West Wing Continuity Guide
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Warning: Spoilers

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.

Archived Spoilers

November 18, 2003 - "Mrs Visnjic I Wish" posted on Television Without Pity's West Wing forum:
Spoilers for Episode 5.12, Slow News Day

The teaser: Toby's home. He wakes up in the middle of the night, goes through a few thoughts in his head, then gets up to go to work. In the office, he watches a video of the SotU. He rewinds, then freeze frames when he sees a Republican Senator sitting alone in his section, applauding Bartlet's speech. The segment of the speech Toby kept rewinding was about increasing minimum wage -- by increasing it, it will pay more to work than to stay on welfare. Toby makes a call.

The Senator arrives in the WH to meet with Toby. Toby says he suspects the Senator will not run for re-election -- he hasn't done any fundraising, he broke ranks and he clapped during the part of the SotU that referred to increasing minimum wage. Toby offers him a new project: saving Social Security. Toby promises that Bartlet and a leading Senate Democrat will meet with him. The Senator's less than thrilled and lays out a scenario where he tries to save Social Security, and someone on Josh's team will put a negative spin on whatever he suggests. Toby assures the Senator that he'll give him anything he wants if he leads the charge. He's doing everything to get the Senator to agree to lead the campaign. After a few more words, and the assurance that there will be a "heavyweight" Democrat on his side, the Senator agrees. Toby's elated.

Josh tells Donna to meet with the "policy wonks" to make sure they have new policies to announce all week. He tells her to take Swimtern [Josh's Intern, Ryan Pierce] -- he'll probably learn something.

Act II. CJ's looking for some news items to report, but it seems like it's a slow news day (hence the title). A reporter from The Wall Street Journal goes into her office and tells her he found out Toby's on the Hill and wants to know if his meetings pertain to Social Security. CJ tells him it's not, and the reporter tells her that one of the Senator's staffers confirms that it is. Plus, he knows Toby met with that particular Senator.

One of the assistants (not Ginger or Bonnie -- she sounds like she's Will's replacement) tells Toby he has a call from a WSJ reporter. Toby doesn't want to take any calls from the press. The assistant wants to know why Social Security isn't working -- if we pay into it, why don't we get the money back when we retire? Toby explains it to her. I'd explain, but I think you know the problem.

Will and Josh devise a smear campaign on the Republican Senator. Josh tells Will to start calling a few reporters; it's a slow news day -- he's sure Will could get a few reporters interested in listening to him.

Toby meets with the ranking Democratic Senator. She doesn't want to raise the retirement age, blah blah blah, they discuss how the retirement age was determined, etc. She agrees to talk to the Republican Senator, but she's not committing to anything yet.

CJ still looking for something to report. She's so desperate, she gets someone from the Argentine Embassy (who was there for a meeting) to report on his meeting. The meeting had something to do with cabbage imports. BTW, this guy is supposed to be REALLY handsome.

CJ and the WSJ reporter in CJ's office. He didn't want to ask her a question at the briefing because he didn't want anyone else to hear what he had to say. CJ doesn't think he has anything, but he assures her he does, and she'll be able to read his story in the WSJ tomorrow.

Toby tells the Senator that he managed to get a Democrat heavyweight to think about joining the Social Security project. The Senator's not impressed. He tells Toby he heard that POTUS and VPOTUS are going to attack him and he also knows about Josh's past tactics to smear others. Toby tries to deny anything will happen and tells the Senator that he has nothing to worry about since he's not running for re-election. The Senator surprises him when he intimates that he might run again. Toby's shocked. The Senator also tells Toby that he met with the WSJ reporter and confirmed that he met with Toby on SS. Toby says that if the news is leaked, he won't be able to make a deal. The Senator tells Toby it's Toby's problem now. End of Act II.

More of Toby explaining Social Security to his assistant. The conversation stops when the WSJ reporter enters Toby's office. Off the record, Toby asks him not to write the story. In return, Toby will give him several exclusives. Toby doesn't want to be ruined in the Democrat party, and he knows that this story will hurt them on several other issues they're going to/are addressing. Here's the reason Toby doesn't want him to write the story: Toby's trying to save Social Security by meeting secretly with Senators, circumventing various groups that need to know what's happening, and excluding the public from knowing it's a possibility that they/we will be working longer and getting lower SS payments in retirement. The reporter tells Toby he knows Josh is strong-arming the Senator, and he knows Toby met with the Democratic Senator heavyweight. He tells Toby he'll see the story printed in the WSJ tomorrow.

Donna and Swimtern [Ryan Pierce] go to the policy meeting. On the way, Donna tells Swimtern the meeting's not going to go well because the policy people hate political people. Political people want to win elections to do good things, and the policy people want to do good things, but that won't win an election. They meet with the policy people, and they say they haven't got anything. It's a short and slightly ugly meeting, and just when everybody's about to go, Swimtern tries his hand at getting something from them.

