West Wing Continuity Guide
path: Home / Fifth Season Episodes * #506 "Disaster Relief"
Leo McGarry
John Spencer as Leo McGarry
--- NBC Warner Bros. Photo

Teleplay: Alexa Junga Story: Alexa Junga & Lauren Schmidt Director: Lesli Linka Glatter
Takes Place: Starts right after Josh's birthday party at the end of the previous episode. Late October?
Broadcast: November 05, 2003
Query: What obscure Italian card game was it that Charlie says he was up late playing with the President?
Query: What kind of place is Morton's --- where Josh has a "usual table"?

Well, Josh has really screwed up, losing a Senator who switched parties to become a Republican. Donna greets him on Monday morning asking how he is.
"I feel good.... I have my health, I have central air --- in the hierarchy of pain and suffering, I really can't complain. I mean I will---"
"...Sam called.... Sam wanted me to remind you: You gotta roll with the punches...."
They run into Margaret who asks, "Hey, Josh, are you okay?"
""Yeah, I'm great."
"Well, keep your chin up," she says as she moves on.
"Do people keep cliche thesauruses around for times like this?" Josh asks Donna.

Leo has a private talk with Josh.
"Nobody's happy you lost Carrick, but we're all about moving forward and we can't do that without you. I do, however, have to take you out to the wood shed and whack you with a two-by-four---"
Josh unwisely interrupts with a defense and then thinks better of it and says, "...Whack away."
"The President and I think you have been spread too thin. We're going to scale back your portfolio, probably some of the legislative stuff. I'll let you know the details as soon as I take the temperature of the caucus. But you keep your title, your staff."
Later telling Donna about the changes, Josh says, "...When I write my political memoir, this will be the character building funny part."
"I thought I was the character building funny part."

Toby tells Will,
"Soon as you get space near the Vice President, I want your office back."
"He hates me," Will tells C.J.
"Oh, yeah. The way you hate the girl you ask to the prom who says, 'No thanks, I already have a date.' You made a choice. Now own it."

The President, C.J. and Charlie fly to Oklahoma for what is suppose to be a short trip. But Bartlet finds he can give comfort to the people hit hard there. Meantime, everything is coming at Leo (Congressional problems, scheduling problems that could cause bigger diplomatic problems, problems with the military, and even a war over a "rock") and the President won't even talk to him about coming back. Leo brings in someone to take over for Josh on Legislative Affairs. He tells Toby,
"I'm trying to get through the week. Angela was my number two at Labor. She'll be up to speed in about five minutes."
Later Leo mumbles to himself, "...I should never have gotten out of bed this morning...." Later still he calls C.J., "I'm dying here.... I want the President back here now, C.J."

C.J. tells the President,
"We need to go back to Washington.... We need to go back now. I told Leo we'd only be here a few hours. He needs you to meet with Singer and the Blue Dogs. The Chancellor is waiting and there's something about a war between ancient civilizations."
"These people need me."
"No, sir, they don't. Maybe they did yesterday. But now they need their town back. They need their police officers working, not clearing intersections for your motorcade. They need the 50 motel rooms we took last night for people who lost their homes. And they need you back in Washington running the country, and creating the jobs that are going to help pay the taxes that are going to support disaster relief and rebuilding...."
Later, on the way back to Washington, the President tells her, "I feel as if I did more good in the last 24 hours than in the last six months.... You resent me taking a few extra hours to console grieving people?" When C.J. sighs and clears her throat but doesn't say anything, he says, "I'm asking you a direct question, C.J."
"...Honestly, sir, I resent you ignoring the responsibilities of your office. If you want to reach out and touch people, teach math in East St. Louis after your term expires."
"So you think my staying longer was some sort of personal indulgance?"
"I think its been a difficult time for you, sir. For all of us."
"What's this really about C.J.?"
"I understand there was no time, sir. I can't imagine what it was like. I don't have children."
"It's like I knew who I was and then I woke up one morning and didn't have a clue."
"I understand, sir. But I need more. You're the President of the United States. My President. I'm frightened. We're all frightened. This is --- The world is too dangerous now, unpredictable. I need you back. I need you to lead."

Josh is feeling lost and useless and Donna introduces him to her "What a Shame" folder,
"All the stuff we never have time for. Stuff we thought we'd fix when we got here but never did. Foreign adoption policies. Hybrid energy partnerships. Extending the roadless conservation plan.... Funding special education for kids with disabilities. Ammunition control: 'What's a gun without bullets?' A 21st centrury Teachers Corps...." She has gotten Josh's attention.

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let us recommend the West Wing Episode Guide.

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