Teleplay by: Debora Cahn, Story by: Debora Cahn & Lauren Schmidt, Directed by: Alex Graves
- Takes Place: 21 days before the election
- Broadcast: Sunday, March 12, 2006
- See Screen Captures from this episode
Alan Alda as Arnold Vinick, Jimmy Smits as Matthew Santos, Martin Sheen as President Josiah Bartlet
NBC Universal Photo Mitchell Haddad
This page is still a work in progress. It is not accurate yet.
But with the high level of interest, we are putting it up as is until we can work on it more.
- It is three days after the nuclear accident, and polls (Gallup and others) on the campaign are being released. It is the middle of the night and most Santos campaign staffers have gone to bed, but some staff insiders have stayed up to get the poll results as soon as they come out. Donna, Ronna, Annabeth and Bram are among them. Finally, they learn the great news from The New York Times National Tracking Poll. They decide that no one should be still sleeping so Donna and Bram go from one hotel room door to another to wake everyone and call out the news. On one door Donna waits until its sleepy occupant opens the door and when he does she enters Josh's room and tells him,
- "State by states are out. We're tied in South Carolina and Arkansas and California."
"We pulled ahead in Arizona, Nevada, Virginia.... It's 44-44. We're tied."
Josh is now fully awake and bursting with joyous energy, he kisses her. Then he kisses her again. Then she kisses him. And Santos is coming down the hall and shouting for Josh. By the time he and everyone else pour into the room, Josh and Donna are standing apart.
- Vinick's team is also coming to grips with the news. And they are noting the same thing at the White House where it appears that Will and Kate are "seeing one another". They are just learning how to deal with their relationship in the office environment. Will tells her,
- "We'll get better at this."
"One can only hope."
- The Kazakhstan situation is approaching critical. The armies of both Russia and China have crossed the border and are moving toward each other. The military and government officials are coming up with ideas for an invasion/intervention.
- "What will they wear?" Bartlet asks knowing, "...It starts snowing in ?XXXX? in August and doesn't stop until June."
- And Josh is not too sure about his relationship with Donna. When they find themselves outside, out-of-earshot of others, he calls her back,
- "Donna—" He pauses and takes off his sunglasses as she walks back to him. "I want to eh— I'm sorry. Uh. —about this morning — it was — inappropriate."
"Don't worry about it."
"Totally inappropriate. I-I feel terrible."
"Seriously. It was bound to happen sometime."
- The President feels that he needs to tell the candidates what is going on with Kazakhstan. So C.J. invites them to the White House even though she knows that Josh is going to want the candidate out campaigning to make the most of what the polls now show. At first she talks to him about those polls,
- "How's it feel?"
"This must be what your first smack high feels like." While saying this to C.J. on his cell, Josh is looking at Donna.
"Here's hoping it's not followed by a huge crash and years of rehabilitation."
"Nothing could kill my mood right now, but that was a good try."
- Back at the White House, C.J., meeting with Kate and Will, notices something and asks them.
- "Is something weird happening?"
"Maybe its the water. People feel like that when its damp." C.J. doesn't buy this theory from Kate but dismisses them.
As they walk out of C.J.'s office, Will tells Kate, "We're really bad at this."
- Donna tells Josh what she's just learned from a few reporters.
- "They think he has a cold."
"Oh, my Lord." Josh moves forward to hug Donna and then he stops. Bram has walked up so Josh turns to hug him. "...A cold! The gods were listening to me. And they love me." Josh is still full of joy when Annabeth walks up so he also hugs her, picking her off the ground.
Annabeth asks, "Why is there hugging?"
Before he briefs the candidates, Bartlet calls in Leo to use him as a sounding board as he always used to. Then he has the experts brief the candidates and then tells them he is about to change the nature of their campaigns,
|"One of your will inherit this pinata. I thought you should know what's on the table...."
"So, we're placing ourselves on an oil field between two nuclear powers. Alone...." Vinick says.
Santos asks Bartlet, "What's your exit strategy?"
"I don't have one.... These armies are marching towards each other and somebody has to stand in the middle. Unfortunately, it has to be us."
- After the meeting, Vinic's campaign manager tells him she has to resign. The Republican Party wants him to change his stance and campaign to the base - The Republican Right. Sheila is the public face of his campaign and can see no other way to explain his change. Vinick is left feeling totally alone as Billie Holiday starts singing, "My days have grown so lonely...." As the song continues, Santos campaign staffers meet at the hotel. Donna picks a moment and then puts the key to her room on the table between her and Josh and then moves it closer to him. Now Billie Holiday song is saying, "I'm all for you Body and Soul." Then Donna leaves. As Josh moves toward the key, Ronna notices it and picks it up to return it to Donna. Josh makes a slight effort to say, "I got it", but it has moved out of his control. Someone takes the key to Donna, who has to assume that Josh sent it back to her.
--- Corrections to Come ---
Music that Played during this Episode
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