Doesn't look like the policy meeting went well. Josh tells her to forget about it and asks her to spy on Toby. Here's the method Josh suggests Donna employ: talk to Toby's assistant about fashion and makeup while looking at her desk and try to figure out what Toby's doing.

Now Toby's talking to the Democratic Senator, telling her that he can get the Republican Senator back on the SS thing. She refuses to get on board.

Donna dutifully chats up Toby's assistant. She claims to have seen Donna on C-SPAN.

Toby and Josh talk to another Democratic Senator they want to involve in the SS project. The Senator doesn't want any part of it. Next thing we know, Toby, Josh, the Republican Senator, and the Democratic Senator are meeting. They hash out a few agreements, and the Rep Senator wants to make sure Josh and the Democratic Party will stop their smear campaign. Josh agrees. Unfortunately, this whole thing hinges on who approached who first. The Dem Senator wants to say the Rep Senator approached him, the Rep Senator -- the reverse. It's a dealbreaker. Josh and Toby discuss this with Bartlet and Leo because Bartlet's going to look bad whichever way the "who approached who first" is settled. Bartlet decides that they shouldn't take credit for setting up the SS project/commission/joint venture/whatever you want to call it. He wants it to appear that both Senators approached each other, that way neither side looks bad. Leo, Toby and Josh are shocked. This is something so important and comes along once in a blue moon. Bartlet leaves it up to Toby to decide. Later that night, both Senators are on TV saying both parties mutually agreed to do something about Social Security.

The show ends with Toby and CJ watching the news, where the commentator says that the WH is under pressure, but they don't seem to want to give away the Democrat's most important issue--- we don't hear the rest, because Toby shuts the TV off, turns off the lights, and leaves.
November 12, 2003 - "Mrs Visnjic I Wish" posted on Television Without Pity's West Wing forum:
One more spoiler for 5.11:
"Will asks Charlie if the President has a few minutes to meet with a couple who are enormous contributors to the party --- the VP can't do it because he's out of town."
November 11, 2003 - "Mrs Visnjic I Wish" posted on Television Without Pity's West Wing forum:
More spoilers for episode 5.11, The Benign Prerogative:
  • "This part's about Bartlet taking action on mandatory minimums: Donna's in a meeting with some people from the Department of Justice, a Pardon Attorney (PA), and WH Counsel. Josh is supposed to be at the meeting, and the PA is wondering where he is. As Donna tries to placate her, the President arrives. The PA gives him a list of some first time, non-violent offenders who have served about 5 years of their 10 or 10+ years sentences. It seems the President's looking to get early release for these people."
  • "Abbey and Jed in the Residence Kitchen. They're talking about the prisoners he's planning to release. He tells her that 'packing peanuts' (which the PA mentioned in their meeting) means picking low-profile cases that can be used as 'insulation' for any 'cronies' he might also want to release. They talk about the pressure he's been getting lately, and he tells her that Leo doesn't think this is a good time to pardon these particular prisoners."
  • "The President has taken action on mandatory minimums and has called for the early release of 35 prisoners. One of the people campaigning against mandatory minimums was invited to the SotU, along with his sister, who has been released early from prison. Hours after the SotU speech has been given, Donna's playing hostess at the after-party. She introduces the man and his sister to Bartlet. They're both grateful for what he's done. He tells her (and everyone can hear) that she's got her second chance; she shouldn't ruin it, or else it damages him, her family, and other prisoners who wanted a second chance and haven't gotten it. She promises she will and he wants her to keep in touch. The President moves on, and the man has a few words with Donna, basically saying that it must be an honor to work for the President. The episode ends with Donna, feeling blessed, looking after the President."
November 7, 2003 - "Mrs Visnjic I Wish" posted on Television Without Pity's West Wing forum:
More spoilers for episode 5.11, The Benign Prerogative:
  • 3 weeks later, Charlie gives the reporter the WH grand tour on a Sunday. They're all flirty. Charlie tells her that he managed to get her into a meeting the President was going to have with some college editors on MLK Day. She's grateful and overwhelmed. He tells her that he thinks she's "got some game".
  • They wind up in the press room, which is completely dark. Charlie's crashing around, trying to find the light switch. He's got a bottle of wine, but she doesn't want anything to drink. Charlie asks if she enjoyed the picnic they had outside the Oval Office (she did). She tells him that her internship with the magazine is done, and she managed to get an entry-level job in the WH Press Corps. Charlie, probably feeling extremely uncomfortable, tells her that whatever he's said to her has to remain off the record -- because he wants to protect the President, and because Bartlet means more to him that just being the Pres of the US. She agrees, but is hoping that her new job doesn't make a difference between them. It does.
  • Ben on hold (for a very long time) for CJ. He hangs up before she can pick up her phone.
  • Seems that Charlie breaks it off with the reporter. I don't think this is the last time we'll see her, though. I get the feeling she'll show up in later episodes.
November 6, 2003 - "Mrs Visnjic I Wish" posted on Television Without Pity's West Wing forum:
Spoilers for Episode 5.11. The info is in chronological order:
Expect some time jumping.
  • Charlie's at a New Year's Eve party and kisses a woman named Angela. I don't know if that's the Angela we already know about, and I don't know what kind of kiss he gave her. Just as Charlie's leaving the party, he notices a beautiful woman, a magazine reporter, and decides that maybe he's not leaving just yet. This woman is talking to another guest about DC getting a seat in the House and how that might be an obstacle in winning statehood. Charlie tries to insert himself into the conversation, but his words haven't impacted her at all. Then Charlie says something that irks her, and she starts debating with him. She wonders if she can quote him -- he says she can't, but it's OK if she wants to use a more generic name (like WH staffer). He pulls out his business card with the seal on it. Now he's got her attention.
  • There might be a storyline about Presidential Pardons.
  • Toby in a Michigan mall with a bunch of pollsters. They're paying people $10 to sit and watch mock SoTU speeches on video -- there are 3 different speeches given by actors posing as the President. Toby's trying to determine which speech is getting the highest marks from the test subjects.
  • Toby in another mall in a different state. One of the test subjects gets mad --- he tears up his questionnaire and tells them to keep the money. Toby can't help himself and follows the guy. He eventually catches up to him in front of a store and asks him what's wrong. The guy basically feels that talk is cheap; he doesn't want to hear an address that sounds packaged together to appeal to everyone. Actions speak louder than words. Toby's not mad; he says that that's the kind of guy he writes for.
November 4, 2003 - "Pop Culture Freak" quoted Kristin of E Online posted on Television Without Pity's West Wing forum:
"'---Bartlet wants Chief Justice Ashland to retire and sends Joe Quincy (Matthew Perry) to visit Ashland the hospital and deliver the news. There's a tearful moment as Ashland wants to know who Bartlet will select as his replacement, and asks Bartlet not to make him retire.'"
November 3, 2003 - "Mrs Visnjic I Wish" posted on Television Without Pity's West Wing forum:
Small spoiler for the 10th episode:
Toby's in CJ's office, hiding from the President. She needs to change, so she kicks him out and tells him to find someplace else to hide.
November 2, 2003 - "ashk" posted on Television Without Pity's West Wing forum:
"Feb. sweeps-- The J/D relationship doesn't start at this point, but Josh does say how he feels, and it leaves Donna very stunned. At the moment it's been decided that things won't be resolved in the same episode, and that this will put an added pressure on the already growing strain between J/D [in both professional and personal terms]."
October 31, 2003 - "Mrs Visnjic I Wish" posted on Television Without Pity's West Wing forum:
"Spoilers for 5.10, The Stormy Present.

