West Wing Continuity Guide
path: Home / Second Season Episodes * #219 (41) "Bad Moon Rising"

President & Chief Counsel
Martin Sheen as the President & Oliver Platt as Chief Counsel, Oliver Babish
- NBC Warner Bros. Photo
Teleplay: Aaron Sorkin, story: Felicia Willson, director: Bill Johnson
Takes Place: Three days after the last episode ended with summer approaching.
Broadcast: April 25, 2001
Query: How could there be Third Amendment issues on a current House bill?
Query: Why did Zoey fill out her college entrance forms when she was 17, but not start college until she was 19?
Query: Since Leo is Boston Irish Catholic, why does he say he's from Chicago?
Query: What is the peso worth at the moment and is Mexico close to economic collapse or is that years out of date?
Query: Who were the first people to know about the MS?
Query: What does the phrase 'Old friend from home' mean?
Query: How many credits does it take to be a junior?
Leo decides that it is time for the President to talk to a lawyer about the fact that they've hidden Bartlet's MS condition. As the President tells the new White House Counsel:
"I'm going to tell you a story and then I need you to tell me whether or not I've engaged 16 people in a massive criminal conspiracy to defraud the public in order to win a Presidential election."
Of course, this isn't all that is happening. Josh is trying to arrange a bailout of the Mexican economy, Sam is worried about a tanker leaking oil, C.J. has been told by Toby to find a leak, and Charlie is signing up for a couple of summer college courses. Sam finds him filling out forms and asks what he is going to take:
"Theology 201, Intro to Biblical Literature."
"So the President will stop bugging me. And English 201, Text and Context."
"What happened to molecular biology?"
"It's closed out for the summer session."
"How many AP credits do you have from high school."
"I have six in English, six in math and calculus, three in European history and three in French."
"You're telling me that you've never been to college and after taking two classes this summer you're going to be like a junior?"
"With a pretty decent GPA."
"Charlie, just how smart are you?"
"I've got some game."
C.J. is finding it hard to ask people if they are the leak. The senior staff just tell her it isn't them and they don't know who it is, but the other staff people are very offended even to be asked. After the first one leaves, C.J. calls out to her assistant:
Carol.... How many more of these do I have?"
"Okay, after five of them, I'm just going to confess." Several of the people play with her and she comes to the conclusion that everyone hates her.
She finally does 'confess' to Toby and then goes on to say, "There is no group of people this large in the world that can keep a secret. I find it comforting. It's how I know for sure that the government isn't covering up aliens in New Mexico."
When the President finds out Charlie knows, he says:
"My youngest daughter has a big mouth."
"No she doesn't, sir. She wanted me to be on the lookout for certain physical signs so I could tell the First Lady."
"We won't discuss this any more for the time being. It will be public soon enough. And the more conversations you have with me, the more lawyers you are going to have to talk to. And they bill in an hour what you take home in a week. So we won't discuss it except to say this: you're going to be subpoenaed. I'm confident in your loyalty to me. I'm confident in your love for me. If you lie to protect me. If you lie just once. If you lie just a little. If you lie 'cause you can't stand what's happening to me and the people making it happen. If you ever ever lie, you're finished with me. . . . Go back to work."
"Is there anything you need?"
"I need you to go to law school and graduate as soon as humanly possible."
When the President and his Chief Counsel finish discussing it, Bartlet asks what his first step should be and the answer is:
"First tell your staff. . . . Then decide how to make a public announcement. . . . Then order the attorney general to appoint a special prosecutor. Not just any special prosecutor but the most blood-spitting, Bartlet-hating Republican in the bar. He's going to have an unlimited budget and a staff like an army. The new slogan around here's gong to be 'Bring it on.' He's going to have access to every piece of paper you ever touched. If you invoke executive privilege one time, I'm gone."

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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