The White House staff springs into action when they learn that President Bartlet was injured in a bicycle accident. During the President’s absence, chief of staff Leo McGarry must handle several crises including Cuban refugees trying to escape into Florida and the conservative Christians’ reaction to a comment made by deputy chief of staff Josh Lyman. Meanwhile, Sam learns that the woman he picked up at a bar was actually a call girl and Toby gets into an argument over the Ten Commandments.
Sam, despite the rest of the staff urging him not to, decides to publicly pursue the call girl he spent the night with. C.J. tries to make the best of the ongoing clash between the Vice President and President over a bill. Meanwhile, President Bartlet hires Mandy Hampton as his consultant and the plane carrying Bartlet’s doctor is shot down, leaving a young African-American Navy captain to substitute as the President’s physician.
Still angry about an American jet being shot down in the Mideast, President Bartlet overrules a plan for a “proportional” military strike put together by the joint chiefs of staff. Bartlett wants a more severe attack, but the type of attack he wants would result in thousands of casualties. While Leo tries to cool Bartlet down, C.J. talks to Sam about the possible ramifications of his ongoing relationship with Laurie, the call girl. Meanwhile, Josh hires an African American teenager as an aide to the President.
Special Guest Stars: John Amos
as Admiral Percy Fitzwallace |
With only five votes keeping an important bill restricting the sale of automatic weapons, the staff has only 72 hours to find a way to get the five votes. Toby has to testify when he is accused of manipulating the stock market after one of his stock purchases becomes extremely profitable. Meanwhile, President Bartlet accidentally takes the wrong medication for his aching back and Leo’s long hours begin to strain his home life.
Special Guest Stars: Tim Matheson
as Vice President John Hoynes |
Songs: Barbara Streisand -- Happy Days Are Here Again
The staff must deal with several problems throughout the course of a day, including UFOs and smallpox. The senior staff meets with several interest groups referred to as "the crackpots". Josh becomes shaken when he receives a card that instructs him where to go in case of a nuclear attack. Meanwhile, Toby and President Bartlet clash over plans for a trip to California and Bartlet prepares for a press conference.
Toby and Mandy work together to get a commerce bill with a census counting provision approved. In order to do this, they have to convince Mr. Willis, a congressman who took over his wife’s office after her death. Sam helps C.J. understand what stance the administration is taking on the random census in 2000. Meanwhile, Zoey gets herself into a dangerous situation when she goes to a Georgetown bar and President Bartlet approaches Leo after learning that Leo’s wife left him.
With a state dinner in honor of an Indonesian president drawing closer, President Bartlet must deal with several problems including an FBI hostage standoff, a nearing category 4 hurricane, and a potential teamsters union strike. Meanwhile, the First Lady prepares to host the dinner, a reporter flirts with C.J., and Sam is surprised when he spots his call girl friend in attendance at the dinner.
Bartlet’s political rivals attach a land-use rider is to a vital banking bill. C.J. attempts to silence rumors that Bartlet and Vice President Hoynes fought during a Cabinet meeting, despite the rumors being true. Leo isn’t happy when his daughter, Mallory, asks Sam out, and is less enthusiastic when he accepts. Meanwhile, C.J. continues to ignore Danny’s advances when she begins to suspect that he’s only trying to get a lead on a story.
A current Supreme Court justice retires, giving Bartlet an opportunity to nominate a justice, but his perfect nominee turns out to be less perfect than Bartlet had originally thought. Meanwhile, a congressman accuses White House staff of drug use.
As Christmas quickly approaches, President Bartlet sneaks out to finish some last minute shopping. Toby, after learning more about a forgotten Korean War veteran, arranges a funeral for him. C.J. tries to get the staff to focus on the hate crime issue again while continuing to fend off the reporter who keeps asking her out. Sam and Josh plan a strike against Congressman Lillenfield who’s been hinting at Leo’s past involving drug and alcohol abuse.
When India and Pakistan go to war with each other and threaten nuclear war, Bartlet calls British diplomat Lord Marbury for advise on how to handle the crisis. Josh gets subpoenaed to testify in Lillenfield’s investigation of Leo’s prior drug and alcohol abuse. Toby accuses C.J. of being overly friendly with the media and Charlie asks Bartlet permission to date his daughter.