"CJ's having an informal Q&A with a group of reporters. She's on her way to attend an event at Ford Theater (the President will also be in attendance). There's a situation in Riyadh, and a former President's had a hip operation; he is supposedly recovering. A reporter asks if the WH has any comment on mind control experiments being conducted by the military. CJ thinks he's nuts.

"Donna talks to Josh about a copy of the Bill of Rights that was seized by the FBI. 2 states (Connecticut and North Carolina) are claiming ownership of the document that was taken/stolen/whatever from the Carolina statehouse in the late 1800s, and the case has landed in Federal Court.

"CJ changing in her office to attend the event. She's watching TV with Josh and Toby. A man named Kilgore is talking about Riyadh -- a place that has so much oil that it's become the "epicenter of the world economy". He talks about his fears of possible upheavals in that country that could wreak havoc on the U.S. Toby and Josh basically think he's a whackjob. Gen. Alexander walks in and asks CJ if he should agree to do an interview, and when CJ finds out whom it's with, tells him he can't do it.

"Mallory! at the Ford Theater with Leo. She wants to talk to Leo about something, but is cut off by a Secret Service Agent. He's told that the President's dead. Leo's in shock, and then sees Bartlet walking towards him. He tells Leo that the former President is dead.

"A Major is in the WW to see Leo about the deceased former President.

"There's something about DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) and their budget being posted on the Internet (DARPA is related to the mind control question above). CJ thought it was classified info.

"The Major in Leo's office. The Major has the Dead President's file; his unit handles protocol should any former or current President die, and acts in concert with the wishes of the family. The former Pres' funeral will take place at his Presidential Library. Leo starts staffing out various duties: since Bartlet will give the eulogy, Toby has to go to the funeral and write the eulogy (which he doesn't want to do). Leo and CJ will stay behind because of the situation in Riyadh, and Josh has to help coordinate things with the Major and the Former First Lady. Josh says he can't do it because he has a meeting.

