Teleplay: Aaron Sorkin, Story: Eli Attie & David Handelman, Director: Christopher Misiano
Matthew Perry as Joe Quincy, Brad Whitford as Deputy Chief of Staff Josh Lyman --
Warner Bros. Photo / NBC
- Takes Place: On the vernal equinox
- Broadcast: April 23, 2003
- Query: So, what's the truth abut the standing an egg thing?
- Query: What Chapter and Verse is the title of this episode taken from?
- Query: What Did Joe mean in response to Josh's comment about brass bands and hearing the shots?
- Query: Josh and Joe seem a little confused by what exactly is meant by 'terrorism': so what is the definition or is there even one?
- Query: Is a day on the moon the same as a year on the moon?
- Query: Is there a question #75 on the SF-86?
- Query: What did Teddy Roosevelt do for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize that is now in the White House?
- Query: What is the proper usage of DefCon/ThreatCon?
- It's Friday poker night at the White House. Ed and Larry and the inner circle all plan to play with the President. Debby begs to join them and the President agrees. Will has to leave to spend the weekend being an Air Force Reservist, but he stops in to bring C.J. eggs so she can try and stand them on end which she thinks is possible only on this one day (the vernal equinox). While sitting in for the President, Will finds a joker and throws it across the room into a trash can. The stands go wild. Toby picks up the deck and throws away another card. They decide on combat in the Press Room and with C.J. go there later to see if either can hit the fifth row from the podium. C.J. is by the window when they hear a shot. She's looking out the window as a bullet hits it. Toby and Will rush forward to get her down, out of the line of fire. The Secret Service rushes them out of the Press Briefing Room. At the same time the Oval Office is being secured. The President makes sure the three of them are all right and then asks Ron Butterfield (the head of his Secret Service detail),
- "Where's Charlie?"
"He's somewhere in the building," Leo interrupts to reassure Bartlet.
"We're holding people where they are right now." Butterfield tells the President.
"But if he's heard what happened, he's going to be trying to get here."
"We've got to hold everybody for a moment so that we can secure ---" says another agent.
"No, I'm telling you if Charlie heard there were bullets, he's going to overpower who's ever ---" The President is interrupted as Charlie bursts through the door.
Momentarily, Charlie is disoriented by the peacefulness of the scene he has just burst into, plus he is out of breath. "Sorry Mr. President."
"Come here," the President motions to him. "It's bullet proof glass in the windows, okay? If you want to kill me you're going to have to do it from inside the building." After Charlie leaves, Fiderer storms in and Bartlet has to reassure her that no one was hurt.
- C.J., Toby and Will have rejoined the poker game. Larry
- "You're particularly upbeat for someone who's been shot at twice in four years," Larry observes to C.J.
"...That's 'cause I have faith...."
"The substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen."
"...I think what he's asking is why most other nights do you think the world's going to hell in a hula hoop but tonight.... Faith in what?"
"The people in this room?"
"And many, many, many others."
Josh continues interviewing a lawyer to take the Associate Counsel position Ainsley used to have. Their conversation veers off course and Josh says,
Matthew Perry as Joe Quincy, --
Warner Bros. Photo / NBC
- "There may not be anything anymore that outpaces the hatred the right feels for the left or the tonnage of disrespect the left feels for the right.... 20,000 specific threats made against U.S. targets every year....
- Due to the lockdown, Joe gets a "very thorough interview" from Josh who finally figures out what's been nagging him about the job applicant,
- "You're a Republican."
"...You don't want to get a job with your own party?"
"I do. I just can't."
""I'm in the doghouse with a number of people at the National Committee."
"A memo I wrote for the Solicitor General arguing that the Supreme Court should uphold regulations that limit soft money donations to political campaigns...."
"Why do you want to work here? Why not the private sector?"
"I'm on my way to New York.... A final interview at Debevoise and Plimpton...."
"They're going to offer you $225,000 a year. Is this your fallback?"
"They're my fallback."
"Why do you want to work here?"
"I like public service. I want to serve. And you guys are the only ones left."
- Meanwhile the President and Leo haven't been able to get much poker in as an unmanned aircraft went down in Russian territory. When all of Leo's subterfuge turned out not to work, the President just told President Chigorin of Russia the truth. Perhaps truth telling between them will become standard procedure?
- For additional conversations/information from this episode see: