super Bowl and Olympics. Since this will leave more than a month of original episodes between the election of Bartlet's successor on April 9 and the series finale May 14, is this a hint that Santos wins? The new president has finally been decided, but Wells wouldn't bite on that.
"We've spent the entire year going back and forth on that question, hearing from people passionate on one side or the other [Santos' opponent is Republican Arnold Vinick, played by Alan Alda]. Only in the last couple of days have we made that decision, which, of course, we won't share with you, because it would be no fun. But it really is something we've been struggling with because we have passionate advocates for both candidates in the writers' room. It's been quite a brawl we had."
- January 26, 2006 (2nd) - David Lomazoff sent us this from TV Guide's Ask Ausiello:
- Question: What are the chances that The West Wing will end as great as it began? BTW, you crazy in a good way! — Emma
Ausiello: Considering John Wells told me exactly how the show will end, I'll let you be the judge. "The last scene will either be the new president entering the oval office or it will be Bartlet on Air Force One heading back to New Hampshire, standing up from behind the desk, coming around and sitting on the sofa next to Abbey. We'll shoot them both and one of them will be the next-to-last scene and one will be the last scene. But until we put it together, we won't know which one works best." Personally, I pick Bartlet on the plane. What do you guys think?"
Question: Any truth to the rumors of a possible Rob Lowe appearance in
the West Wing finale? — John
Ausiello: John Wells confirmed that an offer is out to him, so the proverbial ball is in his court."
- January 26, 2006 (1st) - "Vladimir" posted on Television Without Pity's West Wing Forum:
- "According to various media articles and a few calculations, I have a pretty solid view of how the schedule will work out for the remainder of the season/series:"
Mar. 12 - Return from hiatus with #13 "The Cold" (According to nbc.com)
From the week we return, we get the rest of the season's episodes uninterrupted:
Mar. 19 - #14 "Two Weeks Out"
Mar. 26 - #15 "Welcome To Wherever You Are"
Apr. 2 - #16, "Election Day", which will be part 1 of the election episode that also features the death of Leo
Apr. 9 - #17, Which is part 2 (when we will figure out, for sure, who wins the election)
Apr. 16 - #18, Which will include the funeral/memorial (possibly filmed in D.C.) for Leo
Apr. 23 - #19
Apr. 30 - #20
May 7 - #21
May 14 - #22, which, as J. Wells has said, will include the inauguration (and, I'm assuming, intertwined with flash-forwards to the library dedication); preceded by a one-hour retrospective.
- January 25, 2006 - "Pop Culture Freak" re-posted on Television Without Pity's West Wing Forum information from TV Guide's Ask Ausiello:
- "Question: So, now that The West Wing is coming to an end, is there any hope for us Josh and Donna fans, or will John Wells exile them to the planet of Unresolved Sexual Tension? — Katherine
Ausiello: How much do I love you guys? So much that this was the first question I asked John Wells when I tackled him Sunday following NBC's West Wing session at press tour. I think you'll like his answer: 'One of the great things when you know the show is ending [is that] you can actually do stuff that you probably wouldn't do if you thought the show was continuing.' You like his answer, don't you? I knew it."
- January 23, 2006 (3rd)- Jared Paventi sent us a link to The Washington Post TV Column by By Lisa de Moraes which states:
- "NBC's fantasy White House drama "The West Wing" will end its seven-season run on May 14 with the inauguration of the new president, executive producer John Wells told television critics Sunday.
"The election will be covered on April 2 and 9 and viewers will know by the end of the latter episode whether the presidential candidate played by Jimmy Smits or Alan Alda won the election -- a decision the producers "have only really in the last couple days made," at the end of "quite a brawl," Wells told critics at the very last session of Winter TV Press Tour 2006....
"Scrambling to deal with the reality of the actor's death, Wells said, the producers discovered there is no real provision for dealing with the death of a vice presidential candidate on the eve of an election."
- January 23, 2006 (2nd)- David Lomazoff sent us this from TV Guide - Monday, January 23, 2006 by Matt Webb Mitovich:
- WING HAS NO PRAYER: As Michael Ausiello first reported on Sunday, NBC has announced that The West Wing will air its final episode on May 14, not long after the show's presidential election is settled and Jed Bartlet's successor is named. Producers have revealed that the swan song, to be preceded that night by an hourlong retrospective, may feature the return of original cast member Rob Lowe, but not of series creator Aaron Sorkin.
