West Wing Continuity Guide
path: Home / Fourth Season Episodes * #422 "Commencement"
Elisabeth Moss Elisabeth Moss as Zoey Bartlet
NBC Photo by: Eric Liebowitz
Writer: Aaron Sorkin, Director: Alex Graves
Takes Place: 5/7 (five days after the Vice President resigned)
Broadcast: May 7, 2003
Query: What was the song they played in the background near the end?
Query: What is the proper usage of DefCon/ThreatCon?
Query: What was all that about "torrential rains in the Northwest"?

While Josh searches for a possible replacement for the Vice President, he mentions something to Charlie that makes Charlie remember a $14 bottle of champaign he and Zoey had buried and swore they would open on the day she graduated. When he tells Josh about it, Josh says,
"You got to get the bottle back."
"You do."
"No. I'm done. I gave a shot. She said 'no'. She said it clearly."
"You should dig it up. It's a good idea."
"She's going to France tomorrow with Tartuffe. I'm going to eat the 14 bucks."
"No, I mean as a friend. You give it to her as a graduation present. You give it to her at one of the parties tonight. That way she goes off without thinking you're mad at her."
"I am mad at her."
"Yeah, but it's not really her fault and she's going away for awhile...."

The President has called the senior staff in on a Saturday morning at 8 am. Will asks Toby if he is nervous about the fact that the President hasn't shown the speech writers his speech for his daughter's commencement that afternoon. Toby says,
"I'm choosing to be nervous about other things today."
"Oh, hey, that's right. Big day."
"Is he talking about the house?" Toby asks aghast that people know his secret.
"It's romantic," Will says, confirming that he knows what Toby is planning.

Taye Diggs
Taye Diggs as Secret Service Agent Wesley Davis
NBC Photo by: Eric Liebowitz
The President has actually sent for them to tell them about the Shareef assassination of last May.
"...last May I ordered a special ops unit to kill Abdul Shareef and that's what they did and we made it look like what got reported...." Bartlet says.
"...There was considerable evidence," Leo continues, "presented to a group that included Fitzwallace, Nancy, Barryhill, Babish, the Attorney General and a few others. We gave it to the gang of eight. The man had committed crimes and remained a threat --- for instance, we stopped him from blowing up the Golden Gate Bridge. Were U.S. laws broken? No. International law? Possibly...."
"Mr. President," C.J. asks. "...Why the decision to tell us this morning?"
"Well, I just ordered Threat Con Bravo. So, people are going to be seeing some heightened security this weekend."
"What's the threat?" C.J. asks
"Increased chatter about torrential rain in the Pacific Northwest," Leo says. "...For a couple of years we have been keeping an eye on five possible Bahji sleepers in Central New York. And last night they disappeared...."
"And we're worried about retribution for Shareef.... Can I ask how hard can it be to keep an eye on five Qumari religious fanatics in Schenectady?" Josh asks.
"Tell them, Sister," Bartlet says shrugging this question off on Leo.
"I think you'd both be surprised."

Bartlet meets the agents that are about to be assigned to Zoey for her three month trip to France with her French boyfriend. Molly particularly impresses Bartlet by throwing Wesley, the Special Agent in charge, to the ground to demonstrate that they can protect Zoey. But this is to be a wide-perimeter protection. Bartlet, though takes an opportunity to tell "Wes",
"...if something comes up and you're faced with the choice of killing the boyfriend or not killing the boyfriend, kill the boyfriend."

Danny waiting for C.J. ends up falling asleep on her couch which is a bit of a surprise when she returns to her office. But then he has another surprise,
"I have a link between the U.S. government and Abdul Shareef's plane and its enough and we're going to print it so I'm here to ask the White House if they'd like to comment.... We don't need a White House comment to run it.... My paper's not going to hold off on it unless there are lives in immediate danger." C.J. gets Leo and the two of them convince Danny to give them three days.

Meanwhile, Toby is showing Andy her dream house which he has just bought. Using it as bait, he again asks her to marry him. But she tells him why that isn't going to happen. Later Zoey, followed by her new Secret Service team, go to a party at a club. She feels lightheaded and goes to the rest room and then suddenly she's been out of sight for too long. A search reveals a tragedy and Ron Butterfield reports to Leo, who is going to have to tell the President the last thing he wants to hear.

For additional conversations from this episode see:

For anyone interested in guest stars of this episode (as well as more information),
let us recommend the West Wing Episode Guide.

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