"Josh gives Donna the job of taking care of the Former FLOTUS.

"Bartlet and Leo exchange a few words with the Prince of Saudi Arabia WRT protestors. The Prince makes light of the matter, calling the protestors "schoolboys". Bartlet tells him that it looks like the Prince's country wants reform. The Prince tries to placate him.

"Josh has a meeting with the reps from the 2 states -- he's acting as referee and trying to resolve the situation. NC accuses CT of taking their state's prized possession during the war and the state wants it back. CT says they bought it; NC says they stole it.

"The Former FLOTUS wants to speak to Bartlet (via phone), but Donna says he's not available. She asks if Bartlet's coming, and then tells both Donna and the Major that Bartlet better come to the funeral. Then she hangs up.

"Toby, on Air Force One with all the former Presidents (including Walken), talking to Josh on his cell phone. Toby sounds like he's complaining about sitting there with all the Dead President's men.

"Toby singing.

"More of CT and NC arguing about ownership. Josh tries to impress the rep from NC and in the process, reveals that he hails from CT. Both reps are absolutely shocked, for obvious reasons.

"Walken took his dog with him on AF1.

"CJ and Gen. Alexander talk about DARPA. CJ asks if he knows the identity of the person who leaked the mind control story out of DARPA, but he doesn't answer. He behaves almost as if he's the one who leaked the story.

"Bartlet and Kilgore at the funeral. They talk about the situation in Riyadh and both agree that there should be some kind of American intervention. However, should the US intervene, they know other complications could arise.

"This is speculation, but I'm guessing that Leo's ex-wife is getting married again. Seems that Mallory visited Leo to tell and comfort him, but Leo tries to lie to Mallory by saying he knew -- but he really had no idea.

"Funeral. Bartlet enters with the former FLOTUS and Charlie. Later, the former FLOTUS thanks Bartlet for coming. She thought Bartlet hated her husband, but he says that was in the past. She says that her husband called him many times, but Bartlet never called back. They get to the library, where there's a replica of the Oval Office, and she tells him that that's where they found him. Then she gives him a few letters that the former President wished to give Bartlet. She leaves. Part of the letter tells Bartlet to try to remember the past and think before using the U.S.' "absolute power". Leo calls and tells Bartlet that a protestor fired on the National Guard before they could talk to the King."

