West Wing Continuity Guide
path: Home / Fifth Season Episodes * #521 "Gaza"
Donna from Gaza
Janel Moloney as Donna Moss
NBC Warner Bros. Photo
Written by: Peter Noah, Directed by: Christopher Misiano
Broadcast: May 12, 2004
Query: Why was there a yellow school bus in a Gaza settlement --- yellow school buses aren't used in Israel?
Query: In "The Dogs of War", Fitz calls his wife "Laura", so why does Bartlet call her "Gail"?
Query: Where is there a brief description of the Gaza strip and some background on the conflict in that area? // Where else is there information?
Query: What was that music at the beginning?

Starts at the Erez Checkpoint in Gaza with the visiting U.S. Congressional delegation: Fitz (with a NAVY cap), Andy (with a head scarf) talking about jet lag as Donna (in a hat) joins them and puts in comments about the heat. Donna was across the yard with a photojournalist. They get into three black Suburbans with Donna and Fitz in the middle one. He asks her,
"What do photographers say in the digital age, now that the old 'Come up and see my darkroom' line has gone the way of the dodo?"
"They offer their high-speed internet---" Suddenly there is an explosion. The middle car is blown into the air and comes down on its top. The photojournalist frantically runs up to the car but he is blocked from getting closer, he takes pictures of an unconscious Donna clearly visible with blood around her.

Next we see Josh on a commercial airplane. Then the scene shifts again and we are in the West Wing at 7:31 am "Before the Explosion" with Toby and Josh talking about the emails they get from Andy and Donna. As they separate CJ walks up to Toby with,
Donna from Gaza
Jason Isaacs as Colin Ayres, Zach Cohen as Yossi, Janel Moloney as Donna Moss
NBC Warner Bros. Photo
"Say you're from Minnesota."
"I'm from Minnesota."
"No, we're pretending you're from there."
"We're not, actually."
"And you'd like prescription drugs from Canada."
"What do I have?"
"Not important."
"It could be clouding my judgement."
"You're no fun anymore."
"I'm having fun."
"Minnesota just set up an official state web site linked to Canadian pharmacies for the importation of cheap drugs in violation of Federal law.
"We're no longer pretending?"
"I'm getting calls.... We need a policy. Hoping no one would notice seems to have run its course."

Suddenly we are back with Josh on his flight. He is now reading Donna's emails --- emails Josh had told Toby she has been sending him every day of the trip but he hadn't had time to read. Now he is reading them. And then we are back in Gaza where Donna and Fitz seem fine so it must be before the explosion. We see her first meeting with the photojournalist who introduces himself as Colin Ayres. Then we are back on the plane with Josh for a moment as he reads the email that leads up to being back to Gaza where Donna has convinced Colin to show her the real Gaza he sought to impress her by talking about. Then we are back in the West Wing before the Explosion and suddenly pagers go off and people are running around and C.J. tells Josh,
"Explosion in Gaza. There are fatalities.
"It just happened. That's all I know." Toby comes through a door to join them. Obviously he has also heard and has no idea what has happened to Andy. It is soon a hectic mess with C.J. and Carol trying to get through to Gaza and many TVs on different stations to see if any of the networks have anything on it. In the midst of this chaos Toby gets a call on his cell.
"Hello. Andy. How are you? Are you okay?" A second later he tells the others, "She's all right --- she's uh was in the other car and she's all right.... Two Congressmen confirmed dead...."
"What about Donna?" Josh asks trying not to become obviously frantic.
"What about Donna?" Toby asks his ex-wife and then conveys the information she gives him. "She was in the car that --- Andy saw people put in ambulances. That's all she knows." As Toby continues talking on the phone, Josh watches him with feeling then turns to watch the TV realizing he wasn't going to get anymore from Toby and Andy.

Meanwhile Leo is sitting at his desk stunned and trying to get up the will to go and tell Bartlet the news that has just come to him. The news may have come from Kate Harper who goes into the Oval with Leo who tells the President of the two Congressmen and that a third fatality has just been reported,
"Admiral Fitzwallace...."
"I asked him to go."

Colin has taken Donna to one of the Israeli settlements in Gaza and she talks to a family whose house was just hit with a mortar.
"In Israel there's talk of giving up these settlements?"
"God wants us in this place. It is our divine, moral obligation to be here," the wife says.
"If we give in to the Arabs they'll take more and more and we'll all end up in Tel Aviv," says the husband.
"And then they'll take that."

Meanwhile in the White House as the President calls the families of the Congressmen, Josh calls Donna's parents. He hasn't found out much except that she is "stabilized". As the staff gathers outside the Oval, they talk about the Chairman (Farad) and the head of Israel. Leo says,
"State's convinced nothing can happen until these two guys are gone...."
Kate adds, "One reason people say that nothing can happen until these guys are gone is the feeling they both may be stuck in old attitudes or assumptions. There was a time when Palestinians and all Arabs wanted to drive Jews into the sea but some would argue that times past.... I'm not sure any credible Arab leader truly expects Israel's demise anymore not even the Chairman.... Palestinians are no longer fighting to destroy the Jewish State. They're fighting for a state of their own, a revolutionary struggle against an occupying force and revolutionaries will outlast and out-die occupiers every time...."
Donna from Gaza
Jason Isaacs as Colin Ayres, Janel Moloney as Donna Moss, Zach Cohen as Yossi
NBC Warner Bros. Photo

They continue discussing this. Josh has been pacing up and down but not really becoming part of the discussion. Kate suggests,
"...we use this as an opportunity. Employ the moral authority to re-engage in aggressively pressing both sides for peace."
"We need to kill them," Josh blurts out. "We need to find them and to kill them. We kill them. Then we find out who sent them and we kill them too."
"Josh," Leo says, recognizing, as the others do as well, that Josh has lost perspective.
"You kill the people who did it. You kill the people who planned it. Then you kill everyone who is happy about it...."
"Josh," Leo says again and leads him into the next room.
"And opportunity?" Josh says with disbelief.
"Where's Donna now?"
"She's being MedEvac'd to Ramstein then transferred to Landestuhl for further treatment."
"An operation?"
"I don't know."
"We've got excellent people in Germany.... If there is some place you'd rather be, everyone would understand."
"I'm fine." Leo just stares at him. Suddenly, Josh changes his mind. "Thanks." Once he starts moving, he picks up speed quickly, grabs his backpack and is out of there.

Back in Gaza before the explosion Colin has introduced Donna to Yossi, an Israeli military border guard who says of his military service,
"It's an Israeli's most sacred duty. Nothing I will ever do is more important...."
"Colin says you have strong feelings about serving here."
"Is no good. Gaza.... 7500 settlers surrounded by 1.3 million Palestinians who do not wish them here and we in the middle."

Josh finally makes it to the hospital in Germany. And back in the Oval Bartlet has learned that Fitz was one of Kate's mentors so he takes her with him when he goes to see Fitz's wife. Meanwhile Leo gets a report of an Israeli attack on an Hamas leader. The attack killed 12 including four children.

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