- January 23, 2006 (1st)- Los Angeles Times: By Maria Elena Fernandez, Times Staff Writer:
- "Since the new year, Wells has been writing the two-part episode in which Leo will die of a heart attack. The cantankerous politician with a soft side and a sense of humor survived a heart attack last season, an illness Wells said he would have never written for the character had they known Spencer would be prone to it. The episode in which Leo dies, five days before the election, will air on April 2, Wells said."
- January 22, 2006 - Robb Vaules and David Camerlinck sent us this news item which states:
- "PASADENA, Calif. - The new president on 'The West Wing' will be a real short-timer: NBC announced Sunday it was pulling the plug on the Emmy-winning political drama after seven seasons in May....
"The series finale will be May 14, preceded by a one-hour retrospective. The campaign to replace the fictional Josiah Bartlet as president will be settled, NBC said.
"Producers Aaron Sorkin and Thomas Schlamme, who created the show and guided it through its early years, will not be involved in the finale, Reilly said."
- January 21, 2006 - David Lomazoff sent us this from TV Guide's Ask Ausiello:
- Question: You said Aaron Sorkin may be back to write one of the final West Wing episodes. Any word on this yet? And does that mean that this is definitely the show's final season? — Sarah
Ausiello: There's a West Wing session at press tour on Sunday, so I'm sure all of those questions will be answered at that time.
- January 7, 2006 - "LondonTina" posted on Television Without Pity's West Wing Forum January 6, 2006:
- From today's NY Post TV Page:
"As the first new episode of 'West Wing' since the death of John
Spencer gets ready to air Sunday night, word is that Aaron Sorkin is preparing to return to the show he created later this season. Looks like Sorkin is going to write an 'RIP Leo' episode."
- December 16, 2005 - We learned from our viewers that John Spencer, who plays Leo McGarry, died today. It was this particular character as well as the writing of the series that drew us first to this series and we find this news sad and depressing and we are sure it will require a major change in the series. More information is on our news page.
- December 12, 2005 - "barmyarmy" posted on Television Without Pity's West Wing Forum:
- #15: Welcome To Wherever You Are
- We start on page 8 with Josh talking on the phone with Toby. Josh is obviously at a campaign event as he is multi-tasking staff while continuing to talk with Toby. Lou asks Josh if he saw the Pennsylvania numbers which he starts to answer whilst Toby tells him he needs to think about Miami Dade voter registration. Josh accuses Toby of being a 'killjoy and doorstep darkener', in what sounds like the sort of friendly banter we used to get between them. Toby starts to try and talk about Miami-Dade but Josh asks him to hold as Otto is approaching with an armful of documents. They do a quick Otto giving Josh what he wants before he finishes asking for it routine and then Josh switches his attention back to Toby as he wanders over to watch the end of the Santos Q&A session. The side then splits between Josh and Toby talking on the phone (mostly blacked out) and Santos answering questions. We learn from the first reporter that Santos is now even in the polls with Vinick. Asked about his chances Santos doesn't directly answer the question but instead comments on what a good turnout it is for a 7am rally. Toby says Miami-Dade again to Josh, who complains that it's pretty loud where he is and hard to hear what Toby's saying. Toby cuts him off by saying that Santos is down two in Florida, he starts to say 'if Latino...' but Josh cuts him off this time with 'I'm on it, for the love of God.' The Santos Q&A is still continuing, in response to a question about how many states they're hitting today Santos cracks that he thinks Josh is shooting for all 50. Josh looks a bit surprised at the fact everyone is looking at him and laughing but continues his conversation with Toby.
- He asks if Toby has another meeting today which Toby confirms. Josh suggests dinner but Toby isn't sure. Josh tells him to let him know how the hearing goes and then hang up. As he does Josh motions to Donna to wrap up the Q&A. She tells the reporters 'ok, one more' which turns out to be a question about the game between Philly and New York. Santos again ducks the question in true candidate-style when asked who he fancies to win observing that they both have strong teams and it should be a great game. He exits with Josh and Donna.
- Three pages later and we get the end of a scene between Alana and Toby. They're going to the hearing Toby and Josh were discussing. Alana points out that there's a reason why the US attorney keeps asking them down there but Toby thinks that the reason is because he has a certain charm. We cut to the Santos campaign bus.
- In Santos's cabin are Lou, watching Vinick TV spots on her laptop, Josh, on the phone and Teddy Wallace, who seems to be an election day coordinator of some sort, and is watching Leo on the TV screen
Josh is asking for Sullivan's schedule and Lou is adding her own snark to the TV spots, 'Arnold Vinick is a seasoned leader with vision, experience...a hearing aid and a pair of bifocals,' when Santos enters and greets Wallace. Wallace begins to thank Santos but is interrupted by Josh who thanks him instead (Wallace not Santos).
