West Wing Continuity Guide
path: Home / Sixth Season Episodes * #603 "Third-Day Story"
Josh & Will
Joshua Malina as Will Bailey,
Bradley Whitford as Josh Lyman
NBC Photo
Written by: Eli Attie, Directed by: Christopher Misiano
Broadcast: November 3, 2004
Gail's bowl decorations: White peace doves

The President and the senior staff arrive back from Camp David to prepare for a 2 pm signing of the tentative peace accord. Josh has called Leo five times. Toby is trying. As they go into the Oval later, the President is telling "signal" to keep trying to reach Leo. And a moment later Charlie comes into the Oval to tell them,
"Barracks Security found Leo in the woods at Camp David. They think it's a massive heart attack. They're flying him to Bethesda Naval right now."

The First Lady explains to all of them what is happening as she and the President rush off to the hospital. But the President wants Toby, Josh and C.J. to continuing preparing for the peace accord. But they seem to have lost their rudder just in knowing that Leo is not going to be there to turn to and run things by. Toby says,
"Okay, no Leo. We'll be lucky to get the President back for the signing. Let's get organized.... Look we're in the middle of an intersection without a traffic cop."
C.J. later predicts --- as they all step on each others toes, "This day's going to be a nightmare." And in the middle of the need to do a million things, Josh rushes to pick up Donna from the airport.

After the signing of the peace accords, Abbey tries to relieve Bartlet of the guilt she figures he is feeling for the state Leo is in.
"Stress actually restricts the flow of blood to the coronary arteries. What I'm saying is it physiological. Unless you wanted him meditating his way through intelligence briefings and sleeping in a floatation device--- there's nothing you did---
"I fired him."
"Last night at Camp David, I fired him. What does that do to the flow of blood?"

The senior staff is having problems: dealing with congress, dealing with the state department, dealing with the countries on the security council. And they are countering each others proposals. Toby tells the President:
"...we're fumbling.... Our dipolomatic strategy is a game of telephone...."
"Read the coverage. We're doing fine."
"Today, sure, and the second day's story is how you pulled it off. But the third-day story is that Congress doesn't want to pay, that our coalition's fraying that the spokes are coming off the wheels---"
"I'ts a couple of days. This was totally unexpected.
"No it wasn't. Not with Leo's history with alcohol, with pills. Mr. President, surely you had a process in place."
"Not for this.... You think we'd even be doing this without him?"
"No, sir, but Leo is one person and there are 290 million more and they come first." Just then they get word that Leo is out of surgery but so far his heart will not function on its own. And Abbey is talking about the need to deal with options if his heart never recovers enough to beat on its own.

Some time later --- it may be days later --- Donna returns to work as Josh and Toby keep tripping over each other in their efforts to try to give the President what he needs to make this peace accord work. And a persistent reporter keeps asking C.J. who the new Chief of Staff is.
"I'll tell you about him. His name is Leo McGarry. He comes out of Chicago. And unconventional choice, sure.... Leo just got out of by-pass. A few more hours he could be out of the woods."
"Then I guess these woods don't include incisional pain, chronic pain, swelling in both legs 'cause they took grafts from both. I guess they don't include mood swings, loss of short term memory, loss of blood supply. 'Cause if they do then Leo won't be out of them for three of four months and I have to ask, Who's the new White House Chief of Staff?"
"You know so much, you tell me."
"I'm hearing Will Bailey."
"Then you should have your hearing checked."

The Bartlets are still at the hospital and the President is trying to do his part of the coalition building on phone calls from there. Abbey thinks he had better go back to the White House.
"You think this is your fault. It's not."
"He's my best friend. I'm not the kind of person who has best friends."
"Because your life is your work. And so is his --- your work."
"What are you trying to say?"
"You chose this. Both of you. You're running a country, for God's sake. Not a tree house."
"Leo stays in the tree if he wants to. We'll work around his recovery. Half-days, wWhatever it takes."
"He's not going to work half days. He's not going to work around his recovery. He's not going to do whatever it takes."
"That's his decision."
"And we know what that decision will be."
"So, I should wake him up and fire him again. 'Cause it worked so well the first time."
"Let's talk about this time you have got to keep him out of that job. He'll kill himself for you if you don't."

Then as Carol tells C.J.,
"Leo's heart's beating on its own. He's still critical but he's off the heart and lung machine." Later Bartlet and Leo have a quiet moment and resolve the situation.

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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