path: Home / Second Season Episodes #220 (42) "The Fall's Gonna Kill You"
Martin Sheen as the President & Oliver Platt as Chief Counsel, Oliver Babish
- NBC Warner Bros. Photo
- Teleplay: Aaron Sorkin, story: Patrick H. Caddell, director: Christopher Misiano
- Takes Place: Eight days after the end of "17 People" & six days after the beginning of "Bad Moon Rising"
- Broadcast: May 2 , 2001
- The President and Leo start telling the senior staff about the President's MS. Josh seems to take it better than C.J. and he starts planning ways to help including somehow getting a poll into the field to find out what the American public will think. When he thinks of a poll, he thinks of Joey Lucas. Toby asks him:
- "You trust this person?"
"I've got to trust somebody right now."
"Good 'cause I don't trust anybody right now."
- Talking on the phone to Abbey, Leo mentions the family medical history that Abbey signed. Only then does he discover that the President hadn't yet told the First Lady about it. When she gets back, she is angry about being left out and having to answer insulting questions from the White House Chief Counsel. This causes a blow-up between the First Couple and the President tells his Chief of Staff:
- "My wife and I are fighting battles on several fronts including with each other."
- Josh talks to Joey about taking a poll:
- "You got to come up with a model that gets us the answers we need without asking the questions we can't ask. You got to come up with a model by yourself. You got to break down the results by yourself. . . . and you got to do it all in 96 hours. Is what I'm describing possible?" Joey thinks of a way to ask a polling question without raising suspicions that relate to the President.
- But as Josh tells C.J.:
- "So now the President's got Leo worried that it's going to look like we announced it 'cause we took a poll. . . ."
This strikes C.J. as terribly funny: "The President and Leo are worried about that?"
"Yeah," Josh says. Then as C.J. keeps laughing, he asks, "What?"
"You guys are like Butch and Sundance peering over the edge of a cliff to the boulder filled rapids 300 feet below thinking you better not jump 'cause there's a chance you might drown. The President has this disease and has been lying about it and you're concerned that the polling might make us look bad? It's the fall that's going to kill you."
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.