The West Wing Episode Guide -
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Original Airdate 04-06-05 Rerun 09-18-05

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As the Democratic convention begins, Santos (Jimmy Smits), Russell (Gary Cole) and Hoynes (Tim Matheson) are still hunting for delegates. A nominee will emerge, but not before the candidates' machinations rivet the nation. Bartlet might have to referee---an easy task compared with his NASA: He's vexed by the space-station air leak; which could kill three astronauts. And by a press leak about a secret military shuttle, which could save them. Trouble is, it violates international law, and Bartlet can't admit that the U.S. has it.
From NBC:
It's the Democratic National Convention and the race to become the Democratic Presidential candidate has narrowed to three candidates: Russell (Gary Cole), Baker (Ed O'Neill) and Santos (Jimmy Smits). Also, Bartlet (Martin Sheen) must wrestle with the decision to launch the super-secret defense shuttle to rescue the astronauts trapped at the space station and risk national security or let them die.
From Warner Bros.:
At the Democratic Party National Convention, the race to become the presidential nominee has narrowed to three candidates: Russell (Gary Cole), Hoynes (Tim Matheson) and Santos (Jimmy Smits). Also, Bartlet wrestles with the decision to risk national security and launch the secret defense shuttle to rescue the astronauts trapped at the Space Station--or let them die.


Alan Alda as Arnold Vinick Republican Candidate for President
Stockard Channing as Abbey (Abigail Ann) Bartlet M.D. First Lady
Dulé Hill as Charlie (Charles) Young Deputy Special Assistant to the Chief of Staff
Allison Janney as C.J. (Claudia Jean) Cregg Chief of Staff
Joshua Malina as Will (William) Bailey Vice President's Campaign Manager
Mary McCormack as Kate (Katherine) Harper Deputy National Security Advisor
Janel Moloney as Donna (Donnatella) Moss Russell Campaign Staffer
Richard Schiff as Toby (Tobias Zachary) Ziegler Communications Director
John Spencer as Leo Thomas McGarry Former Chief of Staff
Bradley Whitford as Josh (Joshua) Lyman Santos Campaign Manager
Jimmy Smits as
Matthew Vincente Santos Rep. D-TX
Martin Sheen as
Jed (Josiah Edward) Bartlet President of the United States
Special Guest Stars    
Kristin Chenoweth as Annabeth Schott Deputy Press Secretary
Gary Cole as Robert "Bingo Bob" Russell Vice President
Teri Polo as Helen Santos Matt Santos' Wife
Ed O'Neill as Eric Baker Governor of Pennsylvania
Tim Matheson as
John Hoynes Former Vice President
Lily Tomlin as
Debbie (Deborah) Fiderer President's Secretary
Guest Starring    
Elisabeth Moss as Zoey Patricia Bartlet Bartlets' youngest daughter
Steve Ryan as Miles Hutchinson Secretary of Defense
Renée Estevez as Nancy Aide
Vincent Gustaferro as Ernie Gambelli New York Teachers' Union
Shannon O'Hurley as Susan Wertz NBC Executive
Tim Kelleher as Dylan Clark Hoynes Campaign Manager
Matthew Del Negro as Bram (Howard) Santos Campaign Staffer
Evan Arnold as Ned Carlson Santos' Aide
Karis Campbell as Ronna (Beckman) Santos' Aide
Ivan Allen as Anchor Roger Salier
Kate Enggren as Dorothy Baker Eric Baker's Wife
Rebecca Avery as Co-Anchor  
Petrea Burchard as Chair of CA Delegation  
Will Macmillan as David Adams Network Executive
Richard Hilton as Convention Secretary  

Information Links



Emmy Awards

Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series Nomination for
Alex Graves
Outstanding Single-Camera Sound Mixing for a Series Nomination for
Gary D. Rogers
Dan Hiland
Patrick Hanson, C.A.S.
Submitted for consideration after Outstanding Drama Series Nomination

CAS Awards

Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for a Television Series Nomination

Media Quotes

"Leo sometimes makes me sad," he said, "because his whole life is his work. So I hope that after Bartlet's second administration, Leo retires, settles down, finds a good woman and has a life." - John Spencer

"'West Wing' makes his heart soar"
by R.D. Heldenfels
August 14, 2002
Akron Beacon Journal

"What we're hoping to do is give the audience some insight into what the campaign process is about," Smits says.

"Can 'West Wing' build a bridge to the 21st century?"
by Bill Keveney
October 19, 2004
USA Today

"That, we think, is interesting territory, when you look at who is likely to replace you and realize that you need to stay above the fray and, at the same time, you're not happy with the direction the election is going in," Wells says.