The White House staff shifts into crisis mode after Bartlet collapses prior to his first State of the Union address. The tension between India and Pakistan heightens when Pakistan gives its commanders control of the nuclear weapons, which leads to the staff once again consulting Lord John Marbury. Meanwhile, Leo publicly discloses his past alcohol abuse and both Sam and C.J. have romantic encounters.
Josh and Sam meet with the Senate appropriations subcommittee to try to get Leo out of having to attend a hearing over his past alcohol abuse problems. Bartlet and the staff debate what the appropriate response should be to the new sex education study while Mandy believes that a couple shouldn’t attend the signing of a hate crimes bill brought on by the death of their son. Meanwhile, C.J. continues to flirt with a White House reporter, Toby goes up against congressmen holding up the appointments for the Public Broadcasting Corporation, and Bartlet urges Zoey to drop a sociology class when the professor teaches ideas very different from his own.
When the Supreme Court fails to stay the execution of a convicted murder, President Bartlet has to decide whether or not to commute his sentence within the next 48 hours. To do so, Bartlet gets advice from Tom Cavanaugh, a childhood priest of Bartlet’s. Meanwhile, Josh goes head to head with Joey Lucas, a campaign manager, when her candidate isn’t being backed strongly backed by the Democratic party.
Sam and Toby rush to Connecticut when Roberto Mendoza, Bartlet’s Supreme Court nominee, is jailed for drunk driving. There, Sam and Toby try to secure the secret release of the nominee while doing damage control along the way. Meanwhile, Josh does his best as a replacement White House spokesman when C.J. has an emergency root canal.
President Bartlet and the staff travel to Los Angeles for a fundraiser hosted by a wealthy filmmaker. Back in Washington, Leo has to convince the Vice President to support Bartlet’s stance on an ethanol tax bill that is deadlocked in the Senate. Meanwhile, in order to protect his daughter, Bartlet has the Secret Service close down a restaurant where she’s dining.
The First Lady’s staff is sent into action when her statements about foreign child-labor laws motivate a Congresswoman to suggest an amendment that would end an international tariff bill. The President is also kept busy when the chairman of the Federal Reserve dies and Bartlet must appoint a successor. Meanwhile, Zoey fights with Charlie when she suggests that they don’t go to a club opening again, per the request of the Secret Service after they receive hat letters about their interracial relationship.
When Zoey attends a party where one of her friends is caught using illegal drugs, C.J. tries to keep the story out of the media. The staff celebrates when Supreme Court nominee Mendoza is confirmed by the Senate. Josh meets with Jeff Breckenridge, a nominee for assistant attorney general who believes in slavery reparations. Meanwhile, Sam fights with Mallory over private school vouchers and Mandy works to get two new pandas for the National Zoo.
Special Guest Stars: Carl Lumbly
as Jeff Breckenridge |
Rumors fly when a memo surfaces that outline the weakness of the administration. C.J. soon finds that a reporter has the memo and she tries to persuade him not to publish it. Sam and Toby meet with the military to work out a better policy about gays in the military. Meanwhile, Josh tries to get Democrats nominated when two Federal Election Commission members resign and Leo has issues with the White House’s e-mail system.
Special Guest Stars: John Amos
as Percy Fitzwallace |
President Bartlet names two Democrats to the Federal Election Commission, despite threats not to do so. However, the polls show that the public’s reaction the appointments are not good. Toby agrees to meet with his ex-wife to hear her reaction to a new drug policy. Meanwhile, C.J. makes a mistake that sets the staff back and Leo agrees to be the front man for the drug law revisions.
While the staff nervously awaits the newest poll results, Bartlet begins to reassign Federal Election Committee members in order to start campaign finance reform. But his plan is delayed when a photographer catches Sam giving a gift to his call girl friend. Meanwhile, C.J. worries that she’s being marginalized for her recent mistakes and Josh clashes with Joey.
Bartlet and the staff prepare for a town meeting with college students while dealing with getting an American pilot, who was shot down in Iraqi territory, home before he’s captured. Toby’s brother is involved in a potential disaster on an orbiting space shuttle. Josh works to convince the Vice President to change his stance on campaign finance reform. Later, as Bartlet and the staff leave the meeting, bullets begin to fly.