- Santos asks Wallace if he got to meet Bon Jovi but before he can respond Lou and Josh have launched into a conversation. Josh confirms to Lou that Bon Jovi is stumping with them today and that yes, it really is Jon Bon Jovi. He points out that Stevie Wonder opened for them last night. The next bit is very hard to read but I'm going for the following from Lou: 'I'm a Jersey girl Joshua. Muscle T's, Camaros, a little Slippery When Wet.' Josh confirms that the latter is indeed an album title.
By this point Santos is keen to get on with his meeting with Wallace. Lou turns back to the TV and Wallace begins by saying that he wants to run Santos through the election day turnout operation. He's cut off again however, this time by Lou who has been watching the ad spot. She's complains that the Vinick campaign stole their slogan which would appear to be 'Yes America Can.' Bram conveniently walks in just as this is being replayed by Lou and asks if that wasn't in fact the Santos slogan the Vinick campaign are now using. Lou is on it and picks up the phone.
- Back to Wallace, who is still being distracted by the other goings-on. As Santos asks him to continue, Bram and Josh start talking to each other about the fact Josh has seven copies of Vinick's schedule but still none of Sullivan's. Lou asks Bram to get Otto, which he does by leaning through the curtain and shouting his name. Lou sarcastically thanks him. Santos advises Wallace to keep (or start) talking. Josh sends Bram off to get the schedule he wants and Lou is back on the phone asking for Edie. Santos, 'Election day turnout?' In the background (foreground) Lou is asking Edie for copies of the Vinick ad. Wallace replies to Santos that there will be 10,000 volunteers on election day. Santos wants to know if this is across the country. Lou to Edie, 'Oh we're definitely going to nail him.' Otto enters with the latest polls and hands them to Lou who passes them on to Josh. Into the phone she asks Edie to hold and then tells Otto that she needs him to call Reuters (I'm not 100% about what this one says). According to Wallace there aren't 10,000 volunteers in total but 10,000 in every battleground city plus an extra 5000 in Boston, New York. He stops as Josh says 'hold on' but it turns out that Josh was talking to Otto. Santos takes the opportunity to ask if they are concerned about the inner city. Wallace starts to answer but Josh isn't concerned and cuts him off again telling him to talk about Latino turnout. Back to Wallace, 'we're a little concerned about Latino turnout.' Josh is still multi-tasking telling Otto that he wants more detail on Colorado and Arizona and telling Santos that Miami-Dade registration numbers are only up 2% from 4 years ago. Lou finishes her call with Edie and hangs up the phone. In response to a question from Santos about Miami-Dade she corrects him to say that it is 62 not 60% Latino. She then confirms to Josh that Edie is sending tapes to AP, Reuters, CNN and Fox. Josh tells her to keep Donna in the loop and she exits.
- The main concern seems to be that Miami is indicative of Latino turnout across the country. Everyone realises how important this is and Santos wonders what he's meant to do to remind voters that he's Latino. He takes a list handed to him by Wallace of what he assumes to be Florida's ineligible ex-cons and questions whether they can really afford to champion felon voting. Lou re-enters to ask Josh if he's seen her phone which he points out is in her hand. She starts to exit again straight into Otto who is bringing Josh the papers he wanted. Not surprisingly papers go everywhere. Wallace tells Santos that this isn't about Felon voting but instead about people who have cleared parole and are entitled to vote under Florida state law. Santos correctly surmises that most of the names on the list are Latino. Donna enters to say that Santos has the Times Tribune call waiting.
Back to the voting discussion and Santos ascertains that they think the governor is stacking the list. Everyone realises how explosive this accusation would be 5 days before the election. They all know it can't come from Santos. Wallace and Josh intimate that it could come from Helen though when she addresses the MANA (A National Latina Organization, formerly Mexican American National Association) rally in Miami. Santos looks sceptical as Bram enters to remind everyone that Santos is still late for the Times Tribune call. He (Santos) asks why Ruiz or Hinajosa can't give the speech. Josh and Wallace both point out that they won't get the media without Helen speaking and they want to make a bang. Santos observes that his blond wife lecturing the national organisation of Latinos will certainly be a bang. He's not happy and reaches for Donna's phone as we cut to Toby and Alana.
