John Spencer as Leo McGarry and John Goodman as Temorary President Glenallen Walken
NBC Warner Bros. Photo
- Writer: John Wells, Director: Alex Graves
- Takes Place: Immediately following Zoey's kidnapping and Bartlet evoking the 25th Amendment temporarily giving up the Presidency
- Broadcast: September 24, 2003
- Query: So what was that music at the end?
- Query: Does the Residence of the White House really have a window like that huge half circle thing?
- Query: Why does this show keep talking about the non-existent 'Defcon Alpha'?
- Bartlet has temporarily resigned so that he can't be put in a position where he has to choose between his duty to his country (and the world) and the life of his daughter. It is the seventh hour after the abduction of Zoey. Glenallen Walken, former Speaker of the House, has the full power of the Presidency. An hour later C.J. gives a press conference --- it's about 6:30 in the morning:
- "The FBI has opened a 7A, that's a missing person's file, and has assigned Zoey Patricia Bartlet a control number: 7A WF 83429. The WF stands for Washington Field Office."
- While the Press Conference continues, Josh expresses his concerns to Toby, Will and Donna. Will thinks he is over reacting:
- "Have you been watching CNN, MSNBC? Even Fox is treating it as a seminar on the resiliency of the Constitution...."
"Lincoln and Kennedy had children who died," Josh says. " They didn't take a sabbatical...."
"Lincoln never got a ransom note from Jefferson Davis," Toby tells him. "He's putting country before family...."
"What if they like Walken better?" Josh asks. "What if he seems more presidential? What if they want Walken to stay?"
"In a few days President Bartlet turns the second letter over to Congress," Will says.
"What if it doesn't take a few days? What if it takes a few weeks or a few months? What if she's never found?" The others don't have an answer to this.
- Admiral Fitzwallace and Dr. McNally argue their cases to bomb or not respectively. President Walken asks,
- "What are the chances Zoey Bartlet's still alive?"
Mike Casper is representing the FBI and so he answers. "Hard to say, but I think yes she probably is. They'll want to milk this for all its worth."
"Get your people in place, Admiral. We don't go today unless we're provoked." Then Walken turns to Casper. "Find her and find her fast. But if Zoey Bartlet turns up dead, I'm going to blow the hell out of something, and God only knows what happens next."
- Leo visits Bartlet in the residence and is asked,
- "So what's Walken going to do? Cry Havoc and let slip the dogs of war?"
Leo hesitates a moment and then replies, "I'm really not at liberty to discuss that with you, sir."
"Right, no. I'm sorry, of course."
As Leo leaves, he tells his friend, "Charlie is out in the hall."
"I sent him home hours ago."
"He didn't go."
Bartlet joins Charlie in the hall where there is a TV set up with constant coverage, "Jean Paul gave the FBI the name of his dealer," Bartlet looks over at Charlie's expressionless face and adds, "Yeah, I want to kill him, too." After a moment, Bartlet changes the subject. "You really should go home. You work for the President. He's going to need you down there."
"I work for you, sir. Somebody else can show him where the Xerox paper is."
"You do a lot more than that, Charlie."
- Meanwhile President Walken decides not to live up to the agreement Leo and C.J. had with Danny. He plans to undercut Danny by releasing the story of the assassination of Shareef. But C.J. also promised to get back to Danny with a comment for the story and when she tells him they have no comment, she adds,
- "Danny. Post the story now. Right now."
- And Leo has to face the Congressional leaders of his own party.
- "You've single-handedly ended the Imperial Presidency," he is told.
"You've elevated Walken and the Republicans. You've made them genuine players on the world stage."
"I didn't elevate them. The Presidential Succession Act of 1947 did. And I'm not prepared to think about politics when we're under terrorist attack. The Republic comes first."
- Abbey finds out about the assassination from TV and connects the dots. She is furious at her husband and blames him for putting Zoey at risk.
- And at the same time new economic forcasts come in showing the country in a recession. Then in Turkey a theater fequented by American military personnel is bombed killing 14 Americans as well as others. (editor's note: these two items puts the state of the nation on the show closer to where the nation stands in the "real world")
- After the attack in Turkey, Walken decides to go ahead with the bombing assuming that the kidnappers are probably going to kill Zoey anyway. Leo takes on the task of telling the increasing isolated Jed Bartlet. Before Leo can tell him, Bartlet says,
- "All the things we wanted to do, Leo. All the things we believed in and wanted to fight for.... He's going to bomb, isn't he?"
- As Charlie accompanies the Bartlet family to a private mass, Josh and Donna walk past people holding a silent candlelight vigil for Zoey out at the White House gate, and Leo goes to sit in the Situation Room although he has admitted he is "beat".
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