West Wing Continuity Guide
path: Home / Fifth Season Episodes * #502 "The Dogs of War"
Premier 5th season
John Spencer as Leo McGarry, Martin Sheen as Josiah Bartlet and John Goodman as Temporary President Glenallen Walken
NBC Warner Bros. Photo

Writer: John Wells, Director: Christopher Misiano
Takes Place: Starts 24 Hours after Zoey's kidnapping
Broadcast: October 1, 2003
Query: Could Ryan Pierce be descended from President Franklin Pierce?
Query: What is the source of the Martin Luther King quote about the weakness of violence?

The national crisis continues as Walken uses the might of the world's greatest arsenal to attack the people he thinks took Zoey. Bartlet helplessly watches from the residence where Leo goes to talk to him. After admitting that he is angry, Bartlet recites the following:
"'The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral. Returning violence with violence only multiplies violence adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.'"
"Dr. King."
"I'm part of that darkness now, Leo. When did that happen?"
"Dr. King wasn't wrong. He just didn't have your job."

Even Walken is feeling the darkness descend as he has to make phone calls to families of dead soldiers. He looks around the Oval Office and tells Debbie,
"This is a weird-looking room."
"Truman called it the crown jewel of the federal penal system."
"You a Truman fan?"
"Yes, sir."
"Me, too.... If Truman were alive today, he'd be a Republican."
"Oh, I doubt that very much."

Josh thinks the Republicans want to take over during this crisis --- they are having secret meetings and being quoted in the press about Walken. He approaches one of Walken's aides in the Men's room
"You're campaigning in the middle of a national tragedy...."
"You don't get it, do you? The Republicans are in awe of Bartlet. He recused himself in the only way he could. In the way envisioned by the Constitution.... The whole notion of the 25th Amendment is that the institution matters more than the man. Bartlet's decision was even more self-sacrificing because he willingly gave power to his opposition."
"The institution may matter more, but it's your guy protecting it, not ours."
"A truely self-sacrificing act usually involves some sacrifice."
"So, now you're going to nail us to the cross."
"No. You beat the terrorists at their own game. We're not stupid, Josh. We try to use this to our advantage, it will blow up in our faces. We'd seem callous and unfeeling. In contrast to Bartlet's extraordinary gesture of courage and patriotism. And anyone who thinks otherwise has a particularly craven way of looking at politics."

President Bartlet
Martin Sheen as Josiah Bartlet --
NBC Warner Bros. Photo
Through a lucky circumstance, a State Trooper stumbles on the hide-out where Zoey was being held and the Bartlets, Charlie and Leo helicopter in and an agent there tells Leo what happened while the Bartlets re-unite with a dazed Zoey:
    "We found her locked in a closet in a back bedroom."

Later Bartlet signs the paper taking back the Presidency.
"You going to run again? Bartlet asks Walken.
"I haven't decided."
"If you do, let me know. I'll come campaign for you."
"I'm not so sure that would be a plus in my district, Mr. President."
"You stick around for the Press conference?
"Thank you, sir, but I think the nation's best served by seeing only one President at a time."
"Glen," Bartlet calls out to him as Walken is leaving the Oval. "Thank you."

For anyone interested in guest stars of this episode (as well as more information),
let us recommend the West Wing Episode Guide

If you would like to read opinions on this episode, please see the poll at West Wing Fan Survey Page.

Previous SiteMap   Help Us   Home Next

Quotations & some other material copyrighted to John Wells Productions, et al.
Email westwing@bewarne.com to report mistakes, make comments, ask questions
(above address doesn't reach anyone connected to the show itself).

     Amazon    MIS