- We're in a conference room in the federal courthouse. The junior prosecutors are already sitting and waiting for Peter Blake, the US attorney for DC. He greets Toby and Alana and apologises for keeping them waiting. Toby observes that he doesn't look very sorry. He asks Blake if he knows a 5-letter word for blowhard but Alana indicates to Toby that now perhaps isn't the time. Back to Blake who expresses the hope that although he knows how much they both enjoy the sessions he was hoping to keep this one brief. He tells Toby that there is a deal on the table: if Toby will disclose his source of information Blake will get the sentence knocked down from 6 years to 1 year. Toby wonders why Blake thinks he'll accept now when he refused the last 5 times. Blake thinks he will this time and gets one of the lawyers to hand a document to Alana which he tells Toby is a second indictment for obstruction of justice. He confirms that in addition to re-indicting Toby 4 days before the election he will subpoena CJ, Leo and the President. Alana angrily interjects that this will make it look like a White House cover-up. As far as Blake is concerned he's seen no evidence to suggest otherwise. Toby asks if Blake really wants to be responsible for tanking a national election over this but Blake tells him that it's not him doing it but Toby. As Blake starts to leave he tells Toby that the 5-letter word he was looking at for blowhard is 'storm'. The camera pans back to Toby and end of Act 1.
- 24 pages later and we're in Andy's house. It's 5pm. The doorbell rings and Andy, dressed as a witch, answers it to Toby as welcomes him in. She observes that he's not wearing a Halloween costume to which Toby responds that he was considering going as Julias Rosenberg. A note says that this wins a smirk from Andy. Enter Huck, dressed in an Orioles baseball outfit. He says hi to Toby and tells him that he's a baseball player. Toby says that 'he can see that.' As Huck exits Toby demands to know from Andy what happened to all the Yankee gear he bought him. Apparently he likes the little bird according to the Andy. Enter Molly, also dressed as an Orioles player. She says 'hi daddy' to Toby and he picks her up looks at her kit and then at Andy. 'She likes what he likes' according to Andy. (There's nothing in the script but it seems to me that this is upsetting Toby far more than his trial).
- Andy asks if Toby wants to take the kids first. He tells her to go ahead. She starts to say, 'sorry but if there's press...' but Toby cuts her off. She takes Molly, walks into the other room and calls to Huck. On the television Santos is giving a live statement. He says that although he realises this is a matter of state law he considers it imprudent and unreasonable...
- We cut to Santos at Cincinnati international airport and hear the rest of the sentence, '...for us to deny a political voice to people who have made an effort to rehabilitate themselves.' The reporter asks Santos whether he would let all criminals vote. Santos clarifies that he's not in favour of that but he does feel that once non-violent offenders have served their time they should be welcomed back into society. Donna asks the reporters to wrap it up and Santos gets another question about who he fancies in the game this weekend. Unfortunately he gives the same answer as before about New York and Philly being well matched before Donna whispers to him that they are in Ohio at that moment in time. Santos, 'go Buckeyes'. Him and Donna exit back onto the campaign jet.
- 12 pages later and Santos is on the phone trying to convince someone that he is indeed who he claims to be. He tells them to switch on CNN and he'll wave. He asks them to find the Vice President for him.
- Cut back to the Federal Courthouse. It's 7.45pm on Halloween. Blake enters wearing casual clothes and wishes them a happy Halloween. Alana apologises for pulling him away from his kids to which Blake wonders if she could explain that to his wife. He assumes that they did pull him in here for a reason. There is an exchange of glances between Toby and Alana before Alana slides a piece of paper to Blake. Blake, 'your brother?' He thinks this is rather too convenient and wonders how Toby was planning on getting David to testify to the grand jury. Toby responds that he's given Blake what he wanted. Blake is unhappy. He asks how long it took Toby and CJ to come up with it. Toby starts to disagree but Blake doesn't let him finish.
CJ's got a problem, he tells Toby, as she was the one who told him about the shuttle. She told Toby when he didn't have clearance to know. Therefore CJ and Toby made up a story to cover for her screw-up. He refers to the deposition given to Babish. Toby counters that CJ asked him a hypothetical. Blake still isn't impressed. He tells Toby that he better not have left a crying 6 year old in a Dorothy outfit to hear this.
- We cut to Lou, Josh and Donna on the campaign bus.
