Written by: Peter Noah Director: Bill D'Elia
Gary Cole as Vice President Robert Russell and John Spencer as Chief of Staff Leo McGarry
NBC Warner Bros photo
- Broadcast: February 11, 2004
- Query: What was that about the blind blues singer whose music just left the solar system?
- Leo wakes the President up in the middle of the night to tell him that a nuclear bomb test suggests that another country has developed nuclear capabilities
- "No test was scheduled or has been reported by the other six declared nuclear powers," Nancy McNally tells the President.
"...Likely suspects?" Leo later asks.
"North Koreans or Iran."
Bartlet later tells Leo, "I thought when the Soviet Union fell, we could actually have disarmament. You go from trying to get rid of these weapons altogether to holding your breath that one doesn't go off on your watch. Strike another goal off the list."
- For the past several episodes C.J. has been getting calls from a guy named Ben, and she's been having Carol take messages or tell him she can't be found. Carol tells C.J.,
- "If he gets any more persistent, they're going to open a case file. Can I just tell him you're not worth it?"
"We used to date. He knows better."
Toby walks up, overhears the end of this and says, "Feeling frisky?"
"Remembrance of things past," C.J. responds.
- Earlier Leo had briefed the Vice President on the situation with the nuclear test. He didn't find it easy to get past the conclusions Russell jumped to from the fact that the test happened in the Indian Ocean. But he finally gets through to the VP that they are pretty sure it wasn't Pakistan. Afterwards, Leo runs into Will who asks him for some policy area the Administration could give the VP. Leo tells Will to take it up with Toby. Will says,
- "Yeah, the thing is he and I, ever since ---"
"Take it up with him! That's what he does. If you two have problems, work 'em out. I'm not a couples' therapist."
- Meanwhile Josh has been assigned to talk to NASA officials about Administration space priorities.
- "What I know is politics, public perception. And the image of NASA is not good. Telescopes launched that can't focus, planetary probes that crashed because engineers mixed up metres and feet. The only time NASA makes the front page anymore is when something goes wrong. You need to get off the front page. This administration only has one space priority: that you guys stop screwing up."
- Bartlet's advisors are pretty much coming to the conclusion the test wasn't done by North Korea:
- "We... believe their technology's so advanced they don't need to perform tests."
"...the blast site was 4,000 miles from North Karea."
Leo tells the President, "What it's near is Iran."
Nancy tells the President, "Sir, given the volatility of the region, a secret test would be how Iran would certainly proceed."
- At a Press Conference C.J is asked about comments made by Taylor Reid, a cable talk-show host who has called C.J. "Chicken of the Week." (the person who has refused to appear on his show).
- "It's hard to refuse to appear on something you've never heard of."
When asked if she would be willing to go on the show, C.J. says, "I have no idea. Though, truly, what girl can resist being referred to as poultry?"
- One of the NASA officials --- an attractive woman --- comes to Josh's office to tell him,
- "You're wrong about us only getting on the front page when we screw up. Hubble images make page one all the time." Later she says, "We want the government to commit to a manned mission to Mars."
"There aren't twenty votes for it in Congress...."
"The Rebulican Congress isn't the problem. It's liberals who killed the space program."
"Yeah, 'cause we like to use government money to, I don't know, help people."
"Space travel's inspirational -- you think that doesn't help people? ...you have to feed the soul, too. Ever look through a telescope?" She asks Josh to join her tonight and she doesn't give him a chance to say no.
Donna asks him, "...Would you be going if she weren't attractive?"
"We'll never know."
- When Josh tells Leo about his meeting with the NASA officials. Leo complains,
- "My generation never got the future it was promised.... Thirty-five years later, cars, air travel's exactly the same. We don't even have the Concorde anymore. Technology stopped."
"The personal computer," Josh counters.
"...Where's my jet pack, my colonies on the Moon?"
- When Danny leaves C.J. a message about the Reid situation, C.J. orders a copy of the show. She doesn't like what she hears.
- Josh is told why the sky is blue and after he's shown some planets and a nebula, he actually gets interested in the space program. The President refers to how Gengis Khan killed most of the people of Persia. And the Vice President --- the guy who could barely understand the briefing Leo gave him on what was going on --- comes up with the vital bit of information that allows the Administration to figure out who actually did that nuclear test.