West Wing Continuity Guide
path: Home / Fifth Season Episodes * #514 "An Khe"
C.J. Jay Mohr as Taylor Reid, Allison Janney as C.J. Cregg
NBC Warner Bros.Photo
Written by: John Wells, Directed by: Alex Graves
Takes Place: In the Present and with flashbacks to Vietnam
Broadcast: February 18, 2004
Query: Where does the title come from?
Query: What was that "AoA" that Leo's friend's company didn't do?
Query: Was that really Crosby, stills and Nash singing "My Country 'Tis of Thee" at the end?
Query: Is the full name of North Korea "The Republic of North Korea"? No, it is the "Democratic People's Republic of Korea".
Query: Was Leo right when he says, "We're still at war with North Korea. We've never signed an armistice"?

We see a flashback (is it the present or the past?) to a pilot and co-pilot ejecting from their jet. Back at the White House in the present the new Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff tells Bartlet:
"A Navy E-2 Hawkeye providing command and control for the Carl Vinson Carrier Battle Group went down in the Sea of Japan...."
"So we go get them."
"They may be difficult to retrieve in their present location.... Somewhere north of Kimch'ack, three hundred kilometres northeast of P'yongyang, in the Republic of North Korea...."
Later Bartlet asks his security team in the Situation Room, "What will the crew do?"
"Lay low, stay out of sight, wait for us to come get them," Leo answers from what we soon learn is personal experience.
One person in the room says, "We can't go get them. Sending a... retrieval team into North Korea will be seen as an act of war."
"We're still at war with North Korea," Leo says, "We've never signed an armistice."

In another part of the West Wing, Toby and Josh talk to C.J. about the cable show guy who called her a chicken because she wouldn't come on his show.
"We think you should go on the 'Taylor Reid Show'," Toby tells her.
"The chicken thing has legs," Josh says.
"With those pointy little toes...."
"Go on his show, call his bluff, show you have a sense of humor...." When Will comes in and asks if C.J. saw the show last night, Josh tells her, "Taylor Reid was talking about your spin on the decline in manufacturing jobs and he said ---"
Josh starts laughing so Toby has to quote Reid: "'The tall lady's back to telling tall tales.'"
"The tall lady.... Carol call 'The Taylor Reid Show' and book me on the next open slot. I'm going to reach down and rip off his puny, little face."

The situation with the downed fliers in North Korea, plus the fact that Leo just saw his old co-pilot in Chicago, and is meeting him for lunch later this week, has Leo remembering how the two found themselves being hunted by North Vietnamese after they ejected from their plane. Leo sustained a broken leg and tells his co-pilot, O'Neal,
"You've got to go. I'll be okay.... You can't be dragging me all over the jungle. You won't make it with me along."
"You're not so heavy, old man...."
"Please. You gotta go."
"I'm not leaving you, Leo. So forget it." And O'Neal, pulls Leo over his shoulder and starts carrying him through the pouring rain.

C.J. doesn't start off all that well with Taylor Reid. Toby is watching back in the West Wing.
"How's she doing?" Josh joins him and asks.
"I think the Christians did a little better with the lions...."
"It's only the first round. She's still testing her jab." After a commercial break, C.J. finds her footing and Josh says, "Well, she won that round on all cards."

Leo is crawling out on a limb in his desire to protect his friend. He has talked to the head of the Senate committee that's investigating irregularities in the awarding of a Defense contract to O'Neal's company. Josh and Toby tell the President what is going on and Bartlet goes to Leo who tells him,
Leo John Spencer as White House Chief of Staff Leo McGarry
NBC Photo: David Rose
"I've known Ken O'Neal for 35 years. I've worked beside him, served beside him. He hasn't done anything wrong.... I won't desert him, Mr. President."
"Have you asked Kenny if there's any truth to the rumor---"
"I don't have to."

C.J. returns in triumph from the TV show,
"That was fun! ...Sanctimonious little guttersnipe sent a great big fat one up and over the plate -- health-care reform! From a guy who's still on the fence about the application of leeches!"

Leo goes to meet his old friend, who tells him that he has been subpoenaed.
"I'm going to take the Fifth.... I'm going to assert my Fifth Amendment right not to answer any questions."
"We didn't do the AOA. I gave a procurement officer at the DOD a job and I got to a guy on the Defense Policy Board. Stop looking at me like that.... Do you think I'm the first?"
Later Bartlet comes to sit with Leo in his office and Leo says, "We were out in the jungle for three days. Kenny carried me on his back, hid me under piles of leaves while he went to find us water. I was delirious. I lost a lot of blood. He coulda left me, he shoulda left me. He never did. We, uh found a clearing where we could send up a flare, and a couple hours later these two Hueys show up taking all kinds of AK fire. Men died for us. We had a responsibility to live our lives with integrity and honesty to honour their sacrifice."
"Corruption of the best is the worst." Bartlet says this first in Latin and only afterwards in English. Then he goes on, "You've done more, much more, all on your own, to honour their memory, Leo. They'd be as proud to know you as I am."

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