- 4 pages later Santos and Helen appear to be trick or treating. Helen is arguing with her husband telling him that if he didn't want her to open her mouth he shouldn't have sent her up there in the first place. The door is opened by a lovely couple with a tray of caramel apples. Peter Santos (their 9-year old son) takes one look at the apples and is sick off-screen. 'Perfect' says Helen as the cameras flash and she tries to tend to him. Cut back to Blake and Toby. This time it's 8.15. Blake is grilling Toby.
They're not making much headway it seems, Blake is insisting he knew about the shuttle from CJ and Toby is insisting he did from his brother. A note says that they're at a standoff. There's a long pause.
- Toby decides to try some psychological warfare of his own. He tells Blake that he's clearly a pretty ambitious guy and a democrat too. Blake isn't sure where he's going with this and tells him they'll meet again at 9am in the morning. When you sit down with the DNC chair in two years, speculates Toby, do you think he'll be interested in your Rhodes Scholarship, your performance on law review? Blake again tries to leave. Toby tells him, 'go ahead. Indict me. Indict me again and keep on investigating...you're gone get the same story.' He tells Blake that the reason he came in tonight is because he didn't want people knowing his kids as the ones whose dad brought down a presidential election. Now though, he thinks that it won't be his kids' who's get that it'll be Blake's. Another long pause and we cut to the campaign plane.
- That's all. I make that about 25%.
- December 11, 2005 (3rd)- "marydoe27" posted on Television Without Pity's West Wing Forum a link to new sides for episode 15: Welcome To Wherever You Are
- They can be read for free here.
- December 11, 2005 (2nd)- "katscar" posted on Television Without Pity's West Wing Forum
- "There's a new side out for episode fourteen. The title is for 'Famous Athlete' and the side is for an athlete who introduces Vinick and when he shakes his hand, breaks a bone in Vinick's hand. After the break, Vinick meets with a Dr. Brody in his car, and Brody agrees to realign the bone and give him a cast he can take off in public (Vinick doesn't want to look like an old man falling apart on the campaign trail). At the end of the side, the athlete introduces Santos, and he takes the stage 'effortlessly' shaking hands and such."
- December 11, 2005 (1st)- "westwinger247" posted on Television Without Pity's West Wing Forum a link to new sides for episode 15: Welcome To Wherever You Are
- New Sides are out for episode 15 - "Welcome To Wherever You Are." And the two sides out? Huck and Molly
It's an adorable scene. Toby arrives (it's Halloween) at Andy's house. Both kids are dressed as Orioles baseball players.
At the end of Molly's sides there's a brief blurb about the campaign. It mentions Santos and Donna standing under umbrellas by a bus (if I remember correctly).
- December 4, 2005 - "HungryHippo2004" posted on Television Without Pity's West Wing Forum information from Aint-it-cool.com big spoilers about the future of the Vinick campaign from "MrSparkles" (there is much more information at http://www.aintitcool.com/display.cgi?id=21956):
- November 29, 2005 - "westwinger247" posted on Television Without Pity's West Wing Forum
- "Sides are out for Episode 14 'Two Weeks Out.' Nothing on episode 13."
- November 28, 2005 (2nd post) - "lexuslouise" posted on Television Without Pity's West Wing Forum
- "According to the preview on television for next Sunday, Toby and Josh will have a 'talk.'"
- November 28, 2005 (1st post) - "Silast" posted on Television Without Pity's West Wing Forum some lines between Josh and Donna from
- "episode 7-12 (Duck and Cover) in which a nuclear plant in S. California goes into meltdown (or damn close to it)... and one set of lines:
(in reference to doing a Rock the Vote Q&A)
Josh: I can't believe I got talked into this.
Donna: It was your idea.
Josh: You know, over the years. (Josh is cut off by Bram walking in)
- November 8, 2005 - from TV Guide's Ask Ausiello
- Question: "Any poop on The West Wing? — Simon"
Ausiello: "We're going to meet more of Santos' family (children, brother etc.) in Episode 10, tentatively slated to air Jan. 8. The following week, Timothy Busfield returns to go on a date with his future wife, CJ."