October 27, 2003 (part 2) - "CK1Czar" posted on Television Without Pity's West Wing forum:
"Episode 10 is called 'The Stormy Present'."
October 27, 2003 (part 1) - "Alan Swann" posted on Television Without Pity's West Wing forum saying, "a little blurb in today's L.A. Times, which notes that TWW did some recent filming on the third floor of City Hall, and adds:"
"'Some City Hall aides were heard to mutter that as long as it was around, perhaps the Bartlet administration could do something to resolve the transit walkout, the grocery strike and the budget hole.'
'To which suggestion Bradley Whitford, who plays Josh Lyman on the show, laughed: 'Actors have no business in government.'"
October 20, 2003 - "Mrs Visnjic I Wish" posted on Television Without Pity's West Wing forum:
"I don't know when Fitz retires. I do know that we'll be meeting the new Chairman in episode #6, so he definitely would've retired by then."
October 17, 2003 - "Mrs Visnjic I Wish" posted on Television Without Pity's West Wing forum:
Spoilers for Episode 5.9, Abu el Banat. The info is listed in chronological order:
  • This is the Christmas episode.
  • Doug's parents have invited the Bartlets for Christmas dinner. Bartlet doesn't want to do it --- he still has flashbacks from the last time they went.
  • Abbey tells Jed that he shouldn't be angry at Ellie for calling and saying she'll be late for dinner, especially when he might not make it himself.
  • Angela and Leo are watching the news: a Congressman's on TV saying that 12 young Americans are being held hostage --- "jailed on trumped up proselytizing charges by a fundamentalist Islamist regime". They're being held in the Sudan.
  • Jed tells Abbey he doesn't want to sit next to Doug, Liz's husband. Abbey tells him he can sit wherever he likes if he shows up on time. Jed tells Abbey that Ellie has to sit next to Doug if she's late.
  • The Westin family arrive at the WH, along with their Swedish nanny.
  • Liz compliments CJ on her briefing.
  • Leo briefs the President on the hostage/arrest situation. Little Gus is there. Bartlet explains to Liz that he has a few things to take care of, and tells Gus to get ready --- he and the President have important things to do later. Liz's face hardens when her father leaves.
  • Doug is trying to get an "in" on the political front. There's a guy in the House of Reps who's in poor health, and he probably won't seek another term. He speaks with Josh about this because he thinks that he'll get the spot if the Pres' staff help him out. Josh doesn't seem happy about it and later tells him the DNC will not back him if he decides to run.
  • Leo meets with Fisk, the Attorney General. Leo wants to know if he fired someone at the DEA. Fisk hasn't yet, and Leo wants him to do it ASAP. Fisk doesn't want to do it because he fully supports what the DEA did. Apparently, the DEA rep arrested a medical person who assisted someone in ending their life. Leo doesn't think the DEA had the right to do that. Leo and Fisk argue, and at the end, Leo insinuates that the President will fire Fisk if he does not do as ordered.
  • Debbie asks Charlie about Ellie, and he says that she's running an experiment and hopes she can finish and make it in time for the "special" dinner.
  • Bartlet meets with the Congressman (the one who was on TV) and the Undersecretary of State. The President tells the Congressman to be careful about what he says to the press. They start talking about the hostage/arrest situation, and the Congressman says the Americans weren't breaking any laws; they were stocking food in a warehouse. Bartlet didn't know that. The Congressman goes on and says these people were only there to bring food to those who need it. They are religious, and when asked a question about their beliefs, they answered. This is what got them arrested. They talk about how they should proceed in the matter and Bartlet decides to call the Secretary of State. The Undersecretary's not too happy about this decision. He thinks they should ask the Sudanese PM to put pressure on a local official to release the Americans.
  • CJ's keeping Gus company in the Oval Office while they wait for Liz or the President to come back. He's all dressed up, ready to go outside. And none too pleased.
  • Zoey's in the West Wing, saying hello to everybody. She's a bit tired of greeting everyone and saying the same things about how she's doing. Charlie jokes with her to lighten her mood.
  • Toby asks the President if he (Bartlet) could get the VP to state their position on the right-to-die issue to the media. Bartlet doesn't think it'll work, and says that they're hoping the AG will fire the guy from the DEA. If not, CJ will talk about the issue at the Christmas Eve press briefing and (I think) they're hoping the matter will go away by Boxing Day. Toby doesn't think this'll work, but Bartlet says that the courts will probably put a stop to this. The reason why the right-to-die issue is a big problem for the WH is because 1 in 5 euthanasia cases involves someone with MS. The press will start writing stories about the President and whether he has a plan for when he declines, or whether Abbey will help him die if he asks. Toby's afraid that the focus will be on the President instead of the Controlled Substances Act or the actions of the DEA. Charlie enters and gives Bartlet a note which says that Leo placed Toby at the head of the table for the SoTU. Bartlet's angry right now, and wonders if this is a good idea. Bartlet asks Toby to leave.
  • This part had me laughing. Bartlet's talking to Debbie and says, "She [Liz] dumped a MacArthur winner for this guy. Zoey left Charlie for the Frog. Ellie and the guitar player with the purple van. My children choose morons, every one.". Debbie points out that daughters usually date men who are like their father. Then Bartlet tells Debbie a story about a family trip to Egypt (this happened years ago). Their guide, a Bedouin, would introduce Bartlet as Abu el Banat whenever they happened upon another Bedouin. The Bedouins would laugh and offer a cup of tea to the Pres. He'd try to pay for his cup of tea, but they wouldn't let him, because Abu el Banat means Father of Daughters, and they thought giving him some tea would be the least they could do for him.
  • Will's being moved to OEOB. He had no idea, and while watching the movers pack his stuff, catches Toby going into his office and closing the door.
  • A Marine Band's playing Christmas music, and everyone's gathered in the Oval Office, waiting for Bartlet to go out and turn on the Christmas tree lights. It seems Gus is supposed to go with Bartlet, but Gus is in a timeout, and Zoey thinks it should just be her and the President. Bartlet asks the agents if it's OK (I guess because of the massive security detail switch). It is. She doesn't have a coat, so Charlie takes his off and gives it to her. The people waiting out in the cold are clapping and screaming when they realize it's Zoey. Jed goes to the podium and delivers his speech.
  • Josh doesn't think Doug (Liz's husband) understands that he's been requested not to run for the House of Reps seat. Josh tries to talk to him again.
  • The President meets with Fisk, and they argue. The gist of the conversation is that Bartlet supports the individual's right to end their life and doesn't believe there should be any federal intervention. Fisk obviously disagrees with that viewpoint. Fisk doesn't seem like he's going to back down, and Bartlet warns him that the courts will disagree with Fisk and he's going to lose his job. Fisk was counting on the WH's silence on the matter, but Bartlet threatens that if he has to go on Oprah and discuss who's going to feed him when he can't do it anymore, he will. Leo walks in, and Bartlet tells him that he wants to announce that there will be a panel in a week's time to discuss physician-assisted suicide. Then he turns to Fisk and tells him that if he ever does that again, he's fired.
  • Ellie makes it to the WH before the second course is served.
  • It's nighttime. Bartlet and Gus (wearing a coat over his footed pajamas) walk over to the National Christmas tree. Gus turns the lights on, and then off. On. Off. End of episode.

