West Wing Continuity Guide
path: Home / Second Season Episodes / * #216 (38) "Somebody's Going to Emergency, Somebody's Going to Jail"

Sam Seaborn
Rob Lowe as Sam Seaborn - NBC Photo
Written by: Paul Redford & Aaron Sorkin, Directed by: Jessica Yu
Broadcast: February 28, 2001
Query: What's This about the Peters Projection Map?
Query: What was the Song played at the beginning and end of the episode?
Query: Did President Jackson really have a Big Block of Cheese in the White House?
Query: Would an International Relations professor consult on macroeconomic policy?
It's another one of Leo's annual "Big Block of Cheese Days" and he plans to give his annual speech about Andrew Jackson before assigning senior staff members to listen to various fringe groups as he did last year [#5]. As usual no one wants to listen but Leo has a gentle way of assuring quiet:
"Shut the hell up, Everybody. I've fired more people than you before breakfast."
C.J. objects to her assignment to listen to The Organization of Cartographers for Social Equality since she can't see what map makers have to do with social equality and she claims she won't be listening to them. But the presentation astonishes her and she learns that what she had always thought didn't correspond to reality.
Toby comes in to Leo's meeting late complaining that:
"I was waylaid."
"By what?"
"30,000 tourists."
"You, know, the protesters," a staffer explains.
"No, I don't call them protesters. I've seen better organized crowds at the DMV. . . . In my day we knew how to protest."
"What day was that?" C.J. asks.
"How old were you when you were protesting?" Josh asks.
"My sisters took me. . . . We had the underground. We had rapid response. . . . These people are amateurs. What's my assignment?"
"Meeting with the amateurs," Leo informs him. "World Policies Studies is having a forum. There will be about a hundred of them. . . ."
"What else is there?" Toby asks and when other awful choices are offered him, he comes up with a choice of his own: "Or getting paid a lot more money working almost anywhere else I want." But later after giving up trying to deal with the "anarchist wannabees", Toby explains why they are wrong to object to the World Trade Organization: "Free trade stops wars" and then he protests to Josh about the things that are wrong with the WTO.
A friend of Donna's who is now an associate professor of International Relations at the Maxwell School asks her to help persuade Sam to consider recommending an executive pardon for her grandfather, who was accused of espionage in the 50s. Sam is convinced that this man had been another victim of McCarthyism and an embarrassed FBI is just trying to cover its tracks, but Sam is perfectly willing to change his mind if the evidence shows something else:
"This country is an idea. And one that's lit the whole world for two centuries. And treason against that idea is not just a crime against the living. This crime holds the graves of people who have died for it. Who gave what Lincoln called the last full measure of devotion."
For anyone interested in guest stars of this episode (or any other), let us recommend the listing at The West Wing Episode Guide.

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

Background from Bravo: What you need to know from past episodes.

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