- November 7, 2005 - "pumpkinsooner" posted on Television Without Pity's West Wing Forum
- Spoilers from #712 "Duck and Cover":
- Time cards says 'Wednesday Night, 9:17 pm'. We're in Tampa, in a hotel at a 'Rock the Vote' discussion with a couple dozen late-teen and twenty-somethings. Santos and Helen are standing in front of the group with microphones and the young voters are clearly connected with them. Josh, Donna, and some other aides are watching. Santos is talking about the deteriorating culture, and concern for young children, weighed against censorship and its problems. Santos takes a new question: he told 'Rolling Stone' that he likes Bob Dylan, and the questioner wants to know his favorite Dylan album. Santos pauses and reminds the group that he's there to talk about issues; nonetheless, he responds "Highway 61 Revisited", saying he said that so he can talk about his transportation policy. The crowd laughs, much to Josh and Donna's relief. But Santos then says that his favorite is actually 'Blonde on Blonde' and says there are clearly no policy implications with that choice. This draws a much louder laugh, including from Helen, but Josh and Donna come to the conclusion that Jay Leno is going to have a field day with that line because Helen is blonde. Josh tells Donna that this last question/answer is why he hates these youth forums and that he can't believe he got talked into this one. Donna reminds him it was his idea.
- Bram walks over to Josh with a very serious note; Josh takes a look and tells Bram to wrap it up. Donna asks why and Josh says there's a nuclear accident in California. Another voter asks Santos about the experience of running for President, and Santos says it's very positive overall but doesn't recommend it to others, which draws more big laughs - then he sees a concerned Bram giving the 'cut' sign across his throat, and we...
- Cut to the Oval Office, at night; time card says '9:19 pm'. CJ and Kate enter from the corridor with aides while Bartlet enters from the portico, wearing a suit but no tie. Bartlet asks what they know; CJ says that seventeen minutes ago emergency sirens went off at the Nuclear Generating Station in San Andreo, California - the feedwater pump failed. Kate inserts that the feedwater pump carries radioactive, hot water to the steam generator....
- Act One:
- Debbie's office at night; time card says '9:24 pm'. CJ and Kate are each on a phone contacting people while in the background personnel start to pour into the White House. FEMA Director Hayes (thank goodness he's not named Brown) and NRC Chairman Ravitch enter the Oval Office with various aides; as they do so, CJ and Kate hang up and briefly turn their attention to the TV in the background, which has been showing stock footage of the San Andreo nuclear power plant. The reporter is saying that no one knows what really happened but that Arab tourists have been near the facility in the last two days. Kate and CJ roll their eyes and enter the Oval Office behind the others.
- Bartlet and the group are discussing how to handle the situation. They're not sure exactly what the problem is, but it's bad because there's no coolant going to the core and steam is building up because another valve is stuck open and the reactor temperature and pressure are rising. Hot, radioactive steam is being generated and pumped into an auxiliary building not designed to hold radioactive steam because the. Ravitch says Sierra Gas & Electric, which runs the plant, thinks any leak would be of little threat to public health. Kate and CJ say they can't reach the local power company.The President decides that the NRC should take over the plant immediately and calls Governor Tillman to declare a major federal disaster and orders evacuation of the area.
- Skip a page, and we're in Debbie's office with Hayes and Ravitch, who are both on the phone, and CJ and Will. Bartlet enters, now wearing a tie, and asks what the odds are that this leads to a meltdown. Ravitch responds that meltdowns are caused when a dozen things go wrong, not just one. Bartlet thinks there are at least six million people within 40 miles of the plant. Hayes covers the mouthpiece of his phone and gives FEMA's recommendation on the size of the evacuation area - a sliver of area 15 miles downwind between the 6 and 9 o'clock positions, as if the plant were the center of a big clock. Hayes then says that the State Emergency Services wants to do the legal minimum, which is only 10 miles down. Bartlet says if ten miles is enough, he'll set up his command post with the Governor 10.1 miles from the plant and that the state officials will join them there; Hayes turns back to the phone. Bartlet asks if the press is ready for his statement, and Will says yes. Hayes again covers the phone and says that the State Emergency Services people think 15 miles is now fine. Bartlet nods and walks toward the...
- ...Press Briefing Room, at night; time card says '9:34 pm'. Beyond stuffed, a blinding flash from dozens of cameras the likes of which have never been seen before in this room, in addition to the rarity of the President entering the press room. Bartlet goes right to the podium with no introduction, while CJ and Will take places at the side of the room. Bartlet plainly outlines the facts: that 32 minutes ago there was a mechanical problem at the San Andreo plant that is causing the core to overheat; there has been no evidence of terrorism or foul play and no explosion; that engineers are working on the problem; that they don't have all the facts yet, and that the public will have them as soon as they do. Bartlet reassures everyone that all levels of government are working on this and that they will handle the problem no matter what happens.
- Pages later, Santos and Josh are talking about their public statement about the accident. Santos decides he won't comment for now, to let the press go after Vinick and his pro-nuclear stance.