October 16, 2003 (part 2) - "Mrs Visnjic I Wish" posted on Television Without Pity's West Wing forum:
"Remember this spoiler that I posted for episode 5.1?
'Doug, the son-in-law, looks like he's trying to get an 'in' on the political front, namely the House of Reps. He speaks with Josh.'
Well, it's going to happen in the 9th episode now---. it looks like this is going to be the Christmas episode."

October 16, 2003 (part 1) - "CK1Czar" posted on Television Without Pity's West Wing forum:
"Episode 9 is titled Abu el Banat and Gus Westin is also in this episode.
I beleive it means 'The Father of all Girls'."

October 10, 2003 - News Release from NBC:

BURBANK, Calif. -- October 7, 2003 -- Matthew Perry, who has starred for 10 seasons on NBC's "Friends" (Thursdays, 8-8:30 p.m. ET), returns to guest-star on NBC's "The West Wing" (Wednesdays, 9-10 p.m. ET) in his Emmy Award-nominated role as a savvy White House associate counsel. The episode, "Separation of Powers," will be broadcast in November. In the storyline continuing from his two episodes last spring, Perry portrays Joe Quincy, an ambitious Republican attorney who settles uneasily into his job in President Bartlet's (Martin Sheen) Democratic administration. When the United States' chief justice falls ill and is hospitalized, Quincy is asked by Toby (Richard Schiff) to trade on his previous relationship as the justice's clerk - and ask him to resign. Filming on Perry's "The West Wing" episode will be integrated with his production schedule on "Friends" during October.

Perry, who stars as Chandler Bing on "Friends," received an Emmy nomination last summer as Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for his previous work in "The West Wing."

October 9, 2003 - "Mrs Visnjic I Wish" posted on Television Without Pity's West Wing forum:
For episode 4, Amy and Leo are talking about how their respective bosses are doing.

October 7, 2003 (part 2) - In the previous post, "Mrs Visnjic I Wish" asked, "a CR is mentioned; can someone post what CR means, please". In response David Mix Barrington emailed us the following:
"Either you or Mrs. VIW wondered what 'CR' would mean in the context of a government shutdown. It's almost certainly 'continuing resolution'. When a budget process breaks down, it is routine for the legislature to pass and the executive to sign one or more 'continuing resolutions' to appropriate money to run the government for a short period while negotiations continue. This certainly happened during the Clinton/Gingrich showdown that is the apparent model for the events on the show."

October 7, 2003 - "Mrs Visnjic I Wish" posted information about another upcoming episode on Television Without Pity's West Wing forum:
Spoilers for Episode 5.8, Shutdown
* Please note that this info can change at any time *
  • The title refers to a Government Shutdown. From what I see, it's been down for awhile - 4 days. Tourist sites are shutdown as well, and the President actually goes to one of the sites to talk to a bunch of tourists about it; he feels for those who drove a long way to visit to find 'closed' signs wherever they go.
  • I think this will be the Thanksgiving episode.
  • Donna clashes with Haffley's staff at a bar or restaurant. She's there with Josh and Charlie. Donna's asking them why they want to pull funding to AmeriCorp. They say it's because AmeriCorp's spending more than what was budgeted. It's a nightmare situation for D, J and C.
  • Speculation: For some reason, I get the impression Donna's more than just Josh's aide these days.
  • The British PM will be visiting the WH in a few days.
  • There's an actual Republican War Room set up. And there's some kind of deal (a CR is mentioned; can someone post what CR means, please) the President has to meet with them. If it doesn't go the way Leo wants, Bartlet's screwed. I think the deal is for creating a government stimulus package, and they're arguing about Bartlet agreeing to either a 3% or 5% cut. The Republicans are using Russell as the middle man. There's some threat about making sure that some Federal employees, who have lost their jobs, know who threw them out of the WH and who took their jobs away.
  • Angela's very involved with Leo in getting this deal settled in their favor.
  • One person in the Republican party doesn't seem to think much of Russell.
  • The President goes to the Republican War Room. Josh is already there, but just outside of the room. The President wants to speak to Haffley, but is told that they're not quite ready and he has to wait a moment.
  • Will's in this one, and we find out he actually sailed to Tahiti on his own while in college. There's a woman in the room where he's meeting with CJ, Toby and Angela (no Josh); she's beautiful, and, shall we say, showing more skin than is normal in the WH (or I guess anywhere in the business world, really). She's clearing the mess they made. Nobody knows who she is. She's on some program and her job isn't affected by the shutdown, hence the reason why she's working. In another scene, Josh is actually admiring her while she walks away from him.
  • They can't prepare a State Dinner for the British PM at this point because of the shutdown. They'll make a decision about it at the last minute.
  • The Speaker's on the cover of Time magazine with the headline: "The New Boss?". Not good.
  • WRT closing the deal with the Republicans: it seems important for the Republicans in the room that the President buckles first and calls an end to the shutdown by agreeing to a certain percentage cut. The Republicans want the public to know that they will do exactly what they promised (eg cut spending) if they're elected into office.
  • Leo talks to Bartlet about giving in. It seems that Bartlet doesn't have the support of his own party on this. But Bartlet doesn't want to back down because he had a deal. I don't know who with. Most likely the Republicans - I guess they're reneging.
  • WRT Bartlet waiting for the Speaker outside the Republican War Room: the Press are in attendance. Josh seems unsure about how Bartlet sitting and waiting will appear; Angela thinks it's a disaster. Meanwhile, inside the War Room, the Republicans are talking about how to handle the situation. One of them goes for the door, but the Speaker stops him.
  • CJ gives a press briefing after this (it looks like she does this the next day). There's some info about 1) the Pres' favorable numbers increasing after his visit to the Republicans, and 2) how long the shutdown will last. She's talking up the President's position and is clearly happy about how things are looking. Meanwhile, Angela and Josh are arguing about what's happening and how to proceed next.

