What? no West Wing (3/26/06) thread yet?

All in all a pretty inconsequential episode. Nothing much happened, it basically just set up drama for upcoming shows. There’s a few questions that need answering:

1a) Will the special (Bartlett appointed) prosecutor really go through with his threat to indicte Toby and basically implode the Santos campaign? Personally I think it’s all a bluff.

1b) Will Toby cave into the special prosecutor?

1c) Will it be diffused before the Leo’s screen death?

  1. Is Leo already dead explaining his inability to be located, or is it just a plot contrivance in order to explain his lack of screentime? I’m waiting to see if he’s found dead having been in his room for 48 hours or something…unlikely a VP candidate could ever go missing for 30 minutes, let along a whole day.

  2. Who did Toby get his info from? They seemed to make it pretty clear that it wasn’t his brother, wasn’t Leo or CJ, and most likely was his ex-wife. I’m struggling to remember if we arleady know who did it from previous episodes and I just forgot. Anyone with a better memory know if it’s been disclosed?

  3. Is this sleep deprivation storyline heading anywhere? I was expecting him to make a major slip of the tongue as a result. As it seems it just added tension and conflict to this episode where there otherwise would have been very little.

  4. Will the cameos amount to anything? We’ve already had mention of Stevie Wonder, Bono, Jay Leno and an pretty thin guest appearance by Jon Bon Jovi.

Additionally, there’s some juicy stuff in the previews.

Josh and Donna in bed together.
Leo finally dying.
Election Day, natch.

I’m probably missing things, but it’s a start.

I think Toby talked the prosecutor out of it.

I thought they were having trouble getting the current Vice President, Bob Russell, not Leo.

I don’t remember anything from previous episodes, but I thought his responses were pointing to the President. The prosecutor specifically asked about everyone else, but not Bartlett.

Could be. Unfortunately I deleted the episode from Tivo can can’t double check, they both were refered to in the episode but I’m not clear who they weren’t able to get on the phone.

It was Bob Russell. After the phone call Santos starts bitching to Josh about Bob Russell making excuses for ignoring him whilst tactfully avoiding suggesting its because Bob is a sore loser.

I thought it was pretty good, actually. Certainly got a sense of the chaos and sleep deprivation of the final days of a close, hard-fought national campaign.

And that wasn’t a special prosecutor, it was the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia (one of 90+ Presidentially-appointed, Senate-confirmed U.S. prosecutors across the country). If you looked closely, you could see President Bartlet’s portrait hanging on the wall, slightly out of focus, in several shots while Toby, his lawyer and the U.S. Attorney were talking. And I agree, I think Toby talked the guy out of indicting him for obstruction of justice.

Was there some allusion to the short lady having an affair with Leo?

Yes, I thought so. As they boarded the jet after the fundraiser with Stevie Wonder, several people remarked on how close the Kirstin Chenoweth (sp?) character seemed to be to Leo. And not just in an advisory capacity, either. :smiley:

You’d think his secret service detail would notice a thing like him being dead.

I doubt it’s his ex-wife. She wouldn’t have been pushing him the way she did if she was the leak. I figure it’s Bartlet.

Obvious question: why didn’t Toby mention this to Bartlet when he was firing his ass, insulting his character, etc? Maybe it’s kinda like the Vinick advisor who fell on her sword a few weeks back, taking the hit so her noble boss doesn’t have to?
To tell the truth, this whole story thread is a little bit hazy. Its origins go back about a season or two, were never super-clear to begin with, got dropped totally for months on end, and I frankly don’t care about it anymore much, if I ever did. What the hell is the whole 'dead brother/astronaut/secret military shuttle/leak" thread all about anyway?

Toby putting himself on the grenade for the President was my first guess, way back when it all started happening. But then Barlet, on Toby’s way out the door, said that he didn’t consider him a hero, etc. The implication being that Toby really betrayed the President. Now, with the other major suspects discounted, I don’t know who Toby could be covering for. It’s got to be someone above Toby (because he would fire a subordinate for it). One of the Vice Presidents, maybe? They are nominally in charge of NASA.

It was nice them letting the Tiny Press Secretary sing. Especially since she’s won a Tony for stuff like that.

I don’t think Bartlet’s comment about Toby betraying him rules out the possibility that Toby learned of the shuttle from Bartlet. It would still be a betrayal of the president for Toby to leak the information against the president’s wishes.

If they are doin’ it, the show’s creators have built the perfect reason for Leo’s upcoming heart attack. Kristin Chenoweth is hot.

Well… not really. Various vice presidents (LBJ, Humphrey and Quayle spring to mind) chaired the National Space Council or its equivalent of the day, and were identified with NASA and its PR efforts, but no vice president has ever been “in charge of NASA,” even nominally, IIRC.

We’ve seen a few times where she was mildly flirting with Leo.

Since Josh kept trying to force coffee into Santos, I thought for sure we were going to have a scene where we see that he obviously had too much.

On a totally unrelated note, when Santos mentioned that he played the clarinet, I triumphantly thrust my fist into the air and yelled “Dude!”.

But Vice President Otter had that info about the Mars rocks that he leaked to his girlfriend who was trying to get a book deal. In that episode, it was stated that he was the administration’s point-of-contact for all things NASA. So I’m not that far off with respect to the world of TWW.

JeffB that’s a subtle distinction definitely worth keeping in mind. I was going with whoever told Toby about the shuttle did so for the purpose of getting it leaked, so that it would have to be used to save the astronauts. That is something I think President Barlet would have done.

Toby had always belittled Russell, so I don’t see them as confidantes. And Toby wouldn’t be going to prison to protect Hoynes, who’s already been publically revealed as a leak on space issues.

I still think it’s Bartlet but I don’t think it was done with his approval (which admittedly was my early guess way back when). I’m guessing that Bartlet, who was ambivalent about the issue, discussed it with Toby much like we saw CJ did. But he probably made Toby promise to keep the issue secret because he knew Toby wasn’t cleared for it. Then after he decided he couldn’t reveal the existence of the military shuttle, Toby went ahead and did it. So Bartlet was angry both at Toby and at himself for having told Toby. This would explain why he was saying Toby betrayed him and his angry remarks about how Toby thought he was more moral than other people. But eventually Bartlet will realize he created the situation and will give Toby a pardon.

I also wonder if the producers and writers have had to create some extra scenes for these last few shows. Obviously they must have been planning some storylines around Leo which couldn’t be filmed. Maybe some of the awkward pacing the last few episodes have had was because they had to pad out other stories.

  1. Can it be possible that something can be so double-top-secret that POTUS can’t discuss it with anybody, even his own advisers? Can’t POTUS wave his wand and give clearance to whomever he wants to?

  2. Was it ever revealed what “Big Game” Santos was continually being asked about? I guess the joke is that the candidate hop-scotches around the country so much that he can’t keep track where he is, so that the big game that they care about in Philly isn’t the same one they care about in Dayton, and the locals can get (unduly) upset if the candidate mentions the wrong one. (In situations like this, Presidential Candidate Zamboniracer would refer to whoever Notre Dame was playing that week as the “big game.” :smiley: )

President Bartlet would like that. He went to Notre Dame (and wore a Notre Dame sweatshirt a few times in the first season, IIRC).