- Situation Room, time card '10:28 pm'. Bartlet enters, CJ, Hayes, and Ravitch are already there with some other staff. Hayes says there's now a temporary coolant line in place to the core. Bartlet expresses surprise that this good news isn't met with rejoicing. Hayes says that radioactive steam is still gushing into buildings that aren't designed to take much radioactive steam, and for safety they had to start pumping it into the auxiliary building, which is at over half its pressure limit now and climbing. Bartlet asks for a plain English explanation, and Ravitch points to a blueprint on the table: the original coolant stop made the superheated water around the core turn to steam, which exposed the fuel rods - and even though coolant is moving in now, it won't be enough to cover them back up. This means the rods will remain exposed, and exposed fuel rods give off hydrogen in a highly explosive gas form, which combined with the radioactive steam is making the pressure very high and extremely dangerous. There's some discussion about what to do if there is an explosion, and it becomes clear that an order should probably be given to release the radioactive steam into the atmosphere to prevent it. There are still about 30,000 people still in the area, and Bartlet doesn't want to order the release until everyone is out. Ravitch tells Bartlet he must decide if he wants this release or an explosion that radiates all of southern California and parts of Arizona and Nevada instead. Bartlet asks how much steam/radiation should be vented, and Ravitch responds the radiation vented should be within the EPA's acceptable dosage limits. With the current southwesterly Santa Ana winds, the radiation would probably be blown out over the Pacific. Ravitch tells the President he has about an hour before the buildings will be at the max amount of steam they can hold, and that Bartlet will have to give the order himself to release because the federal government declared the disaster. Bartlet says he wants pressure readings every five minutes and orders the evacuation speeded up. CJ says that announcing an impending radiation release would probably motivate people to leave faster. Bartlet leaves the Sit Room, visibly frustrated.
- Act Two:
- Inside Will's office; time card '10:41 pm'. The room is packed like a sardine can, with an unimaginable amount of people stuffed in there - spokespeople for all the agencies. Will starts by saying he wanted all of them in one place so he could do something, but before he can finish an HHS guy named Blieden interrupts, asking if Will has an update. Will tells them about the steam building so fast it has to be pumped into the auxiliary building and that to prevent an explosion the building will possibly have to be ventilated, meaning radiation will purposely be vented into the atmosphere. The group murmurs and more hands raise up. Will tells them he doesn't have time to answer individual questions and that not one of them is going to talk to the press. No one. The EPA spokeswoman says her callback sheet is 10 pages long, and Will assures her all of them have called his office too and that he - Will - will be the only briefer. Blieden says they can't withhold information from people if the incident turns out to be the fault of the administration, and Will says they're not withholding anything - they're trying to keep everyone calm and to reassure everyone that they know what they're doing, so there will be one voice only. The Department of Energy spokesman asks about political questions and reminds the group Vinick is a pro-nuclear guy, in the first debate - Will interrupts and again says he will be the only briefer and he won't answer political questions from reporters. Ten more hands shoot up in the air, and Will is becoming more frustrated as we...
- ... cut to a West Wing corridor, still at night. Kate and two uniformed officers accompany Bartlet to the Situation Room. Bartlet is distracted, not giving his full attention to Kate. She reminds the President that the polls in Kazakhstan open in two hours. He asks if they have monitors on the ground, and Kate affirms it, saying China needs to see Kazahstan is a true democracy instead of a Russian puppet government trying to take over China's oil interests.
- A page later, we're in the Sit Room. Bartlet asks if there's a line to the San Andreo control room, Ravitch says he has the operations superintendent is on the line, and CJ says helicopters are in the air to read the radiation dosage as it's released, to ensure it's below the acceptable limit. Hayes says the limit is 500 millirems and he will instantly know the level via the helicopter monitors. Bartlet asks about support from Camp Pendleton for disabled and elderly evacuees. Ravitch tells the President that the structure of the building is aging and the longer they wait to ventilate the more likely an explosion will happen, putting untold amounts of radiation into the atmosphere compared to the amount from the proposed ventilation. Bartlet gives the order to ventilate, and Ravitch relays the order to the superintendent, who opens the auxiliary stack. While they wait for results, Bartlet asks Ravitch what 'acceptable dosage' means. Ravitch tells him it's the maximum amount a body can absorb safely through direct exposure, but that radiation also enters the surface layers of soil - where it is absorbed by plants, insects, and the food supply - and that water sources will absorb radiation too. He continues to say that when radiation enters the body, it sometimes destroys cells instantly and other times it forms damaged cells. Bartlet says "cancer" and Ravitch affirms.