October 4, 2003 - "Mrs Visnjic I Wish" posted on Television Without Pity's West Wing forum a link to new spoilders posted at Ain't It Cool News, which has the following:
"---Matthew Perry will return as the White House's GOP lawyer, Joe Quincy, around the show's ninth episode (during November sweeps, I'm guessing). He'll be grieving for a mentor, the Supreme Court's ancient chief justice. The nation's top jurist will be transformed into a frail Reaganesque diaper-wearing closet-case during the episode's opening minutes. Josh Lyman, meanwhile, will be appalled at how badly things are going for Angela, the woman who now handles the administration's legislative affairs. And young Zoey Bartlet will do a post-kidnapping TV interview."

September 26, 2003 - "Mrs Visnjic I Wish" posted the following at Television Without Pity's West Wing forum):
More spoilers for episode 5.7, Separation of Powers:
Josh notices a meeting breaking up: it's between the Treasury Secretary and Leo, Angela, the OMB Director, Donna, and some aides. The meeting didn't seem to go well - Team Leo didn't get what they wanted. Josh is upset and blames Angela; Leo tries to reason with him. After Leo and the OMB Director leave, Josh turns to Angela and says that she should at least be embarrassed about what happened. Donna tells Josh it wasn't Angela's fault.

September 24, 2003 - "Mrs Visnjic I Wish" posted the following at Television Without Pity's West Wing forum):
Spoilers for 5.7 Separation of Powers:
  • The teaser: Chief Justice Ashland's office. Some people are in his office discussing 1) finding a better way to determine and search potential Arab terrorists and 2) Korematsu. They're talking about this because they received a case about an Arab-American man who was pulled out of a line at an airport. Ashland is old and frail, and isn't participating in the conversation. He says he's going somewhere, gets up, and after taking a few steps, collapses.

    The next scene: Toby's reading (what looks like) his obit/tribute to the Chief Justice. He's reading this to CJ.

  • Act 2: Ashland is in the hospital. Joe Quincy and Toby arrive; Toby doesn't go into the room (friends and family only), but Joe does - it seems he knows/is friends with Ashland. He is shocked at Ashland's condition. He wipes a few tears from his eyes.

    An offer letter for the position of Research Assistant to the Department of Communication is tacked up onto the employee bulletin board. One intern asks if combat pay's going to be offered along with the job. NO ONE seems to want it. However, one young woman, "sexy, in a wrong side of the tracks sort of way", seems interested. She asks if there's something wrong with working for Toby.

  • Act 3: Ashland is sitting up in bed and talking to Joe. Joe tells him the President sent him.

  • Act 4: Zoey's being interviewed at the Bartlet farm; Abbey and CJ are in attendance. At the end of the interview, Abbey and CJ praise Zoey on her performance. She wants to call her father to tell him how well she did.

    Ashland, in a wheelchair, is at the WH. Before going into the Oval Office, he tells Joe that he can walk. There's a note about Joe, Toby and Leo standing outside the Oval Office after the doors have been closed, witnessing "an exceptional act of courage".

    Inside the Oval, Ashland asks why he sent Joe to do the Pres' dirty work. It seems Bartlet wants Ashland to retire and has tried many times to call him in the past, but has been ignored. Ashland wants to know who his replacement will be, and Jed tells him he wants his input on this decision. After giving Bartlet a few names, they realize that the recommendations will never be approved. Ashland tells Bartlet not to make him retire, not with the way things are now. Bartlet knows he's right.

September 23, 2003 (part 4) - Tampa Tribune:   `West Wing' Doesn't Miss A Beat by Walt Belcher (we discovered this article through Television Without Pity's West Wing forum):
"---The fifth season opens seven hours after Zoey's kidnapping, and the White House staff is worried about working with Walken, especially because of a potential international crisis.