" In 'West Wing' time, it's more"
by Virginia Rohan
October 20, 2004
Bergen Record

"The West Wing is doing an interesting experiment here," [Alan] Alda says. "If it ends up being Jimmy Smits' character versus me, we'll have a contest to see who can present their arguments better, not who maneuvers better."

"1 liberal actor, 2 conservative senators"
by Rich Copley
December 19, 2004
Lexington Herald-Leader

Wells felt he wasn't playing sides in the campaign by crafting a good guy/bad guy scenario. "We've set up both candidates as someone you'd like to have a beer with," he said.

"Alan Alda eager to run 'The West Wing'"
by Bill Brioux
January 22, 2005
Toronto Sun

One "candidate" who thinks he doesn't have much of a chance is Cole. "Bingo" Bob Russell, says Cole, "knows how to run a race, but if he gets it, who knows? But I don't think he'll have to worry about that. Look, they'll enter next season with two guys running in the presidential campaign. I'll let you figure out who those two guys might be, and I don't think you'll need to be Dick Tracy to do that."

"'West Wing' presidential campaign heats up"
by Charlie McCollum
January 25, 2005
San Jose Mercury News

"Bartlet will have a lot to say about the nominee and then go out and work for the candidate and the Democratic agenda. Bartlet will not go out quietly," Sheen says.

"'West Wing' votes for Prez"
by Dusty Saunders
February 2, 2005
Rocky Mountain News

This season, Wells says the writing team has taken pains to "create a situation where it was a complicated election in which the decisions weren't easy for anyone involved."

"Change Is Good for TV's Master Juggler"
by Cynthia Littleton
February 13, 2005
Hollywood Reporter

"All of us players who have been involved this season will be part of next season, in some form or another," Smits confirms. Regarding his chances of beating out Alan Alda to succeed Martin Sheen as the prez, he says, "My hiatus will be a little bit like, 'Hmm... I wonder, wonder, wonder.' I'm OK anyway it goes. The way [executive producer] John Wells set it up, there's so much fodder for story lines that could happen, and we're all up for that."

"Jimmy Smits for President"
by Daniel R. Coleridge
March 24, 2005
TV Guide Online

Talking to executive producer John Wells shortly after the real-world 2004 political conventions were held, both remarked on how carefully controlled and sterile the events were (with the exception, Smits says, of Barack Obama's rousing speech).

"The Democratic convention on 'West Wing' will be more reminiscent of Chicago but not in terms of its violence. There's going to be a convention, not a slickly produced television show," he said.

"It's Vinick vs. Santos, maybe, on 'The West Wing'"
April 4, 2005
Associated Press

For its season finale Wednesday, "The West Wing" comes west to San Jose. Well, in looks, anyway. You'll recognize the site where the TV series' fictional Democratic National Convention is supposed to be choosing its next presidential candidate: HP Pavilion. "Warner Bros. called last week to get permission to use exterior shots of the arena," reports Tom Manheim, the city's outreach manager. "For this week's show. I guess that shows how tight their production schedule is." And how perfect the Shark Tank would be for a gathering of politicians.

"'West Wing' coming west to San Jose"
by Leigh Weimers
April 5, 2005
San Jose Mercury News

As a former VOTE-COPE chairperson and current local leader, I struggle with my members about the importance of our VOTE-COPE programs both statewide and locally.

After viewing the season finale of "The West Wing," I now have new ammunition to prove that VOTE-COPE makes a difference. The episode showed a Democratic convention in chaos over choosing the successor to the outgoing president. After several rounds of balloting, there seemed to be no hope for consensus.

In discussing who delegates would vote for in the next round, it was stated that the New York delegation was led by a member of the teachers union. One conversation in the episode stated what we know: Teachers' and labor unions' support have been the bread and butter of the Democratic Party. What a fitting tribute to VOTE-COPE and our retiring President Hobart that a television writer acknowledges the political activism and power of our union. VOTE-COPE matters, and it makes its presence known in some amazing places.

Tracy W. Allen
Richfield Springs

"Letters to the Editor: VOTE-COPE clout"
by Tracy W. Allen
May 12, 2005
New York State United Teachers

In Season 6, the show really found its feet again...

It took a while for us to figure out what the hell we were going to do! I think the show is now more of a reflection of the real world as opposed to a fantasy of what it could be, but still keeps the intergrity of the characters.

"Shooting the breeze with The West Wing's Toby"
by James Dyer
October 2005

For more information about this episode:
Continuity Guide to "The West Wing"
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