- The superintendent says over the phone that the stack is opened and there's a steady release of 1,200 mrems. Bartlet repeats the number, surprised at the level. CJ says that's the level inside the stack - once it's in the air, below 500 is just fine. The room turns to Hayes and anxiously waits for more news. A beat passes, then Hayes says it's 569 mrem above the stack - and all the oxygen is sucked out of the room from fear. Bartlet wants to annouce the number, but Hayes points out the huge problems that would cause for the evacuation efforts currently underway. Bartlet still thinks people need to know because it's more than the safe dosage. CJ says it will jam the freeways; Bartlet says to make them one way outbound. CJ responds that NOAA and NARAC don't feel comfortable picking which way is 'outbound' because those Santa Ana winds can shift at any time. Not exactly what the President wanted to hear - he can't understand why they're venting radiation into the air with thousands of cars on the freeway and they can't tell people which way to drive. He orders them to tell Will to announce the number.
- Cut to the press briefing room; time card '11:47 pm'. Reporters are shouting at Will. One reporter wants Will to clarify that the radiation release was at a dangerous, unsafe level - Will says it was slightly above EPA's standard of acceptability. Another reporter asks if the government believes it's safe. Will backs up and says that's not what he's saying - he's simply trying to present the facts. The same reporter asks if the President is worried about panic from the one million people who are racing out of southern California. Will replies that the President is indeed worried about their safety, and he is urging those outside the evacuation zone to stay home so those in the zone can get out. The first reporter asks if EPA is going to brief - Will cuts him off and says he is briefing on everything. Still another reporter says that Assistant Secretary Blieden at HHS told them that the weather agencies are concerned about potential shifts in wind direction and that people might be going the wrong way. Will pauses a moment, realizing that Blieden directly disobeyed him. Will asks if Blieden really said that, and the reporter rephrases the question slightly. Will interrupts the reporter and says that he'll investigate - then shuts his briefing book and isn't very happy as we cut to...
- ... a Tampa hotel staff room, where Josh is glued to the TV as Bram enters the room. A scientist on the TV is saying that the government standards are written by industry in the first place and that no level of radiation is really acceptable. Josh flips the channel, where a clip of the first debate shows Vinick saying nuclear power is perfectly safe and dependable, and more nuclear power plants should be built. This is the first time Josh has seen that tonight, and he's pleased - he knows it's not the last.
- Skip ahead about a dozen pages to the beginning of Act Three, and we're back in the press briefing room; time card '1:15 am'. The room is packed and everybody, including Will, is getting tired and cranky. Will announces that the emergency secondary line bringing cool water to the reactor core is cracking and in danger of breaking. He goes on to say two NRC engineers are about to enter the containment building to attempt a manual fix of the line. Reporters ask about the danger to the engineers and the level of radioactive gas building up in the auxiliary building. Another reporter asks Will if he would tell them if an explosion was imminent. Will replies that he promised the facts and he would give them.
- The first reporter says AP is reporting these kinds of mechanical problems are clear evidence of regulatory failures on the part of the administration. Will responds that many people think they know what's happening but he (Will) is the only one who does. He's asked if he's covering something, but Will quickly moves on by saying the President will travel tomorrow morning to a command center outside the evacuation zone, and he will be accompanied by the California Congressional delegation. There's a question asking if Senator Vinick and/or Congressman Santos are going; Will simply states that Vinick is a member of the California delegation and no other delegations are going. With that, Will steps down from the podium and walks into...
- ... the hallway, where his new buddy Assistant Secretary Blieden is waiting. Will confronts Blieden about his statement to Time about wind shifts. Blieden replies he got that information from Will's office, and Will says that's why Blieden has been removed from the talking points distribution list. Blieden is dumbfounded, and complains he needs the talking points to do his job - but Will disagrees, and tells Blieden he now has a new position at Intergovernmental and no longer speaks for this government. Blieden, feigning innocence, wants to know why he's being punished for simply telling people the truth. This makes Will pretty angry, and he says Blieden is being transferred for telling people something that has no purpose other than to cause further panic. It doesn't matter if Will has already said it - Will is trying to prevent mass hysteria in a sensitive climate where everyone is scared, so they must speak with one voice - and Blieden is lucky he still has a job. Will starts to walk down the hall. Blieden calls after him, shocked, and accuses Will of just trying to make the President look good. Will turns around and says radiation is spraying into the atmosphere and California is being evacuated, so 'good' isn't an option today.