"Walken is considering the military options after receiving a ransom note for Zoey demanding the release of Pakistani terrorists and a pullout of U.S. troops from Saudi Arabia and Qumar.

"Meanwhile, the Democratic congressional leadership is unhappy. Also the president's eldest daughter, Elizabeth (Annabeth Gish), arrives at the White House with her husband and two children.

"In the coming weeks, Walken will order the bombing of terrorist training camps in Qumar; presidential aide Josh Lyman (Bradley Whitford) will become increasingly uneasy with Walken; a new intern (Jesse Bradford), a Harvard grad from a powerful political family, will join the staff; and Gary Cole will debut as the new vice president---."

September 23, 2003 (part 3) - Indianapolis Star:  'West Wing' back in fine form by Diane Holloway of Cox News Service (we discovered this article through Television Without Pity's West Wing forum):
"---In this week's opener, Zoey is still missing, the speaker-turned-president is threatening to take the country to war and the first couple's relationship is strained to the breaking point. The ending (which we won't spoil here) is vintage "West Wing" -- a heart-wrenching scene of emotional agony with a plaintive search for spiritual strength---."

September 23, 2003 (part 2) - Salt Lake City's desertnews.com quotes Martin Sheen as saying that the season premiere episode is a tear jerker:
"---I suggest watching it with a lot of Kleenex---."

September 23, 2003 (part 1) - "TV Gal" at "Zap2it" (we discovered this article through Television Without Pity's West Wing forum):
"---So I've seen the season premiere of "The West Wing," and you can definitely tell that John Wells is in charge. The opening feels very "ER"-ish, with the White House offices taking the place of operating rooms. Because the season left off with Zoey's kidnapping (and we find out that her French boyfriend was involved. I told you he was up to no good), the season premiere is not exactly a happy hour. The president has stepped down, Zoey may be dead, and the country finds out about the attack on the head of Qumar. With such a downer of an episode, it's difficult to tell how the show is going to fare without Aaron Sorkin---."

September 20, 2003 - Sarah has seen a rough version of the pilot and writes:
"---In the premiere, there is no helicopter ride out to a highway or Bartlet crying in Zoe's room. But there is a pain in the butt little pug named Bess and CJ is the first to have an encounter with her---they have a little tiff over a chair in the Oval---as in who gets to sit in it. The guy that plays Goodman's right hand man is the guy who played the DA on Homicide: Life on the Street and he is a MAJOR a**hole! MAJOR! Abbey finds out through a press conference on TV that the assassination that Bartlet ordered could be why Zoe gets kidnapped and Abbey and Bartlet have a fight. At the end of the episode when the family goes to midnight church, Abbey won't even ride to church in the same car with him. The only one who sticks by Bartlet is Elle---go figure on that one. Elle is now a blonde. Their grandson and granddaughter are seen maybe twice and they don't speak. Josh is paranoid about the possibility that people will like Walken and want him to stay President. Walken wants to pick a VP and the Senior Staff tries to talk him out of it. In the oval, they all decide to wait to leak about the assassination but later CJ tells Danny to run the story "right now." Walken knows that CJ was the one to leak it but she never admits it. We don't see the twins this episode. Nancy McNally and Fitz are in this episode..also so is Debbie who is not at all happy about the dog. We see Charlie I think twice. He has been sitting outside of the residence the whole time. When Bartlet tells him that he should go back because Walken may need him he says 'Someone else can show him where the Xerox paper is' to which Bartlet says 'You do more than that.' Charlie reminds Barltet that he works for him not Walken and refuses to leave---gotta love Charlie. Much to my disappointment, the French fruit cake gets his immunity. A theater in Turkey gets bombed in retaliation and Walken believes that they won't find Zoe or the kidnappers alive, which is a comment that Leo keeps to himself. We don't see the new intern in this episode and we only see Liz's husband once, and Barltet pretty much ignores him. Before the leak about the assassination Leo informs Bartlet that Danny wants to know if they want to comment---oh yeah Danny's in it too---and Bartlet knows that this would be a good time to tell Abbey about what happened but doesn't do it and says they have no comment."

September 19, 2003 - We heard from an industry insider who wrote:
"The meaning of the title of the premiere is the FBI case number for Zoe's kidnapping."
(editor's note: This makes more sense than anything else we have heard.)

September 18, 2003 - Ain't It Cool News has posted the following.
"C.J. finds herself undertaking an unexpectedly long trip to Oklahoma when the president, moved by the aftermath of a deadly and devastating tornado, impulsively decides to stick around for a memorial service the next day. This makes the secretary of state nuts, because Bartlet was slated to meet with German dignitaries back in D.C. "
This suggests that the Maysville is the one in Oklahoma.

September 17, 2003 -
TV Guide Online just listed the title of the Season Opening Episode as "7A WF 83429".
Previously Printed Spoilers
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